No, this isn’t a blog about hot soup or mulled wine or woolly sheets. Those practical things do help but what works even better is a different mindset about winter. I used to think to myself “I hate winter”. In fact, I used to tell people that. “I hate being cold” or “winter sucks”. That was before I learned the connection between your thoughts and your emotions. What we think is how we feel. When I think I hate winter I feel miserable. When I think that winter is part of the cycle of life and I’m in a place of acceptance of that cycle, then I feel happy.
I no longer think or say that I hate winter. Now I do the opposite, that is I find things to be grateful for about winter. For instance, when it’s a cold day outside I send out happy grateful thoughts that I have a warm house or car or clothes. When its so nasty outside that there isn’t much to do, I send out happy grateful thoughts that I’m not too busy and have time to do nothing. How often do you complain that you have too much to do or are too busy or stressed? Winter is the opposite where we want to do things outdoors but can’t. We have forced relaxation. Instead of complaining, send out happy grateful thoughts for the down-time. I remind myself often and regularly of the up-sides to winter, for instance feeling clean (and not sweaty) all day.
I also remind myself that I have a choice. I don’t have to go through winter. You have a choice too, although you might not realise it. If you really wanted to avoid winter you could move somewhere that the living was cheap, like India or Indonesia. You could have endless summer. You are choosing not to because you want something else more. It might be your family or your friends or your lifestyle or the money you can earn here. Maybe you don’t want to sell everything to move somewhere and start again with nothing. Whatever it is that you don’t want to give up, you are choosing it over and above choosing a warmer climate. When I remind myself that I am choosing this situation, I find I accept it more easily and am happier with it.
One of my favourite quotes is by Byron Katie who says “The only time we are ever unhappy is when we are in conflict with reality”. When we have the winter blues its because we are in conflict with our reality, i.e. we don’t want it to be cold or rainy (even though it is). We are in a state of resistance to our ‘what is’. It is only in the resistance that we feel unhappy. Stop resisting ‘what is’ and we stop being unhappy. Your resistance to winter doesn’t change the fact that it comes every year. If you are able to stop resisting it or being in conflict with it, and accept it, you will no longer feel ‘blue’. If you are able to manage acceptance then reach for the next step which is enjoyment of ‘what is’. It takes practice over a period of time to train your mind to think differently, so don’t feel bad if you struggle with this at first. Keep it up and it gets easier.
There is no one cause of cancer, or of many other serious illnesses. It can be one big thing, but often it is a multiplicity of smaller issues that have built, up so the immune system is no longer able to cope. It is a fact that we all have cancer cells in our body all the time. Its not a problem as the immune system keeps on top of it. Until it can’t. Because there is often no one cause of cancer there is often no one cure for cancer either. It may require a multi disciplined approach to enable the immune system to strengthen and for the body to be able to heal. Some of the reasons why the immunce system becomes compromised are:
Remember there is often no one cause of cancer or other serious illness and consequently there is often no one cure. It is often a case of looking at all the contributing factors and making changes in a number of areas of your life. Be well.
I was recently asked why people commit suicide. If I simplify it I come up with two primary reasons. Firstly, the person is linking their sense of self worth to what they have. Often I ask my clients “If you won the lottery today would you be a better person tomorrow” and their answer is always “No, I’d be the same person”. Then I say “If you became bankrupt today and lost everything, including your relationship, would you be less of a person tomorrow?” They desperately want to say yes to that question, even though they know its the wrong answer. I say to them “You would be a person with less, but not less of a person”. One reason people commit suicide is they believe they would be less of a person. Another thing I often ask my clients is “Finish this sentence: I will be good enough when…..”. The answers are often along the lines of ‘when I have a great relationship’, or ‘when I’m earning $x’, or ‘when I’m successful’. This is not a good sign as they are tying their sense of self worth to ‘things’. When those things are not there they feel completely worthless, and suicide is a follower of worthless. The second reason people are more likely to commit suicide is that their level of happiness is low to begin with. We all have ups and downs in life and we all drop in mood when there is a negative life event. However if your happiness levels are higher to begin with you only drop to (lets say) half way. If your happiness levels are half way to begin with and you get a negative life event you will drop to the bottom. That’s a horrible place to be. Not only that, but those with higher happiness levels will bounce back more quickly. Their down mood will be more temporary. Those who are less happy to begin with won’t have the skills or resources to bounce back and will stay there. It is the staying there that is the real problem that causes suicide. It is the lack of hope that things will get better. The answer therefore is to learn how to be happy (and it is a learned skill) and learn how to love and accept yourself as you are and where you are on life’s journey. Both of these are things I help my clients to do. Both of them are learned skills.
