Tag Archives: journaling

Healthy & Fit Over 50 Happiness Tips #1

Happiness, or satisfaction with your life, plays an enormous part in your overall well-being. The month of November is officially Gratitude Month, so your timing is perfect! Across the world people are writing out three things they’re grateful for every day. Get in on the action and feel your days get lighter and happier as you realize how much there is to be thankful for.

For more support on how to get started improving your outlook on life and getting healthier as a result, contact me through my website: http://www.HealthWorksKC.com

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Tuesday Tips – Happiness!

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

In this book, Mr. Achor talks about how putting positivity first improves intelligence, creativity, productivity and energy. He calls this the Happiness Advantage and during a recent TED talk he outlined a simple process designed to achieve results in 21 days.

Every day list three things you’re grateful for, journal on a positive experience that occurred in the last 24 hours, exercise, meditate, and perform an act of kindness such as sending a positive email praising or thanking someone in your social, family or work network.

I can attest to most of the suggestions as I regularly journal and most days there is a lot of gratitude. I also exercise gently every morning, and occasionally meditate. I am now committing to daily meditation and instituting a practice of daily kindness.

It’s all so easy to effect a change toward a better, more focused brain! For more information, I recommend the TED talk (He’s an entertaining speaker!) and/or purchasing his book.

 

 

Thursday Thanks – Ordering Your Private World 1/5/12

I am thankful for a book, and the Universe for continually putting it in my hands. The first time was ten or so years ago when I picked it up at a thrift store, again a few years ago and twice in as many days I have tried to suggest it to someone but couldn’t remember the name or the author. Typically, that means I would forget about it completely: Not so, this time.

This morning while doing my exercises and stretches, Spirit tossed the author’s name into my head as I hit my 10th sit-up: Gordon MacDonald. That was all I could get; no book name, not even a glimmer … Organize this … no … Your Life that … no, no, and no! Okay, already! I went to the bookshelf and there it sat; I think it was smiling.

The name of the book is, “Ordering Your Private World” by Gordon MacDonald.* It is an awesome guide to bringing you to center; to finding your rhythm.

From the introduction: “I was a young pastor in a sizable church, and I had accumulated several weeks of busyness (I mean really busy!) in my work. Now, there is a busyness that reflects a plan of activity, a pattern of priorities, and a sense of purposefulness. It is a good and satisfying busyness through which one grows and increases competence.”

“But there is also a busyness (a destructive busyness, actually) that reflects a chaotic way of life—a way of doing in which one is simply responding to the next thing in the day. The next thing! It makes no difference whether or not it has significance; it’s just the next thing, and one does it because it’s there to do.” Oh yeah! I can be that kind of busy!

I have read this book cover to cover twice, highlighted passages to return to, and soaked in the content (if not the name). It always brings me to a place where the center becomes the focus, where peace reigns, where what’s important comes into view. I am so thankful for “Ordering Your Private World.”

*This book is written from a Christian perspective, but I found it easy to work with despite my individualized beliefs.

Stress-free Journaling Part 3: Can’t Get the Words Flowing?

If you’re having trouble starting your daily entry, just make a grocery list or a list of things you want to accomplish that day or week or month. That usually gets me off and writing. I sometimes reflect on the food choices I’ve made lately and try to figure out what might be better for me.

With time to think, the to-do list often leads to questions about why I’m procrastinating and/or resisting something. Writing about that often leads to new insight.

That’s the great thing about stress-free journaling: You don’t have to follow any rules. On the days where all that happens is a grocery list, you can be grateful that your grocery list is finished!

When I’m totally blocked I pull out the ‘G’ word: Gratitude.

If gratitude isn’t your frame of mind at the time, you don’t really have to work hard, even being silly and just randomly tossing out objects works: Lemons? Ahh … I love hot lemonade!* Snow? Look at the way the sun turns the surface to diamonds. Coffee? Just the aroma brings a sigh of thanks in the morning … And the first sip is divine!

Gratitude gets me going every time. All I have to do is look around me: Yes, my faucet leaks but I am grateful for the money to pay to have it fixed. Thank you.

Wow! Check out those shoes … They’re looking a bit ratty. I’ll soon have the funds to replace them. Thanks!

