How to Re-Kindle the Flames With My Partner After Ten Years: Five Burning Ideas

I am not going to act like it is easy to keep a marriage or partnership together after ten years or more, because it is not.  Quite frankly, having a healthy marriage over a decade takes a lot of work.  One of my marriages lasted for 17 years.  We went out on regular dates even when we were dirt poor.  My husband (at that time) gave me many compliments and seemed to adore me. I valued him as my husband and as the father of my two children. I never took him for granted.  Marriage is not stress-free, but when it works, there is nothing better”

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

Marriage is a beautiful union of two people when it is full of love and fun.  One hopes this will keep you inspired throughout your life. However, marriage, when not kept refreshed regularly, runs the risk of getting rusty and dreary over the course of years.  Many times, marriage becomes “lifeless” as years go by because couples tend to focus on the stresses of daily life.  They may ignore the intimate relationship that they should be working on with their respective partners.

When you feel such a case is starting to slowly eat away at your marriage, this is the time that you should start to act on it- fast.  This is a perfect sign that you should rekindle some of the flames that may have died out after years of monotonous activities. Bring back the spark that you used to have, like when you were just starting out in the relationship, and both of you were high with passion.  This is really never too difficult to accomplish, especially if both of you are willing to work on it together.

Keep in mind that a strong marriage requires a firm foundation to lean on, plus a lot of work. With patience and effort, you can surely succeed in rekindling the flames to make your marriage more exciting. The romance and passion within a marriage do not have to decline as the years go by.  The key is to revive the romantic flames with persistence and heartfelt endeavors.

Five Burning Ideas to Re-kindle the Flames

  • Go out on a date with your partner: Date nights will both give you intimate times together. This is the time when you will think nothing except only the things about the both of you and your love for each other. This date-night should be scheduled and will not take too much of your time. Go watch your favorite movies in the theater, have dinner at your favorite restaurant, or take a walk on the beach –  whatever or wherever you may want to spend your date.  What is important is that you are both together in an environment where you are free from all the stresses of the utility bills, children, student loans or mortgages.
  • Reminisce the time of how you fell in love with each other: This will keep you reminded of the beautiful things that you have seen and are still seeing in your partner, yet you fail to compliment because of the busy day you are having. Also, this will prevent the rise of a half- hearted effort in keeping your relationship alive and healthy.
  • Take time to romance each other again:  Even if you have a busy schedule, making time for each other will focus on bringing the significance of the relationship back to the marriage.  Surprise your partner with gifts.  Even the simplest or not so expensive gift will do, almost always.  When you do this, you are demonstrating that you never forgot your partner amidst activities you have without him or her.  Leave little love notes inserted in your partner’s work notebook, on the bathroom mirror, or on the car’s dashboard.  This is a very simple way of surprising your partner that will give him or her a pleasant jolt of love.
  • Put your partner on first priority again:  This can be done by simply doing the sweet little nothings that you have done for your partner before, but have rarely done lately or seldom at all.  You have a lot of choices for this.  Maybe you can give your partner a back or foot rub after a long day, or perhaps you can do the dishes when you don’t usually help with this chore. This will show your partner how you really care and value him or her. The more you do these unexpected sweet little nothings, the more your partner will have the urge to do likewise.
  • Have a fresh approach:  This is not to change your entire personality, but to have an upgrade of the usual predictable approaches that you have been doing. This new approach will surely spice up your eagerness for each other.

Keep in mind that marriage is very precious and has to be kept vigorously flaming at all times. The number of years must never be the reason for your marriage’s downfall or for you to turn bland to each other. You should never wait until your anniversary or on special occasions to do something special and different (in a sweet manner) for your partner. When you do it for no reason at all, except to let your partner know they are appreciated and adored, you will both live joyfully.  In addition, you will also set  good examples of love that your family, friends, and children will follow in time.

Baby Makes Three – Help!: Six Tips For Coping With My Partner and New Baby

“It has been more than 15 years since I have had a new baby in the house.  Nonetheless, I distinctly remember taking care of a newborn, feeling exhausted, and trying to keep up with household chores, all while still going to college both day and night.  Somehow, I thought that I could handle it all.  Boy, was I wrong!  When there is a new baby in the house, many adjustments must be made.  Quite often, the partner feels left out.  With just a few tweaks, a newborn’s arrival can be a complete bundle of joy for the entire family”  ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

Having a baby for the very first time gives a woman a multitude of emotions.  She may feel  excited, overwhelmed, scared, or worried.  Added to these high-strung emotions are the struggles that come with all those emotions, including learning the steps on parenting.  And please, let’s not forget to mention all the laundry, folding, and chores that must be done in little time.

