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    Dr Laurie and Sesame Street: Abby Cadabby and the Magic of Gratitude

    enSeptember 18, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Helping California's Youth Improve Mental Health with Wellness CoachesWellness coaches teach kids essential skills for mental health, tech offers financial gains, and happiness strategies like managing stress, practicing gratitude, and building relationships apply to all ages.

      Mental health is a significant issue among California's youth, and efforts are being made to address it through certified wellness coaches. These coaches help children and youth build essential skills to improve their mental health and overall well-being. Meanwhile, technology and innovation offer opportunities for financial gain, such as Apple Card's cashback rewards and Airbnb's home-sharing platform. The science of happiness, as explored in shows like The Happiness Lab, emphasizes the importance of learning happiness strategies at any age. These principles, which include managing stress, practicing gratitude, and building strong relationships, can significantly improve overall well-being. Regrettably, many people wish they had learned these strategies earlier in life. So, whether you're a student, a professional, a parent, or retired, the same core happiness principles apply. And, as Dr. Laurie Santos suggests, it might be helpful to enlist the assistance of relatable and fun figures to teach these concepts to younger generations.

    • Learning emotional regulation skills as a child impacts happiness in adulthoodEarly emotional regulation skills lead to better academic performance, stronger relationships, and reduced anxiety in adulthood. Simple strategies like taking time to calm down can help children cope with challenges. Prioritize these skills in a happy home environment for a happier, healthier life.

      The habits we learn for emotional regulation as children significantly impact our happiness and well-being as adults. The Harvard Study of Adult Development, which has been ongoing for over 80 years, has shown that children who are skilled at managing their emotions perform better in school, have stronger relationships, and are less likely to develop anxiety. Simple strategies like taking time out to calm down when upset can help children cope with challenging situations. These skills are best learned in a home where adults model and prioritize happiness strategies. By starting early, we can set the foundation for a happier, healthier life. The Happiness Lab's partnership with Sesame Workshop aims to teach these essential strategies to both children and adults through the nostalgia and fun of classic Sesame Street episodes.

    • Modeling behaviors for kids: Prioritize connections and self-careParents play a significant role in shaping their children's behaviors. By prioritizing emotional connections and practicing self-care, we can teach our kids valuable habits. Emotional communication and gratitude are essential skills to model.

      Children learn behaviors by observing their caregivers, and as parents, we must model the behaviors we want our kids to adopt. This means prioritizing meaningful connections with others and practicing emotional self-care. We cannot expect our kids to develop these habits if we don't demonstrate them ourselves. Furthermore, emotional communication is crucial, and our kids learn not only from what we say but also from how we act and the feelings we convey. Adults often neglect their own well-being, but taking care of ourselves is essential for effectively caring for others. The good news is that personal growth and skill development continue throughout adulthood, and practicing gratitude is a simple yet powerful way to shift our mindset and improve our overall well-being. By focusing on the blessings in our lives, we can counteract the natural tendency to focus on hassles and annoyances, leading to better mental and physical health.

    • Small disappointments can lead to grumpinessExpressing gratitude can help turn around feelings of grumpiness caused by small disappointments. California is investing in mental health support for children and youth, and hosting on Airbnb can be a profitable way to earn extra income while away from home.

      Even small disappointments and losses can lead to feelings of grumpiness and negativity. Abby Cadabby, a magical fairy friend, shared her experience of having a rough morning due to the lack of a banana, dirty socks, and missing lovey. These seemingly insignificant events made her feel grumpy. However, the situation can be turned around by practicing gratitude. Instead of using magic to make her grumpiness disappear, Abby was encouraged to focus on expressing thankfulness for what she has. Meanwhile, the discussion also highlighted the importance of addressing the mental health challenges faced by young people, particularly in the context of the ongoing pandemic, social and political issues, and climate disruptions. California is taking a proactive approach by building a workforce of certified wellness coaches to support children and youth in improving their mental health and well-being. Lastly, the idea of hosting on Airbnb as a way to earn extra income while being away from home was introduced. The ease and potential profitability of hosting make it an attractive option for those who have a home but are not always present.

    • Practice Gratitude to Break the Cycle of NegativityNoticing the good things in life and expressing gratitude can improve overall well-being and relationships, even during difficult times.

