Saturday, March 31, 2012

How to Be Happy Everyday: Is it Really Possible?

Hello! The following is an artcle witten by Rebecca Livermore. Open your heart, mind and spirit! Explore your emotions and truly ask yourself ... "Is it really possible to be happy everyday?".  You know as well as I do that being in good spirits at times may be difficult... But knowing that God can give you fresh insight to your life... can make your view a bit brighter. Being happy is possible if we choose to embrace it.

How to Be Happy Everyday: Is it Really Possible?

Rebecca Livermore, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Apr 23, 2007

"Do you think that it's impossible to be happy every day? I don't! Notice, I did NOT say to be happy every moment of every day, but rather to be happy ever day.
We all have times of heartache, fear, depression, disappointment and so on, but in the midst of those negative emotions and hardships of life, I fully believe that it is possible to be happy at least part of every day."

Here are my suggestions for being happy every day.

1. Look on the bright side. You know, there is always a bright side, even in the midst of a bad day or even bad period of time in your life. For instance, if you lose your job, the bright side may be that you are now free to pursue a job you've always wanted. Perhaps the loss of the job and thus the necessity for looking for a new job may be just the push you need to pursue your dream job. Looking on the bright side of every situation can help you to be happy every day.

2. Talk to yourself. Yes, that's right. There are times when it is necessary to talk to yourself. King David in the Bible had all kinds of problems, including people trying to kill him, and yet he always managed to rise above his depression. He chose to be happy in part by talking to himself. For example, in Psalm 42:5 he asked himself questions such as, "Soul, why are you cast down?" and then concluded by saying, "Hope in God!" He dealt honestly with his feelings of despair and then gave himself a pep talk. I think that David's tendency to talk to himself helped him to be happy every day. Talking to yourself can also help you to be happy every day.

3. Talk to God. The great thing about God is that He is always there and always willing to listen. People may not be around when you need to complain or talk about your concerns, but whether you are in the middle of a busy day or in the stillness of the night, God is there with you, and He is more than willing to listen. Sometimes knowing that you are not alone in your struggle by simply talking to God can help you to be happy every day.

4. Send notes of encouragement to other people. Has someone done something nice for you? Think about all the people in your past who have had a positive impact on your life. Make a list of them, and one by one, over time, write notes of encouragement and appreciation. This does two things that will help you to be happy every day. First of all, it removes your focus from yourself and your problems. Secondly, it can be fun to know that you are helping someone else to be happy. Those two things alone, not to mention the nice response you may receive from the person you wrote to will help you to be happy every day.

5. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down at least five things every day that you are thankful for on that specific day. Thankfulness and happiness go hand in hand. When I'm almost ready to go to sleep at night, I can choose to focus on whatever I'm worried or upset about or I can write down things I'm thankful for. If I express gratitude right before falling asleep at night, I'll likely fall asleep thinking pleasant thoughts which helps me to be happy every day.

6. Volunteer to serve others less fortunate than you. It really feels good to help others. It also helps to put my own problems and circumstances into a proper perspective. Working with people who are homeless, for example, makes my little apartment seem like a palace. Helping other people helps me to be happy every day.

7. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Lack of sleep is a common cause of depression. Getting adequate sleep can be hard to do when you feel that you have too much to do or are worried about things, but do everything within your power to get the rest you need. If you put yourself on a schedule and go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every morning, your body will not only feel refreshed, but you will find it easier to go to sleep at night. Exercise is also a good stress reliever. Adequate sleep and exercise can both help you to be happy every day.

8. Do something fun or wacky. One day, when I was feeling especially blue, I, for some strange reason, decided to go outside and yell as loud as I could, "Life, I love you!" Yes, I felt a little silly, but as I ran back inside as quickly as I could, I laughed hard, and quickly moved out of my blue funk. Doing something fun or wacky can help you to be happy every day.

9. Forgive. If you harbor anger or bitterness toward someone, you are only hurting yourself. Let go of anger and bitterness and forgive, even if the person doesn't deserve to be forgiven. Reconcile with the person if at all possible, but even if you can't, choose not to allow them to control you by holding on to bitterness. Living a life free of bitterness is a wonderful way to be happy every day.

