Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Soul Sustenance: Practical Happiness

 Negative social media posts. Frightening headlines. Workplace challenges. These are all things that Pamela Gail Johnson, the founder of the Society of Happy People, would label “Happiness Zappers,” and they are a fact of life. The good news is these Happiness Zappers don’t have to put a lid on our smiles.

“We will all experience at least one or more Happiness Zapper — unhappiness, stress, fear, chaos or annoyances — each day,” Johnson said in a recent interview. “Much of our happiness is based on how we manage the Happiness Zappers.”


In her enlightening new book, Practical Happiness: Four Principles to Improve Your Life, Johnson paves a pathway toward authentic joy and fulfillment, with actionable strategies, transformational techniques, and real stories about real people who have put Johnson’s principles into practice.


“The Society of Happy People identified 31 types of happiness to help you identify more happy moments when they happen,” she added. “Sometimes, we’re happier than we think we are; we just don’t notice all of the happiness we experience.”

In her book, she details four happiness principles for living an authentically more joyful life:


• Happiness is Personal

• Happiness Zappers Can be Managed

• Happiness Changes as You Change

• Happiness is Bigger Than You Think


These four principles will help readers redefine personal happiness, manage their Happiness Zappers, and become more aware of the happy moments taking place all around them.

You can learn more in this interview.

What does it mean to be realistically happy?

Practical happiness is the foundation for realistic happiness. It means expecting that unhappiness, stress, fear, chaos, and annoyances will zap your happiness sometimes while trusting that you can manage these Happiness Zappers. It's understanding that happiness is unique for each of us, yet the experiences that make us happy are fluid and change. It's recognizing that happiness is the rush of excitement but also the serenity of contentment and the many other types of happiness in between--thirty-one of them, in fact. 

And if you'd like a preview of the Thirty-One Types of Happiness get the Society of Happy People Counter at sohp.com/gift.  

Why can it be so challenging to be happy?

The problem is people think happiness is a singular feeling. However, practical happiness happens when we expand our definition of happiness, and when we understand that managing, not eliminating, our Happiness Zappers is a critical part of feeling happy, too. 

What are some ways to reduce the factors that prevent us from being happy?

I call those moments that prevent us from being happy, Happiness Zappers.

There are five types: Unhappiness, Stress, Fear, Chaos, and Annoyances.

Of course, some Happiness Zappers may overlap a bit, but each one usually has a dominant type. 

Then the best way to reduce the effects of our Happiness Zappers is to create a ZAP-MAP or Zapper Management Action Plan in four steps:

1. Identify the Happiness Zapper.
2. Specify the type of zapper: unhappiness, stress, fear, chaos, or annoyances. 
3. Decide if the zapper is controllable, uncontrollable, or a bit of both. 
4. Determine actions you can take to manage the zapper.

Moms know better than anyone that Happiness Zappers are fluid and managing them is really a moment by moment situation many times. 

Practical happiness is about expecting that experiences will zap some of our happiness and managing them instead of thinking they won't happen.     

Principle Two: Happiness Zappers are Manageable in Practical Happiness: Four Principles to Improve Your Life shares stories from real people that show this principle and the others in action.  




Pamela Gail Johnson founded the Society of Happy People in 1998, created the first three globally celebrated happiness holidays, and is the author of Practical Happiness: Four Principles to Improve Your Life. She started her career with Junior Achievement, then worked in the mental health and substance abuse field at the Hazelden Foundation. She was an award-winning salesperson for American Express and Staples, and now helps leaders and teams create happier workplace cultures. 


A frequent media guest on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, radio and podcasts, her work has been covered by magazines, newspapers and online publications.


She divides her time between Dallas, Texas, and Washington, DC.


Visit her websites at: pamelagailjohnson.com and SOHP.com/media-pr.

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