By Lisa Cypers Kamen. I’ve got a bit of news for those of you who haven’t seen the mudslinging TV ads, heard the accusatory radio spots or spotted the big, bold signs on every street corner: It’s an election year. Until November, presidential politics will likely dominate your preferred news outlet. It might even sneak into your dinner table conversations and barge in on your break room chats, and it could even motivate you to do a bit of campaigning yourself. Amid all the public pleas and promises of presidential hopefuls, the always-difficult task of deciding what to believe and… Read more.
Author Archive for: Lisa Cypers Kamen
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.
Entries by Lisa Cypers Kamen
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. Have you noticed the bad rap that emotion has been getting lately? Every time you flip on the TV, watch a movie or turn the page in a book, it seems like the emotional character is labeled as the irrational one who’s not strong enough to think things through. In your day-to-day life, anytime you reveal how you really feel, there’s always someone who feels instantly uncomfortable around you. It’s even true with the people you’re closest with: How many times has your anger or disappointment led a loved one to flee the room or prematurely… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. In geometry class, the line was always my favorite object. Hypothetically, a line has no width or height, which means that in math problems, length was all you had to worry about. Sure, there was the distinction between lines (which could go on forever) and line segments (which had definite beginnings and ends), but regardless of the type, lines always seemed to have the freedom to travel for however long they pleased. The line is still a powerful thing. Think about how many lines we encounter in any typical day: If we’re in a heated argument,… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. Boxing icon Muhammad Ali, also known to the world as Cassius Clay, “The People’s Champion” or simply, “The Greatest,” has just as much talent for words as he does for boxing. Ever since the legendary boxer coined the phrase “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” people worldwide have been using the famous saying to describe anything that brings beauty or art to a battle situation. (Not sure what I mean? Check out footage of Muhammad Ali’s graceful fighting style and you’ll get the picture.) Here in the 21st Century, war is everywhere. It’s the… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all engage in a bit of everyday politics. That’s especially the case when we meet someone for the first time, regardless of whether the person is a potential love interest, new client or friend. Just as any good diplomat would, we enter these first meetings with an arsenal of tools to help us represent ourselves in the best possible light. For some people, the tactics are a big smile and lots of jokes; for others, it’s a calm, collected manner that they’re hoping will come off as… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. Chaos is a sneaky thing. Just when you think everything in your life is falling into place, chaos is bound to be lurking right around the corner. It’s the mischievous little kid who loves to stick his fingers in the icing of a perfectly decorated cake minutes before the party guests arrive. It’s the sudden rainstorm that seems to appear out of nowhere during your relaxing early-morning hike. It’s the boss who dumps an overwhelming, unexpected project on your desk just as you’re starting to get your workload under control. Ancient Greeks believed chaos was the… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. There are essentially two different kinds of people in the world: the ones that express their feelings, letting out everything that bothers them, whether it be to a diary, a friend, or even a random passerby, and those that bury their feelings deep within. The question is, what is the consequence of hiding or suppressing your emotions? What are the consequences of unfettered self-expression? when it comes to being happy, who ends up on top: the silent sufferer or the vocal whiner? For Freud, the answer was clear: he believed emotional inhibition caused psychological illness, which… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. Imagine the worst roommate possible. You are clean; he or she is a slob who leaves dishes unwashed and dirty laundry strewn across the floor. You are a morning person; your roommate’s definition of an early morning is partying until 3 a.m. and sleeping until noon. You are trying to eat healthy, but your roommate leaves junk food everywhere, as if to tempt you at your weakest moments. There is quarreling and high levels of frustration that drain you of your positivity and zap away your carefree attitude. Does that sound like a disaster? Wait until… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. When I participated in my first career day, I was barely old enough to walk to the bus stop by myself. What does a fourth grader know about a career? Very little, but boy, did we try to dream up big goals. Clustered in my elementary school’s tiny library, my classmates and I were each on a mission to find the perfect careers to compliment our strengths. Doctor was a popular pick for the science geeks. There were many future firefighters and presidents in the room, mostly among the classmates who were natural leaders. The more… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. The word “perfection” sure gets thrown around a lot. “She’s perfect;” “I’ve got the perfect fix;” “That’s picture perfect.” But who defines perfect, anyway, and what set of variables needs to magically align to achieve this so-called state of nirvana? The problem with perfection is that everyone has a different definition of it. My perfect day might be a bike ride through the city, during which I stop at every farmer’s market I come across. You could very well hate bikes and think farmer’s markets are boring. Another person we consult on this matter could respond… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. We’re surrounded by tons of personality types every day, and each person’s company inspires a different emotion in us. One