Happiness means different things to different people. Happiness to some means success. To others it has more to do with looks, height or achievements in life.
Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being, often defined as “living a good life”. Happiness can also be described as being at peace with oneself… being at one with who we are.
How to be happy
When you are feeling unhappy you have one of two choices .. to stay in that frame of mind or to change your thoughts and your thinking. We all have the capacity to choose to feel differently or to stay in that negative, self destructing state. Remember, no-one can make you feel unhappy. It is your choice to be this way and to stay there. We have choices in every situation. We all have choices.
Our thoughts are what define us, our thinking, both good and bad. In one day our thoughts can vary depending on what we have to do or what we don’t get done, who does or doesn’t talk to us. How we start the day often determines our mood for the day.
We need to look at the reasons why people become unhappy. It is because they allow people, situations, events and things to influence their thinking. To change your thinking can be confronting and challenging. We have a new opportunity every day to wake up and look afresh at life through new thinking. To change your frame of mind, use some self talk. Tell yourself you are a changed person and others will not change or influence your thinking because you have decided to be happy.
The Power of Positivity
Positivity is a powerful strength in any given situation. Smile more, be friendly and be interesting to be around. Ignore comments that are not positive. Look happy, smile and stay happy.
Have a happy attitude to life. You will be surprised how much your demeanor will change others’ behaviour. Whenever a situation arises, realize that you have a choice and become the person you want to be. It is possible to change your situation and if necessary, to change your friends.
Chris Sheldon Diploma Graduate, Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors (AIPC)
Many people go through life accumulating wealth and that’s great, but if it’s not coupled with giving to others, then what is it for?
It is more about themselves than about others.
They need to discover the power of giving.
Giving means offering something without expectation of receiving something in return; or more specifically the act of giving generously of time, money or work without expecting return favours. If we want our lives to count for something, we should live our lives to advance our knowledge and abilities so that we will have money and time to use for the benefit of others as well as ourselves. This has been described as “win-win”.
Life is not just about getting for ourselves and taking at the expense of others. Life is so much more. A full and meaningful life includes the joy of giving.
It can take
only one person to influence another person’s life and this can impact on the
whole family or the whole community and beyond, for the benefit of so many
people. One person’s giving can change a whole community or even change
the world. Giving to others generously
and graciously can not only advance and improve others’ situations in so many
ways and for generations into the future, it also does so much for our own
sense of worth and well-being.
never give to others simply so that we can gain. We need to give with
gratitude, with no strings attached, no paybacks required and certainly no
future reminders of how generous you were. By giving from a gracious
heart you will find you gain back so much more.
It will enrich your life beyond your wildest dreams.
The Benefits of Giving:
Giving to others strengthens our own health and well-being.
It impacts on all parts of our own lives.
We are happier people for giving to others.
It improves our own sense of worth.
It gives us a sense of contentment, a warm and fuzzy feeling and we in turn reflect on our own self-worth and gain a sense of pride and achievement in contributing something worthwhile and of value to the world.
We gain depth of character.
It creates a desire within us to be more open to others and their social and economic needs.
We gain from giving to others and we then look for new ways to give of our money, our knowledge, our wisdom and insight.
It gives us a greater understanding of others and their real needs and a greater desire to resolve issues for them, that impact on the lives of others.
It gives us a stronger sense of love and kindness for others and brings serenity to our lives beyond what we could ever imagine.
It creates patience, tolerance and acceptance of others and gives us an inner desire to advance others.
Giving will make your own world a better place.
Be generous and give of yourself to others. If you have a heart to give to others, you will want to grow your own assetsso that you are able to give. Boosting your income is a way of increasing your own wealth and thereby your ability to give to others in need of help.
Having a Credit card can often lead to racking up huge amounts of debt, well beyond your capacity to repay within the month required by most credit cards.
The holiday season, Christmas time, can be a particularly dangerous time for over-spending. “After pay”, credit cards, tap and go, all are fraught with problems for all of us. Using these easy-pay systems feels so easy and we think we can pay these items off at the end of the month. But the end of the month comes around quickly and we have forgotten about all the other items we also have bought, with absolutely no thought to keeping track of our spending.
Retail stores make it so easy for us to part with our money. We can pay the furniture or TV item off in two years’ time, but that time also comes around very quickly and huge fees can start applying, with no chance of paying it off quickly because in the meantime we have bought several large items, also on the pay-later scheme.
It’s such a trap for us all. Retailers just want our money whether we can afford it or not. We often know at the time of purchase that we won’t be able to pay these items off, but the desire for the product outweighs affordability. We just don’t realise how quickly debt can grow and often these items are things we don’t really need or could put off until we have the cash.
