Self-Development

Prioritize Your Happiness

Are you wasting your precious time wishing that you had more things to make you happy? How’s that working for you? Life’s short hadn’t you heard. If it’s happiness you want then that’s the feeling you need to prioritize. Not the ephemeral feelings from a string of new things. So, to become happy it’s best you start with gratitude for what you already have.

  

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Happiness increases with gratitude

You may not realize that noticing the good things in your life can make you happier. But when you do, you’ll approach life from a much more positive viewpoint so that your daily tasks and goals feel joyful and less burdensome.

Here are four ways practicing gratitude can make for a happier life.

1.     It sets up a virtuous circle

The more you appreciate the good things in your life, the more you’ll see. And by focusing on things that make you happy, you’ll become more optimistic and expect to see good things! And then you have more to be grateful for and so on. Before you know it, you will have set up a lovely self-fulfilling cycle of positivity and happiness.

2.     You’ll attract more friends

People who are cheerful and optimistic tend to have more friends. Think of Big Bird and Oscar, the Grouch – who’s more fun to be around? Who has more friends? The person who’s cheery and singing, or the grouchy complainer?

3.     You’ll be more resilient

When you are grateful for what you already have it sets you up to be better able to deal with difficult times when they come along. Instead of focusing on the heavy rain during your drive to work, you are grateful that your lawn will be green without having to turn on the sprinklers.

4.     You’ll live longer

Perhaps the most surprising benefit of practicing gratitude is the impact it can have on your physical health. Gratitude primes you for happiness and being happy sets off a whole train of positive chemical interactions in your brain and body. Research has shown that happier people live longer, healthier lives.

The thing everyone should realize is that the key to happiness is being happy by yourself and for yourself.
— Ellen DeGeneres

 

Happiness provides health benefits

Instead of the stress chemical cortisol, which can lead to inflammation and poor immune response, your happy brain will increase levels of dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals lead to lower blood pressure and heart rate and improved immune function.

If you are happy you set yourself up for a better, more positive aging experience. Unhappy people are more prone to chronic illness, depression and even earlier death.

Encourages Healthy Living

According to studies, happier people are almost twice as likely to eat more fresh vegetables than people who state that they are not happy. Eating more produce will automatically improve your health over those who eat a diet high in processed food.

Provides Energy

When you eat better, you tend to end up with more energy. It’s hard to imagine it but being negative or sad can literally drain your energy out of your body while being happy can give you more energy.

Boosts Immunity

Eating better, moving more, and feeling happy will also increase your ability to fight off illness and disease because it improves your immunity. A study showed that people who report happiness tend to fight off illness faster than people who report sadness. They literally gave people the cold virus and the happy people were three times less likely to catch the cold.

Lessens Stress

If you’re happy, you’ll have a lot less keeping you up at night, to worry about, and therefore you’ll end up with less stress. However, it goes farther than that because happy people tend to report less stress even when they are facing stressful situations. Due to the strength that happiness gives you, you’ll experience less stress.

Protects Cardiovascular Health

Because you’re eating better and moving more due to your happiness, you are also protecting your cardiovascular health. You’re less likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, or other issues related to heart health and the cardiovascular system.

Increases Longevity

Because you’re eating right, exercising more, and you’re feeling great about life, you will likely live longer. According to one long-term study that tracked the lives of 32,000 people to find out who lived longer, the people who report happiness, or the people who report being less happy. It's not surprising that happy people tend to live 14 percent longer.

Diminishes Pain

People who have chronic pain have a right to be mad about it or feel sad about it. However, the fact is people who report being happy tend to deal with their chronic pain (and other illness) better than those who were not happy to start with.

When you are happy, you’re more likely to eat right, drink enough water, and move. It’s mostly because you have more energy to do active things. For more information on nutrition see my past post The Right Nutrition Will Make You Healthier.

 

Happiness is its own reward

Many people believe that success will guarantee happiness. But delaying being happy until you’ve got that promotion, or a bigger car is a mistake. Tying your happiness to achieving your goals almost guarantees you’ll never be happy. Here are three reasons to choose happiness over success.

1.       Are we there yet?

Have you noticed that there are always more goals to achieve? As soon as you get that job, your eye is on the next promotion. Setting goals and achieving them is important but waiting to be happy until you’re successful is like chasing butterflies. There will always be another better butterfly just out of reach.

2.     Choose happy

There’s increasing evidence that happy people tend to be more successful. By focusing on being happy and living life on their terms, they are already successful. Choosing happiness in your current circumstances creates greater self-confidence. You will act and talk like you’ve already made it. And that sort of confidence is contagious and inspiring.  Simply by choosing to be happy you have a competitive edge!

3.     And the definition of success is…

Ask ten people for their definition of success, and you’ll get ten different answers. For some people, it is the consumer dream of an executive job, a fancy car, and a big house. For others, it will be the freedom to travel or paint or write or own their own business.

Probably the most important decision you’ll make is to work out what success means for you. And the most meaningful success is to choose what makes you happy. What is your passion? What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?

It’s up to you to decide what makes you happy. It’s still okay to want to have the trappings of success but think about why you want them. Chances are it’s the feeling you want rather than the thing itself.

If you think making more money will make you feel secure, or enable you to travel or support your favorite cause, maybe there are other ways you can do those things right now? Maybe you can volunteer for your charity, or choose cheaper vacation options, or start a savings plan.