minute, we’re working at a desk next to a coworker whose worrying makes the whole office tense; hours later, we’re home with a family that lends security and joy. An erratic driver on our way to yoga class that same afternoon could make us forget all about the kindness of the friend we just grabbed lunch with. Amid these ever-changing circumstances that we call life, we can’t run the risk of relying on others to deliver… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. We live in an increasingly litigious society. Your neighbor makes a little noise? Sue. Someone fails to pay you on time? Sue. You get in a car accident? Sue. The problem with this approach to life is that in an adversarial proceeding, no one wins. Even the technical winner of a protracted lawsuit has lost time, money, sleep and soul in the process. Of course, you don’t see that on TV. Television has glamourized lawsuits, cutting out the months and years an average lawsuit takes and instead going straight from the inception of a case to… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. When adversity strikes, what’s your first response? Do you withdraw and try to ignore the problem? Look to others for support? Get suited up for battle? In his ponderings on human nature, philosopher Aristotle boils it all down to this: How people act when the choice isn’t clear or easy is the gist of who they really are. Whether he knew it or not, Aristotle’s ideas for character all those centuries ago is also a good indicator for happiness: The way we maneuver through life’s traumas speaks volumes about how happy we are. So how do… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. We’ve all heard it before: “Money can’t buy you love or happiness or satisfaction.” Yet for some reason, these words of wisdom are particularly easy to forget. We focus on money and possessions. As we desperately seek joy from these external sources, we feel more tired, more depleted, and oftentimes more depressed than ever. The truth is, joy is not something that can be bought or sold. It isn’t available in stores or even on Amazon.com (which seems to have almost everything these days). Instead, true joy stems from the one place no advertiser can paste… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. Let’s face it: we live in a broken world, and the sooner you acknowledge this reality the better off you will be. Not exactly the kind of advice you’d expect from a happiness expert, right? Well, believe me: By choosing to accept this reality, you choose to move forward, and you must move forward in order to build the momentum you’ll need to make a positive difference in the world. Every time something bad happens, there is an opportunity to experience new light in your life. You just have to keep your mind and eyes open… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. Every day we are surrounded by illusion. The illusion of television, or images we interpret and even those magic tricks that entertain and enthrall at our children’s parties. We love illusion, but illusion is one of those elements that make it difficult for us to feel happy if we don’t recognize that happiness is an inside job. Have you ever noticed that when you are single, the couples around you laughing and enjoying each other magnify your singleness? What happens when you see a couple bitterly fighting or dragging their grocery bags as they glare at… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. We all have our daily routines that provide structure and comfort to our everyday life. It is soothing to know what to expect each day. We are, after all, inherently creatures of habit. Whether it’s taking a cycling class at the gym that gets your workday started, or lazy Sunday mornings spent with a cup of coffee solving the Sunday crossword puzzle, we can all find enjoyment in our rituals. But have you ever noticed the thrill you experience when you try something new or take an unexpected detour from your regular routine? It could be… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. They’re not kidding when they say laughter is contagious. Just think back to the last time you really laughed. No, a quiet chuckle under your breath doesn’t qualify; I’m talking about real deep-in-the-gut laughter that makes you forget about all the lousy things going on in your life. The kind of laughter that for an instant makes everything seem simple and carefree. When was the last time you experienced a natural high like that? Laughter is the ultimate escape from the high-drama, success-driven world in which we live. Once you experience the overwhelming positive effects of… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. Gratitude is one of those sneaky little gifts that once opened keeps on giving and giving. Did you know that one of the best ways to reduce your stress level is to think about things for which you are grateful? How about when you are sad, angry or upset? Try listing in your head or on paper just ten things for which you are grateful. I can help you start your list. You are alive and able to enjoy the wonderful things this world has to offer. You are reading this blog so you can read,… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. It helps to ask yourself some questions every once in a while to make sure you are achieving the happiness you want in your life. The following questions are by no means an all-inclusive list but something to think about: Have I looked for the happy moments in my daily life? How do I find those moments? How do I show others that I am happy? Am I surrounding myself with people who have an overall positive attitude? Am I trying to focus as much as I can on the positive things in my life instead… Read more.
By Lisa Cypers Kamen. One way that we can stay happy in life is by showing gratitude for what we have and experience. Here are some things to think about as you go about your day: 1. Accept things as they are. No matter how much the situation has turned out differently to your expectations, it is the way it is. You don’t know how much worse off you could have been had things gone differently. 2. Focus on what is right in your life rather than what’s wrong. Try to put positive thoughts in your life and get rid… Read more.
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