Friday, March 30, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude

An Attitude of Gratitude

Live in Gratitude Today

Julianne Kinsey, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Jan 16, 2008

"Having an attitude of gratitude is one of the simplest ways to change your entire outlook on life. Often times we forget to be grateful for the little things. Yet it is in appreciating the little things that we welcome gratitude into our lives. Gratitude is often defined as "a feeling of being thankful to somebody for doing something." To me I believe that gratitude includes that definition but also extends to being thankful to oneself and also for the natural beauty in the world as well.

When the sun shines I am grateful. On a hot day my gratitude overflows for a nice breeze. Each new client I receive fills me with gratitude. Every time someone holds the door for me or says thank you when I hold it for them elicits gratitude from me. Each morning when I wake up in a safe comfortable home I am grateful. Gratitude pours out of my every pore each time I am presented with the opportunity to help someone.

Living in gratitude changes ones perspective. It can almost be a game to play with your loved ones. While taking a car trip, share with your family what you encounter that makes you grateful. Encourage your children to do the same. Stopping to acknowledge and express appreciation and gratitude for every little thing exponentially increases ones happiness. Which is why it is also a great technique to use when you are feeling sad.

There are so many ways to make gratitude your attitude! Here are a few suggestions:

Gratitude Games: As already mentioned above make gratitude a game you share with others. Take the time to either mentally or verbally express gratitude as your day progresses. At the end of the day share what gave you a feeling of gratitude. You can also get a group together and each person writes two or three things, each on a separate piece of paper, that they are grateful for. Each person picks out one piece at a time and the group tries to guess who submitted each one. It is fun seeing what others appreciate and also if you know your friends well enough to know what they are grateful for. They may even surprise you!

Gratitude Journal: Start a journal specifically for things you are grateful. Each day take at least a few minutes to write what you are grateful for. This can include anything you choose. I like to include people, feelings, attitudes, talents & abilities, opportunities, nature, and just moments that day that made me happy. At the beginning of every entry I write "Today I am grateful . . . " and at the end "Thank you for everything including my ability to recognize everything I have to be grateful for."

Gratitude "Rock": Although made popular by the movie The Secret, this was not a new idea presented. The idea is to carry a rock, stone, or crystal in your pocket/purse. Each time you see or touch it, take a moment to express your gratitude. This is simply a way to remind yourself for everything you have to be grateful for and to take the time to express your gratitude. Another variation on this is to start a jar and each time you feel grateful place a pebble in it. It is amazing to see how quickly it will fill!

Gratitude Affirmations: Create affirmations that express what you wish you to be grateful for, but are maybe having some difficulty. Such as, "I am grateful for all the joy in my life." You write them down, place them in locations you pass by, then repeat them to yourself each time you do! Eventually these affirmations take hold and you believe!

Expressing gratitude to everyone you encounter is another easy way to make gratitude your attitude. Don't hold back, share your gratitude with everyone and see how your happiness increases!"

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How to Get Beyond the Negative Thoughts

Hello Once Again!  For the past few weeks I have been focusing on the words "Positive and Negative".  It is important to recognize why we think and feel the way we do.  How we view our emotions will better help us in knowing how to respond to certain situations in our life.  There are moments when we experience the pressure of emotional attack.  These are the times when we must trust in God and the Spirit's leading.  Learn How To Get Beyond The Negative Thoughts!  Peace to you!

How to Get Beyond the Negative Thoughts

Beth and Lee McCain, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Mar 26, 2009

"The power of thought. Isn't it amazing how whatever you focus on becomes the life you lead? Every thought that you invest in becomes your reality through the Law of Attraction. So why is it that the negative thoughts just sneak in and do their best to derail all that you've been thinking positively about? Why would your negative thoughts even want to derail you, and how do you keep this from happening? Someone once said, "Worrying is like little seeds of prayers and thoughts that are asking for what you don't want."
Here are a few tips on how to get beyond the negative thoughts you may be harboring.