      Focusing on the negatives in life can create a cycle of negativity that affects not only ourselves but also those around us. To break this cycle, we need to practice gratitude by noticing the good things in life. This can be challenging, especially during difficult times, but taking a moment to pause and reflect on what we're grateful for is an essential first step. Parents can also help children develop this skill by pointing out the good things in their lives, even during challenging times. Psychologist Sarah Algeo emphasizes the importance of noticing the good to experience genuine gratitude and improve our overall well-being and relationships.

    • Practicing Gratitude Boosts Emotional Well-Being and Social ConnectionsPracticing gratitude leads to happiness, reduced stress, increased life satisfaction, reduced depression, better sleep, stronger social connections, virtuous cycles, and more prosocial behavior.

      Practicing gratitude can significantly improve our emotional well-being and strengthen our relationships. Feeling thankful in the moment makes us happier and less stressed, and it comes with longer-term psychological benefits such as increased life satisfaction, reduced depression, better sleep, and stronger social connections. Gratitude can also lead to virtuous cycles, motivating us to act in ways that deepen our bonds with others. Sarah McKnight-Poulter's research emphasizes the social benefits of gratitude, particularly the importance of acknowledging kind acts done by others. She proposes the "find, remind, and bind" theory, which suggests that noticing and appreciating the good things people do for us can remind us that we matter and strengthen our relationships. Practicing gratitude can also lead to more prosocial behavior and kind acts towards those we care about. Families can reinforce these practices through rituals such as expressing gratitude at dinner. With nearly half of youth struggling with their mental health, certified wellness coaches can offer preventative and early intervention services to help young people cultivate gratitude and improve their overall well-being.

    • Traveling or not, becoming an Airbnb host or practicing gratitude can bring extra income or happinessTraveling or not, focus on earning extra income through Airbnb hosting or practicing gratitude to bring happiness in daily life

      During travel or even when not at home, considering becoming an Airbnb host can be a great way to earn extra income. Gratitude, on the other hand, is a simple yet powerful practice that can help shift focus towards the positive aspects of life, making us feel happier. Express Employment Professionals can assist in job searches with a wide range of opportunities and at no cost. By focusing on the ups and practicing gratitude, we can overcome the hassles and challenges in our lives. So, whether you're traveling, looking for a job, or just going about your day, remember to notice and appreciate the things that bring you joy.

    • Practicing Gratitude Boosts Mood and Emotional Well-BeingExpressing gratitude for people, animals, or objects increases happiness, reduces feelings of loneliness, and improves emotional resilience during challenging times.

      Practicing gratitude, whether for animals, objects, or people, can significantly improve our mood and emotional well-being, especially during challenging times. Gratitude acts as a source of positive emotion and helps reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Psychologist Sarah Aljo emphasizes the importance of acknowledging the kindness of others to increase happiness and a sense of belonging. Rocio Galarza, Vice President of Sesame Workshop's Social Impact Division, adds that gratitude is an essential strategy for families facing complex challenges, providing an infusion of positivity and reminding us of the support systems around us. By focusing on the good and expressing gratitude, we can cope with difficulties more effectively and feel more connected to those around us.

    • Practicing Gratitude DailyIncorporating gratitude into daily routines can help individuals notice more blessings and feel happier. Focusing on kindness strengthens relationships and lessens feelings of loneliness.

      Practicing gratitude, even during difficult times, can bring a sense of resilience and connection. Rocio's experience with grateful families showed her that acknowledging good things, especially in tough moments, is important. Gratitude can be learned and practiced from a young age, making it a valuable tool for life. Just like brushing teeth, incorporating gratitude into daily routines can help individuals notice more blessings and feel happier. By focusing on the kindness of people around us, we can strengthen our relationships and feel less alone in our experiences. So, take a moment each day to express gratitude for the people and things in your life. It may not make all the grumpies go away, but it can add a magical touch to even the toughest days.

    • Learning Gratitude from Elmo and OscarPracticing gratitude towards unexpected sources can bring joy and positivity, even from those who seem ungrateful or grouchy.

      Practicing gratitude, even towards unexpected sources like grouches, can bring joy and positivity into our lives. As we learned from Elmo and Oscar on Sesame Street, even those who seem ungrateful or grouchy, like Oscar, can have kind moments, like when he cares for his pet worm, Slimy. This magic of gratitude, as taught by Dr. Lori, can help us navigate through challenging emotions like disappointment, sadness, and anger. In the next episode, Big Bird and friends will share strategies for managing big feelings. Remember, it's okay to have difficult emotions, and there are resources and support available to help us through. Whether it's becoming a certified wellness coach in California or taking a trip to a sunny place like San Diego, there are ways to prioritize our mental health and well-being. So, let's spread the wellness and embrace the magic of gratitude in our daily lives.

