Women givers learn the secret of happiness

Women givers learn the secret of happiness

Staff Writer, New Jersey Jewish News

Author Marci Shimoff offered the keynote address at the 2013 Women’s Awareness Day, inspiring supporters of the Greater MetroWest UJA Annual Campaign to think positive thoughts as they supported Jewish causes at home, in Israel, and around the world.

About 300 women attended the April 30 event, a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ’s Women’s Philanthropy, at the Aidekman campus in Whippany.

Participants enjoyed breakfast and circulated among tables, where representatives of community agencies and charities discussed their projects.

Shimoff, the author of Chicken Soup for the Women’s Soul and, more recently, Happy for No Reason, offered her top three tips to help anyone get happy: develop a “kind mind,” have a “kind heart,” and “follow your passions and dreams.”

“We have 60,000 thoughts a day. Over and over again, we think about the same things. Our minds are like record players. What percentage of our thoughts are negative? About 80 percent,” said Shimoff, who said her mother and her aunt were active in Women’s Philanthropy through the federation of the San Francisco Bay area. “Happy people know how to reverse this tendency.”

The secret to long-term happiness? “Focus on gratitude,” she said. “Every night before you go to bed for one month, make a list of everything you are grateful for. After a month, it will raise your happiness set point.”

Rebecca Rosenheck of Scotch Plains and Eileen Weiss of Millburn served as chairs of Women’s Awareness Day.

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