Tag Archives: emotional wisdom

Musings on Seeking (and Finding) More Peace and Happiness in The New Year


 

“You are only one thought away from a good feeling.”

Happiness! It’s something we all want but struggle to find.  We could be happy we tell ourselves, if only we had fewer thoughts to analyse, fewer reactions to tame and no bad habits to change. Basically we’d all like to be more in charge of our lives. Maybe then we could be truly happy.

But perhaps all of the above just kind of ‘goes with the territory’ of living? Maybe we’d better just get used to it, ‘cos perhaps it is an inevitable part of the whole ‘being human’ thing ?

A few years ago I had to ponder those questions myself and if I wanted to stay on track with my weight loss efforts, I had to get some answers. What I found was that staying healthy psychologically was a real boon to staying healthy physically. We are, after all, not one-dimensional, but multidimensional beings, with many parts to heal, restore and transform.

So today’s post is about a few of the ideas that I’ve discovered and found to be effective (for me) . I hope they are for you too.

You Can Be Happy

I’m talking here mainly about a few principles I have learnt and now practice myself and that basically all come from a little book called, YOU CAN BE HAPPY NO MATTER WHAT. Great title, huh?

The principles are simple, but once you start to practice them, they can be quite powerful. Okay so here they are briefly described.

1) Stop taking every thought seriously. I think the average human mind produces about 60,000 thoughts a day, so not every one of those thoughts is something you need to take notice of, particularly if the thoughts are negative. Instead you can simply acknowledge them, choice to regard them as temporary and move on. In other words, don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis.

2) Feelings are like thoughts. They will arise, sometimes out of nowhere it seems, but they will pass, if we allow them to, simply by giving them less of our attention. Giving  your mind’s full attention to your thoughts by ruminating over things, hanging on to regrets or ‘if only’s’, is only going to make you more frightened by your own thoughts and….lead to more bad feelings. Sometimes we just have to let things go.

The book also suggests that we view our feelings as our built-in warning system, a system that alerts you via your uneasy feelings that you are heading down the wrong track with your thinking and may need to make a slight mental adjustment or at least, to give your negative thoughts less of your attention and focus.

Stress Reduction

All sound a little hard? Then perhaps you need to become less tolerant of the stress you are under. By that I mean stop being so hard on yourself and take a break. Book a massage. A tank float. A pedicure. Whatever it is that will relax and revive you – and distract you from those continuous and annoying thoughts.

Another great tip suggested in the book is to remind yourself that your thoughts are harmless – they are just thoughts. Stop focussing on them, on each and every detail of them and you will be on the road to better psychological health and fewer destructive habits. The opposite behaviour – thinking about something all the time, which I used to do, only makes a problem grow in our minds and make it appear more formidable.

As we will all be wishing each other a Happy New Year soon, what exactly does that mean for you?

What will it take for you to be truly happy in the New Year?
I would love to hear about your own experiences with seeking happiness. Is feeling peaceful an intermittent thing for you – something that comes and goes? If so, what do you do to restore your inner calm?

We all deserve more happiness in our lives. Writing this blog makes me happy. So do my kids. So do my friends and family. And so does pursuing my goals.

What about you? What makes you happy?

 

You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But You Can Still Be Happy (A Post Christmas How To Guide)


 With the knowledge (er…suspicion)  that the Christmas holiday weekend perhaps went a little smoother for some, than for others, I thought today, the following reflection may be apt. 

It is a little personal (though not too much ) and I hope, if you need it to be, may also be a little therapeutic…..

Some Preamble

I actually tried ignoring (as much as possible) the pre-Christmas hype (shopping/consumer madness, etc…) but try as I may, it still affected me.  So that being considered, there was a few things I needed to get straight; a few ‘truths’ I needed to remind myself and lessons I needed to (re) learn.

I could sum them up in a few phrases – slow down, don’t sweat the small stuff and live every moment, as if it could be your last.