The baby must always be the top priority from day to night. Constant attention must be given, from feedings to diaper changing.  Amidst the busy schedule that a new mother has to deal with, she also must remember to keep the adult relationship with her partner equally as important.  You might be thinking, how on earth are we supposed to adjust to these new demands and still find time to nurture our own relationship.  So how does one have romance with a new baby in the house?  Who has time?  Who feels like it?  Who cares?   

Six Tips For Coping With My Partner and New Baby

  • Make time for each other.  This can be done at least once a week on a routine schedule.  Call in a babysitter or ask your mom or sister to watch the baby for the night. This way, you can both take a rest from all the stress that you have come across throughout the entire week and focus spending some time together with nothing to worry about.  Reminisce the time when it was just the two of you snuggling together.  Go to a movie or head to your favorite restaurant. You can even try going to the beach and lounging there for a while.  Whatever date idea you have in mind, go and spend some time with your partner. What is important is that you prioritize some moments alone with your partner to rekindle the romantic flame.
  • Steal moments when baby is sleeping or having a nap.  Since newborns sleep most of the time, simply use this as an advantage to have a romantic stroll as you push your baby’s stroller. The fresh air from the outdoors is good for your child while sleeping.  It also affords you and your partner the benefit of a lovely walk and at the same time, the chance to talk with each other.  If you are inside the house and too tired to have a walk, you can also cuddle with each other on the couch or give each other a massage.  By spending time together, you can make use of the quiet time wisely by giving time to listen to each other, holding hands, and just simply resting together.
  • Show your affection and sweet little nothings. Affection and sweet little nothings must never be forgotten even if you are too busy.  The simple gestures of holding hands or giving your partner a kiss in the middle of your busy baby schedule will always lighten up the mood.  If your partner is going to work, take a little of your time to write a love note and insert it in the briefcase.  Keep in mind that these simple acts of showing your love and kindness do not need a lot of effort or time.  However, they will never fail to show and convey to your partner how much you love and care for him or her.
  • Do something sexy.  Experiment doing something new and sexy, even if it is only weekly.  Sneak while your baby is asleep, and go have sex in a different room, other than the bedroom.  There’s no rule that says sex can only be enjoyed at night.  Why not try a little quickie in the middle of the day? Or, perhaps you can have also a quick, intimate routine in the morning by showering together.  These are just a few examples to elevate your mood for the busy day that you may be facing.
  • Create a baby-free love area.  Fashion a specific area for your love nest.  No diaper changing allowed!  This designated love-zone will become very special since you can just relax with your partner as your baby is quietly resting. This will be the perfect place where you can spend quality time enjoying some loving with your playmate. You can give and accept sweet, tender  backrubs, hold hands, and get naughty in your baby-free love area.
  • Five minute bond. Time is of great essence, especially when you have a baby who is in constant need of your attention and care. You might not notice when you start drowning from all of the things you do for your baby, all of which may leave your partner feeling a bit left out. That is why it is very essential to spend at least five minutes of your day to bond with your partner. Take time to ask him or her how the day was. This can be done during your dinner time, while you are putting baby down for sleep, or before you both go to sleep. This way you both get updated on each other’s activities and you will recognize each other’s efforts, as well.

Keep the sparks lit so you can enjoy each other, hold hands, and make love like you did prior to having three people in the house.  This will help to bond you even tighter than before.  Just simply bring back the basics that you both did before the baby came into your lives. Though this might be a little tricky, it is necessary.  You will never regret the time spent for both your partner and the new baby.

 

Look Smoking Hot at Any Age, Darling: Follow These Quick Seven Steps

“I don’t care what anyone says about aging, maturity, or getting older.  I swear…I will do everything in my power to stay as hot-looking as I am right now until the day I die.  Is that vain?  Heck, yes.  My looks are important to me, just the same as my health, my friends, and my family.  Why would I choose to “let myself go” just because I am getting older?  No way, that is not my style” ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

Our age does not define our will and our heart’s desires. Although no one can ever have power over the natural process of aging- not even the brightest minds and the highest technologies, you can take steps to preserve your beauty and vibrancy to last and get even hotter as you mature. A healthy lived life is the key towards graceful aging.  Aside from this, there are also other things that should be considered.

Many people, especially women, have a difficult time looking in the mirror every day, watching how the aging process eats away at our beauty. Women just hate having a lot of flaws with their bodies, such as cracked, dry skin, bad hair styles, or imbalanced skin tones. Women try their hardest to find ways to maintain or improve their looks.  Believe it or not, this can be accomplished without plastic surgery.

