Thursday, March 18, 2010

Secrets to a Happy and Motivated Life by Dr.Annette Colby

Whether you want to lose weight, end emotional eating, overcome stress, or move beyond sadness and depression, creating any major change in your life can create feelings of discomfort. You are here, and you want to be there. As enticing as the outcome of your goal appears, you cannot instantly jump into a happy, motivation filled life.

Instead, achieving happiness and success means that you have to venture out of your comfort zone into an unknown journey. On your path between here and there, you will most likely face many obstacles, experience setbacks and failures, feel emotions you don't want to feel, and discover you must learn strange new ways of thinking, acting, and behaving if you want to reach your outcome.

One-step at a time you walk across the middle ground between where you were and where you are going. This middle ground tends to feel shaky and unknown. You may stumble along with unsure footing wondering if you will ever feel confident again. One of the secrets of achieving a happy outcome requires acknowledging and understanding that the changes you are asking yourself to make will be uncomfortable. Your success rests on planning ahead to give yourself the tools and support you need to make yourself feel safe even in the midst of change and uncertainty.

The following strategies are designed to help you find that trust and self-assuredness when you are in the midst of creating your happy and motivated life.

Acceptance of Your Journey

Whenever you are feeling uncertain, stop and take a moment to breathe deeply. Take several deep, slow breaths. When you breathe, you allow yourself to come back to center and your inner resourcefulness. From center, you can regain your larger perspective about the importance of the changes you want to make. You can remind yourself that you are in transition because you made the conscious choice to experience more happiness. You are not a victim of this change, and no one forced you into this decision. Although your journey from here to there may not be an easy journey, remind yourself that the joy and success you want to experience is important to you.

It's Okay to Fall, But Get Back Up Again

When you are walking across the transitional middle ground between where you were and where you want to go, there will be times when you may feel uncertain and doubtful about your ability to have what you want. Perhaps you encounter a roadblock or obstacle, or perhaps the amount of effort you must put forth on a daily basis was more than you bargained for. You will consider quitting. The question becomes, when you want to quit, will you curl up, tell yourself you can't have what you want, or desperately pray that someone comes along to rescue you? Or are you going to gather up all your courage and find some way to gain motivation move forward once again? It's okay to stumble and fall, we all do it at one time or another. It is even okay to lie in the dirt for a while. What is important is that you remember that you are still on your path, still facing forward, and you can still have what you want. What is the one step you can take right now that will serve to raise your level of motivation higher?

Choose Faith

Have you ever heard the expression, "Feed your faith, not your fears." I love how this phrase can boil down a complicated situation into a very simple choice. Use this phrase to perform a reality check on yourself. When you feel doubt or fear, are your thoughts and actions helping to build your self-confidence that you can have what you want, are they causing you to go further down a dark spiral of negativity and despair? The issue is not whether or not you will experience fear. Fear is a natural by-product of going on your goal journey. The issue is how you will deal with fear when it shows up - will you feed faith or will you feed fear?

Get Support

Your journey between here and there is your own unique experience that you must navigate on your own. No one can take the journey for you, and no one can pick you up and drop you off on the other side. The journey itself is what offers the strengths, insights, wisdom, and joy that you are looking for. Therefore, you must walk our own path - but that doesn't mean you can't hold hands with some friends for a awhile. Meet with a nutrition therapist, life coach, friend, or advisor on a regular basis to keep you motivated. Your support people can help you though periods of self-doubt and instability and remind you that being able to feel more happy and motivated is what you want most.

Words Are Powerful

Be acutely aware of the words you use. Do the words you speak to yourself empower you or leave you feeling powerless? Are your thoughts self-supporting or self-defeating? Do you encourage yourself when things are going well and when things are difficult? Learning to motivate your self with positive, self-affirming, resourceful, and loving language is what allows you to feel happy and gain motivation to take each next step. Look into your own eyes in the mirror and speak kind, persuading words. It is up to you to provide the motivation you need to achieve success.

Take A Risk

Change requires you to move from your smaller, confined circle of comfort to one that is larger and more expansive. To achieve ultimate success, you will need to move beyond the edges of your comfort zone. Like Columbus sailing off to explore the edge of the ocean, you too are exploring unknown new territory. Allow yourself to be a beginner again - this is how you grow and transform. If you take a risk and fail, learn from the experience and adjust your actions. Just don't give up!