There’s no need to delay being happy until you’ve reached a level of material success. You can choose to be happy right now and find contentment in the things that already make you feel good!

 

Happiness habits for the good

There’s increasing evidence that it’s not enough to learn a new skill or sign up for the gym. To succeed you need to turn that skill or commitment into a habit. Here are four benefits of forming good habits.

1.     Habits are easy to create, and change!

It’s easy to form a habit, whether it’s good or bad. You can choose to form a habit of getting up early for a run or staying in bed. It’s totally up to you, and you can choose to change a habit any time you like.

You can choose every day whether to eat healthily or not. But the more you choose the positive option, the more it becomes second nature, and before you know it, you’ll be reaching for the smoothie instead of the doughnut.

2.     Reach your goals with good habits

Once you’ve set your goals, you can adjust your behavior to make it more likely that you’ll achieve them. Establishing a daily habit is the first step to achieving success

If you want to lose weight, you can choose to get into the habit of exercising and eating healthier. Running every day will mean you’ll become ready to compete in that triathlon.

3.     Habits keep you focused

Once you’ve set a good habit, it becomes much easier to stick to your plan. If something is part of your routine, you don’t have to convince yourself to do it every day. You can also build new habits onto old ones, such as making sure you do meditation or yoga routine immediately before you brush your teeth. That way you’re much more likely to stick to your commitment.

4.     Habits are foundational

If you want to achieve your life goals, setting positive habits can become your building blocks to success. Make it a habit to pay bills straightaway, and you’ll never pay penalties or jeopardize your credit rating. If you get into the habit of getting to the office early and clearing your emails, you’ll become known for your dedication and efficiency.

Interpersonal habits can be important too. So, don’t forget the people in your life. Make it a habit to acknowledge the things your partner does for you, or when your children behave well, make them feel appreciated.

 

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Happiness Begins Within You

Gram’s Wisdom Number 5

“Fix it or Forget it.” Is what Gram told me when I complained of an unhappy day or experience. She told me my happiness was within me and not for others to direct, that I must choose my own path, if I truly wanted to be happy. She said that I should fix things that made me unhappy where possible and forget those things I couldn’t control. Many happy years later we heard “Don’t Worry Be Happy” on the radio. She laughed and said to me that song carried the right message.

So, you might think you know what happiness is but is that necessarily true?

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What isn’t being happy?

1.     “Stuff” won’t make you happy (for long anyway)

You won’t find happiness in getting everything you want or having things your way. Money doesn’t buy happiness: in fact, getting a raise or a windfall can increase your dissatisfaction as your expectations expand to exceed whatever money you have. That new car or larger house will soon start to feel like not enough.

You get the same goal displacement when things go your way. It’s human nature to keep pushing the boundaries and asking for more!

2.     Happiness isn’t cloud 9

People who are happy don’t live in a constant state of ecstasy! Life isn’t like that. Some days you feel great, other days not so much. And everyone has seriously bad times, that’s just the way it goes. Happiness is way more than just feeling good. It’s feeling contented and satisfied with what you have while living a meaningful life.

3.     Happiness isn’t the end of the road

Happiness isn’t something you arrive at, or you achieve, and then it’s done. It’s not something you can check off your to-do list. Happiness is more like a habit or method you can learn, a special routine way you have of looking at the world and your relationships and being happy.

 

Happy people are at peace with the highs and lows of life and find joy and contentment whatever their circumstance.

 

Recognizing happiness

It’s within you

By the fact that you’re a human being and you can experience feelings, happiness being one of them, you know that true happiness does exist. You can probably write down many days and things that have brought happiness to your life over the years since you were born up until today.

Who is happier?

It’s amazing but while it’s easy to say that people cannot be happy unless they have their basic needs met. You’ll find that there are people all around you who do not have their needs met but who are very happy. That bears out as true when you study rich people and realize they are not happier than poor people overall.

It’s about appreciation

If you look at a list of the happiest countries in the world, you will realize that being happy isn’t about the stuff you have. The happiest people right now happen to live in Denmark. Most people who live there pay high taxes, live in small homes and tend to not be as consumer-driven as people in the USA, for example. But the USA is 17 on the list. That shows that happiness is not about stuff.

It’s about your path

You may believe that happiness is about reaching your goals too. But, it’s not. If you often say things like “I’ll be happy when…” then it’s not likely you will ever be happy. You can be happy today, before reaching your goals, if you enjoy the path taken to those goals. It’s honestly more about the day to day living, not the goal achieving moments.

It’s internal feeling not external circumstance

Now, of course, some things in life can really get you down. However, for happy people, even the worst events will not make them unhappy, at least not permanently. A happy person usually has the skills to navigate negative things about their circumstances. Dr. Gillian Mandich, a happiness expert, states that our circumstances account for only 10 percent of our happiness.

Many people who have struggles in life often pooh-pooh happiness and like to claim that true happiness is not even possible. The truth is there are different levels of happiness that you can experience in your life. A happy person isn’t going to be the same level of happy 24/7, 365 days a year.  It’s not a straight line. There are highs and lows that you will experience all throughout life but whether you are happy or not is all about your feelings.

 

“We cannot be happy if we expect to live all the time at the highest peak of intensity. Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.”

   Thomas Merton

So where does that leave you?

