Category Archives: Happiness
Thousands of years ago, meeting new people could mean extreme danger. A new tribe showing up out of nowhere could mean a battle to the death. Very seldom did a new group of people show up just to say, “Wus Up?” If you did not overcome this built in shyness factor as a child you may still dread social events of any kind. After years of this you may have conjured up some pretty good reasons for avoiding the masses. “People are annoying, I will have nothing in common, all they do is talk about themselves, most are boring.” Start today being mindful when you enter a public setting. Notice, in the background of your mind, the quiet assumption that people are judging you, even at the supermarket. Almost everyone does this. It is why we walk into a store and avoid most eye contact—and is why they, too, assume we don’t want anything to do with them. Our way of protecting ourselves is to either ignore the faces in front of us or begin to judge them back.
Once you start to see just how often you avoid eye contact with strangers, you will spot these underlying tendencies. I am still taken back when I am in a store and I hear a kind voice from a stranger or get a kind look. It is there that I instantly feel my defenses come down and am aware of my own negativity churning away in the background. Have you ever noticed that sometimes even when walking into a family event, you feel a slight hesitation until you get that first hug? Then it’s like, “Well, at least one person is glad to see me.” Even at functions with acquaintances you can have that sense of being ten years old again about to walk by a group of kids you don’t know. Being comfortable with people is like being able to dance well. It brings confidence and a sense of security. It is never too late to build your social muscles.
Find your story, and you will find your purpose. You have lived a life like no other. Whether boring, exciting, trivial, or grand, your experiences give rise to the same emotions and questions we all strive to answer. Your message is not in the events but in how you respond to them.
The popularity in becoming a life coach is due in part to millions of people trying to find their purpose. It’s coaches finding their purpose, in helping you find yours.
Judy Cater has made her purpose in life (aside from making people laugh) to help people find their purpose by finding their message. For each of us our purpose is often hiding within our life’s message. Discovering all the things you have learned that others need to know is a very exciting journey. Her Book, “The Message of You” will walk you through each step. It is one of the best books on finding your purpose because your purpose is not “out there” it’s inside you waiting to be discovered. This is the gold, the stuff we are supposed to pass down to the next generation to help them advance faster and avoid the pitfalls. Every single one of us has a message, one that is meant for a select group of people who, believe it or not, are desperate to hear it. Start to think about what yours is, and you will find more purpose than you ever dreamed of.
Losing a sense of your life’s purpose and desperately trying to find one can place you in a revolving paradoxical mind-set…one minute believing you could accomplish anything, given the chance, and the next minute feeling that you have very little to offer the world. It is within this dichotomy that a miserable life evolves. I don’t personally know anyone who does not succumb to this at one time or another swinging between these two paradigms sometimes in the course of a day. You may be unaware of this trigger and attribute your low-grade mood to being tired, bad weather, problems, or stress at home and work. By learning to stay aware of what is going on in your head, with mindfulness you will be able to ascertain what erroneous thoughts are floating around and address them quickly. Then you can find or create a purpose in the moment and be rewarded with a nice shot of self-esteem and well-being, thanks to serotonin. In fact, the sense of accomplishment is so tied to a good mood that often if you are in a bad mood, just deciding to accomplish some kind of task can snap you out of it. For various reasons, we can all find ourselves sinking during the day. A common mistake we all make is to personalize these blah moods, as in, “Uh oh, something must be wrong, something I don’t know about yet.” I used to take a nap when these moods hit, and that often helped, but now I know I can impact it directly. It’s never personal; it’s simply chemical.
Everyday I blog and write about what makes us do what we do and how to get the best out of life and your own brain. The testimonies are pouring in everyday and I know that I am fulfilling my purpose. Book & Kindle Sales and the audio book sales are soaring. So I want to give back to someone. Every person who repblogs this between now and Friday will go into a lottery drawing for MY FREE audio book. I will post all the names in the drawing. Will pull the lucky winner on Saturday Morning. Good Luck!
Too Busy to read download my new book from audible.com
The importance of having a purpose in life can’t be overstated, and for good reason. Like I said in chapter seven scientific studies have proven time and time again that the happiest people in the world are those who feel they have a purpose. We need to matter.
That purpose can involve the world, your town, your family, or any organization where you feel needed or counted on. When that wanes, even in the course of a day, it can leave you experiencing low-grade misery. To the degree that you feel you make a difference, you will feel good. Purpose is why humans are drawn to join clubs, groups, fraternities, sororities, and other organizations.
In the course of your day, the short-term purposes may be obvious; your lifelong purpose, however, can be more obscure. Yet when you know what yours is, it will be the reason you spring out of bed in the morning.
