Browse Category: Healthy mind

11 Ways to Embrace Joy in Your Life

I really believe that happiness is an external process based on the attributes or attainment of a specific item or event.

“I’ll be happy when I have a family.”Smiles
“I’ll be happy when I meet Mr. Right.”
“I’ll be happy when I lose 20 pounds.”

I’ll be happy when… if… once…

These are all contingent upon something outside of you. But true joy comes from the peace of understanding that it is simply a choice.  Here are some of the ways you can choose to be joyful on a daily basis.

  1. Don’t require anyone’s permission to act. I understand this is my life and I own every decision I make.
  2. Don’t make excuses. In owning my decisions, I also own the consequences – good, bad or indifferent.
  3. Seek out discomfort. If I’m comfortable, then I’m already doing it. All growth/expansion/advancement lies in the area just outside our comfort zone.
  4. Don’t let fear stop you. Fear may cause me to hesitate, regroup and rethink; yet I understand some of my greatest success and joy has been strategically wrapped up in my greatest fears.
  5. Say YES because it’s powerful. Have you ever had an opportunity present that was so good you simply shouldn’t say no – and yet you did – for lack of resources (time, money, experience, etc.)? Most times the act of saying YES frees up the resources you needed in the first place. Understand the world is filled with infinite resources. Sometimes you just have to do the footwork to find them.
  6. Never settle. I truly believe that I deserve the best that life has to offer, that people have to give, and that I can share with others.
  7. Love yourself more than anyone else. Until I began doing this wholeheartedly I had no idea how much I was missing out on and how it was truly shortchanging the people around me. While it sounds counterproductive, putting you first provides you with more resources to give to others.
  8. Keep learning. Every experience, program, class, book, relationship and/or thought you have helps you to add tools to that toolbox you carry with you through life.
  9. Be flexible. If Plan A didn’t work, relax – there are 25 more letters in the alphabet.
  10. Refuse to quit. If you’ve ever watched a toddler learn to walk it really is a testament to the sheer will and determination of the human race. Those little tiny people with practically no muscle tone, zero coordination and a head that is by weight and volume 1/3 of their entire body – Just – Keep – Trying! They refuse to let those first two or three thousand stumbles, falls, trips or face plants slow them down.
  11. Avoid comparisons. In yoga we’re taught not to compare our experience with others or even with our own from a previous moment. By avoiding comparison the opinions of others carry no weight. By avoiding comparison you silence the inner critic.

What do you do to choose joy in your life?

How to Tame Your Inbox Mayhem

Six email accounts and 1,043 unread emails. That’s my current total today. And I’m launching a new business in a few weeks, which will mean more email addresses. And more emails.

While some days it feels overwhelming; most of the time I have a handle on it. Here are the top five tips I’ve adopted to help tame my inboxes.YOU'VE GOT MAIL

1. Get out of the office. This may sound counter-intuitive, but follow my thought process. With smart phones and tablets we have the ability to be connected anywhere at anytime. Yesterday I deleted a dozen emails and responded to another 10 while sitting in the drive-thru waiting for my grande hazelnut latte. I blasted through another 50 while waiting for my lunch date to show up. Does this mean I’m connected 24/7? No, it means I take advantage of down time while I’m living my life.

2. Use your words. This blog, my emails, and nearly all of my computer work is dictated into a wireless headset, a smart phone app, or a mini digital recorder. You can speak up to six times faster than you can type. The voice recognition software I use on my computer and on my iPhone is Dragon NaturallySpeaking. You have to try this; it’ll save you countless hours each and every week.

3. Ask for help. Whether you decide to hire help or opt for some technological assistance there are some great options to help you manage your inbox.  One of the tools I started using — Unroll.Me — scanned my email accounts and on one account alone I had over 275 subscription to newsletters. No one needs 275 subscriptions to newsletters. No one. This program allows you to roll your subscriptions into one handy dandy newsletter or unsubscribe from one centralized location.

4. Identify a filing cabinet. Your inbox is not a filing cabinet. Do not hold on to every email because you think it might be important – someday – in the future – maybe. When you read an email act on it. Then delete it or put it in the appropriate folder. Do not attempt to simply warehouse it in your inbox until you need to act on it or figure out what to do with it.

5. Let it go. Chances are if it’s over six months old and sitting in your inbox it’s become obsolete or irrelevant. Let it go, delete it, get rid of it and get over it.

These are just some of the tools I used to stay on top of the multitudes of emails that come into my world daily. What are some of the tips you use?

Negative Nelly – And 4 Other People You Might Want to Avoid

For me it isn’t whether the glass is half-full or half-empty; I’ve learned to be grateful for the damn glass.

That’s the philosophy I live with at this point my life. Gratitude and positivity practically exude from my very pores.  But it wasn’t always this way.

Perhaps you’ll recognize some of the following behaviors – as yours, a coworker’s, a friend, yours, a family member, YOURS …

brat

Negative Nelly – Nothing ever goes right for them. They never have the right partner, the right job, or enough money, and no one really understands them, EVER. They can’t see the positive side of things because, to them, it simply doesn’t exist. Their life is the worst and it’ll never get better because the whole universe is obviously conspiring to make it so.

You try to point out how they can change, you try to show them what’s good in their life; it’s wasted effort. Frankly, their lives are in the toilet because that’s what they believe. You’re never going to change their belief set, and it’s only bringing you down when you try.