Studies have shown that happiness comes from a combination of factors, from finding deep satisfaction and meaning in your life, to appreciating the things that are good, not focusing on lack or what you haven’t achieved.

True, lasting happiness seems to depend on some things such as mindset, expectations and how you feel day by day.

·        If you put more store in relationships and connections with the people you love, you’ll be happier than if you expect possessions to make you happy.

·         If you expect things to go your way they often do, and if you notice the things, you’re grateful for, you’ll find more of them. If you need things to go your way all the time, then prepare for disappointment.

 

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Ways For You To Choose Happiness

More to happiness than positive thoughts

People may tell you to think “happy thoughts” or to think positively if you want to be happy. And they would be right, and, they would be wrong. Happiness is a mindset, a powerful feeling. If you want to be happy it takes more than just positive thoughts. It also takes positive action. 

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While the dictionary defines happiness as “the state of being happy” which gives you very little information about the idea or feeling of, or state of happiness. Let’s look at some different things that happiness can be, but realize that in truth, happiness is in the mind of the beholder.

You have what you need  

When a person is happy, they usually don’t even have any needs that aren’t being met to the level they want them to be met. It doesn’t mean that someone is not having a hard time it’s all about how you make what you have fill your needs.

You feel satisfied

When you are happy you tend to feel simply satisfied with your life. You think about your life and feel good about it. You feel very satisfied when you look around your life and see all the fortune you have whether it’s where you live, who you live with, or just about yourself doesn’t even matter.

You’re contented

A happy person tends to feel really content about the things in their life. They feel content about their job, their home, their things, their health – nothing is nagging at their mind about anything causing stress. But remember happy people do have stress, they’re just better at feeling content even when things aren’t perfect.

You feel peaceful

A happy person often feels a lot of peace surrounding their life and family. They tend to know that everything will turn out okay and are good at turning negativity into positivity.

You define your happiness

The truth is, happiness is how you define it personally for you. It’s not about getting tons of stuff unless you want that. It’s not about finding a spouse unless you want that. It’s not about having kids unless you want that. It’s all up to you and  your definition of  happiness.

It’s a journey

Happiness is not a destination that you get to one day and stay at. It’s a lifelong journey that will have many ups and downs and struggles. However, overall the ups and downs of life, you manage to feel good about it. In the 1989 movie, “Parenthood” one of the main characters, a mother, who is struggling states that she loves “the roller-coaster” of life while her husband is struggling and not as happy because he focuses on the downs instead of the ups.

How you act

When you are happy you tend to act in more positive ways over all. When happy, you eat better, you move more, you think differently. Don’t worry. You have it in your power to be happy where you are in your life right now.

Happiness is more than thinking positive thoughts. Happiness is having your needs met, but it’s not about having everything, or even the best, it’s about being satisfied with what you have while also being able to work for the things you want. While you do have to do more than think positively to really and truly feel happy, it does start with your thoughts. However, it will manifest with your actions. 

For another look at happiness see my past post, Acting How You Want To Feel.

Five ways being happy is important

You probably have happiness as one of your life goals, whether it’s explicit or not. It’s probably up there with being healthy, wealthy, and wise! There are some solidly good reasons why it’s important to be happy, and some of them will surprise you.

1.   Happiness feels marvelous

Happiness is wonderful purely for its own sake. When you’re happy, you feel energetic and content. All is right with your world, and you naturally want to spread your good vibes.

2.   Being happy is good for your overall health

When you’re happy, you flood your brain with endorphins and other positive hormones like dopamine and serotonin. Your stress levels go down, along with your blood pressure and your heart rate.

Happy people are more resilient in the face of life’s stress; they tend to be better able to roll with the punches and come up smiling. If you’re happy, you’re less likely to suffer from heart disease, inflammation, and chronic disease. You’ll age better and even live longer!

3.   Success doesn’t mean a thing without happiness

Every day you can read about successful, wealthy people whose lives are out of control due to the pressures of celebrity, drug addiction, or alcoholism. Their success hasn’t automatically meant happiness for them. So, if you think that being rich or having a new car or being famous will make you happy, think again. If you hate your life, no amount of success will bring you joy.

4.   Happy people have better relationships

Happiness is contagious and attractive. We see happy people as more trustworthy and stronger leaders. They are also likely to have a wider circle of friends, have better interpersonal relationships, and are more likely to have a romantic partner.

5.   Being happy makes you a nicer person

It seems that happiness and empathy are linked. Happy people are more likely to share their good fortune and help others.

Happy people are also less violent and more peaceful. Researchers think that positive emotions make us more likely to seek a win/win solution and change the way we think.  

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions”.

   Dalai Lama XIV

Four truths of happiness

Stop for a moment and think about what true happiness is. Guaranteed it’s not a new car or a big house. True happiness comes from within and isn’t dependent on possessions. You can find real happiness in the following truths.

1.   Happiness is found in a full life

You can be happy even if things in your life aren’t going the way you planned. A full life has ups and downs, setbacks as well as achievements. Happiness means finding meaning in whatever is happening around and to you. Being grateful for whatever you’re experiencing will make for a happier, more satisfying life.

2.   Your happiness doesn’t depend on other people

Often people put their happiness in the hands of others. They need external validation to feel good. But relying on other people’s good opinion of you isn’t a healthy way to live.

Check in with how you feel deep in your heart, do the best you can, and let other people worry about themselves.