Sometimes when we have an accident it is life’s way of telling us to stop. There are usually signs that life wants us to slow down, or stop and change paths, way before the accident happens. Little signs at first, such as feeling tired, unmotivated, stressed, unhappy. Or maybe the signs are aches, pains or something physical. These are all the body’s way of communicating with you, but often we don’t recognise the message. So, the message gets louder (we feel worse) and when we still don’t listen it gets louder still. Or sometimes we do get the message but we tell ourselves “I can’t slow down/change now!” I have this to get through first and that to deal with first. When I’ve done that I can make changes. But life has a way of stopping us if we don’t do it ourselves. We get that accident or that illness that forces us to stop. If you are ever in that situation, please listen and take action. If you don’t the next stop could be a dead stop. Literally.
I subscribe to a number of daily quotes that help me stay in the right mindset (happy, positive and expecting the best from life), and the following quote came in from one of those by Mike Dooley.
There are thousands of reasons to be happy if you go looking for them. Mike wrote:
“They may be hidden behind circumstances, people, or light poles. Challenges, closed doors, or lost keys. Camouflaged, dovetailed, or whispering. Purring, kissing, or hissing. But more often than not they’re lying about in the open, under a clear blue sky, in plain view. Absolutely. Guaranteed. You’d throttle me otherwise.”
The ‘me’ he refers to is The Universe. Or God if you prefer that word. May you get better and better at finding reasons to be happy.
Research has found that emotional tears have special health benefits for people. Tears are protective and they lubricate your eyes, remove irritants, reduce stress hormones, and they contain antibodies that fight pathogenic microbes. Tears might decrease arousal of distress and make people feel better. Reflex tears are 98 per cent water, whereas emotional tears also contain stress hormones which get excreted from the body through crying. Emotional tears shed these hormones and other toxins which accumulate during stress.
Crying stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer and feel-good hormones. Crying makes us feel better, even when a problem persists. In addition to physical detoxification, emotional tears heal the heart. Researchers warned against dissuading people from holding back tears, saying that holding back tears was a form of bottling up emotions that could trigger stress and other problems. “We are in a society that tells us we’re weak for crying, in particular that powerful men don’t cry.” said Dr Uthman Mubashir, Public Health Physician of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital. “The new enlightened paradigm of what constitutes a powerful man and woman is someone who has the strength and self-awareness to cry,” he said. “It is good to cry, it is healthy to cry. This helps to emotionally clear sadness and stress.” Crying, he pointed out, was also essential to resolve grief when some someone lost a dear one. “Tears help us process the loss so we can keep living with open hearts. Otherwise, we will be depressed if we suppress these potent feelings.”
Thanks to and abstracted from an article by Vanguard
Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/09/crying-good-health-says-expert/
Whenever I ask my clients why they can’t be happy I tend to get the same five answers. They have nothing to do with what is or isn’t happening in their lives and more to do with belief systems. Here are the top reasons for I’m generally given for not being happy:
For some people something bad has happened shortly after they were in a really happy place emotionally. They see this as ‘proof’ that bad things always follow good. The better the good the worse the bad will be. None of this is rational of course but it just feels that it is true. They believe (incorrectly) that the happier they are the further they will fall when life throws them a challenge. They prefer to feel average at the most as a form of self protection.