Here Are Seven Quick Steps to Look Smoking Hot at Any Age

  • EXERCISE REGULARLY:  Regular exercise is the basic and the foremost step towards getting a fabulous figure and a well functioning body. Exercising is the solution to maintain your fitness levels and good shape for most of the time. Apart from keeping your body physically fit, physical exercise also promotes sweating. The body’s sweating, in turn, will help to eradicate the toxins in the body. Exercises that give attention on strengthening the heart, bones and muscles are the highly suggested ones.
  • EAT:  One common misconception that people have these days is that when you eat, you get flab. That is the reason why many are skipping or limiting their meals, or restricting their food intake to vegetables alone. That is not right and very unhealthy. Remember that the human body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential for its proper function and good health.  These can be found in vegetable, fruits, and meats. That’s why complete, balanced, eating is very essential. Do not starve yourself by skipping meals, aiming to shed off extra pounds because that will not work. If you starve, you’ll feast in return, so there’s no sense skipping a meal if you will just consume double-double the amounts on your next meal. Eat a balanced meal, eat on time, limit snacking and refrain intake of oils and junks- that will surely work.
  • PAMPER YOUR SKIN:  Do a body check and know what your skin needs. You may want to try any of the following: Indulge in frequent massage sessions to help with good skin tone.  Buy a moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type to prevent wrinkles and dryness, as well as to nourish and keep your skin glowing.  UV rays are the skin’s greatest enemy, so protect your skin by applying a sunscreen lotion or cream every time you expose yourself out in the sun.  Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and to give your skin a new and healthy glow.
  • KEEP YOUR NAILS AND HAIR CLEAN AT ALL TIMES:  Apply some lotion of any kind and massage on your nails to keep them looking healthy and fresh. Also, get a manicure and pedicure done on a regular basis and choose a color that looks refined and professional.  Do your hair. Keep your hair neat and clean at all times. Choose a shampoo and conditioner that can make your hair smell good – a hair solution that can go well with your hair and scalp.  Screw your age…select a hairstyle you love that will compliment your face.
  • DRESS UP:  Dress up nicely and accordingly because the way you choose what you wear is the way what other people will look at and approach you. Go for a sophisticated and elegant look if this is your style. Remember to go with the clothes that will flatter your figure and will bring out your inner youth.  Don’t try to be somebody you’re not.  I prefer to wear “hippie-style” clothes for casual wear because this is my personality.
  • WEAR MAKE UP AND FABULOUS PERFUME:  The scent that you wear is very important. Wear a perfume that is mild and will not be overpowering.  It is far worse to have too much perfume on than too little.  And do not forget to wear light make-up that will augment your facial features and beauty.
  • BE HAPPY:  Lastly, enjoy the life of being a matured person because your aptitude to be in high spirits will help you live longer, healthier, look and feel younger for the rest of your life.  When you are happy, this joy exudes to those around you.

Hopefully, these seven steps will become part of your regular routine in maintaining your youth and beauty.  They are easy to incorporate into everyday life.  Once you implement these stress-free steps, you will be amazed just how easy they are to do and also, you will notice a difference in your appearance and attitude.  Now, go and conquer the world, you smoking hot woman!

 

Romance Gone Wrong: Five Tips to Jazz up the Love-Life in Dating

“Nothing turns a date off more than seeing his or her partner showing up looking as though they could care less about being there.  I recall several times during my active dating, I would spend perhaps 30 minutes getting ready for a date and not really invest in myself or put forth the effort of “getting super-hot.”  Now, I know why I did this.  At that time, I was not ready for a serious relationship and was merely dating just to have something to do.  I must admit, I am very ashamed of this.  Once I finally decided that I was ready to “find someone” I used all five of these tips to surprise my lover” ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

When dating couples become at ease within a relationship, they sometimes run the risk of dropping off the flame of romance that connects one to the other.  The beginning stages of any romantic relationship usually involve an amorous demonstration of affection and care towards each other and much of the time, an intense attachment for the other’s presence.  But as the relationship jogs along, the course of romance might get paler.  Now that you’re getting more secure with each other, the necessity to make an impression and to amaze one another may not be as exciting as it was in the beginning.

If you feel your love-life in dating is currently on the rocks, with less spice and excitement then it’s probably high time for you to start doing simple things to fetch the “old flame” back and to jazz back up the spark that you may have ignored. Spice things up; keep the connection alive and thrilling all the way through.  Do you want to know how to do this?  Sure you do!