Observe the negative thoughts instead of 'buying into' them:

Sometimes it can be hard to catch a negative thought before it comes into being within your mind. You can be enjoying the afternoon and all of a sudden you'll hear a negative thought that puts you into a tailspin of worry. Do your best to catch your negative thought when it comes into your mind and just for a moment step aside and observe your own logical mind and why you are having that particular thought. Get to the root of the matter. Are you worrying for the sake of worrying? Are you anticipating some event that you may be up against next week? Find out where the negative thought is coming from and just observe instead of participate. Is the negative thought stemming from some worry or from insecurity within you? Whatever the reason, just observe the negative thought and dig deeper within you. Is the negative thought stemmed in worry? Will the worrisome situation actually have a chance of happening "for real?" Get to the bottom of the thought and break it down. Don't become frustrated that you have negative thoughts. We all have them. It is our reaction to them that is the changing key. Observe and don't buy into what you may be saying about yourself or another. Take the negative and transform it into a positive. Catch yourself and transform the thought or completely negate it. When you get in a habit of negative thinking you can get rid of the habit by making the effort to catch yourself and observe what the thought is really about.

Every negative feeling and thought is like a boomerang

Remember that every thought and feeling that is repetitive in your mind will come about eventually. Every negative thought and feeling is a boomerang and eventually that boomerang will come back around. Keep this in mind the next time you tell yourself that your negative ways aren't hurting anyone. They are hurting you and creating more of the same. On the contrary if you think negatively and begin to change your mind over to the positive you will have a boomerang that you'll be happy to catch."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gratitude Today

Greetings! Gratitude!  It speaks for itself.  When we take the time to say "Thank You!" and genuinely mean it.... God will bless us... as well as others. The simple gesture of acknowledging how grateful we are will refresh and renew our Spirit! Make Gratitude Part of Your Day!

Gratitude Today

Robin Skeen, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Oct 1, 2007

"Do you find gratitude difficult to maintain? You get up each morning and tell yourself that you will keep your positive focus and be grateful for everything that happens. As the day goes on, however, these good intentions just sort of run out of steam as you deal with negative people and situations. The good news is that you can accomplish this with practice. Part of the difficulty in maintaining an attitude of gratitude is that you are trying to change a lifetime of negative thinking.

If you have spent most of your life focusing on the negative, go a little easy on yourself and do not try to change your thinking at all once. We all try to do that when we set good intentions. It does take practice and here is a good place to start: do it for today. For just one day, make a commitment that you are going to maintain a positive focus and be grateful no matter what happens. Most people can do something for a single day.

To really start to change your thinking for today, find a focus object that will remind you throughout the day of your intentions. It can be anything, maybe a favorite watch, a photo that you set on your desk, whatever helps. On the day that you have chosen for this change of attitude, concentrate for a few minutes on your chosen focus object. Choose to feel the gratitude that you know is in your heart. Once you have that feeling and are absorbed in it, state your intentions for the day out loud. It does not have to be long or elaborate or a presidential speech. "Just for today, I am grateful for everything that happens. Every challenge will present something positive. When negative thoughts happen, I will use my focus object as a reminder that gratitude is my choice. I choose gratitude today."

Now, don't think for a minute that everything is going to be all sugar and spice just because you set an intention. It is not that easy, but it is not impossible. Your patience will be stretched and you will lose focus, probably more than a few times. There is good news though. The more often you have to CHOOSE gratitude, the stronger your focus will be! Every time you make the choice, you will be developing true gratitude. Determine that you absolutely will find a positive side to every negative situation. Turn your thoughts to gratitude at every opportunity. When that first day is over, you are going to be very pleased with yourself. Perhaps you didn't always maintain your focus on gratitude, but you certainly were able to focus on gratitude more than you have before.

Now that the first day is done, simply repeat. By doing this a day at a time, you will soon notice that it gets easier to keep your focus. As it gets easier, it will get to be more natural until eventually it becomes a part of you. Amazingly, with starting on just one day, you can change the entire rest of your life."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Keep - Life - Simple Therapy!

Hello Again!  This simple but powerful little book by Linus Mundy and fantastic illustrations by R.W. Alley would make a wonderful gift for any occasion.  Simply Therapy for a sometimes not so Simple Life! I recommend looking this item up and purchasing one for yourself or sharing its positive messages to others...

Keep - Life - Simple Therapy

written by Linus Mundy

Illutrated by R.W. Alley

"What can we do to come to know and appreciate some of the "simpler ways" of life? One anwer, author Linus Mundy suggests, is to "rediscover the joy of a quiet conversation, a simple story, and honest expression of affection for another. These gifts and pleasures will keep your life balanced." The "Waldenesque" wisdom of Keep-life-simple Therapy is sure to enhance and unecumber your life by pointing you to its very essense"

Monday, March 26, 2012

How Negative Thoughts Affect Your Life

Greetings Again!  Stay Positive and do not allow Negative Thoughts to Affect Your Life! Over all positive health is effective and  important to the Spirit, Mind and Body! Stay focused and Trust God's leading of your Spirit!