Many of us have been down this path of over-spending and built up credit card debt that has gotten out of control. If you cannot pay back your credit card debt each month, then you have a problem. If you are spending more than you earn, your debt will escalate.
The Solution to over-spending
The answer is simply to BUDGET. We all must learn the skill of budgeting
properly, writing a list of the things we spend on each month.
The first step is to open an account for a DEBIT CARD.
We live in an age where things are changing very quickly and we want
everything now. We don’t want to wait… we want all things bright and
beautiful that we see every day. We want the brand-new car, and a lovely house
to show off to our friends, along with the latest new furniture, of course. This can look very impressive to others but
deep down we know that being up to your neck in debt can cause stress, leading
to some long-term health issues. Our
neighbours, friends and family may also be suffering from a similar debt crisis.
Living well beyond our means is a major problem. From the outside, it looks
like we earn a great wage and manage our debts.
Some of us might be paying off the debt each month, but it is a huge
issue for most people. Banks or finance
companies lend money so easily and retail stores have sales all the time and we
are tempted to buy the latest and greatest. We live with an ”I WANT IT NOW” age.
The top 4 things that most people want when they retire are …
To be debt free, their house fully paid off and to have a nice car
To be comfortably retired with enough money to enjoy a great lifestyle, being able to make lots of choices for themselves
To be able to travel frequently in their own country or overseas.
To be able to help their children financially.
This all sounds so familiar and to many so very unachievable, but by
changing our ingrained spending habits, it can become achievable.
For a lot of us, most of our money each week is going out as soon as we
get it, having to pay for all these items …
The loans for the cars,
Credit card repayments for the things we can’t afford right now
A 25 to 30-year loan for the new home, paying interest to the bank at a
much higher rate than we are earning on our savings account.
Over spending creates so many issues.
We struggle to live in balance, causing much unnecessary worry and
anxiety for ourselves.
Borrowing more is not the answer, as the cycle starts all over again.
Leakage and wastage
We need to look at where exactly is the leakage or wastage happening.
The money that is going on STUFF we really don’t need or can do without. The
one item that give us no pleasure and we don’t feel happy about is CREDIT CARD
INTEREST. And this is one of the biggest
causes of leakage. If you are still paying for the holiday you have not long
taken, you obviously could not afford it in the first place. If you keep putting items on the credit card
and you never pay it off, just keep paying the monthly fee, your debt
Sound familiar? If so, you need
to take a good look at the monthly interest that you pay on each credit card or
any other items you are paying off. To
seriously address this leakage or wastage, you may need to take out a loan for
paying off all the items you have listed and reduce your credit card limit and
only use your credit for emergencies or services charges only. Then, take out a debit card where you put in each week an amount you can afford for
food, petrol and essentials each week, to get your spending back in check.
Then, look around your house and yard and see what items you could sell that you are tired of that could bring in money to help reduce debt.
Our inner microbiome (gut) affects our
total wellbeing, from hunger pangs to chronic illnesses, stress and sadness.
It is now well known that gut health is
crucial to our overall wellbeing. It is also connected to everything that
happens in our bodies. The trillions of bacteria that live in our gut affect
our health, our mood and our weight. In
a way these microbes work together to form what can be regarded as an extra
internal organ and play a huge role in our health.
“Your gut is the centre of your being –
it digests and assimilates nutrients from the food you eat”, says wellness
expert Robyn Youkilis
Most of your immune system actually
resides in your gut and the gut plays an important role in your mood. Robyn had
discovered in her practice as a health coach, that healing the gut resolved
many of her clients’ health issues, even the most stubborn.
Poor gut health can lead to digestive
issues, such as abdominal pain, bloating, reflux and flatulence and other
complaints. including fatigue, joint pain, headaches and even skin problems. Robyn says depression, anxiety, mood swings,
irritability and poor concentration are now also being linked to the gut’s
microbiome. Other more serious illnesses
and chronic illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even cancer
have been linked to an imbalanced microbiome .
The gut has also even been referred to
as a “second brain” because it contains millions of neurones which are
sensitive to emotion. Our brain and our
gut are, in fact, connected by an extensive network of neurones, chemicals and
hormones that constantly provide feedback to and from the brain. These signals carry information about how
hungry we are, stress, sadness or even anger. Have you ever felt a sinking
feeling in your gut when something happens that you were dreading? That’s the
brain – gut connection in action. The emotion is triggering a reaction in your
The connection can be a two-way street
as tummy troubles will impact on our mood and happiness. Serotonin is
responsible for good mood and it is estimated that 90% of your serotonin is
made in your digestive track and production of this important chemical is
reliant on health gut bacteria.