Five Tips to Jazz up the Love-Life in Dating

  • Go back to your dating schedules and do this at least once a week. As an alternative of just sitting at home watching television, you may want to consider going out to new and fun places that both of you have never been before. Be adventurous and spontaneous.  Keep the jive and enjoy the ride. There are so many things both of you can discover while you are on the road.
  • Don’t forget to give compliments.  A compliment is one of the sweetest things that you could say to your partner during the day. This will make your partner feel good about him or herself. Add a hint of thrill every time you say and express it – give him or her a swift kiss, a teasing touch, or whisper it softly and closely to your partner’s ear – that will surely seal the package! Remember that technique seems to work wonders.
  • Physical affection is a must at all times. You may greet your partner with a hug and a kiss every time you meet. Or you may also rub his or her head or massage his shoulders as you are watching a movie together. You may also incorporate sexy actions as you do these things to add up some hype to the affection you are conveying to your partner. This will also be a very good tool to measure your partner’s mood. If you are out in public places together, do not forget to hold hands. Holding hands may be a very simple thing, but it is very powerful as a way of securing one another and letting each other feel your warmth with a sexy touch.
  • Surprise your partner at times. Just do something that your partner does not expect you to do on that ordinary day.  For men, you can send flowers at work.  For women, you can cook and set up a romantic dinner rather than eating out. These little passionate gestures will put the sweetest smile on your loved one’s face.
  • Be adventurous, but not wild.  Doing wild things can absolutely stun your partner and can turn him or her off rather than actually giving the surprising delight you’ve probably intended.  It takes a certain personality to appreciate the “wild side.”  Be adventurous by adding a nice amount of spontaneity in the process.  Do a little tweak on the usual routines that you do with your partner when pursuing romance. This will surprise your partner in a good way and will intensify the course of your relationship as well.

Do not settle for anything less when it comes to your love life.  Do the most romantic thing you can think of because this will jazz up the relationship and intimacy shared with each other, leading to a happier and contented life that is lived with a lot of love.

Six Surefire Ways to Get Your “Happy” Back

Striving to be Healthy is the new Happy

“This cannot be ‘me’.  I never pout, dwell on the negative things, or stay out of my ‘happy’ place for more than ten minutes.  How could it be that I had been feeling crappy, instead of happy, for almost two whole days?  Here I am with all this knowledge and life experience, plus that of helping so many others, yet I was in a crappy place…not my happy place.  I had to fix this and I mean this had to get switched up FAST.  Yes, I knew what to do.  Whew!”

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

Have you ever had one of those days where every single thing you touched just seemed to flop?  I had been flip-flopping for almost two days and it was driving me crazy.  In my little corner of the world, work is my life and I love doing what I do.  Nonetheless, last week I was feeling just plain crappy and that nauseous feeling was rocking my boat the wrong way.  Even though I am excellent at multi-tasking and love doing numerous projects all at the same time, it seemed as though I could not complete even one task correctly.  Perhaps I should say that I could not complete the tasks perfectly.  I am OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), so meeting up to my standards and perfection for myself are rather high.  It is not easy to live as me in my world.

Now, this can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing.  Most of the time, I can accomplish much, sleep very little, and love challenges and helping more people.  But last week, when the ‘crappy stole my happy’ – well, that is where this story really begins.  I decided to blame the ‘crappy’ on the weather.  It was raining and dismal. You know the game.  I could not take  responsibility for what was happening in my life, right?  Um, no.  That is wrong!

Listed below are the Six Surefire Ways to Get Your “Happy” Back:

1)  Before you ever get out of bed in the morning, say a prayer to your Higher Power or Source of Light and give thanks for one more day to make it right in this world.

Perhaps this sounds silly, but it is not.  Just the fact that you are alive and breathing is a blessing in itself.  I believe in God, so for me when I wake up, I take off my eye-mask and thank God for allowing me to have another day to do what it is that I love doing.

2)  Keep a Gratitude Journal.

Just try this and you will find that it truly is helpful.  The way to begin is simply by writing down five things every morning that you are thankful for.  All of my coaching clients are required to keep a gratitude journal.  This is not a tablet for you to have a gripe session in.  No complaining allowed!  If you cannot think of five things you are thankful for, start like this; I am happy that I woke up this morning.  I am grateful that I had a bed to sleep in last night.  I am happy that I have food to eat and that I know I will not be hungry today. I am thankful for being able to see, hear, and think for myself.  I am grateful for the chance to have do-over’s in life so I can be happy again.  There…I have just provided five very easy things that any of us can write down who may be reading this blog (in case you are stuck or have trouble getting started).