3.   Happiness is not pretending

Social media is full of people pretending to have perfect lives. They don’t. No one does. The happiness you see on TV or your social media feed may be genuine, maybe not. But remember everyone is showing the best of their lives. Likely a lot of them are pretending to be happier than they are. No one is going to post their latest fight or talk about being fired.

So, the online world you see, that’s full of promotions, and happy families is an illusion. The real world is much more nuanced, and real happiness doesn’t happen in a bubble.

4.   Your happiness comes from within you

It might sound like a truism/cliché, but true happiness does come from within yourself. If you expect someone else to make you happy, whether it’s a partner, friend or child, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. And giving them an unrealistic and unfair responsibility. The only person responsible for your happiness is you.

True happiness comes from a deep connection to yourself, from self-knowing and self-acceptance. And once you have that, all your relationships will be energized and happier. 

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How To Manifest Anything You Want

In the world we live in, working hard to improve our status, become someone’s ideal for success, or at the very least to afford more “stuff” is a highly prized activity. But does this take you to where you want to go in life? No. Mostly it keeps you chasing your tail in the rat race so that you barely find time or energy to breathe. Yet, if you slow down, follow another path, you can use the law of attraction in your favor. You can quit fighting the tide and instead go with the current. 

 

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Why should you manifest your desired life?


Aren’t you tired of the uphill, both ways, climb to get what you want from life? You need to stop now, and ask the Universe for assistance if you are going to get all that you most desire in your life. And, when you do, what you will receive in return when you practice manifestation is so much more than you will ever have imagined.


Just take a look at these 5 manifestation practice benefits:

 

 A life less stressful

It’s true that when you get out of your own way, and ask the Universe to lend a hand in moving things along, you will experience less stress in your life. Your step will be lighter and you can relax in the knowledge that the Universe has your back and is at work on your behalf.

 

A life more plentiful

Whatever your motivation be it love, career, or finance, it’s assumed that you want more abundance in your life right? And, you will have it. After you have begun your manifestation practice in earnest you will become aware of the plenty in your life. Because of all the wonderful things that have always been a part of your life. From there it just increases exponentially as we allow the Universe to aid us in getting our deepest desires.

 

A life with more fun time

If you aren’t always working on being perfect during your waking hours, you can allow yourself the luxury of goofiness and having more fun. You needn’t worry that there is insufficient time to have fun or that it’s necessary for your work to always be done first. And hey, the Universe is watching out for you, and when there is something for you to do, you’ll know.

 

A life of improved health

Since you have less stress, increased gratitude for the awesomeness currently in your life, and additional fun time, how could your health not benefit from your manifestation practice? It is only obvious that you would laugh more often, worry less frequently, sit less and move around more, simply because you handed off the operation of getting where you want to be to the Universe.

  

A life of increased happiness

Genuine happiness is a mindset, and it happens naturally when you encourage it and allow your life to unfold as it should instead of compelling it or manipulating it to bend to your will. Freeing yourself of the perpetual pursuit of your dreams and allowing the Universe to work it’s best for you will make you happier and more fulfilled.

 

How do I use the law of attraction?


What is this law of attraction?

The law of attraction encourages us to put exercises into place that will pull our deepest desires to us. Positivity is an action you can take to make this happen quicker and more easily. Because what you focus on is what you get, remember to keep those negative thoughts at bay. Another part of the law of attraction that people overlook is going with the flow of energy the Universe provides to manifest your dreams into reality.

 

 Surrender to the will of the Universe

Asking you to surrender to the Universe is very challenging for people living in a world that they are told rewards hard work and constant planning. People who hear of the law of attraction, usually begin working longer, harder, and faster in an effort to reach their goals. This what they have been trained to do – if you want to reach your goal you must work hard to get it. But this is the exact opposite of what will attract your dreams to you.

 

  Go with the flow

Rather than struggling even harder, you need to give up the struggle. You should go with the flow, relax, and ride the wave. Some people suppose this is must be the lazy way out. Surely getting access to what you desire most necessitates that you put in the effort and battle anything that obstructs your way. But the Universe wants to reward those who allow it to do the hard work for them.

 

 Conserve your energies

When a man is drowning, he is in battle with the water, thrashing around attempting to keep his head above the water. Soon he becomes exhausted, he just can’t fight it anymore. But if you are the man who permits the Universe to help you then you can conserve your energy. All you need to do now to survive is to relax and float.

 

 Taking Inspired action

Now, allowing the Universe to aid you doesn’t mean you will have nothing to do. You will need to take inspired action. The focus here is on “inspired.” Rather than doing busy work on anything you can think of that might help you get what you want. Instead, do only the tasks that you feel in your gut. It’s the follow up on a chance piece of information. Reading a book that is recommended to you. Setting up a job interview you overheard about. When an action comes to your awareness and you feel inspired to do it, you do it. This is the Universe guiding your desires right into your hands.

It is as easy to create a castle as a button. It’s just a matter of whether you are focused on a castle or a button. - Abraham Hicks

 

 Skills to make manifesting easier


Going with the flow of life doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do to make your manifestation efforts more effective. The following short list includes ways you can manifest your ideal life more quickly.

Meditation

Anytime you can reduce the number of thoughts swirling through your mind is a time when you are surrendering to the power of the Universe. Most of your thinking and planning only complicates your life. During meditation, you can enter a state of relaxing in an awareness that continues throughout your day.

