Mindful Monday: Happiness Hygiene

17

happy

Let’s talk about happiness for a second. Holbrook Jackson said that “happiness is a form of courage,” and I wholeheartedly agree. It takes a lot of courage to be happy – to make the big (and sometimes scary) changes necessary to become a happier person. Hey, I would like to be happier. I would like to stop feeling like dog poo. I would like to be okay with where I am in life. (By the way, I hope you know that my Mindful Monday posts aren’t coming to you from the other side of strife, like I’ve transcended life’s shitstorms and am meditating over here in Pleasantville. Trust me, I am trudging through the mud with you. I am SO SICK of being sick. I want to punch sick in the nut sack. BUT. These posts are part of MY practice to make myself a happier person and be content with the here and now. Part of my path is summoning up the courage to write about this messy stuff and try to be an example of creating positive change. Annnnd some days are better than others.)

So, what’s the deal? Why are some people able to make positive change (and be happier) while others remain stuck in the same ol’ same ol’?

Shawn Achor says because before we can be happy or successful, we need to first develop the ability to see that positive change is possible. 

Okay, I totally had a lightbulb moment when I heard that for the first time. That’s it. When we are dealing with an issue, and we get that first glimpse that things are turning around for the positive, we develop that ability. And then our perception starts to shift, and it’s like a positivity snowball. For example, say you have been dealing with low back pain forever and ever, and after a visit to the acupuncturist, the pain diminishes, and you’re like, “WOOHOO I’M GETTING BETTER,” and the synapses start firing in your brain and it’s like a happiness partay, and in turn, the healing process kicks in big time. And it’s not just dealing with physical illness…this same cascade happens with all sorts of relationship and personal issues too.

So, is there a way to help develop that ability? I mean, we do sit ups to strengthen our abs…how can we strengthen our ability to see that positive change is possible?

Lucky for us, there are some ways to finesse that part of our psyche, thanks to smarty pants, Mr. Achor. He says we need to create a single, positive change in our life that shows us that our behavior actually matters in regards to happiness. And! The cool thing is that these exercises have been scientifically proven to trump genes and environment. So, if you were born sad to a sad mom and a sad dad, it don’t mattah. You can still change, my friend. These exercises had 85-year-old pessimists turning into, gasp, dare I say, slight optimists!

Are you ready? It’s a 21-day challenge. There are 5 things you can do – try them all or just try one, but the key is that you need to be consistent for 21 days. Don’t do it for 3 days, and be allllll “that was lame…it didn’t work, NOTHING WILL EVER WORK.” If you have that attitude, then yes, you are absolutely right, nothing will ever work. (And honestly I’m being a stickler because I’m the queen of quitting way too early. I am writing this post as a reminder to myself.)

There will be no quitting. NOT TODAY, FRIENDS. Or, you know, for the next 3 weeks. Deal? Deal.

1. Every morning when you wake up, say 3 things for which you are grateful. They have to be new every day – no repeats. Gratitude changes your vibrational frequency, and you will start to notice an abundance of good around you.

Are you sitting there, already doubting this? It’s okay – I felt the same way, but then I told myself that I can’t knock it until I try it. 21 days, here I come. FEEL MY GOOD VIBRATION.

2. Once a day, write down a meaningful experience that you’ve had over the past 24 hours. It doesn’t need to be some dramatic exchange – just something that happened that made you feel happy. You see, our brains aren’t so good at telling the difference between something that is actually happening to us and something that we are recalling or perceiving, so when you write down the meaningful experience, your brain assumes it’s happening for real again, so it’s like double the goodness.

3. Exercise! Once again, yet another expert talks about exercise. Just 15 minutes of cardio per day teaches your brain to believe that behavior does matter, and then that positivity snowball will start rolling.

4. Meditation – Nope, you don’t need to go all transcendental for 30 minutes. Just 2 minutes of slowly breathing in and out a day. This exercise trains your brain to do one thing at a time. Research suggests that a multitasking brain has a harder time falling asleep, is more stressed, and has lower energy. By taking time to relax the brain has a chance to undo the negative effects of trying to manage everything at once.

