395: Stay Aware of STUFF, How to Make Time to Rest, And What to Say If You’re at a Loss for Words


Thanks to everyone who has written to tell us how much they like finding the Happier podcast on YouTube. You can find it here.

Try This at Home

Stay aware of STUFF. In episode 392, we talked about the Try-This-at-Home suggestion to ask people, “How do you know when I’ve stopped listening?” This idea was inspired by the diversity and inclusivity training session for showrunners, led by Dr. Steven Jones, that Elizabeth attended. Another useful idea she learned at that training is to stay aware of STUFF, which can make it hard to stay open to other voices, new ideas, and criticism. STUFF is…
  • Stress
  • Time constraint
  • Uncertainty
  • Fear
  • Fatigue
When we’re in that state, the brain tells us to seek the familiar.

Happiness Hack

I went to comedian Alex Edelman‘s show, “Just for Us.” He observed that if you’re not sure how to respond to someone’s comment, it almost always works to say: “Can you believe it?” The Knicks! House of the Dragon! The headlines! He points out that this comment works because…
  1. you suggest that you know what a person is talking about
  2. you imply that you agree with that person
  3. you indicate, you keep talking

Know Yourself Better

I’m working on a set of distinctions related to the five senses, but it’s still very unformed. I’m trying to figure out the relationships among people who enjoy more experiences and enjoy fewer experiences, and who have rigorous standards, and who have relaxed standards. I’m also trying to think of snappy terms for these categories. Some friends suggested putting a funny, snarky angle on it: Snob, Toddler, Teen, Hedonist, Glutton, etc. Other terms might be: Critic, Connoisseur, Enthusiast, etc. All thoughts, suggestions, and observations welcome.

Listener Question

How can an Upholder (or anyone) nudge themselves to rest? We talk about #Rest22in22. Some ideas:
  • Put it on the calendar
  • Treat it like an activity, not a luxury.
  • Remember, we will never cross off everything from the to-do list.
  • Think about your future self.
  • If you like the convenience of using your phone, try the tools on the Happier app.
  • If you like writing in a physical journal, try the Don’t Break the Chain Journal or the One-Sentence Journal (both tools are also in the Happier app)
Photo of the Know Yourself Better journal Photo of the One-Sentence Journal We mention the Four Tendencies framework. Want to find out if you’re an Obliger, Upholder, Questioner, or Rebel? Take the free quiz here.

Demerits & Gold Stars

  • Gretchen’s Demerit: I wish I’d been able to have my Summer of Re-reading.
  • Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives Adam a gold star for agreeing to go to yoga with her every week.


  • Cultivate your rest routine with the Happier™ app:
    • Use the Photo Log to take a photo of your book or your pet when you take a break
    • Check off every day you spend an hour screen-free with Don’t Break the Chain
    • Record the number of hours you slept with Numbers Tracker
    • Spend time in nature once a week and share with Accountability Partners
    • Take a daily moment for reflection with the One-Sentence Journal
  • If you subscribe to one of my emails, consider sharing with a family member, friend, or colleague and earn fun rewards through our new referrals program. I so appreciate word-of-mouth! If you want to subscribe, click here to sign up for the
    • “5 Things Making Me Happy” weekly newsletter
    • “Moment of Happiness” daily newsletter of a quotation
    • “Happiness Hacks” bi-weekly newsletter

What we’re reading

  • Elizabeth: Listening to This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett (Amazon, Bookshop)
  • Gretchen: A Face for Picasso by Ariel Henley (Amazon, Bookshop)

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