Category Archives: contentment

5 ways for more happiness

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”
― Tom Bodett

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Happiness is a popular topic in the culture today.   People are looking for ways to enjoy life.  It is understandable when you see 50% of marriages failing, 71% of  people are looking for new jobs, or for any  job or are willing to accept a new job.   There are a lot of things that steal energy from you that you have to deal with on a daily basis.  Finding ways to reduce the energy thieves is going to help you experience more  happiness on a daily basis.

What can you do to experience more happiness in your day-to-day life.

1. Find something that is positive in each day.  Find two or three things that created a nice feeling for you.   Write those things down.

2. Manage your time.  Do what you can rather than trying to add too much to your schedule.   We live in a world where everything seems like it needs to be done yesterday.   Is that really the case?  Give yourself more time.

3. Create an open space.  This open space is a few minutes of time to do “nothing”.   Just sit in a comfortable place, breathe and relax.   Set a timer for 5 minutes and just step away from the noise, confusion and motion.

4. Exercise is one of the most important things that you can do to improve levels of happiness.   The body in motion improves mood, improves health, improves mental clarity and improves well-being.   If you don’t have a lot of time to move find a way to include movement in your day.   Five minutes here and five minutes there can add up.  Do something that increases your rate of breathing and boosts your heart rate.

5. Get enough sleep.   The brain needs to rest.   A happy brain will help you manage stress better, focus better, retain information better and it will help you feel better.  Turn of the electronics 30 minutes for bed time.   Clear your mind of all the noise and start to relax.  If you have a lot of thoughts write them down.  Create your plan for the next day and let your mind rest.

Five easy things to do to improve happiness.  Add those into your life and your happiness will start to increase.   Pay attention to your happiness.  Give your day a happiness rating and see how it trends over time.   Be kind to yourself and you’ll start seeing results soon.

If you have ideas on ways to improve happiness leave a comment.  What works for you?

Experience magic moments

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonize.  The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ― George Eliot

Take a moment to reflect back on something that was a magical moment for you. Perhaps it was taking the time to look at the splendor of autumn, or perhaps it was something else. Whatever it was, remember it and then remember the feeling you experienced at that moment.

Those special moments which may happen many times in a day are caused when dopamine is released into the brain.   That dopamine creates a feeling, a feeling of satisfaction, joy, happiness, pleasure, tingling, or something that just makes you feel good.   Our brain likes those small rewards and they can be small moments, perhaps the taste of a great cup of coffee or a great meal at your favorite restaurant or just getting something done for the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we are able to do something or experience something positive the brain gives us a small reward of dopamine.     Video gamer’s are constantly being given small dopamine rewards as they accomplish small victories in the game and that might be the reason games can be do addictive, lots of small rewards and that sensation can become habit-forming.

The idea is to find those things that produce those moments of joy.   Create work that can provide moments of joy.   The people who have found work that is integrated with their strengths may have many small moments of success, small dopamine moments that push them on. If you’re not experiencing moments of joy in your day then perhaps you aren’t fully living the way you want to be.

What would allow you to experience more joy in your day?

at the crack of dawn

Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.”    Og Mandino

Sometimes the early morning comes to early for some.   Early on May 11th a program aired that gave the viewers some insight into the power of coaching and how coaching can transform the way people interact with the world.  

Coaching is transforming businesses so they are more efficient and effective.    With coaching employees are more engaged and more productive.

Individuals that receive coaching start to make great progress towards the achievement of their goals.   Coaching provides the accountability people need especially in the world we live in today where change is happening at breakneck speed and getting faster.     Coaching clients can learn how to manage stress, reduce anger and understand what triggers their emotions and coaching can help people live a more positive and inspired life.

People with ADD/ADHD can learn coping skills that will allow them to perform at much higher levels.   Overall coaching is a process that can make a great impact in all areas of life.

Find out what coaching can do for you.

What I think I become …

“A man is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks, he becomes.” -Mahatma Gandhi

 

Values, beliefs and experiences drive our thoughts.   What we think about we become.  Our thoughts are transformed into emotional energy, fear, worry, doubt, anxiety, or happiness, peace, joy, confidence, self-assurance, and contentment which ultimately shapes how we live our lives.  Most people experience far more negative information in their lives than positive.   The messages that are received from others begin to transform our beliefs about ourselves over time.   Messages that we receive as children enter our mind in the formative years and become a strong part of our story.   It is not that the story is true, it is that we believe that the story is true for us and we start living in that story rather than the story of our own making.   In other words for some reason we focus on the impacts of negative thoughts more so than positive thoughts.  It is as if we are taught to believe negative thought as being true and positive thought as wishful thinking.   Martin Seligman writes “Frequent and intense negative thoughts about the past are the raw material that blocks the emotions of contentment and satisfaction, and these thoughts make serenity and peace impossible.”

What can one do in order to shift the thoughts that drive emotions so that there is more positive thinking being done?  

  1. Focus on positive events in life and  opportunities to be grateful.
  2. Forgive the people in the past that may have strongly influenced the negative thought patterns.

Positive emotions lead to better health, both physical and mentally according to research done by Sarah Pressman.  

Positive thinking leads to positive emotions which increases the overall satisfaction with life.   Who wouldn’t want more of that?

What can you do when a negative feeling or thought comes screeching at you?

  1. Take a deep breath.  Acknowledge the emotion (“I feel …. “)
  2. Shift the energy of that emotion.   (This is mental Aikido …) and gently push the emotion to a different place.  
  3. Replace the thought with something better,  a favorite vacation, sunset, something admirable, peaceful, enjoyable and inner smile event.
  4. Take another deep breath.

Read the words of David Whyte and see what message is trying to convey.   We are often trapped, bombarded by information, and most of it is negative information, sensationalized news, stories that are all designed to pull us into believing everything in the world is negative.   Negative information sells and is profitable but it is not the world of truth, it is only a speck of truth in the total amount of information that is available.   Sometimes it is the negative news that provides momentary relief from personal suffering that people seek.  However a constant bath of negative information soon becomes the truth about the world and about the self and it takes more depressing negative news to feel just a tiny bit better.   

Surround yourself with positive news, positive thoughts and positive people and you’ll start feeling better about whom you are, and what you can accomplish.  It turns out that the more positive things you bring into your life the better your life becomes.  

Loaves and Fishes

This is not
the age of information.

This is not
the age of information.

Forget the news,
and the radio,
and the blurred screen.

This is the time
of loaves
and fishes.

People are hungry
and one good word is bread
for a thousand.

  — David Whyte
      from The House of Belonging
     ©1996 Many Rivers Press