How Negative Thoughts Affect Your Life

Dimpel Nagin Patel, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Jan 11, 2008

"Studies have shown that every single thought we have is ingrained into our cells and into our DNA. Over time negative thought patterns can manifest in physical illness. Because these thoughts are in our DNA any disease or illness that manifests in us can be passed on to future generations. Negative thought patterns that can lead to physical ailments include stress, anxiety, anger and resentment. All of these have been shown to be a contributing factor in disorders and diseases such as cardiovascular disease, ulcers, blood pressure problems, headaches and respiratory problems. A lot of these ailments have to be treated with medications and in some cases very harsh drugs that have serious side effects. The thoughts that go through your mind don't only affect what is happening in the moment but can affect your whole life. Another factor to consider is keeping negative emotional thoughts bottled up. Not dealing with these emotions in an effective way can put a person into a deep depression. So how do we deal with negative thoughts and keep ourselves healthy emotionally, behaviorally and physically?

The first step in changing your thoughts is identifying the negative thought. You can control what you think about. Taking a negative thought, identifying it and figuring out why you're having the thought gives you the opportunity to change that thought into a positive one. Stopping to contemplate your thoughts also gives you the opportunity to make rational decisions. We're quick to make decisions about things without thinking them through.

The second step is to surround yourself with positive people and positive situations. Being around negative people makes it difficult for you to be positive. And, even when you are positive you may be criticized for being overly optimistic. Don't leave yourself in situations where you know the outcome is going to be a negative one. If you put yourself in these situations you are putting yourself at risk for having negative thinking patterns and possibly even for falling into a depression that could have been avoided.

The third step in learning to think positively is thinking for yourself. Just because someone is being negative it does not mean that you aren't entitled to your own thoughts and beliefs. You are not obligated to accept other people's negative opinions.

Changing your thought patterns to positive ones will have a dramatic impact on your life emotionally, spiritually, behaviorally and physically. Not only will you start seeing positive changes in your own daily life but you'll also start to notice that other people around you are being more positive because of your influence."

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Taming Negative Thoughts

Hello Again! Negative Thoughts..... This is a subject matter that I am well familiar with... ha!  It is so easy to allow our self to get caught up in unhealthy thinking.  "Does he approve of me?... Will she like that?.... Is this ok? ... Did I do something wrong?..." Not that any of those questions are negative, but it is when we allow our minds to be consumed with thoughts that simply do not matter....  Take time to refresh your spirit and allow God to keep your mind focused on the positive.... Enjoy the following article by Kevin Lamb about Taming Negative Thoughts!

Taming Negative Thoughts

Putting the Ego in Its Place

Kevin Lamb, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Jan 24, 2010

"The mind is a super computer which operates at light speed. Each time one thought leaves ten more thoughts enter the picture. Keeping a conscious track on these thoughts is a twenty four hour job in the mind.
As you go through your day you're bombarded by thousands of thoughts each day, and most of these thoughts are negative. Why do we continue to replay negative thoughts over and over in the mind? Happy thoughts come and go, but the negative ones seem to hover over us like a never ending black cloud. The mind just can't seem to let go of the negativity.

Mental Awareness

If you've ever really listened to your thoughts, and not just let them fly out of your mind un-registered, you'd actually be surprised how many thoughts are thoughts which you have no control over. Most of these thoughts are regrets from the past, or worries about the future.

The culprit who engineers most of these negative thoughts is the ego. The ego is of course a tool which we need to survive, but when it becomes overactive, the ego can become very detrimental to your mental health. The ego fills the mind with useless worries, and thoughts of selflessness.

The ego is a master of deception as it tells our minds that we: "could have done better," or "should have done better," in a million different ways. These thoughts of failure bounce off each other as they feed the mind and keeps it problem solving until the end of time.

Training the Mind

The key to ending this negative thought pattern is teaching the mind to shut down these negative thoughts. The mind is a brilliant muscle which wants to be used, and the best way to be used constantly is to keep you in these never-ending thoughts of negativity.

