Posts Tagged ‘Happiness’

The Art of Not Being Offended

April 23, 2017

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There is an ancient and well-kept secret to happiness which the Great Ones have known for centuries. They rarely talk about it, but they use it all the time, and it is fundamental to good mental health. This secret is called The Fine Art of Not Being Offended.

In order to truly be a master of this art, one must be able to see that every statement, action and reaction of another human being is the sum result of their total life experience to date. In other words, the majority of people in our world say and do what they do from their own set of fears, conclusions, defenses and attempts to survive. Most of it, even when aimed directly at us, has nothing to do with us. Usually, it has more to do with all the other times, and in particular the first few times, that this person experienced a similar situation, usually when they were young.

Yes, this is psychodynamic. But let’s face it, we live in a world where psychodynamics are what make the world go around. An individual who wishes to live successfully in the world as a spiritual person really needs to understand that psychology is as spiritual as prayer. In fact, the word psychology literally means the study of the soul.

All of that said, almost nothing is personal. Even with our closest loved ones, our beloved partners, our children and our friends. We are all swimming in the projections and filters of each other’s life experiences and often we are just the stand-ins, the chess pieces of life to which our loved ones have their own built-in reactions. This is not to dehumanize life or take away the intimacy from our relationships, but mainly for us to know that almost every time we get offended, we are actually just in a misunderstanding. A true embodiment of this idea actually allows for more intimacy and less suffering throughout all of our relationships. When we know that we are just the one who happens to be standing in the right place at the right psychodynamic time for someone to say or do what they are doing—we don’t have to take life personally. If it weren’t us, it would likely be someone else.

This frees us to be a little more detached from the reactions of people around us. How often do we react to a statement of another by being offended rather than seeing that the other might actually be hurting? In fact, every time we get offended, it is actually an opportunity to extend kindness to one who may be suffering—even if they themselves do not appear that way on the surface. All anger, all acting out, all harshness, all criticism, is in truth a form of suffering. When we provide no Velcro for it to stick, something changes in the world. We do not even have to say a thing. In fact, it is usually better not to say a thing. People who are suffering on the inside, but not showing it on the outside, are usually not keen on someone pointing out to them that they are suffering. We do not have to be our loved one’s therapist. We need only understand the situation and move on. In the least, we ourselves experience less suffering and at best, we have a chance to make the world a better place.

This is also not to be confused with allowing ourselves to be hurt, neglected or taken advantage of. True compassion does not allow harm to ourselves either. But when we know that nothing is personal, a magical thing happens. Many of the seeming abusers of the world start to leave our lives. Once we are conscious, so-called abuse can only happen if we believe what the other is saying. When we know nothing is personal, we also do not end up feeling abused. We can say, “Thank you for sharing,” and move on. We are not hooked by what another does or says, since we know it is not about us. When we know that our inherent worth is not determined by what another says, does or believes, we can take the world a little less seriously. And if necessary, we can just walk away without creating more misery for ourselves or having to convince the other person that we are good and worthy people.

The great challenge of our world is to live a life of contentment, regardless of what other people do, say, think or believe. The fine art of not being offended is one of the many skills for being a practical mystic. Though it may take a lifetime of practice, it is truly one of the best kept secrets for living a happy life.

Source: http://theunboundedspirit.com/how-not-to-be-offended/
“The Art of Not Being Offended,” from shemsi-prinzivalli.blogspot.gr

 

 

Sweet Poison – sugar, it never fully satisfies our cravings.

August 12, 2014

addiction
In the last 24 hours, I’ve drunk several cups of coffee, each one sweetened with a sugar cube. I’ve eaten a bowl of porridge sprinkled liberally with brown sugar and I’ve enjoyed on three separate occasions, a piece of my date and apple birthday cake, to which the chef tells me he added one cup of castor sugar.

This is pretty standard fare for me (birthday celebrations notwithstanding) and although occasionally I fret that my sugar intake is perhaps a little high and that I should reign it in or else risk all manner of health problems down the track, I continue to indulge my sweet tooth. Although after listening to David Gillespie present at Happiness & Its Causes 2011, I’m seriously thinking I really do need to wean myself off the white stuff.

Gillespie, a former lawyer, is the author of Sweet Poison: why sugar makes us fat, whose thesis is that sugar, or more specifically fructose (of which folk are consuming, on average, about one kilo a week), actually does much more that pack on the kilos. It also makes us physically ill and exacts a significant toll on our mental health.

