Sunday, February 22, 2009

Get the Habit of Happiness.

There is one way to completely change your life, and that is through changing bad habits for good. The great thing about habits are that we do them automatically, we don't have to think about them and choose. However, bad habits mean we are regularly, without thinking, doing things that do not get us where we want to go, don't give us the results we want. But we can change habits. All we need to do is recognise the habits that are not working for us, find a habit to replace it, and change.

One habit you might like to consider changing is that of saying negative things to others. Speaking complaints. For one thing they bring others down. For another, they make a negative situation last longer, become bigger and more insidious, as you give the bad situation more and more space in your life, and allow others to associate you with the complaint. By stopping ourselves from speaking negatively, we just might reduce the amount of negative thoughts we have. Reduce negative thought, promote happiness, calm and contentedness. And we could all do with some of THAT.

Timothy Ferriss experimented with an bracelet sold specifically to stop this old habit. (And I am sorry, I can't quite locate it now, amongst all that he has written, but it is there on his site somewhere.) You wear the bracelet on one arm, and try to go 21 days without saying anything negative. If you do say something negative you have to change the bracelet to the other arm AND START ALL OVER AGAIN. Ferriss decided that it was a little vague – is negative a bit of a relative term? - so he decided you could relate a negative story to another, but you had to add the solution you had decided on to the end of you tale.

So, why not try it? Get one of those rubber bands that are everywhere at the moment, and try to wear it for 21 days in a row on one arm. Ferriss took 3 months to finally succeed in 21 days straight, so expect to struggle a little with it. You can choose which option you go with, no negative statements, or no negative statement without a solution punchline. Take notice of any changes to your attitude as you conduct this experiment (maybe a diary, or a moment before sleep) as it may inspire you to make more and more positive new habits in your life.

Good Luck. Of course, if you decide that you could do with further calm in your life, you can try meditation!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Divorce With No Bridge.

I once read that there is a certain connection between two people who have had a difficult relationship together. Like they are the survivors of a train crash, that only they know what it was like to experience. And that may be true for some, but for others it is more like two people in the same train crash having entirely different experiences of that same event. I have no doubt my ex husbands' view of our demise and then divorce is very different to mine. Not more or less closer to the truth, or better or worse experiences, just different.

It is as a result of our different perspectives that I could really relate to Elizabeth Gilbert's comments in her book Eat, Pray, Love.. She speaks about the lack of closure that is often felt after divorce. The feeling that there can never be forgiveness, that there is another person in the world who thinks so badly of you, and you will never get them to understand your perspective. An unresolved case, a nagging, gaping space that you can't bridge.

Elizabeth holds a ceremony, suggested by a friend, to try to remedy this open wound in her life. Ultimately she imagines the two higher beings - the purer soles - of herself and ex husband meeting on a higher plane to create peace, understanding, forgiveness and love between them. From then on, when she becomes conscious again of the difference in views between herself and her ex husband, she send their higher spirits up to sort it out, and releases the sadness.

Held back by our baggage, negative ideas and thoughts, and ego centred expectations, sometimes it's just not possible to get the closure to a relationship we need. It can help to know that other people experience this feeling of grief, and that there are some ways to get past it.

Take this link to try a Positive Change ceremony, and see how powerful a ceremony can be in releasing old negativity, and creating new positive energy. Or check out The Spiritual Journey Guide for Single Mothers if you want to find out how to be a happier as a solo parent. Want to know some good reasons to meditate?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Just Do It.

I get that if you really want to make special/exciting/quality things happen in your life, you can't allow your time to be monopolised by petty chores like cleaning the house. But, as I sat to write a new blog entry, all that came to me was a need to do the dusting.

It seems to me that if there are situations in your life that are constantly giving you stings of annoyance, zaps of irritation, and pangs of guilt, it is just as well to get them done, fixed or cleaned and get back to a happy, productive life. Those irritating grabs of your attention, like dust an inch thick, serve to break good humor and exciting trains of thought (makes me snap at the kids, too).

