Happiness Happens Month

August 2021

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Don't worry, be happy!

The definition of happiness has been contemplated for ages, and due to its subjective nature many still might wonder, is it possible to get a scientific handle on such a slippery concept? Recent research in neurobiology and positive psychology has us closer than ever to understanding happiness. In this edition of the Positive Pulse we share a functional definition of happiness and so much more!

Research suggest that happiness is related to high optimism, positive appraisals of life meaning, social and relationship satisfaction, and pleasure without disruptive impulses.

Blue Zones True Happiness Test

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Discovering Happiness | Dare to Awaken Podcast (Ep9)

Colors & Happiness

Colors can affect mood and happiness more than we think. By changing the color of your bedroom, work environment or even just taking a stroll outside, you can use colors to improve your mood! Colors that are considered to be "happy" are bright colors like yellow, orange, pink and red. Other pastel colors like peach, light pink and lilac can also have an uplifting effect on your mood.

Food & Your Mood

Did you know that food can affect your mood? It is estimated that 90% of the body's serotonin is produced in the gut! A great meal to enhance your mood is one that contains complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and a variety of colorful produce. Foods that promote the production of serotonin and other "feel-good" hormones are: quinoa, mushroom, salmon, nuts/seeds, pineapple, eggs, and spinach!

Smells Can Make You Happier

Pine, citrus, flowers, and fresh-cut grass all have been shown to boost mood and reduce stress. Studies have found that the smell of rosemary helps with cognitive function, specifically memory. One study found that smelling peppermint improves breathing mechanics and athletic performance, having a positive effect on blood pressure and respiratory rate. The smell of the ocean and sunscreen often remind us of vacation and time spent with family. Lastly, experts say that the smell of baby powder reminds us of the safety and security we felt as children; for parents, it invokes memories of the happiness they felt when their children were young.

Nature & Happiness

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It is no secret that spending time in nature boosts your mood and increases your overall happiness! Below are some nature rich locations you can visit this month:

  1. Watkins Glen State Park -1009 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891
  2. Letchworth State Park - 1 Letchworth State Park Castile, NY 14427
  3. Black Creek Park - 3835 Union St, North Chili, NY 14514
  4. Golden Hill State Park - 9691 Lower Lake Rd, Barker, NY 14012
  5. Sampson State Park - 6040-6144 NY-96A, Romulus, NY 14541
  6. Darien Lakes State Park - 10475 Harlow Rd, Darien Center, NY 14040
  7. Mendon Ponds Park - 95 Douglas Rd, Honeoye Falls, NY 14472
  8. Chimney Bluffs State Park - 7700 Garner Rd, Wolcott, NY 14590
  9. Eldridge Park - 96 Eldridge Park Dr, Elmira, NY 14901
  10. Newtown Battlefield State Park - 2346 County Rd 60, Elmira, NY 14901

Laughing relaxes your body, boosts your immune system, and releases endorphins, all of which increase your overall happiness! Have a laugh courtesy of Parks and Recreation :

Water Fountain Hygiene - Parks and Recreation

The Little Book of Lykke

For those looking to learn more about happiness, The Little Book of Lykke by Meik Wiking identifies the six factors that explain the majority of differences in happiness across the world—togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust, and kindness—and explores what actions we can take to become happier.

Recommended by Smola Consulting Wellness Consultant, Rick Amundson.

Garlic Mushroom Quinoa


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan


  1. In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook quinoa according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in quinoa until well combined.
  3. Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan, if desired.

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it”. — Maya Angelou

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