Create A Ritual to Honor the Change

Symbolically acknowledge your journey by creating a ritual to honor the growth and changes you have been making. A ritual can be anything metaphorical that has meaning to you. Perhaps it might be burying your scale, donating all your larger clothes, giving your diet books to the local library, a celebration of your journey with friends, or even listing all the things that have been holding you back on little strips of paper and burning them. Take some sort of physical action to acknowledge the path you are moving along. Doing this creates a deeper sense of meaning and importance to your daily actions, and raise your motivation level. You develop respect for the transition that you are engaged in. A ritual may help you close a door that you are ready to close.

Get a Transitional Object

Your ability to feel happy and keep motivated can also be increased when you carry a transitional object. Your transitional object can remind you of your successes so far, and keep your vision on your overall goal. The object could be something that reminds you of your journey, or it could be an item that provides comfort.

Link your sense of touch to the feeling of being happy or motivated. For example, think of how a toddler is able to comfort itself with a stuffed animal or blanket, or how rosary beads can help move thoughts back into love. Find your own transitional object that you can touch, stroke, or hold to remind you of the importance of your journey and provide you with motivation to continue forward. Below is a list transitional objects you could easily carry in your pocket or on your body:
Small smooth stone
Special necklace
Ring for your finger
Sea shell
Symbolic lapel pin

Your goals to end overeating, lose weight, overcome stress, or move beyond sadness and depression are important goals. Congratulations on your courage to move forward and make a better life for yourself. Use these tips and suggestions to keep yourself motivated, feeling happy about the changes you are making, and believing in yourself. Although your path may seem shaky at times, you truly can live the life of your dreams.

Want to make your world brighter and more exciting? Want to leave feeling exhausted, stressed, depressed, or overweight behind forever? Subscribe to our wonderful weekly free Loving Miracles newsletter at and learn how to wake up each morning energized and glad to be alive.

Conditions of Happiness - Happy vs Unhappy - Do We Have A Choice?

Most everyone is in the process of seeking greater happiness. We are each involved in the search for feeling good inside our lives and bodies. What may come as a surprise is that many people who struggle with depression, emotional eating, stress eating, or some other addictive behavior, are really just searching for a way to feel happier. They feel some sort of unease in their emotional state and physical body, and then reach for something to numb the discomfort or make them feel better.

There is no crime in wanting to feel better. Your body is meant to be aligned with thoughts and actions that feel good. If you are currently not feeling good inside your life or your body, then certainly, continuing with emotional or stress eating, or some other addiction, is one valid choice to get through the day. If your emotional eating or addictive behavior is the only singular, lonesome tool that you have in your tool box, than hallelujah! Your self-loving survival instinct is alive and functioning. You are choosing the one action that you believe will help you feel better.

Eventually though, you will find that the fix from food or addiction does not last too long. You might feel good in the short-term, but not so well over the long-term. The consequences of your actions end up being more than you had bargained for. For example, emotional or stress eating can lead to excess weight and associated health problems. Bulimia can lead to heart arrhythmia. Anorexia can lead to impaired mental processing. The outcomes are unwanted, but the often unconscious and underlying intent was love, self-preservation, and feeling good.

If you could take all the emotional judgment, shame, and sense of failure off the eating behavior, you would be able to see that your deepest desire is an attempt to feel good. Using food, the lack of food, or some other external gratification to cope does not mean that you are sick or defective. Indeed, you are a competent manager of your own life. You might be stuck in one method of coping that has become complicated and no longer works so well, but none-the-less you are still coping and still managing life.

Take heart! New solutions for feeling better are possible. Gaining this sense of happiness does not require a deep understanding of what happened in your past, or even how dysfunctional your family was. Instead, feeling happier requires that you engage in the effort of developing new patterns of thinking and acting.

What Is Happiness

Let's take a closer look at defining happiness. Scientifically speaking, happiness is a basic sense of satisfaction with your self and your environment.

To understand this statement more fully, psychologist Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky offered this conclusion based on a 1994 study: "Happy people do not experience one success after another and unhappy people, one failure after another. Instead, surveys show that happy and unhappy people tend to have had very similar life experiences. The difference is that the average unhappy person spends more than twice as much time thinking about unpleasant events in their lives, while happy people tend to seek and rely upon information that brightens their personal outlook."

This conclusion shows that chronically happy and unhappy individuals differ in the specific thoughts and types of motivational strategies they use. For example, happy individuals interpret life events and daily situations in ways that maintain their happiness, while unhappy individuals interpret experiences in ways that reinforce unhappiness. Happy individuals are more aware of the joy and happiness available in any situation, while unhappy people register more sorrow and difficulty. This is the glass is half-empty versus the glass half-full perspective.

