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25 Free Summer Activities to Boost your Happiness

25 free summer activities to boost your happiness

Summer has officially started here in the northern hemisphere and the weather is nice and inviting. During summer, things slow down a bit at work while everyone is taking their vacation and we get more free time to do the things we love. To get you inspired, I compiled a list of 25 free summer activities to boost your happiness and wellbeing and enjoy the nicer season. Let’s dig in! Healthy summer activities One of the first things that can boost our happiness is to feel better physically. Now that the weather is nice, we can be active outside and get our bodies moving. Here are a few ideas to get you in shape. 1. Play a sport A good way to get together with friends is to schedule a match of your favorite sport. You can play Frisbee at the park, play basketball at the local school playground or flag football in the field. Choose any sport that can get you moving and having fun! 2. Go Swimming If there’s a community pool in your neighborhood, get yourself wet […]

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How to start meditating in only 5 minutes a day

how to start meditating in 5 minutes a day

In my last article, I’ve shared with you a few of the surprising benefits that you can expect when you start a meditation practice. Now that you know why meditation can have a tremendous impact on your health and wellbeing, let’s explore some of the ways you can start meditating with a small commitment of only 5 minutes a day. I hear you say “how could 5 minutes of meditation have any impact in my life?” Let me tell you my story. A few years back, I was a pretty anxious girl. I dealt difficultly with sudden changes of plans and short deadlines. I was obsessed with time and not very flexible with rules and punctuality. All those stress factors had an impact on my mental health, of course, but also on my relationship with my fiancé and, most of all, in my work. More than once my boss had to tell me to find a way to manage my stress levels and work on my flexibility. My therapist at the time suggested that I try to start meditating as […]

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6 Benefits You Can Expect When You Start Meditating

meditation benefits

In the past 20 years or so, life has thrown me quite a few curve balls. I had to learn to manage my stress levels throughout the events that scarred me for life, but also made me who I am today, a strong, resilient and happy person. My many therapists all offered the same tool to make me stronger, calmer, at peace; meditation. To this day, meditation is part of my daily routine as a way to cope with setbacks, but also as a way to stay close to my heart and connect to my higher self. In today’s article, I wanted to share the unexpected benefits that I have gained from a consistent meditation practice. Here we go! The Many Benefits of Meditation Meditation has had a tremendous impact on my wellbeing as the years went by. Before I share some of these benefits with you, I would like to start with a disclaimer. Meditation is not a quick fix. It requires time, involvement and persistance. Surely, after your first session, you will feel calm and quiet, but the […]

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The Obstacle is the Way : How to be More Resilient in the Midst of Chaos

How to be more resilient in the midst of chaos

During my senior year in high school, my French teacher asked us to make an oral presentation on a topic of our choice. My friends talked about celebrities, current events or spontaneous combustion(!) while I chose to present the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. I always were kind of a weirdo. Back when I was a teenager, I would get my hands on anything related to philosophy. One day, I found a small, intriguing book by a philosopher called Epictetus. The book was so good that I devoured it in an evening. This is how I was first introduced to stoicism, a school of philosophy founded in ancient Greece. Fast forward more than a decade later and I am still fascinated by stoicism, a philosophy of virtue and wisdom teaching us how to be more resilient in the face of pain and hardships and become the master of our thoughts and emotions. Many articles I have published on Productive Happiness are inspired by the teachings of the stoics. Recently, it seems that many influencers have become interested in stocism, even more so now that blogger and […]

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Return on my first workshop

Return on my first workshop

Last Thursday, I was hosting my first workshop ever in a cozy little café in Montreal. We were a group of 15 or so working together on our life plans. The goal of the workshop was to teach my attendees how to create a life plan that is both compelling and actionable. We had a really nice time and I learned a lot on how to speak in public and how to take charge of a group. My productivity skills were put to the test while I was preparing the workshop, working on expanding the reach of Productive Happiness and entering a school program at my local college. Time management was of the essence and I am proud to say that I have been able to accomplish everything that was on my to-do list before the workshop. I came fully prepared and the exercise sheets I have designed for the workshop have been appreciated greatly by the participants, as shown in the appreciation survey that I distributed at the end of the workshop. I have greatly enjoyed the experience of […]