 

Visualization

Visualization is a practical, fun way to put your visions of your future into the Universe to design your own destiny. When done consistently, visualization triggers your creative subconscious to the point where your mind doesn’t know the difference between what you visualize and reality. Only a few minutes a day will really ramp up your manifesting muscle.

 

Journaling

Putting words onto paper is extremely powerful, though often overlooked in our digital world. Writing down what you want to manifest allows you to get very clear and specific about what it is you want, which is a vital first step in manifesting. Writing down your goals daily, at least once, is a way to keep them in the forefront of your mind without obsessing over them, which can easily turn into resistance of the natural, Universal flow. 

 

Affirmations

Affirming that our deepest desires are already on their way to us is a popular way to manifest. Affirmations show the Universe that you are willing to work with it to attract what you want into your life. They also keep your thoughts positive so you don’t go into resistance mode when you want to go with the flow instead.

 

Practice gratitude

While you want to enjoy even bigger things in your life, manifesting is based on being grateful for what you have now. If you don’t appreciate what you have, why would the Universe be interested in giving you more? Practicing gratitude on a daily basis, whether formally in a journal or informally by sending out little thank you thoughts when something delights you is a powerful way to build your manifesting muscle while enjoying your daily life more.

 

Pretend

Feeling how you want to feel when you get your ideal life is important. Many people think they will feel it when it happens, but the law of attraction works the opposite way. What you feel, you attract. The more you practice feeling the way you want to feel, the more quickly your ideal life can materialize.

The art manifestation is a simple concept that’s easy to apply to your daily life. With awareness and practice, you can manifest amazing things into your life.

For more information here is Elyse Santilli’s post 15 Magical Ways To Manifest Your Desires.

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How Mindfulness Helps You Enjoy The Journey

Gram’s Wisdom Installment 3

Life moved at the pace of molasses when you were a kid. Long drowsy summers broken up by even longer years of school. Those are wondrous years when there were no small moments and enjoying the little things came so naturally to you.

Soon those years are gone and you enter your place in the rat race. Somewhere between the struggle for the corner office and the raising of perfect children the moments seem lost to you and the enjoyments fewer.

     

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Stop and Smell the Flowers

Gram told me that our lives all have the same destination. The journey to that destination has hills and valleys, twists and turns, and too frequently a detour or two. Then she assured me that we all arrive at that destination each in our own good time. You can enjoy the journey or let it pass you by unnoticed. Your choice. The secret she said was to enjoy the trip by repeatedly stopping to look at and smell the flowers. Today we call that being mindful.

 

A balanced life is a myth

You become so involved in your work that everyday things, important things, get shoved to the side and forgotten. Yes, you need to give your job time and concentration, but it shouldn’t be the sum total of your life.

Nor should any other part of your life take up all of your time and mental resources. But life is messy and comes to us in seasons, not resting on the head of a pin. Not waiting for its turn to have your full attention.

Is it any wonder that your life passes you by for days or weeks on end as you exist on autopilot? Do you frequently feel directionless or frazzled?

 

Why mindfulness?

The practice of mindfulness helps to anchor you to moments in your life. When you bask in the glory of a fresh new morning as you listen to birds sing and feel the sun on your skin, you know your enjoyment of the day is better for having had that experience.

Mindfulness is an awareness of yourself, how you feel, your senses, and of your surroundings. Not just as an onlooker as your life slips by, but as an active participant. To be present in a moment and mindful is to open yourself to it completely. To fully engage all of your senses and then examine in a non-judge mental way how they makes you feel.

 

Mindfulness benefits

Mindfulness opens your heart. Because you open your mind and senses to your experiences your heart will follow. The things you do or the time you spend with your loved ones is done with loving hands and a loving heart. Your whole-hearted presence is felt in the lives of those for whom you care.

 

For more benefits check out my previous post 10 Best Reasons For You To Become Mindful.

 

 

“The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness.”  -Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

Make time for self-care

Your friends, partners, children, and work all need your care and attention. But for you to do this you must make caring for yourself a priority. Take time out to slow down and take part in fun activities that renew your energy. Take a walk, read a book, or binge on your favorite TV show. You choose. Self-care isn’t selfish it’s a necessity.

 

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Simple Ways To Manifest Your Dreams

Are you perplexed as to why you seem to get nowhere with the Law of Attraction? You think you’ve done exactly what you’ve been told is the proper way to manifest what you truly desire in your life. Why is it you continue to get more of what you’ve gotten in the past, or have hindrances blocking the way to your goals?

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Do You Block Yourself?


The likeliest reason is that you block yourself with old beliefs about why you can’t have what you want. These beliefs come from your distant past frequently. Often you are unaware they are even there, playing the same phrase over and over like a needle stuck in a record. If obstacles continue to hinder your goal, you need to take a harder look at what you believe about receiving that deep desire.


The most common blocks are:

  • I’m not smart enough

  • I’m not handsome/pretty enough

  • Making money is hard work

  • We struggle to overcome one problem after another, and then we die

  • I’ll get what I want when I get to Heaven

  • I’m not creative enough

  • I don’t deserve it

  • I’m not good enough

  • Wanting more money is greedy

  • The root of all evil is money

  • If I have what I want, other people won’t be able to have their needs met



Fear is another way we create blocks for ourselves. We have plenty of fears surrounding what will happen if we don’t get the the desired result. Yet, there are plenty of fears to go around if we do get what we want.