What we’ve come to identify as sugar is actually a combination of two molecules: fructose and glucose, the latter an indispensable element to the body’s healthy functioning. As Gillespie explains, “The glucose half is fine. It’s more than just fine; it’s vitally necessary for us. We are machines that run on the fuel of glucose.” Indeed, all the carbohydrates we consume – and which for most of us constitute about 60 per cent of our diet (everything else is proteins and fats) – are converted to glucose.

Fructose, on the other hand, is not metabolised by us for fuel but rather converted directly to fat. As Gillespie says, “By the time we finish a glass of apple juice, the first mouthful is already circulating in our arteries as fat.” But even worse than that, fructose messes with those hormonal signals which tell us we’re full so that we keep on eating sugary, fatty foods.

Two hormones in particular are affected, the first one being insulin “which responds immediately to the presence of all carbs except fructose,” says Gillespie. “When insulin goes up, appetite goes down. So insulin tells us, ‘all right, you’ve had a meal, stop eating’. Fructose does not provoke a response from insulin and in fact, over time, it makes us resistant to the signals we do get from everything else we eat.”

Leptin is produced by our fat cells and works as our “on board fuel gauge” in that the more fat cells we have, the more leptin we produce and the less hungry we are. The problem with fructose is it “makes us resistant to that signal,” says Gillespie.

And yes, this leads to all manner of health problems including Type 2 Diabetes and its associated symptoms including lethargy, blurred vision and skin infections, and what Gillespie says is “significant damage through something called glycation”, the destruction through the excessive production of so-called AGEs (advanced glycation end products) of our skin’s elasticity which causes hardening of our arteries and brittle skin, both unmistakable signs of ageing. Gillespie also cites some biochemistry studies that have found fructose accelerates the growth of pancreatic cancer tumours.

These are just some of the physical effects. The addictive quality of fructose means it’s also a bit of a downer and that’s because of how it interferes with the balance of two feel-good hormones in the brain, dopamine and serotonin. Gillespie explains, “It significantly ramps up our dopamine (released when we anticipate pleasure) at the expense of our serotonin (released when that pleasure is delivered).” In other words, it never fully satisfies our cravings, and as anyone who’s battled an addiction knows, unfulfilled cravings are never much fun.

Article sourced from: http://www.thinkandbehappy.com.au/eating-way-health-happiness/

40 Ways to Let Go & Feel Less Pain

December 22, 2013

"One of the simplest ways to stay happy is... letting go of the things that make you sad." #happiness quotes #happy

“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” ~Ajahn Chah

Eckhart Tolle believes we create and maintain problems because they give us a sense of identity. Perhaps this explains why we often hold onto our pain far beyond its ability to serve us.

We replay past mistakes over and over again in our head, allowing feelings of shame and regret to shape our actions in the present. We cling to frustration and worry about the future, as if the act of fixation somehow gives us power. We hold stress in our minds and bodies, potentially creating serious health issues, and accept that state of tension as the norm.

Though it may sound simple, Ajahn Chah’s advice speaks volumes.

There will never be a time when life is simple. There will always be time to practice accepting that. Every moment is a chance to let go and feel peaceful. Here are forty ideas to get started:

Let Go Of Frustration with Yourself/Your Life

1. Learn a new skill instead of dwelling on the skills you never mastered.

2. Change your perception—see the root cause as a blessing in disguise.

3. Cry it out. According to Dr. William Frey II, PH.D., biochemist at the Ramset Medical Center in Minneapolis, crying away your negative feelings releases harmful chemicals that build up in your body due to stress.

4. Channel your discontent into an immediate positive action—make some calls about new job opportunities, or walk to the community center to volunteer.

5. Use meditation or yoga to bring you into the present moment (instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future).

6. Make a list of your accomplishments—even the small ones— and add to it daily. You’ll have to let go of a little discontentment to make space for this self-satisfaction.

7. Visualize a box in your head labeled “Expectations.” Whenever you start dwelling on how things should be or should have been, mentally shelve the thoughts in this box.

8. Engage in a physical activity. Exercise decreases stress hormones and increases endorphins, chemicals that improve your state of mind.

9. Focus all your energy on something you can actually control instead of dwelling on things you can’t.

10. Express your feelings through a creative outlet, like blogging or painting. Add this to your to-do list and cross it off when you’re done. This will be a visual reminder that you have actively chosen to release these feelings.

Let go of Anger and Bitterness

11. Feel it fully. If you stifle your feelings, they may leak out and affect everyone around you—not just the person who inspired your anger. Before you can let go of any emotion, you have to feel it fully.

12. Give yourself a rant window. Let yourself vent for a day before confronting the person who troubled you. This may diffuse the hostility and give you time to plan a rational confrontation.