Oh and here’s one more:- acceptance and love don’t always come gift wrapped.

So here’s how I came to these conclusions……

Want Versus Need

Remember this line from the Rolling Stones hit song, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need……” It’s true and he’s a few personal examples of just that…

The ‘need’ follows the ‘want’ and is written in bold.

1.” For the holidays, I thought I might try something different,” I told my hairdresser.  ‘ I think I’d like my hair to be lighter’ I continued. 

After some consternation over this request, she shared her plan to make me ‘a shade lighter’. It didn’t work. One and half hours later, I left a deep brunette.

Not what I wanted.

Upon returning home, my kids and family complimented me, gave me some love and actually told me they liked my hair and that I looked nice. They offered their kind words, were just glad to see me and I felt good.

2. ‘Don’t interrupt me on the phone, okay? I really need to talk to this person. It’s important,’ I told the kids. Within seconds, I had to excuse myself to answer my kids questions and attend to their activities. Four times, in fact, I excused myself from the phone.

The person I was speaking to, finally said ‘I think I’d better let you go’ and hung up.

Not what I wanted.

After the call, I looked at the kids. They ran to me and hugged me, as if I had been gone for days (instead of a few minutes) and I decided to give them my full attention, suddenly feeling a rush of appreciation for them, for their enthusiasm and their ability to feel excited over the little things in life.

3. Over Christmas, I did receive a few things I simply didn’t want.

These things however were given to me by people whom I really love and it was a gift simply to know that they felt the same. Finding out that they also treasure our friendship as much as I do was something I needed know. It made me happy regardless of the unwanted item.

Therapy for Life

Perhaps, if you’re tempted to moan or groan about anything unwanted in your life, a little tweaking of your mental processes might help and perhaps you can also find, that you actually did get what you need.

A Final Thought

In my humble opinion, our needs are often already being met, but that fact becomes a little clouded by our own preference for getting what we want.

Futhermore, experiencing the joy that fulfillment of our needs brings does require a little less superficiality.

This is just what I think though and maybe…. I’ve got it all wrong? Maybe there’s something else I need to learn…..

What do you think?

I’d love to hear if you yourself have a personal philosophy to live by when things don’t go your way? Does it help to make you appreciate the small things?

Or why not just share your Christmas experiences this year? I myself have enjoyed a very happy and upbeat celebration; one of the best I’ve had in years. I loved it!!

Please feel free to share anything that didn’t go your way though. I’m here and I’m listening…..:) 🙂

Or maybe you have some other nuggets of wisdom to share? Just press comment and fire away….

PS Don’t forget to pop back again in a few days. I am working on a sequel to todays post. It’ll be a similar ”Art of Happiness” study, which you may find interesting………   🙂

 

Move Over Homer Simpson or Finding Happiness Through A Fighting Spirit


Motivational videos, speakers, books, music……it’s all out there! But that’s not where it needs to be, is it?

It needs to be right here, with you now, pushing you along to achieve whatever it is that you’ve set your mind to achieving. Sometimes the afore-mentioned will benefit you, sometimes it’s just not enough.

Sometimes our cynical self who seems to be able to dominate our thinking at will just shuts down our potential.

This sort of thinking, for instance, begins to prevail – “It’s no good, I’ll never change. I’ve tried before and didn’t get anywhere.”  Then we back up those thoughts with ‘evidence’ and memories of past failed attempts.

We convince ourselves. And then it seems like reality and every action (or inaction) that occurs after that is justified. We kind of end up HOMER SIMPSONIZING  ourselves.

But what if we saw those negative thoughts as ‘clever confidence tricksters’ like these guys…..

Bad guys. Con men. Sent to rob you of your goals and ambitions. 

How do you react to them now? Are you going to allow them to ride rough shod over you? Or are you going to fight back?