Your unrecognized fears may look like these:

  • I’m too old

  • I’m too young

  • I’m not educated enough

  • I’d make a fool of myself

  • I fail and everyone knows it

  • I succeed and my friends abandon me because I’m too rich/popular/famous/

  • Everyone wants something from me because they think I’m rich

  • I’m not good enough

Clear away your mental blocks


Since these mental blocks and fears have been ingrained in your subconscious for a long time their effects are more potent than your efforts to manifest. The thing you need to do first is to recognize them. Take some time and put pen to paper. Write down any memories or teachings you might have about getting what you want.


Now that you brought that awareness to the surface, it’s time to forgive the people who said them or yourself for creating the myths that surrounds them. Clearing away your fears, the myths, and mental blocks is the quickest and best way to make it possible for you to be open to manifesting your dreams.


“Keep your mind fixed on what you want in life: not on what you don’t want.”  -Napoleon Hill

Enable your desires with mental imaging


The technique of creative visualization allows you to manifest your desires into the kind of life you want. Many successful and famous people have used the energy of creative visualization to manifest their dreams and get what they want from life. They have tapped into their own inner power, to turn their dreams into reality.



Visualization does these four things to boost your manifestation energy:

  1. It stimulates you to take the essential steps making your desired outcomes     happen. The way you feel when visualizing is the way you always want to feel. This is a hugely motivating factor when it comes time to take action.

  2. It energizes the Law of Attraction. The feelings you conjure up are a magnet for the people, situations, and events leading to your deepest desires, fulfilling themselves in your life.

  3. It fires your creative subconscious. Soon you begin to see opportunities for obtaining your desires through “out of the box” solutions. Suddenly, creative ideas will start popping into your head - ways to solve seemingly insurmountable challenges will become obvious.

  4. It prompts your brain to recognize tools to which you will need access if you are to achieve your dream life. Not only that, but it will keep your brain on the lookout for those tools or people who could supply those tools.


Creative visualization is simple to do:

  1. Find a quiet, comfortable place where you will be free of interruptions for a few minutes.

  2. Close your eyes and relax.

  3. Picture in your mind’s eye the life you want to be living. Imagine interacting with the people and things you want to have in your ideal life. See yourself going about your day, doing the things you want to do.

  4. Get as specific as possible. Use your five senses to add more texture to the scene. What do you smell, touch, taste, hear? Add all the little details into your visualization and feel how it will feel to live that life.

  5. Enjoy! It’s a real treat to spend time visualizing! And it only takes a few minutes a day to do. Just go with the scene each day and allow it to unfold. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same every time. Just enjoy the feelings and roll with it. Do this at least once daily.


    Be explicit about what you really want!

Before you can receive, you have to determine what you want. You need to let the Universe know exactly what it is that you deeply desire so that It can provide it for you. But when you begin thinking about what you want, you may find it to be more difficult than you expected. Usually, when someone asks us what we want, we can rattle off all manner of things. This may feel different.

You may resist listing out what you want because it feels greedy. When we live in a society that tells us we must work hard to achieve what we want, it can feel uncomfortable to expect to be able to explain what we want and then prepare to receive it. So how do we get clear about what we want?

You are worthy of your own happiness

First of all, we need to believe we are worthy of our own happiness. The things, people or situations you are seeking are what you believe you need to live your ideal life - to live at your happiest. If you don’t believe you deserve your ideal life, receiving it is going to be almost impossible.

Grab up your journal and write down the things you would like to have or experience in each part of your life. This might be home life, career, friendship, success, creativity, etc. Specificity counts here. For example, instead of saying, “I want a new love in my life,” which is vague, write down all of the qualities you are looking for in a partner. Really go all out. Don’t settle for just what’s okay. Write down exactly what your ideal partner will be like.

When you think you’ve written down everything you can think of, close your eyes and imagine a scene between you and this partner. How do they make you feel? What do you see you doing together? Where are you? Doing this will fill in the gaps of what you really want. Most likely you want a feeling - when you are with the love of your life, you want to feel certain ways. What aspects of a person would make you feel that way? You will be amazed at how many additional things you will add to your list once you spend a little time visualizing your ideal - whatever it is.

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Fighting Fair for Couples

It takes time and understanding to manage a loving relationship. Regardless of how much we love each other and work at our romantic relationship, there are bound to be difficulties that lead to arguments. This can be more evident for Seniors who spend a larger amount of time in one another’s company without the buffer of jobs or the raising of a family.

We are two very different people trying to live one life together, after all. When fights do occur, don’t let them descend into a free-for-all. Just like every other “game” in life, there are rules to fighting that everyone in love should abide by if they want to maintain their happy relationship.

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We all have to face up to the fact that we will have to begin conversations about touchy subjects throughout life. We may try to put them off for as long as possible because we don’t want to deal with them, but eventually, to keep the relationship healthy, we must.

As the years fly by we often take one another for granted. So, we become careless or neglectful of our partner’s feelings. We often sabotage or damage our partnership without realizing it until later. For some it can be too late.

These nine tips are designed to help couples fight fairly

Choose your timing carefully

It may never feel like the exact right time because you know it’s going to be a difficult conversation to have. Don’t pounce on your partner unexpectedly wanting them to change a long held pattern of behavior. Especially if this is something they have done for years and you are just now addressing this issue.

