Tag Archives: mementos

Podcast 46: Don’t Get Organized, Dealing with Sentimental Items, Dealing with Rewards and Treats–and We Hit Five Million!

It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

Update: Elizabeth reports on reader advice about how she can make an appointment to get her hair cut.

Try This at Home: Don’t get organized. If you get rid of that stuff, you don’t have to organize it!

Happiness Stumbling Block: It’s tough to let go of sentimental items, but they can become overwhelming.

I mention my post “What do you do with holiday cards? Keep, Toss, Store…” Fascinating answers.

Listener Question: “How do you distinguish between rewards and treats, and how do you decide when you should get one?”

BarnabyinConeGretchen’s Demerit: Barnaby had an operation, and I didn’t react in a calm way. Here he is in his cone, or “Elizabethan collar” as the vet called it, which he did not enjoy. Now he’s all healed and free!

Eleanor’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to the podcast Another Round. Note: they do use strong language, if that’s an issue.

Newsflash! We hit five million downloads! While we were recording. Thank you, listeners, and thanks for recommending it to other people!

Remember, if you live in the Bay area:  Elizabeth and I are doing our first live recording of the podcast! January 21, Brava Theater, we hope to see you. Info and tickets here.  We’ll have two outstanding guests, Nir Eyal and Jake Knapp. Plus Elizabeth and I have planned special little treats, and you also get a copy of Better Than Before with your ticket.

 

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

Visit Framebridge.com — a terrific way to get your art and photos framed, in a super easy and affordable way. Use the code HAPPIER at checkout to get 20% off your first Framebridge order. Shipping is free.

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1pixHappier Podcast #46

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7 Reasons Why Photographs Can Boost Your Happiness.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day.

This Wednesday: 7 reasons why photographs can boost your happiness.

Photographs are such a joy, and I don’t know about you, but I’m much more focused on taking photographs now that cameras and phones have evolved to make taking photos so much easier. I used to begrudge the time that I spent on photos, but now  I realize the role they can play in happiness.

1. Photos remind us of the people, places, and activities we love. Many people keep photos in their homes, in their office, or in their wallet, and happy families tend to display large numbers of photos at home. In Happier at Home, I write about my “shrine to my family” made of photographs.

2. Photos help us remember the past. One of the best ways to make yourself happy in the present is to recall happy times from the past. Photos are a great memory-prompt, and because we tend to take photos of happy occasions, they weight our memories to the good.

3. Photos can save space while preserving memories. Through a friend, I heard about a fantastic service, Plum Print, “the simple solution for storing and preserving kids’ artwork.” I mailed in a giant, awkward pile of my younger daughter’s artwork and school work from her early days, and Plum Print transformed it into a lovely hardback book. That’s the final product, in the picture.  My daughter’s work looks great, she’s thrilled with her “book,” and I have a slim, tidy record of everything she made for several years. I saved a few of the actual pieces, then threw away the rest. A friend was shocked that I tossed any of it, but I have a record of it, I kept the best pieces, and I’ve found that mementos work best when they’re carefully culled and displayed.  (Disclosure: I got my Plum Print book for free.)

4. A photo of something can sometimes replace the thing itself. After my friend’s beloved father died, she wanted to keep his enormous desk, as a memento–but she really didn’t have space for it. She took a photo of it, and then was able to let go of the desk. Strangely, too, a photograph of something can be more beautiful than the thing itself.  Consider Edward Weston’s photographs of peppers.

5. Photographs allow you to curate things you love. Taking a picture is a way to “claim” something. On Pinterest, I love to add things to my From the Ministry of Happiness board. It’s a way to make a collection without having to buy or cope with anything.

6. Taking photos fosters creativity. My delightful friend Maria Giacchino, who does my videos, takes and posts one photograph each day. The images are beautiful, and the need to find the day’s photo keeps her engaged with the world in a creative way.

7. Taking photographs can act as a diary. I’m always trying to figure out ways to keep hold of memories. My one-sentence journal, for instance. I try to use photographs to record the little moments that are so precious but also so easily forgotten.  One thing I wish I could tell my younger self: take photos of everyday life, not special occasions; later, that’s what will be interesting to you.

What have I forgotten? What are some other ways that photos can boost your happiness?

Make the Most of Your Photographs.

2011 Happiness Challenge: For those of you following the 2011 Happiness Project Challenge, to make 2011 a happier year — and even if you haven’t officially signed up for the challenge — welcome! This month’s theme is Memories, and last week’s resolution was to Keep a file box. Did you try that resolution? Did it boost your happiness?

This week’s resolution is to Make the most of your photographs.

Make_the_most_of_your_photographs_Podcast

If you want to read more about this resolution, check out…
Photographs make me happy, but they’re also making miserable.
Need a simple way to boost your mood in one minute? Look at a photo of someone you love.
Six tips for using mementos to keep happy memories vivid.