Okay, so this is all very interesting I hear you say, but how is this little analogy going to help me?  Well, it can bring you a new awareness, for one thing. An awareness that negative thoughts and feelings are just  ‘characters’, part-time ‘players’ in our life script, never to be taken seriously and never to feel threatened by.

Practicing this allows their intensity to fade and lessens their power over you. It changes the mental picture.

If it doesn’t have that effect on you, then maybe just doing this to them will….

The Final Thing

One thing for sure, doing NOTHING won’t change a thing.

It will keep you imprisoned (emotionally) and from that place positive change is very difficult to achieve.

So break down the walls, kick ass and fight back and don’t let that  happy, enthusiastic you wait in the wings any longer!!

He’s getting lonely out there……..

 

So what do you think? Have you ever Homer Simpsonized yourself? Love to have you share your thoughts. 🙂 🙂

P.S. If you liked this post, please tweet it!

Achieving Weight Loss Through A Healthy Respect For Your Body


 

Life outside of the blogosphere has been a little busy for me lately, so my post here today will be kind of brief (at least I’ll try to keep it that way, however no matter how I try, I never seem to meet that goal of staying ‘brief’. What can I say, I love talking!).

Anyhow first up I just want to say thanks to the people who commented last week and congratulations to Talitha from pursuittoflagom.blogspot.com who won a free copy of Reframe Weight Loss. The book is soon to be shipped further into cyberspace and soon will be reaching a number of online retailers. So congratulations Talitha and safe travelling to my ebook!

Some Food For Thought

Apart from the above news, the other snippet I thought I’d share today is an extract from a book called The Power of Intention. I came across the particular paragraph by accident and immediately thought of sharing it here, due to it’s relevance and hopefully usefulness, to those of you on your weight loss journeys.

I have paraphrased it a little but basically here is the paragraph as taught by Wayne Dyer. It is taken from a section in his book on self respect, specifically on respecting your body.

Respecting Your Body

“Regardless of it’s size, shape, colour or any imagined infirmities, you have been provided with a perfect body to house your true self….

You don’t need to work at being healthy; health is something you already have if you don’t disturb it. You may have disturbed your body by overfeeding it, under exercising it, overstimulating it with toxins or drugs, that make it sick, fatigued, jumpy, anxious, bloated or an endless list of maladies.

However you can begin to live a life of self respect for your body anytime. You know what to do. You don’t need a new diet, a personal trainer or another workout manual. Go within, listen to your body and treat it with all the dignity and love that your self respect demands.”

I hope these few thoughts from Wayne Dyer give you some food for thought today. Take care of yourself and hope to see you back here in the blogosphere soon.

What are your thoughts on the idea of health being something you already have if you don’t disturb it? Does this resonate with you? Do you have any thoughts about the book, The Power of Intention, that you would like to share?

The Value of Sickness and Health – Exploring Two Aspects Of Being Human


Health and Wellbeing When They’re Not At Home

Imagine always being in full, blooming, radiant good health, all of the time. Never an ache or a pain, no colds, viruses, cuts, scratches, bruises or discomfort. Ever.

Finished imagining? Good, ‘cos that is the closest any of us are  gonna get to it.  The reality is that we’re all human and along with that particular condition, comes many others. No matter how fit you are, no matter how nutritious your diet or how healthy your habits – chances are every now and again, through no fault of your own, you will suffer from something. If it is still tempting to make the easy conclusion (as I myself might) that if you eat sensibly, exercise often and basically keep your bad habits to a minimum then all will be fine, then you need a reality check (note to self).

The Symptoms

So why am I having this sudden reflection? You guessed it – I’m sick. I have been all week (hence the fewer posts this week). Yes even though my old friends, Enthusiasm and Passion have still been sharing my personal space, it appears that when a couple of other dodgy characters called Headache and Nausea drop by, these old friends go a little quiet.  They went completely silent when Dizziness came in the door and have decided they are happy to lay quietly on the couch until these three new intruders decide they’re ready to leave. That time is almost here. Thankfully.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not about to manufacture my sickness into a larger than it needs to be problem. I am well aware there are multitudes of people worse off than me. Some I even wrote about recently, here.

