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Q&A Giveaway! Ask the Happiness Expert and You Could WIN!!

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What's the #1 thing that stands between you and true happiness? Whether you're just unhappy right now or you have struggled for a long time, our expert is here to help you to be happier in your life!


Margaret Curley Sanborn, author of the book The Practical Guide to Happiness, will be here March 6th to offer her advice and answer your questions in this thread!

As a bonus, three moms who reply to this post to ask Margaret a question will win a copy of the book!

                                        ^Click the book to take a virtual book tour!

Please ask your questions for Margaret in the replies below. Margaret will post her answers here as well.

Welcome, Margaret, and thanks for joining us!

The Official Rules:

  • The Practical Guide Giveaway starts 3/4/13 at 12pm (ET) and ends 3/20/2013 at 11pm (ET) (the "Giveaway Period").
  • Enter by replying to this post with an appropriate comment during the Giveaway Period.
  • Multiple entries are permitted and encouraged, as it increases your chances of winning.
  • Three winners will be selected in a random drawing of all eligible entries to receive a copy of The Practical Guide to Happiness: If You Don't Like How You're Feeling, Think Again.
  • The random drawing shall occur on or about 3/28/13.
  • No Purchase Necessary.
  • Open to US, DC, and PR residents 16 years and older.
  • Void where prohibited. Click here for the rest of the Official Rules.
by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Replies (201-210):
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 7:33 PM

 I would look at

See if there is a group with small meetings that appeal to you.  Depending on where you live and what your interests are, these can just be small groups of people who are happy to meet people with similar interests.    You can see how many people sign up for a gathering before you go.  Just start small.  Bring another friend if you have one who would also like to meet new people.  Join a book club.  Everyone's there to talk about the book - not themselves.

Quoting bizebe:

I think I would be happier if I could learn to relax ,not suffer with social anxiety ,fear,worring so much ,cause theres times Ive avoided lot of social events for fear of having a panic attack  & it has kept me from  enjoying my  life way I should. I have gone through alot 8 yrs ago after my childrens father n I divorced ,remarried went thru lot of financial struggles,emotional abuse, n lot of losses in my life which I feel didnt help me,but  what Im mostly unhappy about is my social anxiety I feel if I didnt have that anymore & enjoyed being around people like I use to, getting out more,not isolating myself  I would be so much happier & enjoy life  more ,so what advice would you give for that of things I could do to break me out of rut Ive been in & out of my shell!


by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 7:36 PM

 Sure. Any counseling can be good.  Couples is better if both people want to go and the therapist is qualified, experienced, in the issues they want to address.

Quoting MichelleK41:

Do you believe in couples counseling? Why or why not?


by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 7:38 PM

 Sounds like you've got it!  Good for you.

Quoting June55:

People always say... I'll be happy when I lose weight, I'll be happy when when we can buy a house, I'd be happier if .....
I learned along time ago that things can't make you happy. Granted things like money can help make life easier in alot of ways. But I think happiness is a decision. It's an attidude of gratitude. If you can be grateful for what you have instead of what you think u want.... Then suddenly life seems brighter. I have a chronic battle with pain every day. I spent alot of time wishing to be healthy and worrying about all the things I can't do! It only made me and others around me miserable.
There are some things in life we have control over and others that we have no control over at all. We can choose to be miserable or happy. I have tried to be grateful for what I have instead of worrying about what I don't have. I also believe when you step outside yourself and try to make someone else's life a little easier , and stop dwelling on yourself that it can bring happiness into your life too! Surroundinding yourself with good upbeat people that have a positive outlook on life also helps me to be a happier person. I had to gently extract myself from friends that spent their lives constantly complaining and had an extremely negative outlook on life. Being exposed to such negativity each day started to effect my outlook on life and I began dwelling on the what ifs, and the if onlys like they were. This also affected how I interacted with other friends and family. For my own sanity I had to extract myself from a couple people that obviously were never going to be happy about anything. These relationships had gone one for years. Some of their if onlys and what ifs would be solved, and then there would be a new one to gripe about.
So I try to be a positive friend to others and have healthier relationships. If u have a toxic person in your life, that poison affects you! Get out! Have a gratitude attitude and you will be pleasantly surprised at how happy u ate.
Nothing in my personal circumstances have changed, I still have deteriating health. But I am happy! Truly and wonderfully happy! You can be too!


by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 9:36 PM

I am afraid I am out of time.  Thanks to everyone who posted questions and thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and experiences on topics you may be struggling with.