    Recent Episodes from The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

    A Matter of Life and Death

    A Matter of Life and Death

    Dr Laurie HATES thinking about her own death. It's scary, creepy and morbid, right? Wrong. Thinking about our finite lives can makes us better, happier people.  The shadow of death makes us behave more kindly towards others, and can motivate us both to enjoy the little joys of life and seek out greater fulfilment in our careers and in our relationships. 

    But you need to look death square in the face - and that's not easy for a thanatophobe like Dr Laurie. To help her, she enlists psychologist Jodi Wellman (author of You Only Die Once: How to Make It to the End with No Regrets) and death doula Alua Arthur (author of  Briefly Perfectly Human: Making an Authentic Life by Getting Real About the End).

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Why Don't We Have a 15-hour Work Week?

    Why Don't We Have a 15-hour Work Week?

    By 2030 we'll only work 15 hours a week, predicted the legendary economist John Maynard Keynes back in 1930. He thought advances in technology and wealth would let us earn enough money to live in a day or two - leaving the rest of the week for leisure and community service. 

    How wrong he was. We seem to be working more than ever - with technology adding extra tasks to our workdays (like answering emails and monitoring Slack). Dr Laurie longs for more leisure time, but how can she tame her fear of being "unproductive"? 

    Computer scientist Cal Newport explains how we all got into this mess - and why we still treat modern employees as if they were farm laborers or assembly line workers. Reformed "productivity junkie" Oliver Burkeman also offers tips on how to concentrate our minds on fulfilling and important work - and not little tasks that chew up so much of our days. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Does the You of Today Hate the You of Tomorrow?

    Does the You of Today Hate the You of Tomorrow?

    We often do things now that will make our lives more difficult or stressful in the future. We spend money, when we should save. We eat junk food, when we should exercise. We agree to commitments, when we should protect our free time. We act so thoughtlessly that it's almost like we hate our future selves. 

    Dr Laurie asks UCLA's Hal Hershfield to help her find the happiness balance between listening to what she wants now, and the preferences she might have in the future. And she steps into an AI time machine to get some happiness advice for herself decades from today. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    The Power of Awe... and Where to Find it

    The Power of Awe... and Where to Find it

    Awe reduces stress, helps us forget our minor worries and makes us feel more connected to the people around us. We all need more awe in our lives - but surely it's not that easy to find awesome experiences on your average Tuesday?

    Actor Tony Hale explains how everyday awe helps ease his anxieties, while UC Berkeley's Dacher Keltner shows us how to find awe in music, art, scenery... even in a walk around our block. And Dr Laurie explores the things that give her a sense of awe with the help of Mike Menzel - who built a space telescope that lets us see billions of years into the past.  

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    How to Tame Stress

    How to Tame Stress

    Dr Laurie is stressed, and it's harming her health. Constant worry and stress is bad for our bodies and our minds, but how can we break the cycle and relax? It turns out scientists have learned a lot from one of America's most stressed-out communities - caregivers.  

    Hollywood star Steve Guttenberg talks about the toughest chapter of his life - caring for his dying dad - and Dr Elissa Epel explains why some caregivers suffer badly from stress, while others seem to find ways to live with the awful situation they find themselves in daily.  

    Further reading:

    Steve Guttenberg - Time to Thank: Caregiving for My Hero.

    Dr Elissa Epel - The Stress Prescription: Seven Days to More Joy and Ease

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    How I Stopped Fearing Boredom

    How I Stopped Fearing Boredom

    Dr Laurie HATES boredom! Since childhood she's found it so painful that she'll do anything to avoid being bored. She'll watch crappy TV. She'll find extra work to do. She'll snack. But boredom is actually an incredibly useful tool to boost our happiness and creativity.  

    With the help of leading boredom experts, Dr Laurie learns how to embrace doing nothing and finds that in the midst of tedium our brains can come up with the most amazing breakthrough ideas. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    How to Fight Perfectionism

    How to Fight Perfectionism

    Holding yourself to impossibly high standards is self-defeating and makes for a miserable life. Can Dr Laurie Santos find ways to tackle her constant perfectionism so she can perform better and have more fun? 

    She hears from researcher Thomas Curran about a worrying growth in perfectionism in society, and asks "recovering perfectionist" Jordana Confino how to tackle the nagging voice in your head telling you to always push yourself and work harder.  

