Happiness is...

What people believe forms what they achieve. (1) What you believe shapes what you achieve. We create our own reality. Because we create our own reality, we can change it.

One of the most difficult truths to swallow is: I can change … that we do not have to remain as we have always been.

YES. You CAN change.

Believing that we can change puts us in control of our lives. It elevates us. It makes us better regardless of the “arena” (i.e. work, school, home, neighborhood) we are in. Seeing that we can change frees us to act, to keep making decisions. Our vision is clear – we can see how our actions have a direct effect on outcomes in our lives. We have greater control over our stress. We are happier, more motivated and more successful. (2)

Many messages in life are subtly whispering in our ear that we are stuck – you are what you are, you’ll never changeyou can’t lose the weightyou’ll never conquer your anger...

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How to Avoid Wintertime Illnesses

Sickness. While it may be fun as a child because it allows you to watch TV in bed, being sick as an adult is an entirely different story. Work, school, family life, and home responsibilities don’t stop. Most of us have to get up and push through our busy schedules regardless of how we are feeling.

If you stop to think about it, most of our sick days occur in the wintertime. Here are several theories behind why we often become sick during winter (1):

  • It’s the most wonderful time of the year…….for viruses! Viruses tend to enjoy cold, dry climates often found during wintertime.
  • More Time Indoors. With the cold weather, we tend to remain indoors with the windows sealed tight. The closer quarters leaves us breathing in each other’s air and exposes us to more germs.
  • Less Sunlight. During the wintertime, there is less sunlight and less sunlight leads to lower levels of melatonin and vitamin D. These lower levels compromise our...
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Be gentle.

self-care well-being Jan 18, 2019

For a majority of my life, my dad’s hands have been rough with calluses. In the wintertime the skin was often dry and cracked from the cold. Occasionally his hands were stained from the projects he was working on at the time – green from working on the lawn mower, black from fixing a car, brown from weeding the garden.

Regardless of their state, I could always feel a power and strength in them. A strength in his safe grip, their ability to carry and lift literal weights in my life as well as figurative ones. A power and comfort in them from the generosity of his spirit – his willingness to serve and be there whenever I might need him. Even a strength in their gentleness.

One of my earliest memories is of him braiding mine and my sister's hair after we took a bath. Those were the days when his t-shirts fit us as “nightgowns.” :) After our bath he would very carefully brush out our wet tangles then, just as carefully braid our hair into a short, simple...

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How to Stress Yourself Out

Sometimes we do things to ourselves.

Are you adding extra (and unnecessary) stress to your life in the following ways?

  1. Ignoring your strengths (or refusing to recognize them) and focusing on your failures. If you are ignoring your strengths, you are turning away from the good things you have to offer the world! If you focus on your weakness and failures without seeing your strengths you will not feel as motivated to work through and rise above your setbacks. This adds stress with constant feelings of hopelessness and discouragement. 
  2. Multi-tasking. When you multi-task you burn yourself out, feel overwhelmed and make slower progress. You'll often feel bad you did not give your child/spouse/friend/co-worker your full attention (e.g. when they were telling you something important to them). You’ll regret that project you did not do your best on because you were too busy trying to “maximize” your time,...
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3 Research-Backed Health Benefits of Gratitude

mental health self-care Nov 20, 2018

In our busy lives we often look for solutions to balance, reduce stress, and focus better. Expressing gratitude in one’s life helps improve overall well-being. Although it is sometimes hard to believe taking the time each day to be grateful can be worth the time, gratitude improves your outlook on life, health and happiness.

Outlook on Life

Being grateful helps us be more optimistic. A study done by Dr. Roberts A. Emmons of the University of California and Dr. Michael E McCullough of the University of Miami had participants write a few sentences for ten weeks focusing on different topics. The first group wrote about things they were grateful for that occurred during the week. The second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had bugged them during the week. The third group wrote about what events had affected them during the week with no focus on positive or negative. At the end of the study those in group one were more optimistic and overall felt better about...

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Laughter: Do you get enough?

self-care stress Apr 26, 2018

By: Clarissa George

Did you know that laughter and stress are related?

Recently I came across this article by Entrepreneur called 18 Ways to Calm Down. The article addresses calming down from stress.

I was intrigued by their 18 ways to calm down but one in particular stuck out to me - laughter. How does laughter help you relieve stress and be healthier?

According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter has positive short-term and long-term effects on your health. Short-term effects include:

  • Stimulation of many of your organs including your heart and lungs and increasing the endorphins released in your brain (which helps you be happier).
  • Activation and relief from the stress response which helps you feel relaxed.
  • Release of tension which helps your muscles themselves relax. 

Pretty amazing short-term results from laughter! The long-term effects are also equally amazing and helpful. These include:

  • Improved immune system - According to the Mayo clinic...
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3 Ways to Go About Loving Yourself

self-care Apr 04, 2018

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Sometimes it can be hard to love ourselves when we know our faults better than anyone else. However, not loving ourselves is dangerous. Not only is it hard to reach our goals, but it’s difficult to progress and feel happy with ANYTHING we do accomplish! Especially with our health and fitness goals. It's hard to lose weight and be healthy when we don't love ourselves.

What does loving yourself mean? It means you value and care about your well-being and future. You love yourself even when you don’t achieve exactly what you wanted or you fall short of an aspiration or deadline.

How do you go about loving yourself? Consider the following three areas:

1. What you tell yourself

Do your thoughts about yourself reflect the same kind of quality you would speak about someone you really look up to? Do you speak to yourself like a good friend would?

A good friend is honest in recognizing you aren’t perfect, but they are always in your corner cheering you...

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Positive Self-Affirmations

mental health self-care Jan 24, 2018

Have you ever wanted to obtain greater optimism and gratitude in your life? Changing the connections in your brain can help you develop optimism and gratitude. You can accomplish this through a simple and short exercise. 

Have you ever heard of positive affirmations or positive self-talk? That is a key component of this exercise. Let me explain what those positive affirmations are...

A positive affirmation is a statement in the present tense about ourselves, or something we want to be true about ourselves, or even about a situation in our lives. We respond to how we regard ourselves and also situations in our lives. This exercise is designed to focus on the positive and change the connections or thinking we have about how we regard ourselves and those situations in our lives. 

Let me give you a few example of some positive affirmations:

  • I am patient.
  • I am a patient mother.
  • I love my job.
  • I give great presentations full of enthusiasm and...
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