If you’re new, here’s information on the 2011 Happiness Challenge. It’s never too late to start! You’re not behind, jump in right now, sign up here. For the Challenge, each week I’ll post a video suggesting a resolution for you to consider. For more ideas for resolutions to try, check out the archives of videos here.

* If you like a good questionnaire, you’ll find a lot of terrific happiness-related questionnaires on the Authentic Happiness site.

* Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel. To get the weekly video by email, right in your email in-box, you can:
— On the GretchenRubin channel page, after you subscribe, click “Edit Subscription” and check the box, “Email me for new uploads.” Or…
— Go to your main drop-down box, click “Subscriptions,” find the GretchenRubin channel, click “Edit Subscriptions,” and check “Email me for new uploads” there.

To get the audio podcast of the video:
— Log in to iTunes
— Go to “Podcasts”
— Search for “The Happiness Project.” Free, of course.

Keep a File Box.

2011 Happiness Challenge: For those of you following the 2011 Happiness Project Challenge, to make 2011 a happier year — and even if you haven’t officially signed up for the challenge — welcome! This month’s theme is Memories, and last week’s resolution was to Keep a milestone book. Did you try that resolution? Did it boost your happiness?

This week’s resolution is to Keep a file box.

Keep_a_file_box_Podcast

If you want to read more about this resolution, check out…
In which I solve an annoying problem: what to do with those childhood keepsake papers?
Six tips for using mementos to keep happy memories vivid.

How about you? Have you figured out any quick, easy ways to organize mementos? I’m always looking for new suggestions.

If you’re new, here’s information on the 2011 Happiness Challenge. It’s never too late to start! You’re not behind, jump in right now, sign up here. For the Challenge, each week I’ll post a video suggesting a resolution for you to consider. For more ideas for resolutions to try, check out the archives of videos here.

* I had a lot of fun checking out the “spontaneous smiley faces” on the site, called, appropriately enough, Spontaneous Smiley Face. Find smiley faces everywhere.

* Remember, now you can get the happiness-challenge videos in the form of an audio podcast on iTunes. To get the audio podcast of the video:
— Log in to iTunes
— Go to “Podcasts”
— Search for “The Happiness Project.” Free, of course.

Or subscribe to my YouTube Channel. To get the weekly video by email, right in your email in-box, you can:
— On the GretchenRubin channel page, after you subscribe, click “Edit Subscription” and check the box, “Email me for new uploads.” Or…
— Go to your main drop-down box, click “Subscriptions,” find the GretchenRubin channel, click “Edit Subscriptions,” and check “Email me for new uploads” there.

Video: Keep a One-Sentence Journal.

2011 Happiness Challenge: For those of you following the 2011 Happiness Project Challenge, to make 2011 a happier year — and even if you haven’t officially signed up for the challenge — welcome! Last month’s theme was Body, and last week’s resolution was to Manage pain. Did you try that resolution? Did it boost your happiness?

This month’s theme is Memories, and this week’s resolution is to Keep a one-sentence journal.

Now, this week, I’m starting something new — I’m posting my audio and video to iTunes, so if you want to get the material that way, you can. Now, bear with me, because I anticipate some glitches while I try to get this to work properly. But here goes…

Listen to the Audio

Subscribe on iTunes

Once I’ve actually put this material there, I’ll be able to provide better directions about how to find my material on iTunes. Though you should be able to search by “The Happiness Project” there, if nothing else.

Wish me luck! Report any problems you face.

If you want to read more about this resolution, check out…
Why I started keeping a daily “one-sentence journal” (ok, a not-quite daily journal).
6 tips for using mementos to keep happy memories vivid.
Want a quick, easy way to preserve happy memories?

Have you found any manageable, effective ways to keep happy memories vivid? It’s so valuable — and yet trying to keep up with preserving memories can be very overwhelming. (I’ve been waging a fierce effort to deal with my digital photos.) And I never want my urge to memorialize to displace my experience of the moment when it’s actually happening.

If you’re new, here’s information on the 2011 Happiness Challenge. It’s never too late to start! You’re not behind, jump in right now, sign up here. For the Challenge, each week I’ll post a video suggesting a resolution for you to consider. For more ideas for resolutions to try, check out the archives of videos here.

* I got a big kick out of seeing that Yale Law School, my alma mater, is keeping a happiness-boosting puppy, Monty, in the library so that people can get some stress-reducing playtime with a dog. It’s not surprising to me that the school would experiment with something like this — YLS is a happy place, especially for a law school.

* Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel. To get the weekly video by email, right in your email in-box, you can:
— On the GretchenRubin channel page, after you subscribe, click “Edit Subscription” and check the box, “Email me for new uploads.” Or…
— Go to your main drop-down box, click “Subscriptions,” find the GretchenRubin channel, click “Edit Subscriptions,” and check “Email me for new uploads” there.