3)  Meditate or exercise. 

Meditation is my way of getting my happy back at any time of the day.  I literally go into my Zen Zone, get in proper position on my rug, light beautiful candles so I can smell the aroma and scents as I rub warm rocks and chant.  This grounds me.  My meditation zone is a corner of my office.  However, it is like its own little world for me, with beautiful pillows, books of grace and thanks, and tools for writing.  Exercise is also a perfect tool for releasing endorphins.  This, in turn, is healthy and can get you back on track.  You say you’re not a health nut, nor do you want to meditate?  Just go walking.  Stop with the excuses!

4)  Shake it up.

Yes, that’s what I said.  Do things a little bit differently during the day than you normally would.  If you usually stay inside during your lunch break at work, pack a lunch and take it outside.  If you don’t take a lunch break, force yourself to take one, or go for a stroll while eating healthy snacks. Just switch it up and shake it around for a bit of a change.  Quite often, this can be just what you need to get your happy back.

5) Read inspirational or motivational quotes or literature.

This can be just on the internet, like many of us do, or it can be in your Nook, Kindle, or hard-back book also.

6)  Call your best friend for a lift of spirits. 

A dear friend can make all the difference in the world in helping to get you back where you want to be.

So there you have six dependable ways to get your happy back if you get down in the dumps or get stuck.  You may be asking why or how I got there in the first place.  I was in a state of overwhelm, having survived seven weeks of major remodeling and exhaustive moving.  I do believe I earned the right to pout and be unhappy for just those two days.  That ought to last me for the next five years or so.

 

She’s a Spender – I’m a Saver: 5 Easy Steps to Compromise

“In my own relationships, I have been the saver overall, the one who makes sure the bills are paid on time and who is a bit nutty about finances.  I always had money in the bank and money in my 401k’s.  I lived within my means.  If you partner with someone who has a very different attitude about money, it can be difficult.  I would highly suggest using these five steps as a beginning for compromise”  ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

When dealing with differences with your partner, money can be an emotionally loaded aspect that is subject for a lengthy discussion. One may often focus on long-term financial goals while the other prefers the temporary enjoyment that money can bring. And this is what makes a spender and saver combination complicated and often generates conflicts in a relationship. So how do you make your financial relations with your partner smoother to avoid problems in the future? Knowing and understanding your own attitude towards money is the initial step. Here are 5 easy strategies that will help you in ensuring respect on each other’s differences without jeopardizing your financial concerns.

  • Understand the disparity between your money attitudes and spending habits. Have an open and honest conversation with your partner towards the subject of budgeting and financial planning. Be frank and considerate. Be ready for compromise by setting limitations, you can start by saying: “I am a saver, here is what it means…You are a spender, this is what that means…Let us talk about how we can get on the same page. So that we meet our needs and at the same time show the right message about money to our children.”  It is important that you both come into terms and have a calm and rational discussion. Avoid setting the stage for pestering resentment which will then lead into heated arguments.
  • The meaning of financial security may be different from one person to another. The saver needs to know that he is saving sufficient money off the top to guarantee financial security. So it is important for the saver to realize that the family does not necessarily need a million dollars for them to survive in the succeeding years. Being able to pay for the monthly mortgage until maturity and having to allocate a certain amount for the kids’ education are some of the factors that make a saver think that his/her finances are enough and sufficient.
  • Decide and enumerate what your priorities are. This is not just about planning your family budget but also talking about your dreams and aspirations in life. You evaluate your present situation and come up with choices that you should make in the near future. For example, would you prefer to buy a new car next year or have a vacation escapade instead? The various instances where your dreams collide should be your ultimate goal as a couple to make them meet on common ground. Then you decide how you will meet these goals without causing problems within the family. It will be much preferable if you both come into an agreement on the amount of money that you will invest on savings. Discussing who will administer the money is also another issue that you should resolve in the earliest time.
  • One important aspect that you should bring up is whether to have a joint or separate account. A method that works for some couples is coming up with separate accounts while also having a third household account. If you prefer a joint account instead, you can talk and negotiate on the specific allowance that each of you can spend. There are different ways to organize your finances but the most crucial is to always make sure that each one of you will have a certain amount of money that you are free to spend. This will ensure that your partner will not feel deprived of your finances. And this is quite an effective method in avoiding heated arguments.
  • Come to a decision on how to deal with everyday finances. Do not forget to talk about paying the bills, balancing the check book and making investment decisions. Another important point is to come to an agreement on how much each of you can spend without consulting the other. When you come into terms with this, you will be avoiding misunderstandings on how you handle your finances.