5. This is my favorite one. For the next 21 days, send a thank you to someone. It can be face-to-face, a phone call, an email, via social media, whatever. Just thank someone for something they’ve done for you. So, in addition to thanking people in my life face-to-face, I’m actually going to do this one on my blog too…I thought about it, and worried that it would be annoying to some of you, but hell, I’m doing it anyway. Starting on June 21st, I am going to write a short post every day thanking someone in the online space for inspiring me. I think I shall call it 21 Days of Praise. #21daysofpraise HASHTAAAAAG

I think you should do it too. How could this be a bad thing? It could be the happiest-making event ever! Can you imagine how you would feel to be on the receiving end of such a gift? Amazing! Adored! Loved beyond all means! I’m possibly going over the top.

I hope some of you will consider sharing praise to the people that inspire you too. Maybe we can do a link-up or something. I have absolutely no idea how to do that, but yeah, 21 Days of Praise. Let’s spread the happy, peeps.



COMMENTS (16)

Odds and Ends

6

mm

1. Have you seen this app that turns your photos into watercolors? I’m slightly obsessed.

2. Heather from Dooce tried my curling iron technique and looks HOT. Dayum, girl!

3. OMG, this post on Tracy’s organized pantry is like porn to me.

4. Eat butterTIME’s new cover on why “the argument against fat was totally and completely flawed.” p.s. – you guys, real food rules.

5. “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.” PREACH, JIM CARREY

6. These daily writing prompts are a great way to stay inspired.

7. This post by Rebecca on cutting sugar (especially for little ones) is so enlightening and helpful. A must-read for parents of highly-spirited kiddos.

Happy weekend!

 



COMMENTS (6)

Summer Reads 2014

17

This post is sponsored by Scribd.

scribd2

Well, it seems I’m still devouring nonfiction as you can see from this summer’s reading list. (Although, hey, 1 of the 8 is fiction. Uh, metaphysical fiction, but FICTION. Large strides I’m taking, people.) As you probably have gathered, I’ve been reading A LOT this past year, and am pretty pumped about the subscription service from Scribd. Instead of buying every book under the sun for your e-reader like yours truly, you can pay a simple monthly fee to read as many as you want. Awwww yeahhhh. Here are my eight reads for the summer.

1. The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, PhD – I am hoping this will keep my family occupied during the road trips we have planned for this summer.

2. Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain – I love Anthony Bourdain. Adore him. I know I’ve linked to it several times, but did you ever read his article on Nick Jr shows? It was the best thing ever, but unfortunately, I can’t find it online anymore. :(

3. What Remains by Carole Radziwill – I’ll admit it, I only know her from RHONYC, but it has the potential to be a great summer read.

4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho  - This book has been on my list for ages – I’m going to make it happen very soon.

5. Wild Fermentation by Sally Fallon  - I’m thoroughly into fermenting foods these days. Heal the gut, heal the mind! This is supposed to be a great, no-frills book on the subject.

6. Are you there, Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea - Chelsea Handler is a mess. A hilarious mess, and I love her for it. Perfect pool read.

7. Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs – I’ve heard nothing by good things. It’s supposed to be downright hilarious.

8. Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless- I’ve doing a lot of experimentation with essential oils over the past few months, and I have to say, I’m really impressed. (Especially in regards to my kids’ ailments. Whoah!) I’m geeking out about reading this book cover to cover.

Attention, attention! Scribd is offering 3 months free to all Whoorl readers. How cool is that? Just click here and use the code whoorl0614. And then tell me what else I should be reading – nonfiction or not!

Tracking Pixel



COMMENTS (17)

Roadtrip Through The Grand Canyon – Advice Please!

11

rt

We are road-tripping to Colorado later this summer, and need a halfway point to stop and explore. Now, incredulous as it might seem, the family vetoed my idea of traipsing the native land and finding a drum circle or something. The nerve! I mean, LET’S BE ONE WITH THE SPIRIT, KIDS. Sadly, I’ve obviously taken my hobby of binge-reading Hay House authors too far and must be stopped.

So! Grand Canyon, it is! Let me witness all of your majestic glory, oh Canyon of the Grand! Will you be so majestic that my children actually look up from their iPad while in the backseat? Only time will tell…

Tell me friends, what do I need to know about the Grand Canyon? Good places to stay? View? Eat? Call forth spirit gods?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

image credit: Arnofr



COMMENTS (11)