By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters
I am fascinated by the progress people make when going through my coaching program. I have witnessed people going from depressed and anxious to happy, thriving and peaceful!
There are choices you make every day that seems to be totally unrelated to happiness and health. Even when the emphasis is on something other than happiness, they end up feeling happier and are healthier for the following reasons.
1. Avoiding Social Connections and Community Ties. Having strong social and family ties with deep meaningful conversations has been scientifically proven to aid in being healthier and happier. When we have strong friendships we live longer. We all need a sense of belonging. Humans were meant to be social. We weren't meant to work in a little cubicle by ourselves and go home alone spending the evening in front of the television.
There are many ways we can break into social circles. We can join a hiking group, a bowling league or sign up for an exercise class in our community. When someone asks you out for a coffee or bottle of water afterward, say, yes, instead of no. If you have fears of social interactions, a group might be the best way to break out of your old behavior of shunning social activities. Attend your office party. Go out for lunch with co-workers once a week or more.
In Okinawa, Japan, people have an exceptional life span because of their sense of community. Each person is treated like family and enjoys social interaction, with young people, pre-school children, and happy social interactions with their own age group as well.
Do you think you can't heal yourself? Read Mind Over Medicine by Lisa Rankin and see for yourself.
2. Thinking Your Chair Is Your Friend. When we sit all day every day, our heart isn't being taxed and exercised. When we do get up to move around, our body is stiff from a lack of movement.
Sitting all day and going home to watch television can be deadly. Those in a study of 240,000 who watched the most television had the highest risk of mortality rate.
3. Not Tapping Into Your Creativity. Everyone is creative. Whether you cook, dance, paint, write mold or bake tapping into our creative parts of ourselves expands and delights us. Our greatest source of joy comes from being creative. Art helps us relieve stress so says Harvard University. So get your paint on, or baking on! Just do it!
4. Not Stopping To Breathe. Those with the lowest sense of self-esteem hold their breath and breathe shallowly. Breathing improves your quality of life. Deep breathing expands our lungs increasing blood flow and oxygenation of the blood. Meditation and mindfulness reduce stress and anxiety. Deep breathing also affirms life. I can't say enough about taking deep breaths and breathing consciously until you do it automatically.
5. Not Getting Outside Daily. There is well-documented evidence that staying inside is unhealthy. There are so many benefits of nature. Yesterday, I was exhausted. After working seven days in a row on clients I wanted to just lay around all day. I felt funky and lethargic. Getting outside just as the sun was getting down I felt enlivened, invigorated and renewed, even though it was a rainy, dreary cold California day.
Adventure therapy can promote weight loss and improve mood at the same time!
Being outside can naturally cleanse your energy field, improve mental illness, self-esteem and help you feel happier. I bet you feel better just looking at these photos, don't you?
6. Not Contributing Or Giving Back. We buy groceries, clothing and furnishings for ourselves as consumers. When we give back it makes us feel good. When we begin to create to help others is when we become soulful, contributing members of society, rather than takers.
Cook for yourself rather than buy a meal out. Play a game with friends and families instead of watching a game or playing a game by yourself. Pick up trash in a park, on a beach or along the roadside that you didn't leave.
“You give but little when you give of your possessions.It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” ― Kahlil Gibran,
7. Believing you don't deserve or are worthy of love and happiness. Everyone deserves love and happiness. Thinking that you don't deserve it is faulty thinking. Thinking that you are too old, too _______ blocks love from finding you. It might have been programmed into your unconscious mind in early childhood. Our fear of being unworthy keeps us out of being connected and loved. Most of my single clients come to me feeling unworthy, this gets turned around very quickly in my sessions!
We might be afraid to allow others to see ourselves the way we are authentically. I understand this because I used to have deep shame. I couldn't be authentic because I was afraid that people wouldn't love me as I was. When we are able to be ourselves as we truly are, authentically and step forward in vulnerability changes our lives expanding our ability to love and be loved as we are. Connection is what brings us fulfillment and contentment. When we can allow ourselves to be seen as we are will deepen our connection and allows us to be loved completely.
Whatever the reason, the work I do can help you. Worthiness is one of the things that happens when you begin to love yourself as you are.
Brene´Brown has an excellent Ted Talk about shame and connection that will help you with her scientific knowledge and wisdom.
8. Thinking that a relationship is going to make you happy. Until we are happy with ourselves, we won't be happy with another person either. We will make the other person wrong, we will blame the other person when our stuff begins to come up. Until we love ourselves, we won't be able to receive the love from another person.
9. Not loving your job. When we work too much we are subject to coronary disease and depression. Working in a career we hate increases stress and unhappiness. When we hate our career we tend to eat to numb ourselves. When we eat sweets or consume drugs or alcohol to numb ourselves we also numb our joy.
10. Mindless Eating. When we eat mindlessly in front of the television or at our desks we numb ourselves. Not only do we suppress what we might consider negative emotions, but we also suppress our happiness as well. When we eat unconsciously we consume more than we would if we ate with a friend. Mindless eating leads to obesity, depression and heart disease. Why we eat more than we think, is a great place to start.
If you have the courage to love yourself with your whole heart but need the guidance to do so, I will help you be kind to yourself. I help you become compassionate and loving to you so that you can be completely authentic and open to receive love. I see the beauty in you and help you see it within yourself. Contact me now to see if my work is a good fit for you.