My yard still needs a bit of winterizing, but guess what? I have a fantastic yard with beautiful trees and plants. The work of it can wait until tomorrow, or the day after that. Thank you.

I’m overwhelmed with working and school and building a business and working out and eating healthy and walking two dogs and, and, and … Wow, I am grateful to have such a full life. Who knew that there were so many exciting choices each and every day! It’s a good thing I don’t have to be perfect at anything and that I can take it all one step at a time.

So, that’s how you get the flow going. Start with a grocery list and marvel as you move into a total paradigm shift.

At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition we’re taught that food isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to feeding your body. We’re taught that self-care, relationships, spirituality, movement and career are equally important. Using a journal is a form of self-care that will give you insight into the other elements of your life from whether or not your career is bringing you up or your relationship bringing you down, or if you are using food to nourish your body of fend off boredom.

If you’d like help setting goals and learning to nourish yourself to lose weight, gain energy, sleep better … feel better, visit my website HealthWorks KC.com.

*Hot Lemonade: fresh-squeezed lemon, honey and hot water. For an extra special treat add a sprig of Rosemary, crushing a few of the leaves. YUM!


Stress-Free Journaling Part 2: Time & Place … Don’t Forget the Coffee!

It might take a few tries before you find the right time and place for your journaling experience. Don’t give up if you don’t get it right the first time. Try something different.

Originally I tried journaling at night after the rush of the day and evening were over. I thought this would be a fantastic time to reflect on the day and prepare for the next. Wrong! I fell asleep every time. I picked myself up, dusted myself off, (actually I woke myself up and wiped the drool from my face) and brilliantly determined that nighttime journaling wasn’t my thing.

I began setting my alarm 30 minutes earlier and found that it worked. I had to make a few adjustments in my morning schedule, but it was worth it. Now I set my alarm even earlier because I love not feeling rushed when I am writing about something. On the days that I don’t need an hour I get to read the paper more leisurely or putter around the house. (Rising earlier worked so well for me that I added a 20-minute workout into my morning as well. Apparently I’m a morning person … Who knew?)

I have a friend that stops at a coffee shop on her way home from work and journals there. She couldn’t get the quiet time she needed at home so she found a time and place that worked for her. On days when that doesn’t work she’s often able to fit her coffee shop journaling in between dropping her son off at an activity and picking him up. These are great ideas for parents, or if you live with roommates or pesky spouses.

I sit in a comfortable chair with wide arms that sits in a corner between two windows. I use a lap desk to write on. The arm of the chair is perfect for my morning cup of coffee!

My favorite pen feels incredibly smooth when I write and fits comfortably in my hand. Take some time to find that perfect pen—it feels like a wonderful gift whether it costs $3 or $50. My only advice is to fall in love with a refillable pen because if you get going on journaling, you’ll go through a lot of ink and think of the landfill space you’ll save if you’re only tossing refills!

When I started journaling I used spiral notebooks that I bought at the beginning of the school year for around fifty cents. Now I use a nicer spiral notebook that costs around $3. I went nicer because … well … I like them and they are 100% recycled paper with really cute covers. They are made by New Leaf Paper Products and I found them at Office Depot.

Note to dog owners: Bring the dogs into the room with you if no one else is at home or awake. I entice mine with a couple of biscuits and it’s now a daily habit they look forward to. They hear me get a biscuit in the morning and they head for the journal room. I put a gate across the door so that they don’t wander around and bark at people out on their early morning walks. Ahhh … quiet! (I have to admit that their puppy-dog stares interrupt my thought processes occasionally … those big brown eyes looking up at me beseechingly … “just one more biscuit … pleeeeeeese?”)

So, to wrap it up:

  • Find a time and a place that works for you
  • Treat yourself to a ‘refillable’ pen that is a joy to write with
  • Find paper you like, and
  • Write on!

At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition we’re taught that food isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to feeding your body. We’re taught that self-care, relationships, spirituality, movement and career are equally important. Using a journal is a form of self-care that will give you insight into the other elements of your life from whether or not your career is bringing you up or your relationship bringing you down, or if you are using food to nourish your body of fend off boredom.

If you’d like help setting goals and learning to nourish yourself to lose weight, gain energy, sleep better … feel better, visit my website  HealthWorksKC.com

 

Next up:
Easy-Does-It Journaling #3:
Can’t get the words flowing?