It can take real self-discipline to hold your tongue when you want to get something worked out right away. It’s better to schedule your conversation for a time when you are both relaxed and feeling well. When both of you are in a good frame of mind to discuss a difficult subject the conversation can end up not as challenging as you expected. If we blurt out our grievance without taking into consideration the mental state of the other person, or have given them no previous warning, we inevitably make the argument much larger than it needs to be.

Use “I” language

We’ve all heard this, but it bears repeating. The other person is immediately on the defensive when a sentence starts with “You do ___ and I don’t like it….”  It’s just human nature because it feels like we are being attacked. But keep in mind that no one can make us feel anything - only we ourselves can do that. So, switch your “you dos” to “I’s.” Say something like, “I feel ___ when you do ___.” It’s not just semantics - to show that you are in control of your feelings. You are focusing on the feelings instead of the behavior you don’t like. This allows the other person feel safe enough to let down their guard and discuss the situation rationally, instead of feeling blamed.

Focus on the now

It’s so easy to get all worked up and start pulling out grievances from months or years past. Most people tend to argue about the same type of issue over and over. For example, money and household responsibilities issues are common, even in the most loving relationships. Take care to avoid bringing up the past. And, if one of these slips out, apologize and come back to the current issue. (Note: if certain past issues continue to rear their ugly heads, it’s likely you have never truly resolved them.)

 

“At the end of the day, you can either focus on what’s tearing you apart or what’s keeping you together.”  - Anonymous

 

Never say never

This connects with the tip above. When you start throwing around words like always and never which are all encompassing, you know you are in dangerous territory. It’s usually an overstatement that simply escalates the fighting and does not accomplish anything or rectify the situation.

Discounting their feelings

We do this when we argue about the way they say they feel. Things like, “You shouldn’t feel that way because I didn’t mean it like that.” or getting angry when they share their feelings, even in a non-accusatory way can make the other person feel like their feelings don’t matter to you. Feelings are real. Obviously, you can’t maintain a firm connection with another person when they think their feelings are unimportant to you. Our feelings are our reality, and everyone’s reality is different because the way we experience things is different. Take care to avoid making your loved one believe they are wrong for having the experience that they are.

Believing one of you is right and the other is wrong

We live in a world of dichotomies. If something is wrong, something else must be right. But just as we explained above, everyone experiences the same situations differently based on our upbringing and background. These things shape the way we view situations. Many times, no one is right or wrong. We just need to come together long enough to understand that we don’t see things the same way and that there is nothing wrong in that. We can still have a strong committed relationship despite our differing views of reality.

Keep your feelings in check

Allow enough time to have passed so that you aren’t as emotional or angry as you originally were. When we bring a heavy dose of emotion into a difficult situation, it only amplifies everything - the words, thoughts, and feelings of everyone involved. The wrong words or a strong tone of voice can feel like an attack Before you bring up the topic, make sure that you can discuss it as objectively as possible. It will make the whole thing go more smoothly.

Listen without thinking

When it’s the other person’s turn to explain their side of the story or version of the situation, keep your thoughts clear. Really hear what they are saying to you. To do that, you must refrain from thinking about how you will respond when they are finished. We do this frequently in all types of conversations, and we should do our best to avoid it. But it’s never more important than when we are having a difficult conversation with someone we care about.

Understand that conflict happens

Even in the closest, most loving relationships, conflict is going to occur sometimes. If you have built a strong, healthy relationship with the other person, don’t let your fears of losing them run away with you. Strong relationships can tolerate the occasional argument or uncomfortable talk. It’s much better than the alternative, which is to bottle up anger and hurt, which results in a build-up of resentment. And we all know what happens when things build to a boiling point, they explode. Don’t let your loving relationship be swept away in that explosion.

For more information about what to expect if you Divorce After 20 Years of Marriage or More take a look at this post from the Equitable Mediation Services blog.


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Tips For Developing Your Daily Optimism

 Negative Thoughts Sap Your Optimism


Despite your best intentions, it’s not always easy to take an optimistic view of life. Negative thinking can creep into your mind, and before you realize it, your mindset is sabotaging you.

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1.     Comparing your life with others

Try to avoid comparing your life and achievements with other people. Your life has a value of its own. You can be sure that if you envy your friends or colleagues weddings, PhDs, babies, or luxury holidays, other people envy your accomplishments too.

2.     Having negative self-worth

Do a quick review of your self-talk. Chances are there will be quite a few negatives in there. Practice catching yourself the next time you start thinking badly of yourself. You can do without that kind of self-sabotage!

3.     Thinking you don’t have time

We all get the same amount of time. Twenty-four/seven is the maximum, so make sure you use your time to do the things you want to do, as well the things you must do. If you have a pet project or skill you want to learn, then prioritize it in your schedule.

4.     Underestimating yourself

You can do pretty much whatever you want. Deciding that you can’t do something before you even try is de-energizing and demotivating. What is your secret, passionate goal? What do you need to do to get there?  

5.     Using delaying tactics

There are a whole bunch of sneaky delaying tactics that on the surface appear to be good sense. Saving a certain amount of money, or losing weight before you try a new project, is just another way of saying you can’t do it now.