Wow! This is important information. The implication is that you can learn to feel happier. You can decide to take your own unhappy situation into your own hands. You can stop analyzing why you are feeling so badly, stop blaming your parents, your childhood. You can even stop blaming yourself for your troubles. Instead, you can focus on changing your thoughts and actions. Instead of focusing on the problem, you can learn to focus on the solution.

Everyone Feels Unhappy Sometimes

Recognize that everyone has experiences of feeling unhappy. Blame it on getting out of the wrong side of the bed, hormones, or the weather - it doesn't matter. One basic truth in life is that not every day is going to be an easy and miraculously happy day. Happiness expands as you make a decision to support yourself no matter what experience or emotion you are currently experiencing.

Unhappy and Happy Are Emotions

It might be useful to remind yourself that happy and unhappy are emotions. This means that like all emotions, they do not last forever. Sometimes you can shift from happy to unhappy with the passage of time. Allow more time and you will shift back into happy. In other words, this too shall pass.

Accept Being Unhappy

Acceptance is one tool your can use to deal with unhappy days. For example, since unhappy is an emotion, it means that it is a normal and natural state. You don't have to fight how you feel. Instead, decide to be at peace with the experience you are having. This doesn't mean wallowing in self-pity or drowning in depression, it means acknowledging to yourself that this the life experience you are having right now. Take several deep breathes and let it be. Once you allow acceptance, the burden of unhappy being 'wrong' disappears. A certain pressure of perfectionism disappears. A completely new way to relax and take care of yourself opens up.

Once unhappy is acceptable, you can become curious about new, self-supporting actions. For example, instead of eating to push down unhappy feelings, you can discover new ways to soothe yourself while you feel unhappy. Ask yourself,
What actions can I take to love myself while I am feeling unhappy?
Can I choose to be okay with this emotion?
Can I choose to feel happy while at the same time feeling unhappy? The glass is both half-empty and half-full at the same time.
Can I be grateful for my life even while I am currently feeling unhappy?
What can I do right now while I am feeling unhappy to produce pleasant experiences?

Remember Happy Times

It is human nature to easily forget happy moments of our life, while terrible times easily become entrenched in our minds. Our perspective is unbalanced, and often when we are feeling sad, we can't remember ever feeling happy. In addition, we have a tendency to 'play with problem' or fixate on something negative. It seems so easy to dwell on unhappy thoughts and so difficult to train ourselves to bring optimistic thoughts and attitudes to ourselves.

The next time you are feeling unhappy, remind yourself of your larger perspective. Changing a few of your thoughts can often be the fastest way to feeling okay and not so lost. For example, you might say, "Even though I'm unhappy...
My life has meaning.
There is value in what I am feeling.
It's okay to feel what I am feeling.
We all have happy and unhappy moods, feelings do not last forever.
The world is safe, and I don't have to be happy every moment.
This too shall pass.
I can choose to pamper myself while I am in this unhappy place.

Choose Self-Supportive Actions

When you are feeling unhappy, you know you don't need more food or addictive substances, you need to love yourself in brand new ways. This is a perfect time to focus on new opportunities to be tender to yourself. What can you do to feel better? Start thinking about what actions would make you feel just a little better. You don't have to erase your feeling of unhappiness, you just have to support yourself while you are going through it. For example:
Go for a walk outside.
Play with your pets.
Walk to the nearest mirror and give yourself a much needed pep talk.
Remind yourself that you are worthy of loving yourself even when you are unhappy.
Support yourself with a healthy, colorful, and nourishing meal.
Add some protein into your meals for better balance and groundedness.
Gain a balanced perspective by writing in your journal.
Write a gratitude list.
Get a 20-minute chair massage.
Sit outside and breathe in the air.

Now that you know that happiness requires action, you can begin to take care of yourself in new and different ways. Learn to see the positive in life. Your new actions won't replace your emotional or stress eating right away, and they won't immediately replace your addictive behaviors - but add enough new actions and watch as you begin to realize the power you have over your own happiness!

Want to make your world brighter and more exciting? Want to leave feeling exhausted, stressed, depressed, or overweight behind forever? Subscribe to our wonderful weekly free Loving Miracles newsletter at and learn how to wake up each morning energized and glad to be alive.

Just do it....... ( recd in an email)

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched ' Jeopardy ' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, 'How about going to lunch in a half hour?' She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain.' And my personal favourite: 'It's Monday.' She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because Australians cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet... We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'

When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Roller blades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord..

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-Decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to......not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butter fly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask ' How are you?' Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say 'Hi?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away..... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

Thw amazing

This information was in The New York Times several weeks ago as part of their "Spotlight on the Home" series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explorers for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finished a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won't leave streaks and won't harm your fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!