The Silver Lining

So yes I am avoiding the pity party thing altogether. I’ll live. In fact (and I’m not sure if this fact makes me slightly pathological or not) but as the week has gone on, each day with my sickness still apparent, I have decided that I might as well try to enjoy it. As the playwright George Bernard Shaw has written, ”I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the illness worth while.”

Too ill to do much (basically for fear of passing out) I have been laying on the couch and reading. And reading. And reading. And reading. I am now half way through a book that I had put aside to read ‘ when I had the time ‘. And I gotta say, I’ve enjoyed myself.

Maybe the Panadol helped somewhat, but the simple ‘time out’, with no distractions, just the simple indulgence of some reflective reading has actually been enjoyable and in many ways, productive.

Maybe this is what is meant by the Latin proverb which states ”in time of sickness, the soul collects itself anew”.

Enjoying Health All Of It

My final conclusion about all this is that perhaps we do need sickness as well as good health in our lives. If only for the reason that it makes us better understand and appreciate the importance of good health, instead of taking it for granted.

And perhaps also, so we do have some time ‘to collect ourselves anew’.

**********

What do you think about these two sides of the human condition – are our worthwhile days only those when health and well-being shine like beacons or do you think there is some value that we are meant to derive from experiencing suffering and sickness too? 

Perhaps you may also have a‘sick day’ story to share? Are you are the veritable bear with a sore head when you’re sick or do you not  mind a day or two out of the rat race? Love to read your comments.

I love comments. Adore them, in fact and have met some very insightful and nice people via ‘the comment box’, so please feel free to leave one. I reply to everyone.

Also, if you enjoyed this (or any other) post here, please also share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter, so that others too can join the conversation. Thanks in advance.

 

Musings on Seeking (and Finding) More Happiness and Peace


  

“You are only one thought away from a good feeling.”

Happiness! It’s something we all want but  struggle to find.  We could be happy we tell ourselves, if only we had fewer thoughts to analyse, fewer reactions to tame and no bad habits to change. Basically we’d all like to be more in charge of our lives. Maybe then we could be truly happy.

But perhaps all of the above just kind of ‘goes with the territory’ of living? Maybe we’d better just get used to it, ‘cos perhaps it is an inevitable part of the whole ‘being human’ thing ?

A while ago in my life I had to ponder those questions myself and if I wanted to stay on track with my weight loss efforts, I had to get some answers. What I found was that staying healthy psychologically was a real boon to staying healthy physically. We are, after all, not one-dimensional, but multidimensional beings, with many parts to heal, restore and transform.

So today’s post is about a few of the ideas that I’ve discovered and found to be effective (for me) . I hope they are for you too.

You Can Be Happy

I’m talking here mainly about a few principles I have learnt and now practice myself and that basically all come from a little book called, YOU CAN BE HAPPY NO MATTER WHAT. Great title, huh?

The principles are simple, but once you start to practice them, they can be quite powerful. Okay so here they are briefly described.

1) Stop taking every thought seriously. I think the average human mind produces about 60,000 thoughts a day, so not every one of those thoughts is something you need to take notice of, particularly if the thoughts are negative. Instead you can simply acknowledge them, choice to regard them as temporary and move on. In other words, don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis.

2) Feelings are like thoughts. They will arise, sometimes out of nowhere it seems, but they will pass, if we allow them to, simply  by giving them less of our attention. Giving  your mind’s full attention to your thoughts by ruminating over things, hanging on to regrets or ‘if only’s’, is only going to make you more frightened by your own thoughts and….lead to more bad feelings. Sometimes we just have to let things go.