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Stop chasing happiness (and you might find it)

Stop chasing happiness

There is a catch in all this happiness business. The more you search for it, the less you get it. Stop looking for it, and you might find it. Why is that? Because hoping for happiness and directing your thoughts and energy to it creates expectations. And expectations lead to discontent. So the more you expect being happy, the less you are. Happiness is a noble cause, that’s for sure. A nice goal. But we tend to think that being happy is the end of the road, when in fact it isn’t. Happiness is not a perpetual state. I think that the biggest myth about happiness is that when you are happy, you are all of the time. Nothing would be less true. We will all experience hardships, difficulties, negative emotions at one point or the other. Without darkness, how can we know that there is light? Ok, so we can’t be happy all of the time. And we can’t look for happiness or we’ll lose it. So what can we do to be happier, without trying too hard? Two […]

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Man’s Search for Meaning – A Summary

Man's search for meaning summary

I don’t know if you believe in synchronicity, but I certainly do, especially regarding books. Sometimes, I’ll keep seeing a book everywhere. EVERYWHERE. When that happens, I know that I have to have it. That’s what happened with Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. Recently, I wrote an article about a book called The Happiness Makeover. The author mentions Man’s Search for Meaning more than once in her book, and it has been the millionth time I’ve seen this book mentioned by happiness authors. I felt that I had seen enough signs and I decided to splurge and buy the book on Amazon. And it blew my mind. Viktor Frankl was a Jewish psychiatrist from Vienna. During WWII, Frankl and his family have been taken away from their lives and imprisoned in Nazi death camps. Frankl wrote a memoir from his time in the concentration camps, which constitutes the first half of the book. He describes life in the camps, how the prisoners were treated, but most of all, he described the psychology of the prisoners and how hope for a […]

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Flow : The Pleasure of Getting More Done

how to achieve flow state

We’ve all experienced a time in our life when we lost ourselves in a task that we truly enjoyed. We were having such a nice time, creating, writing, playing sports, that we lost track of time and felt a deep, powerful feeling of wellbeing. We were completely in the zone. A Hungarian psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, coined a term for this state of consciousness :  flow. What is flow? According to Steven Kotler, author of The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance, “flow is an optimal state of consciousness, when you feel and perform your best. It’s the moment of total absorption. Time speeds up or slows down like a freeze-frame effect. Mental and physical ability go through roof and the brain takes in more information per second, processing it more deeply.” Experiencing flow state has many positive impacts on our levels of performance and on our productivity, but also increases our concentration, reduces stress and increases our creativity and our ability to solve problems. Flow state is also linked to happiness; while in flow, we are […]

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How to feel better – A model to be more positive

how to feel better - A model to be more positive

If we have one thing in common as human beings, I would say that would be the hardships that we have to go through. Some of us have more luck than others, but at one point in our life, we will all go through something that’s hard, something that will shatter our world. I certainly am one of those. My parents’ divorce when I was 11 was certainly a difficult point in my life. In one of my articles, I’ve shared about my experience with sexual abuse. I’ve had my fair share of depression and I tried more than once to end my life. But today, I would say that, even though hardships still come and go, I have become more resilient than ever, and I believe that I can face any trials and remain strong, happy, serene. There is one thing I’ve learned in my life that made me into the resilient being that I have become. This is what I will share in today’s article. No matter what happens in our lives, there is one thing that will always […]

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My secret weapon to productivity : the Bullet Journal

A few years ago, I came across an article on Lifehacker about a new productivity tool using only a pen and a notebook. The creator of the new method, a designer called Ryder Caroll, created a beautiful video to explain his method, along with a companion website. He called his tool the Bullet Journal. At first, I really liked the idea of writing bullets next to my tasks in my notebook of choice and to check them off as I went. It took me a whole year before I decided to really implement his method and I am now a fervent advocate of the Bullet Journal. A brief overview of the Bullet Journal method The Bullet Journal is essentially composed of a notebook that will hold your tasks, appointments, ideas and projects, organized into different “collections”. A collection is a page in your journal dedicated to a specific subject. I would highly suggest that you watch the official Bullet Journal video to have a complete overview of Ryder Caroll’s method. The video is fairly short but so well made that […]

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