And so let us live Happy, Joyous and Free…

umbrellaby Monica Berenbroick

So what makes our life joyful? What does it take for someone to be happy most of the time? Does money bring joy or happiness or real freedom? Well the “Father of Positive Psychology,” Martin Seligman believes 60 percent of happiness is determined by our environment and genetics; however, the remaining 40 percent is up to us.

In his 2012 talk, Seligman describes three different kinds of happy lives: The pleasant life, in which you fill your life with as many pleasures as you can, the life of engagement, where you find a life in your work, parenting, love and leisure and the “meaningful life” which “consists of knowing what your highest strengths are, and using them to belong to and in the service of something larger than you are.”

Happy people have rituals that you can introduce into your everyday life that may add to the bigger picture of bliss.


Speak Well of Others

It may be tempting to gather around the office water cooler or lunch table to get and give the daily gossip, but talking negatively about others is like taking a bath in negative emotions; your body soaks them up. Instead, make it a point to only say positive, nice words about other people, and you’ll help foster more positive thinking in your own life as well.


Surround Yourself With Positive People

The saying “misery loves company” is entirely true. That’s why you need to choose friends who are optimistic and happy themselves, as you will be surrounded with positive energy


Listen to Music

Music can transport you back to a special moment in time; it can relax and heal you. It can create new memories for you. Music can inspire you while you work out, can relax you when you are tense, to help you cry when you need to. Live Music can create new energy in you and keep you open to new things. Click here for New Leaf’s Music Schedule


Pay it forward

We all have very busy lives, but positive, happy people make time to do good for others, which in return, does some good for themselves.  It also helps relieve anxiety and depression to feel that you have added benefit to another person’s life. How to get involved at the New Leaf Club.


Be Honest

Every time you lie, your stress levels are likely to increase and your self-esteem will crumble just a little bit more. Plus, if others find out you’re a liar it will damage your personal and professional relationships. Telling the truth, on the other hand, boosts your mental health and allows others to build trust in you.


Take up yoga

Yoga is a beautiful way to align your body and soul — this in turn can increase your sense of wholeness and inner peace. It’s also the kind of exercise you can do anywhere, without equipment, once you’ve learned a few simple moves. Take a yoga class at the New Leaf Club.


Let Go Of Grudges

Forgiving and forgetting is necessary for your own happiness, as holding a grudge means you’re also holding onto resentment, anger, hurt and other negative emotions that are standing in the way of your own happiness. Letting go of a grudge frees you from negativity and allows more space for positive emotions to fill in.



Meditation helps you keep your mind focused, calms your nerves and supports inner peace. Research shows it can even lead to physical changes in your brain that make you happier. Check out New Leaf’s new Holistic Meditation Yoga every Saturday at 10:30,  Beginners welcomed and it is donation-based!



Whether it is to do with our careers or a hobby we are all capable of constantly learning more. Or why not learn something new – dancing, skiing, cooking, free lectures – learning has a positive effect on our moods. Our brains were not designed to stagnate. The New Leaf has two very important events in our Speaker Series coming up, Wendy Kramer from The Renfrew Center will be presenting “The Art of Recovery” on February 23rd at 5:00pm and Ann Smith from the Caron Foundation,  will be discussing “Handling the Unexpected Consequences of Recovery:  How our growth effects our relationships” on March 2nd at 7:00pm. Please click here for more information on these and upcoming events at the New Leaf Club.


Accept What Cannot Be Changed

Everything in your life is not going to be perfect, and that’s perfectly all right. Happy people learn to accept injustices and setbacks in their life that they cannot change, and instead put their energy on changing what they can control for the better.


Be gentle on yourself

You are perfect and complete exactly as you are. Even when you are striving to improve and grow, you are complete and worth of self-love.  As the Buddhist saying goes, “We are all perfect as we are, and we could all use a little work.