Love and fear is said to be the only two emotions which we live by, and negative thought patterns are formed from the emotion of fear. To end the fear in your mind, you must first understand what causes this fear emotion, and also what triggers it.

Next you have to understand that most of these thoughts cannot be solved by constantly replaying them over and over in your mind. Nothing you can ever do will change the past, so let it go. It's already served its purpose; don't live in the past (in your mind) the rest of your life.

Listen to the mind and be conscious of each thought which enters. As the thought enters the mind ask yourself if thinking about it can change anything; if not put the thought out of your mind. Keep training your mind to throw away these thoughts until it starts to become a habit.

This is the same principal as meditation, clearing the mind of all of its excessive baggage. Learn to live in the now, not the future or the past. Try to have a little faith in the future. The mind has a beautiful silent place where creativity and the God part of us exist.

If you can't stop the negative thoughts, try replacing them with positive thoughts. Every time you notice a negative thought enter automatically replace it with a positive one. Believe me, it will take awhile but this definitely works because I'm living proof.

Keep your mind busy discarding negative thoughts, and soon you'll notice that you're doing it automatically. This is what hypnosis is: clearing the mind of all thoughts but "one" thought. After a while you'll start to feel the peace which lives inside.

This existence is about learning to live with negativity and its problems, which is all a part of our spiritual growth. Without negativity in the world we would never grow spiritually, or experience what we were suppose to. Negativity is one of the great teachers."

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Benefits of Surrender

The Benefits of Surrender

Patricia Cook, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Aug 5, 2009

"Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which flows into you as life, place yourself in the full centre of that flood, then you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and perfect contentment--Emerson.

The mind is an amazingly powerful tool, but there are just some things it cannot do. We cannot force our world to be the way we want it to be, we cannot always force circumstances or conditions to be the way we think they should be. Sometimes it's hard to admit we're not in control, but when we aren't, doing so is the best thing to do. Because in the admission, and the surrender which comes from it, the solution, or resolution, is able to find its way to us.

If we insist on trying to make things work our way, and refuse to step back from it, mostly all we'll get is a headache from banging our head against the wall. Now sometimes, that head banging actually breaks through the wall and the problem is solved (albeit with a headache!). But more often, we've spent time, energy, and resources, and are in the same place we were when we started.

Surrender can be as simple as stepping away from an issue in front of you to get new perspective, or as big as a change in the direction of our life. We've probably all had times when we were trying to remember something: a name, phone number, even where we put our keys. We wrack our brains, thinking it over and over and over again, yet we just don't get an answer. Finally, frustrated, aggravated, or worse, we give up, move on to something else, and voila! The answer appears. That's surrender.

Sometimes what we get is an actual answer to a problem, sometimes, it's a new direction to travel in, sometimes it's a person who has just what we need. But we don't get it until we let it come to us. And it can't or won't come to us when we're full of ideas on how to make it happen.
Surrender isn't giving up or being a 'quitter', per se, although in some instances, you may find that walking away is the right thing to do. If you're working on a project and you just can't get it to come together, you've tried numerous approaches and made multiple attempts, and it isn't working, maybe you do need to walk away. Maybe you're not going to be a concert pianist, or the next Picasso, or the next American Idol. As long as you've tried, really tried, I don't think you're a quitter if you walk away when it's not working.

Surrender isn't a sign of weakness, either. In fact, it's the opposite. It takes a lot of courage to admit something's not working, to step away and ask for help, or to give it up. The serenity prayer, by Reinhold Niebuhr, which is often used in 12-step programs says it well:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

So then, what exactly is surrender? As stated above, it is the serenity to accept the things that can't be changed, it is the willingness to admit that you don't have all the answers, that there might be another way to do something, to accept that someone might know more than you do, and the openness to give that other way or other person a chance.

Lao-tzu (604-513 bc) said, If you want to be given everything, give up everything. The benefits of surrender are many, including, but not limited to, decreased stress and frustration, increased productivity, increased creativity, more time, new skills, new experiences. When you've given up trying to force your ideas or plans on the world, and let the world show you its plan, you may find that what it has in store for you is greater than anything you could have or would have come up with. When you put yourself in the middle of the stream, and allow the current to take you where it may, you might see a whole new world, one you would have missed had you paddled yourself upstream.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is awaiting us--Joseph Campbell.
Are you willing to let go of your plans and let life's plans in?"