Harvesting Happiness: Can You Create Happiness by Doing Nothing?

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  • By Lisa Cypers Kamen.

    How many decisions do you make in a day?

    From fast food, to text meetings to tweets that blow up our phone we are inundated with media. Compounding that, we live in a world full of choices – more so than any other time in history. From our hairspray to our hamburgers, it seems that the more we seek the more choices we have.

    Choices can empower us and choices can overwhelm us. In our instant gratification society, where the choices come fast and furious, where do we begin in making the choices that impact our daily lives?

    I would like to offer to you the notion that sometimes choice is best served by choosing to do nothing. There are days that seemingly never end and for those days I choose rest. Yes, you heard me, I choose rest. I shut off the computers and the TV. I unplug my kids from their iPods and their Playstations. I close the curtains on the chilly day, build a fire and I rest. My kids rest with me. And for a few precious hours we are just in a state of being.

    No music. No TV. No books to read. No talking. When this happens, I find that we all end up on one couch under one blanket.  One family resting. It’s at these still moments that I feel the energy of my family. I feel the love that binds us. It doesn’t last long as the bickering soon begins between my kids, but for that brief moment in time when all is quiet, our bodies recharge.

    Soon we are back to our baseball, riding lessons, and trumpet recitals lives and the days pass in a blur. But from time to time, one of my secrets to happiness is to stop. Choose to do nothing and in it you begin to find everything you need.

    Lisa Cypers Kamen

    Lisa Cypers Kamen is a filmmaker, positive psychology coach, author, host of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio, professor and lecturer specializing in the field of sustainable happiness. She is widely recognized as an expert on the subject. Lisa’s acclaimed documentary film co-produced with her now fifteen year-old daughter, Kayla, “H-Factor…Where is your heart?” explores how people in varied circumstances find, generate and share happiness. In addition to her film on happiness, Lisa has also published a number of articles and books entitled, Got Happiness Now?, Are We Happy Yet?, Leadership: Helping Others to Succeed and Reintegration Strategies, about combat trauma and using positive psychology principles to create wellness in a post-war new normal. Lisa’s written work is featured on blogs for the Huffington Post, PositivelyPositive.com and InspireMeToday.com and she is a TEDx community event speaker. In addition, she is the Happiness Expert for the Florida Department of Citrus/ Florida Orange Juice in its Take on the Day campaign. Harvesting Happiness for Heroes™ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that delivers stigma-free integrated combat trauma recovery services to warriors and their loved ones. Modalities include scientifically proven strengths based Positive Psychology coaching and interdisciplinary tools such as film, yoga, meditation, art and creative writing designed to mindfully empower the client to achieve increased self-mastery, self-esteem and reclaim her/his life. HH4Heroes focuses on the balance of mind, body and emotion resulting in greater overall wellbeing and the transformation of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) into Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). HH4Heroes offers retreat workshops, one-on-one coaching, Battle Buddy programs, as well as our new R.E.B.O.O.T Online virtual community coaching classrooms designed to reach underserved areas. In addition, HH4Heroes deploys Return to Duty™ civilian and corporate training to help welcome a warrior home and into the community and workplace. Lisa is committed to teaching Happiness is an inside job™ and helping others end their needless suffering through intentionally cultivating greater joy.

    For more information, please visit HH4Heroes.orgHarvestingHappiness.com, and HarvestingHappinessTalkRadio.com.

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    1. Arulampalam Ganesasangarlal
      Arulampalam Ganesasangarlal says:

      Your family is very cooperative in doing nothing but it is difficult for us. It use to happen before when my youngest daughter was with us. Now she departed last year and we are frightened to to do nothing. It is very sweet of you to share your experiences of nothing. thank you and my blessings.

    2. Sylvia Gautier
      Sylvia Gautier says:

      Hi Lisa! I like your post and the simplicity of it. Being happy is about living according to our values. One of yours is family and it’s great that you can the time to focus on you and your children in such a beautiful way. It seems simple and yet it is so difficult for many people to make that choice of just be in the now from time to time. Refreshing!


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