Having a partner that has a rather different financial approach does not necessarily translate into a doomed relationship. Actually, many individuals even say that a saver-spender combination is somewhat an ideal one. The spender makes sure that the family is not deprived from leisurely things and activities that are both fun and exciting. The saver will be the one to make sure that there is enough money to sustain the lifestyle now and in the coming years. As long as you are able to strike a balance in managing your financial resources, natural tendencies will not rule your lives and will even rid you of problems in the unforeseen future.

 

How to Be a Happiness Millionaire

“There is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.” – Og Mandino

I love fragrances of all kinds but especially those erotic, woodsy, scents like the ones I have worn for years. These include Obsession by Calvin Klein and Michael Kors. I have been wearing a super sexy fragrance for the past two years called Euphoria, by Calvin Klein. Every time I wear this perfume, I seem to get compliments. For bedtime, I wear a subtle, sensual, light fragrance with my two favorites being either Romance by Ralph Lauren or Beautiful by Estee Lauder. Perfumes turn me on and the scent rubs off on others. This is analogous to happiness.

When you walk into a room and are happy, people will gravitate towards you. Have you ever noticed this? If you are in a room full of people and do not know one soul, you may just need to break out a smile and others will smile back at you. Before you know it, a conversation will strike up. I personally do not like small groups of five or six people. Speaking one-on-one is my preference, or just the opposite. Place me up in front of 50-1000 people and I become a millionaire. No, people are not throwing money on the stage at me because they think I am funny or pretty, and hundred dollar bills are not flying up on the stage because they think I am brilliant or prestigious. I become the millionaire of happiness because I give of myself. I give 100% dedication to my clients, family, friends and service organizations because that makes me happy when I am involved doing my best and it makes them happy in return. When I put my name down to “give” that means I am really going to bust my butt to give all I can.

I am here to tell you that I am a millionaire with more riches in life than any amount of money can ever buy. This is the greatest feeling in the world, that of spreading joy and happiness. So by now you may be saying to yourself, “Yes, she makes this sound so easy. I wish it was easy. How do I start? Where do I begin?” Here are some suggestions for you to find your “happy” and become a millionaire.

(1). Grab a friend, co-worker, or neighbor and sign up to help where help is needed. If you do not know where help is needed, start by calling your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, or a church and tell them you want to help spread happiness. They will be pleasantly surprised by your phone call and will be thrilled when you go walking in their door. So many organizations need help. Here is a true story and an example of spreading happiness. If you like to read, check out the Senior Citizens Center. Help is needed teaching illiterate people how to read. One of the most touching stories I have ever heard was when a 72-year-old man finally learned to read. A former student of mine, in her 20's, volunteered her time and helped the elderly man three times each week. It took six months and they are now friends. Jim is reading at the 6th grade level and his grandchildren are proud of him. Happiness was shared by both the teacher, a student in her early 20's, and the learner, an elderly man in his 70's.

(2). Pour that perfume of happiness on your family. I was blessed to be born into a great family. I still have my parents and all of my siblings. My grown children are healthy. Additionally, some of my dearest friends are like sisters to me. For these reasons, plus the fact that I donate much time in giving to others, I am a millionaire. Drop everything for a day and spend time with your family. Nothing is more precious to a child than making memories with his or her parents. As parents, we cannot make up for lost time. If you have aging parents, make time for them. Cut them some slack and realize they cannot do everything they used to be able to do quite as easily. Do you have a dysfunctional family? To those who have no close family members, create your own new family. I am serious. You can start over and make a new life so you can be happy. You deserve to be happy in this life. Happiness is just waiting for you. It is an inside job, but you must be willing to do what it takes and say that you want to be that millionaire.

(3). Act happy for a day with every person you encounter. Just try this. Be kind to all you meet, smile, give a compliment, hold the door open for someone, pay for the gas for the person in front of you as you have been waiting in line (if you can afford to do this), as you are checking out in the grocery store, pay for someone else, or let another shopper get in front of you, smile at a child who is crying instead of trying to avoid that child and get away from them and their parent as quickly as you can. Be gentle with your words to all you greet and to everyone at work. Be nice to your spouse, if you have one. Tell at least three people you love them, even though it is not a “special” day. See if this does not rub off some happiness on you, as it does on them. Giving happiness away is just so easy.

The one thing about happiness is that even though you give it away, there is always more to give. Once you understand this and implement this into your own life, you will become a millionaire of happiness also.