The book also suggests that we view our feelings as our built-in warning system, a system that alerts you via your uneasy feelings that you are heading down the wrong track with your thinking and may need to make a slight mental adjustment or at least, to give your negative thoughts less of your attention and focus.

Stress Reduction

All sound a little hard? Then perhaps you need to become less tolerant of the stress you are under. By that I mean stop being so hard on yourself and take a break. Book a massage. A tank float. A pedicure. Whatever it is that will relax and revive you – and distract you from those continuous and annoying thoughts. Another great tip suggested in the book is to remind yourself that your thoughts are harmless – they are just thoughts. Stop focussing on them, on each and every detail of them and you will be on the road to better psychological health and fewer destructive habits. The opposite behaviour – thinking about something all the time, which I used to do, only makes a problem grow in our minds and  make it appear more formidable.

We all deserve more happiness in our lives. Do you have any techniques or practices that have helped you become a more relaxed or happier person ?

I would love to hear about your own experiences with seeking happiness. Is feeling peaceful an intermittent thing for you – something that comes and goes? If so, what do you do to restore your inner calm? Is it effective? Or perhaps there is another practice or technique that you would like to share?

 

 

 

Body Image Solutions Or How To Embrace True Health and Wellbeing


Accepting Ourselves and An Apology

First up, on Friday I posted what was supposed to be a bit of fun. And some of it was. Unfortunately though technology let me down. The animations didn’t work like they were supposed to. And the result? A few of the animations/pictures I posted were er….not so funny.  Sorry about that. Everything worked fine here on the site, but apparently that perfection did not transpose to the email copies sent out  to you wonderful people who subscribe. 

Needless to say, I won’t be using them again.

My apologies again to those whose copies were affected and now, on with the show…..

How Do You Feel About Your Body?

Body Image is something we are all hear about in the media, is it not?  And because of this image awareness, we are all well aware (or at least I hope we are) that the images portrayed in women’s magazines etc…are often not real (but are air brushed and technologically altered) and in many cases, not healthy.

Yet do our brains intelligently and reliably inform us of this truth? Or we still challenged by them? Maybe even threatened and discomforted by them?

From my own observations and the feedback I get, we are.

Time To Heal

So today I’d like to do what I can to help heal those feelings and encourage you to throw out some of those perjorative body labels you may have been subconsciously accepting.

Yep, throw them out – toss them out the window, dump them in the rubbish, flush them down the loo or whatever it takes to be rid of them ! You don’t need them !

The Reality

Your body is a beautiful and amazing living breathing entity.  Right now, without any conscious effort on your part, your heart goes on pumping your blood, your food goes on being digested, your hair grows and your skin repairs and renews all it’s little cuts and grazes. You are, in fact, a perfect and wonderful creation

Why not appreciate your body’s unique characteristics? Be, in awe, of it. Celebrate it. Love it.

The Truth

The comparisons we humans can make between one body and another is endless if we let it be. One person will be taller/shorter than yourself. Another more hairy. Thinner. Fatter. Older. Younger. Another has red hair/you have blond hair.

And that’s all fine. What a boring world it would be if we were all the same.

So today, right now, I’d like to encourage you to look beyond such comparisons and decide to love and appreciate ourselves (just a little bit more than usual).

Let’s decide today to celebrate our own uniqueness and individuality and love ourselves instead of constantly making reference to all that we perceive to be lacking.

Now to be clear, I’m not saying to give up on the weight loss journey. At all. Not even close. What I am saying is maybe it’s time to be  gentle with yourself. Take it easy. Breathe. Accept. And know that no matter what stage of the weight loss journey you are on; just beginning, haven’t started, half way there, you are still a beautiful human being.

A True Definition of Good Health

Good health is about more than having a great looking body. It is about nuturing and caring for your whole self – body, mind and spirit. It is about incorporating balance, moderation, peace of mind and awareness into your life. This means giving up the perjorative labels and negative talk!

Are you ready to give yourself a litte more self love today?