6 Ways to Cultivate Optimism Each Day

You might be surprised to hear that optimism is not an innate quality. Optimism and pessimism are ways of looking at yourself and the world through a positive or negative filter.  Once you think of them as reflections of your mindset, it becomes much easier to believe you can change. Like any new behavior, you need to practice every day for it to become a habit.  

1.     Keep a journal

Journaling or keeping a diary allows you to process events and to get a different perspective on them. It encourages self-reflection and captures insights into your thinking and behavior. You can write down what happened during your day and document, not just the bald facts but how you did it, what you did to make it happen and what you did right. And, importantly, how it felt while you were doing it. Don’t just record the good things (a promotion, a presentation or meeting that went well), remember to write down the thing that didn’t go so well and reflect on what happened, how you dealt with it, and what you might do differently next time.

2.     Laugh

Consciously notice the funny side of things and write them down. If the technology didn’t work, and you had to give the presentation without the slide deck, or the power went out, or there was a fire drill in the middle of your crucial meeting. What can seem like a disaster at the time can also be looked back on as a comedy of errors.

3.     Write to your future

Write a letter or a journal entry that sets out the future you want. What job are you doing? Are you running your own business? What have you learned? What has changed? Imagining how your future life looks and feels can be a powerful motivator.

4.     Keep a kindness list

Have a page in your journal where you note down kind gestures. Write down when you are kind to someone, or when someone is kind to you. Even little things count, like opening a door for someone or letting them go first in the line for coffee. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they mount up, and your ever-lengthening list will give you a different perspective on things.

5.     Say thank you

Write a letter or email, phone or visit someone (a person outside your family) who has been genuinely kind to you. Tell them how much you appreciate what they did or said and how it has affected your life.

6.     Choose positivity

Make the positive choice to develop and maintain an optimistic outlook. Do this every morning when you wake up. Decide that today is going to be a great day. Everyone will have some level of suffering in their life. Choosing to be optimistic will make it easier to bounce back from the bad times and to enjoy and be certain of the good times.


Optimism doesn’t wait on facts. It deals with prospects.
— Norman Cousins

5 Benefits of Daily Optimism

 

There is increasing evidence that being optimistic about life has measurable benefits, not just for your mental health, but your physical well-being too. Scientific studies have shown that as you become more optimistic, your life will improve in all sorts of ways. You’re even likely to have a longer life, just from being more hopeful and positive.

1.     Optimists are healthier

Optimists not only rate their own health and well-being as better, but studies have also shown that optimists have better mental and physical health than pessimists. In a study of the effects of positive psychological well-being, optimism was found to be the biggest predictor of improved heart health. Optimists also have lower blood pressure and cholesterol and a lower risk of developing heart disease.

2.     Optimists live longer

A study by the University of Pittsburgh found that of the 100,000 women studied over eight years, optimists were less likely to die from any cause than women with a more pessimistic outlook.  That was confirmed by a later Harvard study that showed the women who had a positive outlook had a much lower risk (nearly 30% less) of dying from serious illnesses.

3.     Optimists are happier

It might seem obvious that an optimist would be happier than a pessimist. But, it has been shown that optimists are not just sunnier in their dispositions, but they are measurably happier in their relationships, jobs, and life in general. They deal better with stress, are more resilient in bad times, and produce less cortisol, the stress hormone that leads to inflammation and a lowered immune system.

4.     Optimists have smoother career paths

Researchers from Duke University found that the optimistic MBA graduates they studied were more likely to find a job, earn a higher starting salary, and have more frequent promotions than the pessimists in the group. Optimists also deal better with negative feedback, seeing it as an opportunity to improve and increase their chance of promotion in the future.

5.     Optimists roll with the punches

Life’s adversities do not crush an optimist; they remain hopeful about the future. Optimism helps you deal with whatever limiting beliefs you have developed and shows you a way out. Being positive about life’s possibilities means you focus on what you can do. It boosts your confidence and makes you more likely to look for constructive solutions. It stops you feeling stuck or at the mercy of other people. If you’re optimistic, you know you can do it!

4 Tips to Develop Daily Optimism

 

Optimism is a learned skill like any other skill or habit you want to develop. Having an optimistic attitude of yourself, of life and the world can have a huge impact on your mental well-being and resilience, even boosting your immune system and lowering your blood pressure. Studies have shown that optimists have better career prospects and live longer happier lives. 

1.     Identify as an optimist

Self-talk is powerful! Start telling people you’re an optimist, and you’ll soon begin to believe it, and forget you were ever even slightly pessimistic. It never hurts to Act How You Want to Feel.

2.     Accentuate the positives

Notice and acknowledge the positive things around you. Small things like having good food, clean water, and being able to read this article for example. A good exercise is to list ten things you’re grateful for every day – they don’t have to be big things, jot down whatever comes to mind.  

3.     Shift your focus

Optimism is dynamic and forward-looking. Develop a more optimistic outlook by moving on from the past and instead enjoy the present and actively look forward to the future. Optimists also don’t spend much time dwelling on whatever not-so-good things are in their lives. They acknowledge that bad things happen to everyone, and when bad things do happen, it’s not necessarily their fault. Bad times come, and bad times go, it can’t rain forever. And, good times usually happen just as often.

4.     Don’t get hung up on one outcome

Putting all your eggs in one basket is risky, and it’s highly likely you will be disappointed. It’s also harder to pick up and move on if things don’t work out. An optimist will be flexible about outcomes and see that there are many different ones.

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