What can you do right now to become a Happiness Millionaire, after reading this article?  What will you implement into your own life so that you can be that millionaire too, just like me?  Please share your thoughts..we are waiting!

See previous blog titled: “Is Happiness Contagious?”  (The Happiness 5-part series blog posts).

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

Is Happiness Contagious?

“Whoever is happy will make others happy, too.” – Mark Twain.

I just came back from an Adriatic Cruise, visiting Venice, Bari, Bologna, and Dubrovnik. Due to flight issues on my previous Baltic Seas Cruise, I decided it would be wise to arrive a day early and leave a day later. This allowed extra time in Venice, off the ship. Happiness was observed far and wide.

My communication skills were lacking in the Italian language; nevertheless, having an Italian friend here in the States helped because I already knew that “Ciao, Bello” meant Hello Handsome Man, so I used that to my advantage whenever possible. Additionally, the word “Grazie” for thank you, was the only other Italian word I knew how to say. I never had any problems communicating with the native Italians I met because of one major thing…smiling. Smiling is the window to happiness and instantly helps make other people feel as though you understand and accept them.

The first full day in Venice was filled with happiness and bliss. I took many pictures and videos of tourists smiling, laughing, holding hands, and being in love. As I peeked down every canal and lagoon, I watched the gondolas with lovers kissing and surveyed people as they scrutinized the lovers. I observed scrutiny quickly tuning into happiness. Seeing others be happy or having their hearts filled with happiness makes one’s own heart happy also. Venice is such a romantic city, with vendors, boats, gondolas, and people from many foreign countries, all coming together. I don’t remember seeing anyone who looked grumpy, except for some crazy Americans who were dragging their suitcases all the way from the train station to the Metro buses far away, up and down many concrete flights of stairs. I guess they did not read Trip Advisor in advance and learn that was not the best mode of transportation upon arrival in Venice.

Gelato, or ice cream, is another contagious and delicious treat that brings smiles all over Italy. I discovered gelato stands in each city I visited. It was interesting that the stands were never empty at any time of the day, morning or night. The minute the gelato carts were rolled out, people came out in masses. They would wait, like I did, for 20 minutes if that is what it took, to get their little scoop of gelato because it made them happy–plus, it was delicious. Yum, for lemon gelato! I never saw a sad face in any of those crowds near the gelato stands.

In Childhood Development Psychology, we learn that tiny babies as young as six weeks old, learn to smile back at their care-giver when seeing a smile. This is not a nature vs. nurture issue–it is a matter of happiness and feeling secure. On the flip side, have you ever noticed that a 12-month old baby in a shopping cart will turn his or her head to find the child who is crying three aisles over? The same is true when this baby is in the same aisle with another baby being pushed by his or her caregiver and notices the other baby is smiling. Both babies will end up smiling. One smile will bring happiness to the other child. Perhaps we learn this when we are just babies. If not, we should.

When you smile at a stranger, even 5880 miles from home, your happiness becomes their happiness, too. What a wonderful feeling to know that something as simple as a smile can be contagious and make another person happy, even if they have had a lousy day.

See previous blog titled:   Wealth – Does Wealth Affect Your Happiness?” (The Happiness 5-part series blog posts).

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

Wealth – Does Wealth Affect Your Happiness?

“Can wealth give happiness? Look around and see, what gay distress! What splendid misery! Whatever fortunes lavishly can pour, the mind annihilates and calls for more.” – Andrew Young, Civil Rights Activist.

Think about the rich and famous, the media, our rock stars, and movie stars we watch on television. Time and time again, we watch the rich and famous go through distress of miserable divorces, bankruptcies, bickering among the families when someone dies as to the heir who gets the fortune, and on and on. It is so disheartening. Just recently, a very wealthy and famous female movie star divorced her wealthy and famous husband over the affair he had. Endlessly, we are reading this nonsense, or worse yet, it is forced in our faces when we turn on CNN or pick up a magazine at the airport. So, you tell me…do you think happiness has any association with wealth?

Wealth can make people more comfortable. With money in the bank, you can easily go shopping for gourmet groceries instead of standing in line at Kroger, buy nice bottles of wine, live in a mansion if you so desire, have live-in butlers, nannies for your children, and dog-walking services for your pets. Being a wealthy person, or acting like one to make yourself happy, you could go and receive the very best haircut every three weeks by Garren of NY for only $705.00 and add color to that for an additional $505.00. more. The major steal at Garren’s is the European Spa Pedicure for a mere $130.00. If you really want luxury for yourself and want to be pampered with a facial and massage treatment, you can go to an upscale day spa in NY and easily drop $1500.00 for happiness every week…or not? My beauty day of “girl-treatment” that is once every six weeks cost $225.00 and I think that is expensive. This does not make me happy and in fact, it makes me feel guilty that I am spending money on myself. I am not a wealthy person and am very frugal, so that is why I feel guilty–even though I know I deserve to be pampered.