Many people have no idea what their purpose is, and tons of seminars are given every year to help them find it. Not knowing one’s purpose can trigger a midlife crisis and can be the reason for taking trips to go find oneself. We all seem to have this innate need to know that there is a reason—and a damn good one—for being on this earth. Often this issue raises its head only long after college, as in college goals have more to do with career choice and making money; much less consideration is given to the importance of making a difference.
Appreciation Exercise From “Wired To Worry”
Using a natural form of neurostimulation read the list below and see how upset you would be if the things listed below happened. Read the list below and pause at each one to imagine experiencing each event, with all the details and emotions you would feel. Imagine how crummy it would be to have to deal with them and how they would affect your day (Take time for this; it’s important.)
|Rip in Your Pants
Spilled Coffee in Car
Cell Phone Missing
|Big Stain on Couch
Dent on Car
Earrings are Missing
Car Won’t Start
Virus That Wipes Computer Out
Now take ten to fifteen seconds with each one to imagine each problem disappearing, allowing yourself to feel relieved. Let it really sink in how really wonderful it is that these situations are not something you have to deal with today.
Every day, their absence and the absence of other things like them are a GOOD experience, a blessing that you need to soak in. Try to even name the good feelings you experience (e.g., wonderful, safe, secure, appreciative, happy). Allowing these feelings of appreciation and gladness to soak in will begin to reset your brain’s spotlight so it gets in the habit of looking for the good things all around you rather than letting them simply go unnoticed.
Taking the time to absorb all the good around you sounds like a cliché. However, it is really a natural form of neurostimulation. Neurostimulation happens when a doctor inserts an electrode into a certain area in your brain causing neurons to fire; depending on where it is inserted this can cause a reaction or feeling. But we can do this naturally due to the fact that your brain never knows if something is real or just a memory. Which is why you get all angry when remembering something said to you ages ago. When you trigger your own neurons by taking a moment to focus on only what is happening in the here and now it will cause you to physically slow down, and in a good way. You will be less hurried and calmer. You need be aware whenever you begin to start rushing around in a hurried fashion. When that happens, you are not appreciating the positive and have gone on autopilot. Remember, physically moving too quickly, hurrying about the office or kitchen, or driving too fast means you are not present, and are rushing toward some future event.
After a few weeks of practicing mindfulness/meditation, you will notice that when you are done, you feel calmer and have greater awareness. As you continue practicing, you will end the session having a more peaceful state of mind. You will find your thoughts no longer racing along but rather absorbed in the present, freeing you to pay attention to what you are doing. At first, it will fascinate you that your thoughts are not sweeping you away. Instead, your mind will seem completely interested in what you are doing in the moment. Regardless of what that is, you will find a contentment in just being with it. There is no rat race except the one in our minds, you set the pace.
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If you don’t understand that evolution has wired you to eat sugary carbohydrates in order to self-soothe and calm you, then you will never be able to control your appetite. Find out how to spot the triggers before you have a Snickers bar in your mouth, because — you’re not really you, when you’re that kind of hungry!
Stop hating yourself — It was only a doughnut
So you walk past the snack room at the office and see a delicious piece of chocolate cake that a deviant co-worker brought in to share. At first you walk away, proudly reminding yourself of the steady diet path you have been on. However, only 45 minutes later you’re suddenly overcome with the urge to have a piece of that delicious…whatever. Why now? Did you change your mind or your diet goal? Did you decide to self-sabotage? This is the type of psychological gymnastics one does to find an answer, assuming it will help fight the urge. But as you search for clues it feels more and more like a no-win situation, and your frustration grows.
Neuroscience tells us these urges have little to do with craving food and controlling our appetite, and more to do with another type of craving, “comfort.” A wonderful feeling, comfort is the result of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in your brain that rewards you with security, confidence and pleasure. Serotonin is our “well-being” drug. It evolved to tell us that our needs have been met — when we eat something we love, go on a shopping spree, feel adored by others, receive a compliment, or believe we are superior than others. You could say that Hollywood is the epitome of a serotonin junkie.
Myth Two: Money Will Make me Happy : Many of us believe money would solve most of our problems. We all have the dream of hitting the lottery and having our money problems disappear, assuming that will make us happier. However, a very well known study was done to find out how true that was for people. What they found was that those who won the lottery described themselves as being “less happy or as happy” six months later than they were before they won. They then researched people who were left paralyzed after an accident. Many of those people were actually as happy if not happier than they had been the day before their accident. How could that possibly be? Because our situations do not determine our happiness.
Your amygdala will look for problems regardless of how much money you have. Lottery winners are still obsessed over every problem, real or feared. However, the paraplegic, on the other hand, has now found appreciation/gratitude in the small successes of even mundane tasks that you and I take for granted, from putting on shoes to holding a fork or feeding himself. Remember, people get a serotonin hit every time they feel they have accomplished any kind of task, and in this case the paraplegics are very grateful for what they can do. Of course they would prefer to be able to walk, but that does not affect their mood to the extent that one might expect.
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