I am sorry if I was not able to reply to your post directly.  If you read the replies I wrote, you are likely to find someone with a similar situation tto whom I did respond.

The Practical Guide to Happiness has lots of relatable stories that show how small shifts in perception and thinking can have a big impact on happiness.  The second half of the book provides daily actions and tools to help change your thinking and to learn to Think Again.  There is at least a nugget in there for most people.  You can read reviews on Amazon and Goodreads to see what others have said about it.

If you would like to know more about the Ego/Love battle and you don't win the Giveaway, you can download a Kindle copy for 2.99. It will be .99 cents on 3/22 and 3/23.  I will look into having a FREE day at the end of the month for Cafemoms. 

If you don't win a paperback and you can't stand ebooks, it is also available in paperback. Amazon just put it on sale for $8.29.  I wish I could send a paperback to everyone who wants one, but I haven't won the lottery, yet :).

by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 10:01 PM
That's my main problem. I don't know at this time what I need or want. Something's definitely missing but I can't put my finger on it. If it's more social interaction, I'm limited due to medical conditions and lack of transportation. But, thank you for your reply. I do appreciate you taking the time to respond. btw, I do love! It's better than Oprah's book club! 

What is it you need or want?  If you think that more live human interaction would enhance your life, try meetup in your area.  At least look and see if there are groups that share your interests - like reading good paper books -

There are also online book sites for readers.  One I like is

Quoting admckenzie:

I don't even know what the word "happiness" means anymore. I'm not unhappy, just not satisfied. I have no desire for material things. I have those. My finances are ok. My kids are grown and on their own doing well so no responsibilities for other people to bog me down. I could lose weight but last time I did I was given lots of male attention and my behavior was out of control (and not good) so now I feel safer with too much weight. I'm educated so have no desire to return to school. I did the volunteer thing and not into it anymore. Hobbies tend to get on my nerves so have no desire to find a new one. My social life is mostly online and that suits me fine. The only interests I tend to have anymore is reading real books (not ebooks or anything else to do with technology). Entering my senior years, I just have no more energy to lend toward finding an elusive "Happiness" that I can't even define. So my question is the same as some others have asked, what is happiness in your opinion?

by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 10:25 PM

I agree and never understand why some do not want to give counseling a try, especially if they truly love and care for someone, any thing to help make things better. =)

Quoting ThinkAgainMom:

 Sure. Any counseling can be good.  Couples is better if both people want to go and the therapist is qualified, experienced, in the issues they want to address.

Quoting MichelleK41:

Do you believe in couples counseling? Why or why not?

by Silver Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Thats easier said than done...How do we control our thoughts?

Quoting ThinkAgainMom:

 I think, in most cases, you MUST be happy inspite of circumstances,because as our Ego is happy to point out, our life, ourselves could always be better.

So how? 

 We all have two voices in our head - 1) the voice of Love (God, spirit, or simply human love if that's what you believe) and 2) the voice of the ego.

 The ego's singular mission in life is to be better, special and different. It is never satisfied for very long, because you can always be better, more special and more different.  That's why your spectacular achievements or amazing acquisitions only make you happy for a little while.

If you learn to identify which voice is speaking to you, you can choose which one will run your life.  Your level of happiness depends on your answer.


Quoting JCTVCBN:

Do you think it's possible to be happy despite of what our circumstances might be?




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by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 12:58 AM

 Thank you for the advice. Those particular situations don't apply to me but I hope the info can help others here.

My issues are emotional and mental abuse but not from any family. Sadly there are no free programs here for anything other than AA

Quoting ThinkAgainMom:

 The only way out is through.  That means you have to deal with all the feelings you swallowed during the ugly past events. Sounds like professional help may be in order.  There are free support groups for adults who grew up in an addictive household, and for women who were victims of sexual abuse.  I don't know what you are dealing with.

When you get through the past, you are likely to need new tools for dealing with now.  The only way to be happy is to be fully present today.


Quoting EbonySnow:

 A lot of bad stuff happened to me in the past, how do I let it go? How do I del with t and get past it?




by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 6:32 AM

It can be done.  There is a process that is outlined in the book with examples and practical demonstrations.  The book was even reviewed by a neuropsychologist who recommends it.  It would not be any more meaningful that what I gave you without the context that is created in the book.

by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 6:35 AM

I'm sorry there aren't a lot of resources near you.  Have you searched the specific type of abuse on Amazon (naming who was involved or what happened)?  There is an amazing amount of material out there.  Perhaps there is something you can read.

Best wishes.

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