The Critic – Nothing is ever right, nothing is ever good enough, you will never measure up. And you shouldn’t have to try. Whether the Critic is you or someone else in your life, you have to understand that you have value. By simply being here, you have value. This is not something you have to earn or work toward. Two words — I AM — should be enough for you to know that your mere existence provides an intricate piece to the puzzle that is life.

So the next time the Critic sounds off inside your head or is seated across from you at a family dinner, take a deep breath and begin to repeat in your head all of the wonderful I AM’s about beautiful you.

Drama Queen – Whether they’re adrenaline junkies or not, their goal if things are going right in the world is to screw it up somehow. Everything. Is. A. Crisis. From how their boyfriend failed to return their call last night to the conspiracy at work that keeps them from advancing. They are exhausting to be around.

Do not fuel their fire. Stay out of their drama. Don’t let your adrenaline and your emotions get caught up in what they are going through. Extricate yourself from the situation as quickly as possible if you need to. Remain calm, peaceful and serene, and they will tire of you quickly.

The Bully – They intimidate or manipulate the people around them to serve their needs. This isn’t occasional thoughtlessness; this is habitual manipulative behavior to a self-serving purpose.

Grow a pair. Seriously. Do not accept this behavior. At this point in the game your fear of having your ass kicked and your lunch money taken should be far behind you, left on the schoolyard. Look, if you’re not going to stick up for yourself, no one else will.

The Martyr – Oh how they have sacrificed… And if you didn’t notice they’ll be the first to tell you ALL about it. Their family doesn’t appreciate them, their workplace would probably shut down if not for them, and don’t you remember the last time they _____ for you out of the kindness of their own heart? You see, they don’t do things overtly to manipulate like the Bully does. They rely on guilt and a scoresheet that only they keep. Any kindness from them comes with numerous strings attached.

Best to not accept any gift, assistance, or kindness from them. You simply don’t want to be in their debt. It is a deep well that you can never climb out of.

You may know some or all of these people and you may or may not recognize some of these behaviors in yourself. The point I want to make crystal clear for you is that if you’re looking to live a peaceful, happy, abundant life, you need to surround yourself with peaceful, happy, positive people.

And sometimes you have to start from the inside out.

Rise and Shine!

Sleeping woman, picture in pink colorsI’m usually up at 5 AM every day, but it isn’t until around 9 or 10 that I actually begin speaking to people and making eye contact. I’m just not an early bird.

I simply prefer to do my quiet, solitary things for the first few hours of every morning. I take care of my pets, meditate, have coffee, my breakfast, perhaps even go for a little walk – all before 8 AM. Around that time is when I begin to feel less solitary and more social. Around that time is when I usually start talking to people, and this includes people who live in the house with me (just ask my sister, or Mr. Rinaldi, or my former roommate).

There was a time in my life, for about six years, that I didn’t have much choice – I was forced to live the life of an early bird. I worked with clients on the East Coast in the insurance industry so I had to be at work at 6 AM, fully conscious, dressed and ready to speak coherently. It was tough, but I managed.

Here are some of the tools I had to use to make it happen.

  • Lighten up. Since I was waking up well before the sun came up, I got in the habit of turning on as many lights as possible as soon as I got up. Whether electric or natural, exposure to light stimulates your brain to stop producing melatonin (your sleep hormone).
  • Move it. Even if for only 15 minutes, a quick morning workout will help you get the endorphins going and the adrenaline pumping, which brings you to a wide-awake state very quickly. I live in a tri-level home, so before I left the house every morning I was up and down at least three flights of stairs by feeding the pets, taking towels to the laundry, and getting my breakfast.
  • Make it easy. By having my clothes laid out the night before, my lunch prepared, my bath taken and my breakfast decided upon, all I had to do was get up, wash my face, brush my teeth, do my hair and makeup, grab my breakfast and go. Simplification allowed me to get an extra 40 minutes sleep without having to rush around like a crazy person in the morning. I was still a night owl going to sleep at 1 or 2 in the morning, but I had to be out the door by 5:30 AM.
  • Take your vitamins. A multivitamin and B12 supplement will help keep you energized throughout the day. You will start your day less tired with the supplements on board.
  • Hydrate. You’ve probably gone 6 to 8 hours without any fluids, so a big glass of water will help clear the cobwebs and get you moving in the morning.

How do you get up and get going in the morning?

Join Me for a Cup of Coffee

coffeeIt’s 7 AM again. I’ve been up for hours. I find myself wandering in circles unable to focus.

It’s midday, I need a break and I want something sweet.

It’s after dinner, I want to linger and enjoy your company.

What do all of these events have in common? A simple cup of coffee. Over the years coffee has come in and out of fashion for many reasons, some of them including health-related reports. The good news is as of today’s latest reports, Coffee Is Good for You!

Studies are showing that some health benefits to drinking coffee includes protection against diabetes, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and Parkinson’s disease.

The reason for this shift in thinking is the research is showing there are many antioxidant benefits to drinking 1 to 2 cups of coffee per day. Just as in so many other situations, moderation is key.

So the next time you get the urge to indulge, go right ahead. Just remember: all those add-ins that make a simple cup of coffee into a designer sweet treat aren’t going to be as easy to rationalize as a healthy option.