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    My Personal Struggle to be Happy (Coming June 3)

    My Personal Struggle to be Happy (Coming June 3)

    Sometimes the happiness teacher flunks her own class. In a deeply personal new season, Dr Laurie Santos opens up about the things she really, really struggles with. Things like crippling perfectionism, chronic stress and a paralyzing fear of death. 

    With the help of world-class experts, a Hollywood star and a host of normal people who grapple with the same issues, Dr Laurie will face up to her own happiness demons and try to defeat them. 

    Coming June 3, wherever you get your podcasts. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Happiness Through Generosity : Liz Dunn on The TED Interview

    Happiness Through Generosity : Liz Dunn on The TED Interview

    Liz Dunn is a regular guest on The Happiness Lab, but in this extended interview with TED's Chris Anderson she take us on a deep dive into her research. It shows that by increasing our generosity and by giving to others we can significantly boost our own happiness. 

    Listen to more episodes of The TED Interview wherever you get your podcasts.  

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Unlock Your Hidden Potential with Adam Grant and Maya Shankar

    Unlock Your Hidden Potential with Adam Grant and Maya Shankar

    A chance to hear a recent episode of A Slight Change of Plans in which Maya Shankar asks psychologist Adam Grant about his new book "Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things". They talk about how to filter out unhelpful feedback, the benefits of imperfectionism, and why we need to give soft skills more respect. 

    Listen to more episodes of A Slight Change of Plans  wherever you get your podcasts. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Related Episodes

    PJ and Alex Love to Gripe

    PJ and Alex Love to Gripe

    Reply All hosts PJ and Alex love to trade gripes. Their complaints about the minor annoyances of modern life make for great audio, but are the podcasters making a classic mistake?

    We all like to complain - thinking that venting does us good - but Dr Laurie Santos explains to PJ and Alex that they should gripe less if they want to be happier, and sets them a task to say something nice.

    For an even deeper dive into the research we talk about in the show visit happinesslab.fm

    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Build The Life You Want from Oprah's Super Soul

    Build The Life You Want from Oprah's Super Soul

    Enjoy this episode of another show you might like: the Build the Life You Want Super Soul Podcast. Oprah and Arthur Brooks offer listeners a better understanding of the science behind happiness and why Arthur says, “Happiness is not a destination, happiness is a direction.” Together, they take questions from people across the country who have read Build the Life You Want and are curious how to apply topics from the book to their own lives. They discuss the “The Four Pillars of Happiness: Faith, Family, Friends and Work that Serves” as well as the power of metacognition which Oprah calls “one of the biggest contributions to people getting happier.” Arthur Brooks explains how using “emotional caffeine” can lead to greater happiness and how having “a better storage of emotions” can block anxiety and depression.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    EP 30: Lou Coghlan: It's Not About Me, It's About Us.

    EP 30: Lou Coghlan: It's Not About Me, It's About Us.

    I had the most beautiful discussion with Lou, known for her community 'living and laughing with Lou' which she started with her adored Granny Nancy (who lived to 107 years). Lou talks about how she started this online community as a way to connect and stay close at a time when we were told to stay away. Lou documented her time with Granny Nancy during the covid pandemic, and what started as fun has led Lou to find her purpose — helping people known they are not alone and preparing them for the fragility of life.

    We delve deep into the heartbreak of grief: something we are both very familiar with. This discussion was healing for me & I've no doubt it will be for all of you too. Lou has a warm presence and is so genuine in what she says.

     

    Become a part of Lou's Facebook community here:

    https://www.facebook.com/LIVINGANDLAUGHINGWITHLOU/

    Follow her on Instagram @loucoghlan

    Check out her website to read her book about her adored Granny Nancy or sign up to Lou's coacing services:

    https://livingandlaughingwithlou.com/

    #129 - Your most important goals for 2024

    #129 - Your most important goals for 2024

    At the beginning of a new year we are always bombarded with new ways and products and subscriptions and plans to make ourselves ‘better’. But most of it creates stress and pressure and is far off from actually improving our lives.

    There are really only very few things that make your life better, and non have anything to do with trying to make you ‘better’ - because you are already amazing and unique just the way you are.

    In this first episode of 2024, I talke about your most important goals to work on this year and all of them come from my own experience and personal growth. Happy New Year and always remember to show yourself love!

    Instagram: @happygrowingpodcast
    Photography & Design: @eva_poglajen