The truth of the matter is that wealth does not buy happiness. It does, however, enable you to live more comfortably. The happiest people I have ever known are regular working-class people, just like you and me. Furthermore, some of the most wealthy people I have ever personally known are often despondent, fearful of losing their wealth, have numerous anxiety disorders, and are, as a general rule, not happy at all. In fact, these wealthy people I have known are unpleasant to be around. The exception to the rule are those who generously give to others and who are philanthropists.

A survey conducted by Dr. E. Diener in 2003, questioned Forbes 100 wealthiest people and discovered that the privileged group were not much happier than the regular working-class. Dissatisfaction was mentioned by some of the wealthiest people because they felt a need to “be outstanding to keep up with the neighbors.”

Consider a lottery-ticket winner. How often do we hear of relatives and unknown people who come crawling out of the woodwork to make claims of this newfound wealth? Before you know it, the money is gone, the once gleeful lottery winners are no longer happy and usually end up in debt, worse off than before they found their wealth with that lucky ticket.

The quote in the beginning of this article was so perfect for this title. In my own words, I will state this. The mind is overwhelmed by wealth and always wants for more. How can that bring happiness? It sounds like utter misery to me. Happiness is not composed of materialistic things that can be bought. It never was and it never will be.

So, what do you think, other than saying something like, “I’d like to have more money, then I will tell you.”  Your thoughts?

See previous blog titled:  ”Ways to be Happy With Everything (The Happiness 5-part series blog posts).

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

Ways to Be Happy With Everything

“I ain’t got nothin’. Just look at me. Sittin’ here at a homeless shelter, but I have the whole world, baby. I ain’t goin’ hungry tonight. I’m happy.” – A homeless man at Presbyterian Night Shelter in Fort Worth, Texas.

Some people are happy with everything, yet others are never happy. Have you ever noticed that some people who seem to have it all and should be happy, are living miserable lives? As an example, the homeless man I interviewed in the quote above, was grateful for the meal he had been served and he was happy. He told me he was happy to not be hungry. It was such a simple thing that most of us, as Americans, take for granted every single day, yet many people here in the United States, are starving.

As a College Professor, I taught my students Service Learning in Psychology. One of the main goals for many semesters was to help them understand the psychological impact of what it was like to be homeless and hungry. What they learned was so much more. During our service work and interviews with residents at three different homeless shelters, we all learned there are many ways to be happy, even when others may view you as being miserable. The following is what we learned about ways to be happy:

1. Be grateful for what you have. It could always be worse. I have never been without a meal, but met people who had been hungry for days. When I interviewed the homeless man and he told me he was happy because he was not hungry that night, I was dumbfounded. Here he was, in shabby clothes, looking like my grandfather could have looked if he had been working out in the fields, yet he was just happy and thankful to be full and not hungry. The gentleman told me he was always grateful for what he has. We repeatedly heard these stories from many of the residents, “Be grateful for what you have.”

2. Learn to appreciate the beautiful things in life. Have you ever stopped to listen to the birds sing, the rustling of leaves on trees as they blow in the breeze, observed a gorgeous sunset as it fades in the west, or smelled the fragrances of a freshly picked bouquet of flowers? None of these beauteous things cost one penny. Do you stop and take a moment out of your day to find this happiness?

3. Give value to the important people in your life. In our hectic world, we become so busy with day-to-day activities and responsibilities that we forget to place value on what matters the most. In each person’s life, value must be demonstrated to the person or people who matter to you. Perhaps these are family members, a close friend or several friends, colleagues at work or in school, neighbors, mentors, or others. Nothing lets a person realize they are appreciated, loved, and important to you more than for you to tell them they make you happy and that they are valued.

4. Never give up on hope. Hope seemed to be the number one “unseen” factor for happiness. Some hoped for a job, others hoped to find their families, while some people just hoped for brighter tomorrows. We could all learn lessons from this. When one loses all sight of hope, they have lost it all. Without hope, we have nothing.

As a believer of people and after these experiences, I realized once again how deeply blessed my life is. Some of these people changed me forever because of their positive outlooks on life and their expressions of knowing how to be happy with everything. Would you have the same optimistic outlook on life if all you had was a pillowcase crammed full with all of your possessions, and that was it?

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.