We sometimes have to accept and accommodate our personalities. Personally I'm unable to think clearly in a messy environment. There is little point philosophising that tidying is not a high priority, because for me it is necessary to my being able to function effectively. So, I make it a priority, try to do it as quickly as possible, and make habits that keep mess to a minimum so that it takes up the least amount of brain space.

Thus, as I dusted, I considered these issues, and found I had a blog entry after all.

Cleaning as a back up job in these times of financial uncertainty? Check blog entry "Don't Panic - It's An Economic Downturn!"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Change Your Life!

When it comes to Lifestyle Design, Timothy Ferriss must be the master. He lives very consciously, ridding his life of what is not necessary, productive or fun, and reducing to a minimum everything but the exciting.

I found Timothy Ferriss in a bookshop, in the pages of his best seller The Four Hour Work Week, and you can gain a huge shift in your approach to life by reading it. However, the book lead me to his website, and a world of amazing lifestyle changing information, and how to's. At you can learn the art of letting bad things happen. The formulas for more output and less overwhelm. How to loose 20 pounds in 30days. How to change bad habits. How to learn a language in 3 months. The best swimming style. How to be more productive at work, and get more time at home.
Ferriss is constantly experimenting and logging his findings in lifestyle design, and it all makes for very entertaining and inspirational reading.

Find something to inspire you today, perhaps something from The Spiritual Journey Guide for Single Mothers.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Delete Worry!

All the noise about economic downturn, and recession will no doubt cause a lot of anxiety, stress, fear and worry for many people. Apart from kepping our priorities first place in our mind, thought and action, and reducing stress by confronting our fears, What can be done?

If we look at how worry works, the cycles it creates, it is possible to recognise and counteract worry, which leaves us more able to come up with solutions to our problems. A book titled Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ by Daniel Goleman incorporates many relatively new findings on the way the brain works, and how our brains and bodies respond to different emotions. Goleman shows that for real worriers, rather than thoughts that help find solutions, worry can keep us immersed in our problem. Unexpectedly, exaggerated worry can have a strangely soothing effect on us, and can become a habitual response to life's challenges. When a worrying situation comes up, the worry cycle makes us conscious of bigger, worse, scarier situations (that are extremely unlikely to happen) which in themselves take our minds off the real and present concern. In this way some of us have learned to sooth ourselves. However, this type of thinking does not produce solutions, leaves us in a mess of negative thoughts, and does not reduce the stress in our minds and bodies that can be so destructive.

The answer to avoiding long periods of worry or anxiety is through catching ourselves before the worry cycle begins, by learning the warning signs of rising tension. Becoming conscious and aware of how our body shows tension can be the best way to stop the worry cycle. Do your shoulders tense up? Do you hold your mouth tight, or hold your breath? When you feel YOUR signs of tension rising, this is the time to confront your worries with logical questions, before the worry cycle begins. Questions such as:
If the worst possible scenario happened, what would that mean?
How would I cope?
How likely is it that this worst case outcome will actually happen?
Is there any action I can take to prevent a worst case outcome?
Does it really help to go into worry meltdown?

This way it is possible to avoid a cycle of worry, which just leaves you helpless, and instead allows you to come up with responses that will resolve your situation.

Check out my last post if you are worrying about the economic crisis and your financial situation. And some things to remember when under pressure.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dont Panic - it's an Economic Downturn!

It is easy to get caught up in the panic and fear that is running rampant through the media about the economic crisis. After all, heads of countries are meeting to discuss....... It's the worst downturn in.......... But there are ways to avoid the hype, and steer clear of the panicking stampede.
Take 3 steps to stop worrying about the economic downturn.
1.Face/name your fear.
2.Take action.
3.Have a back up plan.
ONE. Here is what you do. Read full article.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Calm under Pressure

Brian Houston, the pastor at Hillsong Church, has recently been speaking about performing under pressure. There is a great deal of pressure and stress at the moment, in this economic climate, and many worry about work and their financial situation. Under this type of pressure it is easy to make mistakes, hasty and panicked judgements, and allow health and relationships to suffer.

It is a good time, then, to remember the things in our lives that are our priorities. Those things that sustain us, and give value in our lives, such as family, friends, faith. Don't allow those priorities to fall or faulter in times of pressure and stress. Rather highlight them, and let them support and cushion you.