Emotional Generosity includes how you react to good news. When someone shares good news you can be emotionally generous by being sincerely and honestly glad for them. In fact, in relationships, how you react to your partners good news is a better indicator of the strength of your relationship than how you react to thier bad news. Being happy for others creates happiness for yourself.
My dad always used to say that “how long a minute is depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on.” I grew up thinking he was just being funny but soon realized just how true it is. A minute holding a crying baby is longer than a minute in my favorite restaurant. A minute on the treadmill is longer than a minute watching an action movie. A minute of in the dentist’s chair with a drill is longer than a minute eating ice cream. When we are doing something we like, time seems to fly by. When we are faced with doing something we dislike, then a minute seems to drag on and on and on.
You can use this to your advantage and unlock the secret of making time move faster. I call this the Law of Distraction – when you allow yourself to be distracted so that the unpleasant things you have to do don’t seem so distasteful. Next time you are at the gym notice how many people are wearing headphones and listing to music. They are trying to distract themselves from the monotonous chore of exercising. The Law of Distraction works wonders and takes just a little practice.
Whenever you are faced with something you don’t want to do or something you have to do though you dislike it – distract yourself with positive thinking. Listen to a favorite song, treat yourself to an ice cream upon completion o f the task, or simply pick a reason to do the task that is meaningful and significant to you. You can distract yourself with positive thinking as much as you can be distracted by other things.
The Law of Distraction will help you enjoy things that you typically dislike. It will help you be happier. How long is a minute? Well, it’s up to you!
Kirk Wilkinson – Author of The Happiness Factor: How to be Happy no Matter What! www.thehappinessfactor.com
As a fan of the biggest Loser I can’t help but be interested in the weight loss craze. Just over two years ago my wife had Lap-Band surgery to reduce the size of her stomach to enable her to lose weight. Guess what! A tool only works if you use it and it really helps if you learn to use it right.
If you are finding it hard to lose weight while following your diet religiously maybe your ability to lose weight has nothing to do with what you are eating but more about what’s eating you. As a preparation for Lap-Band surgery my wife had to see a Behavioral Psychologist where she learned that she is afraid of being hungry. As she has learned to deal with the fear of being hungry she is able to lose more weight.
Are you hungry for food or something else? Perhaps you need to be ‘filled’ emotionally before you can have the weight loss you desire. There is no amount of food cant can satisfy you emotionally. While food may be your vice, others turn to drugs, alcohol, exercise or anything else to fill this emotional void. While some of these ‘filling’ activities are healthy, most of them are not. As you consider losing weight, spend some time thinking about what needs filling: your belly or your emotions. Many times, comfort food is exactly that – giving you comfort through eating when what you really need is a great big hug! Next time, get a hug instead of desert.
I have been in many homes around the world and only rarely I have I seen a refrigerator without photos, drawings and important notes. I don’t know how many days it takes but we stop seeing the things we put on the fridge as if they have become invisible. They don’t really disappear; we just stop seeing them because they are so familiar. It takes special effort to keep paying attention to the things on the refrigerator so they don’t become invisible to us. The same can happen to the people we live with. Unless we make a special effort to notice and acknowledge the people around us they too can become invisible. Take the time today to express appreciation for those around you – don’t let them disappear.
Who is that voice talking in your head? You know who I am talking about. The one that says things to you that no one else dare say. The one that ignores your triumphs and accomplishments and nitpicks every little thing you do wrong. You don’t need to live with the constant nagging and criticism. You can change all that.
Your mood is a byproduct of your thoughts and thought process not the other way around. If you are feeling down or in a bad mood you can mask the symptoms by taking something to improve your mood or you can attack your mood at the source – your thoughts. This can appear to be difficult because we are so use to hearing the play-by-play commentary from our inner critic. This inner critic only has the power we give it and one way to reduce it effect is to simply dismiss the thought as trivial and non important. Just as you would dismiss bad advice as frivolous and unimportant do the same to negative thoughts. By dismissing them you prevent them from taking root and spoiling what can be a great mood. By dismissing negative thoughts you can turn your inner critic into your biggest fan.
All too often I meet people who experience a period of depression soon after a positive achievement. They experience the euphoria of accomplishing a goal or reaching a milestone, but shortly thereafter they feel depressed. The severity of the depression varies by the significance of the achievement – small achievements can generate mild depression that only lasts a short time. While major achievements can bring on a bout of depression that can be more serious. While goals and achievements are important and good motivators, we should be careful not to assign too much meaning to them. No goal can make you happy; no singular achievement can make you happy either. Happiness is created from the inside out. A goal is a goal, a step along life’s path, a measure of improvement and accomplishment. It does not define who you are. Too much meaning in a goal or achievement can create a never-ending pursuit of one goal after anther to find satisfaction and prove your self-worth. Your self-worth is an inside out phenomena. Look for ways to grow it from within and you will begin to feel happiness.
Haven’t we all done stupid things we wish we hadn’t?
More often than I will admit, I do something stupid. I say the wrong thing at the wrong time, I hurt someone’s feelings, and the list goes on. Most of the time it is just that I’m a dork than intentionally doing something stupid. I know I am not alone here. We all do dumb things that we wish we didn’t do.
We have a few choices to help remedy the dumb things we do. We can obsess over it and call ourselves names, laugh about it and forgive ourselves or ignore it. We really don’t have too many other choices. Certainly, if we have hurt someone’s feelings we need to remedy that by saying we are sorry, but aside from that, I recommend that you learn to laugh at yourself. When I remember to not take myself so seriously I have a much better day. Dumb happens and it happens with me more than I would like to admit. To obsess over it only makes it worse and creates negative energy. Laughing about it will reverse the effect and help you make the most of it.
If you are going to laugh at anyone, laugh at yourself.
With the proximity of Christmas this title most likely conjured up thoughts of a gift you received or a gift you gave. However, I am referring to the present as the greatest of gifts. As I try to meditate I am often plagued by thoughts of the past and worry of the future. Only by clearing my mind and concentrating on the moment, the present, am I able to feel truly at peace. How often we contaminate the present moment by obsessing over the past or undue concern about the future.
Lately I have paid particular attention to when (yes I do mean when, not what) I think about and how it can take away from the present moment. While enjoying a movie I was thinking about all I had to do when I got home. While out to dinner with friends I was beating myself up for speaking harshly at my son before we left. In both of these instances I could have enjoyed it much more if I were present instead of letting my thoughts take me away.
Reviewing the past can be a very important learning experience and planning for the future is also important. But when they rob you of the present it diminishes your current experience. Don’t let your thoughts rob you of the miracle of the moment. Be in it, let the present envelope you and pay attention to it. You will feel better and be able to handle negative situations better as well.
I have heard it said that the past is history, the future is a mystery, the present is a gift – that’s why it is called the present.