Many of my clients see their role in life as making others happy. When they have done a really good job, or others are happy with them, only then they can feel happy. Of course they are never able to keep everyone happy all of the time or reach their own high standards, so happiness remains something they won’t allow themselves.
Way too many people think that happiness has to be earned. They think ‘When I’ve achieved X and X (and I haven’t yet) then I it will be okay to be happy. They put conditions on their happiness and are very strict with what they are allowed to feel.
Happiness is a learned skill. It is true that many people haven’t yet learned it. They honestly don’t know how to think or feel any differently. That of course is where I come in (and my book Heightening Your Happiness – how you can develop the skill of enjoying your life).
I help people to change their belief systems so they can give themselves permission to be happy now. Have a think about what your ‘rules’ are in relation to happiness. Are they the same as the ones above or do you have some different ones? I’d love to hear what your criteria for happiness is, so do get in touch and let me know.
I am often asked by clients “How do you know the right time to be physically intimate with someone for the first time?” They ask “How will I know I’m ready?” often because they’ve been intimate in the past for many of the wrong reasons with not so good outcomes. I just came across this answer that I really like, thanks to Neale Donald Walsh.
“Intimacy means more than sex. It is about the connection of souls. It is the true union of two beings. You are intimate when you are fully with another, no matter what. In fact, this has very little to do with that which is physical.” So there’s your answer; when you feel that emotional intimacy and are fully with another you are ready for physical intimacy. I underlined the words ‘fully with another’ because I think this means being fully present. Being fully yourself. With no mask on. With no wall up.
“Ha ha” many of you are probably thinking, “If I’d waited until I had no wall up or until I was truly being myself I’d have been celibate my whole life!” That may be, but that’s what true intimacy is. The question is whether you want to have sex or whether you want to be physically intimate. The two are not the same. You can’t be physically intimate without being emotionally intimate.
If the thought of being intimate scares you in any way I can help.
More than 1.5 billion people on earth don’t have electricity. A higher number, over 1.6 billion, have no access to clean water. A much higher number still, over 2.5 billion, don’t have basic sanitation. That’s right, in the first quarter of the 21st century over a quarter of the world’s people are without toilets.
But these are simply inconveniences. Some 19,000 children die each day on this planet from preventable health issues, such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. Even worse, over 650 children die every hour on Earth of starvation.
Here in the Western world we have such amazing lives that we completely take them for granted. When was the last time you sent out happy, grateful thoughts because you had a toilet to go to? When was the last time you sent out happy, grateful thoughts for the fresh water you have, just by turning on the tap? I’m guessing you probably haven’t. We tend to look at what is wrong in our lives instead of what is right. We go on anti depressants because we just can’t seem to find joy in life any longer. One of the things I do is help people to retrain their brains, so they start seeing the good in life instead of the dissatisfaction they are used to seeing.
Recently I was lightheartedly complaining to a friend at the gym about a problem I had. My water bottle had leaked in my bag and my shorts were damp. I had decided to wear them anyway and was regretting that decision! He said to me “Karen, that is a first world problem”. I loved that reply. When I thought about it I could honestly say that all of my ‘problems’ (though I tend to not think of myself as having problems) were first world ones. No-one in the third world would consider anything in my life a problem. Not having any shorts might possibly be a problem, but having damp ones would certainly not be. Since then I have used that phrase in my thoughts a lot. “It’s a first world problem”. That helps me to have perspective.
Recently a friend told me that she had a good life and nothing to complain about, but she wasn’t happy. She felt quite unhappy and had for some time, even though she knew there was no reason for her to feel that way. From the clients I see, I know she is not alone. If you feel dissatisfied with life or have lost the joy, even though all of your problems are first world ones, contact me. I have the tools to permanently heighten your happiness.