13. Remind yourself that anger hurts you more than the person who upset you, and visualize it melting away as an act of kindness to yourself.

14. If possible, express your anger to the person who offended you. Communicating how you feel may help you move on. Keep in mind that you can’t control how to offender responds; you can only control how clearly and kindly you express yourself.

15. Take responsibility. Many times when you’re angry, you focus on what someone else did that was wrong, which essentially gives away your power. When you focus on what you could have done better, you often feel empowered and less bitter.

16. Put yourself in the offender’s shoes. We all make mistakes, and odds are you could have easily slipped up just like your husband, father, or friend did. Compassion dissolves anger.

17. Metaphorically throw it away. For example, jog with a backpack full of tennis balls. After you’ve built up a bit of rush, toss the balls one by one, labeling each as a part of your anger. (You’ll need to retrieve these—litter angers the earth!)

18. Use a stress ball, and express your anger physically and vocally when you use it. Make a scrunched up face or grunt. You may feel silly, but this allows you to actually express what you’re feeling inside.

19. Wear a rubber band on your wrist, and gently flick it when you start obsessing on angry thoughts. This trains your mind to associate that type of persistent negativity with something unpleasant.

20. Remind yourself these are your only three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it. These acts create happiness; holding onto bitterness never does.

Let Go Of Past Relationships

21. Identify what the experience taught you to help develop a sense of closure.

22. Write everything you want to express in a letter. Even if you choose not to send it, clarifying your feelings will help you come to terms with reality as it is now.

23. Remember both the good and the bad. Even if appears this way now, the past was not perfect. Acknowledging this may minimize your sense of loss. As Laura Oliver says, “It’s easier to let go of a human than a hero.”

24. Un-romanticize the way you view love. Of course you’ll feel devastated if you believe you lost your soul mate. If you think you can find a love that amazing or better again, it will be easier to move on.

25. Visualize an empowered single you—the person you were before meeting your last love. That person was pretty awesome, and now you have the chance to be him or her again.

26. Create a space that reflects your present reality. Take down his pictures; delete her emails from your saved folder.

27. Reward yourself for small acts of acceptance. Get a facial after you delete his number from your phone, or head out with friends after putting all her things in a box.

28. Hang this statement somewhere you can see it. “Loving myself means letting go.”

29. Replace your emotional thoughts with facts. When you think, “I’ll never feel loved again!” don’t resist that feeling. Instead, move on to another thought, like “I learned a new song for karaoke tonight.”

30. Use the silly voice technique. According to Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap, swapping the voice in your head with a cartoon voice will help take back power from the troubling thought.

Let Go Of Stress

31. Use a deep breathing technique, like ujayii, to soothe yourself and seep into the present moment.

32. Immerse yourself in a group activity. Enjoying the people in your life may help put your problems in perspective.

33. Consider this quotation by Eckhart Tolle: “Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.” Questioning how your stress serves you may help you let it go.

34. Metaphorically release it. Write down all your stresses and toss the paper into your fireplace.

35. Replace your thoughts. Notice when you begin thinking about something that stresses you so you can shift your thought process to something more pleasant, like your passion for your hobby.

36. Take a sauna break. Studies reveal that people who go to sauna at least twice a week for ten to thirty minutes are less stressed after work than others with similar jobs who don’t.

37. Imagine your life 10 years from now. Then look twenty years into the future, and then thirty. Realize that many of the things you’re worrying about don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

38. Organize your desk. According to Georgia Witkin, assistant director of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, completing a small task increases your sense of control and decreases your stress level.

39. Use it up. Make two lists: one with the root causes of your stress, and one with actions to address them. As you complete these tasks, visualize yourself utilizing and depleting your “stress supply.”

40. Laugh it out. Research shows that laughter soothes tension, improves your immune system, and even eases pain. If you can’t relax for long, start with just ten minutes watching a funny video on YouTube.

It’s a long list, but there’s much left to be said! Can you think of anything to add to this list—other areas of life where we need to practice letting go, and other techniques to start doing it right now?

Article written By Lori Deschene, sourced from: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/40-ways-to-let-go-and-feel-less-pain/

101 Ways to Feel Happy

August 14, 2012


Do you want to feel happy — or even happier — on a daily basis?

The simple solution is dipping into these 101 quick, easy and free ways to make you feel happy right now. They’ll help you get the big picture on how you can actively seek happiness and start to feel happier every day.

Once you’ve got started you can add more ideas of your own to make sure you get your daily dose of happiness. Life’s too short to be miserable and there are infinite ways to feel happy, it’s just a case of finding out what makes you feel instantly happy and taking a moment to enjoy those things every day.

