Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project. / Handout
Want to know more?
More on Happier at Home: http://t.co/VjgH5rfq
Rubin tweeted “Of everything I've ever written, I think this resonates most with people -- especially parents: http://t.co/ppwOBlic”
Resolution chart from her Happiness Project: http://t.co/rrS6La0z
Continue the happiness conversation on Facebook: http://t.co/kcND2MYo
To start your own Happiness Project group: http://t.co/UXnALp99
Our Mother's Day cover story featured six pieces of wisdom to help moms find happiness from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project.
Rubin joined USA WEEKEND for a Twitter chat on May 16. Using the hashtag #happymom, readers were able to tweet their happiness and parenting questions with the happiness expert.
Here are highlights from the chat.
What makes Rubin a happymom?
@gretchenrubin I like a calm, playful, lighthearted atmosphere at home -- from all of us. That makes me a happy mom.
What surprised her about being a mom?
@gretchenrubin I was surprised by how utterly engrossing my children were -- staring at my newborn, in a trance, unable to tear my eyes away.
@gretchenrubin Also, how so many things in culture I just ignored, until having kids made me tune in. E.g., 'The Wiggles.'
How can you be a happier mom? Rubin's advice:
@gretchenrubin For most people, it is possible to make yourself happier, by doing small, manageable changes in everyday life.
A few of those "manageable changes?"
@gretchenrubin Get enough sleep. Be active. Imitate a spiritual master. Sing in the morning. Make time for fun. Be a tourist in your neighborhood.
Reader takeaways from 'The Happiness Project':
@claud1019 I make my bed in the am & buy tons of socks 4 me & 2 kids, to avoid the scramble, b/c of you! What ideas do readers mention most?
@gretchenrubin @claud1019 It's funny how often "make your bed" comes up! Also, staying on top of photo albums. Not nagging. Getting enough sleep.
@claud1019 I also love your "don't skip exercise 3 days in a row" That rings in my head all the time, and works great.
Rubin asked readers to share the Secrets of Adulthood for parents:
@gretchenrubin Secrets of Adulthood for parents: Leave room in the suitcase. Pack a snack. End things while everyone's still having fun.
@buybk Allow extra time, don't let the tank get down to empty.
@WomenOnTheFence Relationships come first before everything.
Rubin agreed with this reader. @gretchenrubin @WomenOnTheFence Ancient philosophers AND contemporary scientists agree with you.
@usaweekend @gretchenrubin I love the 5th Splendid Truth: I can build a happy life only on the foundation of my own nature.
@kalanicut Joyful living is not a destination but found in bits & pieces EVERY day.
@claud1019 @gretchenrubin Keep learning. Not gen'l life stuff, but new instruments, languages, sports... A little bit a day enriches the soul.
@MobiLeBows @gretchenrubin Secrets of Adulthood: 1. No one's looking at you. 2. Don't try to make a happy baby happier.
On 'Happier at Home,' Rubin's next book:
@gretchenrubin "Happier at Home" is about being happier at home(!).We expect so much from "home"; how can we make sure home is a happy place?
@gretchenrubin I look at aspects of home like possessions, time, neighborhood, parenthood and marriage (of course), body…
@gretchenrubin I'm always surprised by how much clutter affects happiness. It's REALLY not that important, yet it weighs us down, drains us.
@gretchenrubin For most people, outer order contributes to inner calm. More than it should.