A few simple activities to find a taste of happy in your everyday life.

What is that happy feeling that comes from scratching an itch (real or metaphorical)?

Finding little ways to incorporate joy into our days can make a big difference for our overall happiness and well-being.

Breaking up a long day with simple moments of joy and happiness can really make a difference. Take it from this bear who found the perfect tree to scratch an itch.


GIF via Cadbury.

Here are four little ways to add a lot of joy into your day — sans romping through a forest.

1. Getting a dose of fun cuteness actually does a body good.

I mean, how can you resist the cuteness?

A 2015 study suggested there may be real benefit to watching cute cat videos — participants reported more energy and positive feelings and less negative feelings after watching them.

We think that extends to cat GIFs, as well — right?

2. Seeing things in their "perfect place" feels so satisfying.

Beyond good organization, we've all felt that odd sense of satisfaction when seeing images and GIFs of things fitting perfectly into other things. If you've experienced that feeling, you're not alone — there are even whole Tumblrs and subreddits dedicated to it.

A perfect gum holder.

Why the heck does it feel so good to even just look at things being where they're seemingly supposed to be?

One psychological theory discussed in an article in The Atlantic is that it might create a sense of relief in relationship to the jumble of everyday life. It's no secret we all have tons of responsibilities and pressures to deal with daily. But these simple acts of success can be deeply satisfying in the chaos of it all. Don't you agree?

3. Making others happy is infectious!

The simplest acts — holding a door open, surprising a co-worker with their favorite snack, even a hug — can come with a sense of overwhelming personal happiness.

It turns out there's a ton of science behind why it feels so plain great to be kind to others: Studies have shown there are very real physical rewards for kindness, such as reducing social anxiety, lowering blood pressure, and even recharging our gut bacteria.

This helpful girl picks up a wallet ... and our hearts. Awww. GIF via Japanese Red Cross.

Yes, your body is physically rewarding you for doing good things — no wonder it feels so great!

4. Maybe it's that satisfied feeling from your favorite snack.

Have you ever wondered why we feel that happy satisfied feeling after we eat a really satisfying meal or snack?

Pancakes can be a meal or a snack, right?

When it comes to being satisfied, it goes beyond just filling up your actual stomach to the "satiety signals" sent to the brain.

These satiety signals are influenced by your food — the aesthetic quality of the food as it relates to your personal tastes. The amount of delight you get from the sight, smell, texture, and so on of your meal relate to actual hormones in your body. The more "satiation power" in what you're eating, the stronger the signal of satisfaction is.

GIF by Cadbury.

So that's why when you bite into, say, your favorite Cadbury bar, it is so very and truly satisfying.

Why not add one of these little happy activities to your list of to-dos?

It might be time to take a cue from this awesome bear and go for it!

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
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via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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