In the long term living a life which is in tune with your values, doing work you’re passionate about and surrounding yourself with inspiring people will help increase your happiness.

But in the short term it’s about doing small things to please yourself, choosing activities that raise your happiness levels slowly but surely then keeping them there by repeating the process regularly.

Here’s the most important stuff you need to do to live in the moment and feel happier every day in one quick list:

  1. Smile.
  2. Connect with nature.
  3. Surround yourself with positive people in person or online.
  4. Do something you’ve always enjoyed.
  5. Do something you’ve never done before but have always wanted to try.
  6. Learn something new.
  7. Smell something that makes you happy: a mandarin, your lover’s perfume, chocolate, you decide.
  8. Reward yourself for your good habits.
  9. Eat something that makes you happy, but not too much if it’s fattening.
  10. Spend time with a good friend.
  11. Touch something that makes you happy: a cat, velvet, the bark of a tree? Take time to notice.
  12. Don’t worry now, worry later.
  13. Say, or sing, something that makes you happy.
  14. Challenge yourself, I dare you.
  15. Look at something that makes you happy.
  16. Stop procrastinating, do something.
  17. Take a small step towards your goal.
  18. Congratulate yourself.
  19. Tell someone you love them.
  20. Do a good deed.
  21. Face your fears.
  22. Read a book you love.
  23. Get outside.
  24. Spend time with inspiring people or read about someone who inspires you.
  25. Clear out your junk, literally.
  26. Let go of negative memories.
  27. Dwell on positive things from your past.
  28. Be creative.
  29. Dare yourself to do something.
  30. Give someone an unexpected gift.
  31. Change your habits just this once, do something unexpected.
  32. Watch the sunset.
  33. Get up for sunrise.
  34. Open a savings account.
  35. Be active.
  36. Plan for success.
  37. Eat something healthy.
  38. Trust your instincts.
  39. Follow your passion.
  40. Throw a party, or plan one.
  41. Avoid drama queens and energy suckers, you know who they are.
  42. Write stuff down, keep a diary.
  43. Set a goal.
  44. Clean your house, bit by bit.
  45. Say “no”.
  46. Spend a day alone.
  47. Devote a day to family.
  48. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to for a while.
  49. Wear your favourite outfit.
  50. Be present.
  51. Go for a bike ride.
  52. Do something you loved as a kid that you haven’t done for years.
  53. Forgive someone, especially yourself.
  54. Go slow.
  55. Have a meal somewhere different: try a picnic.
  56. Avoid advertisements.
  57. Pick a bunch of flowers and put them in your house.
  58. Ban all media for the day.
  59. Let something slide.
  60. Display a colorful fruit bowl and eat one or two pieces a day.
  61. Be romantic.
  62. Play a game: try Uno or Monopoly with the kids and chess or poker with your friends.
  63. Make a smoothie.
  64. Have a siesta.
  65. Do something you’ve been putting off.
  66. Dream big.
  67. Start small.
  68. Seek out supportive and like-minded people.
  69. Understand that all things come to an end.
  70. Feed the ducks.
  71. Persevere: pick up something you gave up on.
  72. Start a new habit, a good one.
  73. Look at yourself in the mirror, pick what you like best and flaunt it.
  74. Seek sensuous activities and enjoy them.
  75. Look around for funny things and have a laugh.
  76. Rest up.
  77. Change your routine.
  78. Take a photo, and look back at old ones.
  79. Stretch your body.
  80. Meditate.
  81. Write a mantra.
  82. Focus.
  83. Don’t buy something — and see if you miss it. Put the cash in a savings account instead.
  84. Notice what makes you happy and use it in sad times.
  85. Ignore people who annoy you, stop being with them.
  86. Play hide and seek with some kids.
  87. Put a picture of something you want on your wall.
  88. Tell someone your dreams.
  89. Love yourself.
  90. Be grateful.
  91. Visualise.
  92. Unblock.
  93. Use your brain: try a crossword or sudoku.
  94. Make a good choice.
  95. Acknowledge your feelings.
  96. Go on a journey, long or short.
  97. Talk to someone you wouldn’t normally connect with.
  98. Be grateful for life.
  99. Write a poem.
  100. Teach someone something you know well.
  101. Choose to be happy every day.

If you haven’t already had your happy fix today, or if you want to feel even happier, try these 101 quick, simple ideas. But maybe not all on the same day.

What makes you instantly happy?

Sourced from: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/101-ways-to-feel-happy-on-a-daily-basis.html