Monthly Archives: October 2011

Gratitude

Gratitude can not only increase your happiness, but can have health benefits too. When faced with a negative conversation, turn it around by making a conscious effort to think in positive terms. What can I learn from this? How was this beneficial to someone? Be encouraging in the conversation and grateful for being a part of the process or solution. You will enjoy happiness by counting your blessings.

Sugar Cravings

Sugar cravings can make even the strongest person appear to have no control. When you understand what causes this intense desire, you can more effectively take charge. For those that crave the sweet stuff, triggers from previous experiences release dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitter, causing this longing that it very difficult to overcome with sheer willpower. Triggers can be places, emotions, people, bodily sensations such as pain, just to name a few. What do you think is the first step in handling a trigger?

Cranky Co-Workers

The next time you encounter a cranky co-worker, a nasty driver on the highway or a negative neighbor, remind yourself that you don’t know what happened to them earlier in the day or even previous days. Instead of getting angry, send them blessings. By wishing them well, rather than judging them, you’re positive energy will spread.

Mindful Eating or Diets

Do you have rules about how much to eat, when to eat and how much you should weigh or do you listen to your body? Mindful eating is about attention and intention… paying close attention to your hunger signals and stopping when just full enough and the intention of fully enjoying each bite. No strict rules, measurements, scales… yet if you need to lose weight, you do. Which sounds better to you? Dieting or mindful eating?

Pleasant Words, Pleasant Day

If you want to start your day off on a positive note, begin your morning by reading a happy, upbeat message or chapter in a positive book. Using functional MRI, the authors of a research study done at the University of Konstanz, Germany were able to show that the amygdala (part of the brain for processing memory and emotional reactions) responds to reading pleasant words. Or write down pleasant words on index cards and read them first thing.

Fix Your Worries

If you are a chronic worrier, take charge of your worries by making a list of your biggest worries and putting them into 2 categories: solvable or unsolvable. The solvable ones you can brainstorm and take productive action; you have the power to make changes. But the unsolvable just waste your energy. Instead of worrying, embrace your feelings (i.e. anger, fear) and challenge the anxious thoughts that lead to your worrying. Which list is bigger… solvable or unsolvable?

Stress Backache

If you’ve been experiencing a backache, chronic stress could be the cause. Unless you have done something to injure your back, it may be the response of your back muscles to tension. Instead of their normal contracting and relaxing state, when you are tense, muscles can contract tightly causing spasms. When you are stressed, you also deal with pain less effectively. Besides relaxation techniques (always important), walking will help alleviate the discomfort.