Research suggest that gut bacteria can alter the way that our bodies store fat as well as our response to hormones, making us feel hungry or full. Contrary to popular option, it’s not what your eat, or the number of calories you consume, that’s important, but how your body is using what you eat. You might be eating nutritious whole foods most of the time but still feel foggy, uninspired and generally less than your sparkling best. This is probably because your gut is not in good shape… not properly absorbing all the vitamins and nutrients from your food. This means that your cells don’t have the fuel they need to carry out their role in absorbing and assimilating nutrients from your food.
Most people spend their time, energy and resources.in life doing anything but their hearts’ desire. A lot of people talk about what they are going to do one day but never really focus on their dreams and what they really want.
Some people waste their time and their lives on frivolous things, trying to get from A to B to C but they often don’t have a purpose or a long term outcome… where they would like to be in the future.
Some work towards bringing them about.
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”—Christopher Reeve.
You need to dream BIG to achieve BIG.
Why not sit down today and write out your BIG dream?
As we age, many of us may think that our mental ability must necessarily decline. But new evidence shows that this is not neccesarily the case.
Many older people think that by regularly
completing crosswords or sudoku, they will enhance their brain power.
However, this is probably not true. At
best, it will do no more than improve their ability to do crosswords and
sudoku. Unfortunately, there is very
little evidence that these activities, along with the myriad of phone apps
available to improve brain function, achieve anything at all.
According to Melbourne neuroscientist Dr Jared
Cooney Horvath, the secret to keeping your brain fresh is continuing to do
something unpredictable. Recent
research has shown that keeping your brain functioning well is not about repeating
the same activities over and over, rather it is about undertaking new thinking
patterns. Dr Horvath maintains that
there are twelve scientific principles controlling the way that we learn and
remember. He says that the idea that we can use tools to boost brain function
is not supported by current evidence. In actual fact, there is very little that
is known about ways that we can help our brains to function better.
If we understand the way that our brain works, we
will have a better chance of adopting habits and behaviours that will benefit
us to the extent that we can develop a “super-efficient” brain. As we learn, the brain starts to develop an
automatic prediction mechanism. The secret is “you have to keep doing
Learn Something New
Many people, after they retire, will start doing
cross-words and playing golf and and may become very good at these activities,
simply by virtue of repetition and practice. However, if they were to take up something new,
such as learning an instrument or another language or playing a new sport or
even doing something outlandish, the brain will respond and new thought
patterns will develop, thus improving brain function.
The conclusion is that any decline in normal brain
function is not inevitable as we age. In
fact, if any decline occurs, it is most likely not due to any biological
process, but rather sociological effects.
So, the bottom line, according to Dr Horvath,
is… “force yourself to engage in something new and once you get good at it,
do something new again”. If you have
never done a crossword, it will help your brain by starting to do them. But once you get good at it, learn to do something
else, such as a cryptic crossword or solitaire. Keep on stretching your brain to
function outside of its comfort zone.
In essence, the secret to keeping the brain fresh
is continual learning. If you want a well-functioning brain, you
need to feed it new skills all the time.
THREE WAYS TO BOOST BRAIN POWER
1 Follow the Mediterranean Diet
We have long known that exercise, sleep
and stress management are all essential for our brain to function at its
optimum. But in addition to these three things, we can improve our brain health
when we eat a Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean diet helps improve
our short term or working memory.
In essence, the Mediterranean dietconsists of eating lots of fruits and vegetables, along with fish, nuts and salads topped off with olive oils. Diets based on these foods have been shown to greatly improve vascular and brain health. These foods can make up a very healthy lunch or dinner with olives, spinach, goat’s cheese, tomatoes, fish, nuts and extra virgin olive oil.
2 Learn Something New
Learning an instrument or learning a new language
can help improve our intellectual skills. As well as this, new sensory and motor
skills can greatly boost the brain function. Reading about new things also
increases our vocabulary and working memory
3 Go out and connect with Nature
Time spent exploring the countryside is time well
spent. Go for drives and explore nature. Meditate in nature, relax and have a
picnic. Appreciate nature… the sea,
the countryside or bush land. Being
outdoors gets you out and walking, breathing fresh air. This all broadens your perspective of the
world at large around you and your appreciation of nature… bird life and
animals. So slow down, get off the
computer or phone and take a picnic and explore nature. Not only will you
improve your brain function, you will feel more connected with the outdoors,
the people you meet and you will feel more relaxed and calm.