Why You Aren’t Happy Right Now…and How to Change That!

One of the top questions I hear is “I am making improvements in my life, why am I not happy yet?”  I get asked this about many things, but in a nutshell, the answer is actually because you really haven’t thought about being happy.  Shock!  I have thought about it a hundred times…you think.  But it drifts off into the sea of other thoughts around what you need to make you happy.  If I only had…a bigger house.  If I only had…a relationship.  More money would really help make me happy.  You then carry on with your day and your thoughts about things that would make you happy.

Lots of people are looking for happiness in the wrong places.  Some people believe happiness comes when they get what they want.  Interesting.  What next?  Do we stay happy after getting what we want then?

Life is a series of complex decisions; however, what if it didn’t have to be.  What if you could declutter your life, get rid of things you don’t want and start over.  Interesting concept.  Downsize instead of supersize?  No way.  Hmm.  But what if?

Many people don’t believe happiness is a choice that only they can make.  I am going to provide you with some tips on how you can choose happiness over and over again, and maybe, just maybe, start to see that is not based off some magical formula, a fairy tale, or even a myth that has been handed down for generations.  Happiness is truly what you make of it.

How to Create Lasting Happiness Right Now:

    • Start a gratitude journal if you don’t already have one.  I know you guys have been watching my weekly talk about this on my fan page when I am Live, but have you started your journal with me?  I am not going to stop talking about it, because we focus so much on what’s wrong, we have forgotten our joys y’all.  I had to throw a y’all in there so you would know I am serious.  Just take a look at your feed.  Count the people who post their blessings…for REAL.  Umm hmm.  Not many, right? Anyway, my exact journal is posted above.  I love it!
    • Clear your space for happiness.  Do you get depressed in a dirty house?  An unmade bed?  Dirty sheets?  No nice smelly things like oils, etc.?  Start tidying up to make room for happiness.  Happiness can start with an intention.  We feel better now because we have done something.  It actually raises our vibration to walk into a nice, clean, insert favorite scent here, room.  I have a diffuser similar to this one to help me feel relaxed and at ease.
    • Work only on what you can change…about you.  So many times, I see people worrying about what others are doing on a daily basis.  The corrupt politicians, the boss, work issues, family who do x, y, z.  All these people have faults just like you.  We aren’t getting anywhere in this world by talking about what we don’t like.  Period.  It has not ever changed one thing in my life.  What has?  Focusing on what I can do to make things better.  Writing articles to help people.  Helping people take back their lives makes me happy.  No strings attached, just pure happiness.  As I work to promote the good I see, things inside of me change as well.  As I help others, I help myself.
    • Practice makes perfect-ish.  I wanted to use this old saying, but let you know that no one is actually perfect.  However, practicing gratitude and changing your focus over and over again can actually change your percentage of happiness.  No Way.  But yes way, because a fancy researcher said so.  According to Robert Emmons, PhD in his book, Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, those who regularly practice gratitude can enhance this set point by as much as 25%.  I don’t know him, but what a cute book.  I am actually reading a similar one…but it’s almost too behavioral study based and long-winded for me.
    • Use a wide viewpoint…and not just a narrow one.  If you consistently see your problems as the only ones, then that creates an ego-based viewpoint of the world.  Be aware of your circle of friends, and what the world is also going through.  Cultivate compassion for others and their needs…but not to the point of using your needs as a basis for inserting it into every conversation.  That still brings it down to a narrow viewpoint.  Social media has made it more “me based” instead of “us based”.  Don’t be that way with your friends.
    • Always keep trying.  Just because you have a set-back, or something sad happens, doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to feel it.  Of course you are.  But don’t stay in that place forever.  Keep on going.  Just like I said last week, you have the power to live any reality you want simply by shifting your thoughts to where you want to be. 

happiness_oneselfStill looking for more support?  Check out the tops tabs.  Work with me, or the Head|Heart|Health Club.

 

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6 Things No One Else Controls…Except You!!

Contrary to popular opinion the world does not owe anyone anything.  Yup.  It’s up to us to make our own way in the world.  Hypothetically, if you were to ask me for advice and blame everything that has happened to you on someone else in your family, I might give you advice you don’t want to hear.  I don’t lie, and I don’t really sugar-coat.  I tell you what your words are telling me.

I have talked about this before, but each of us on this earth are responsible for our own happiness…and in turn, we feel more successful when we are happy.  Happiness isn’t ready-made, and we can’t be happy all of the time, but we can turn some things around that lead to unhappiness.  Letting other people control things usually leads to unhappy thoughts, which in turn can lead to depression, anger, sadness, anxiety and many more feelings of unease in our own skin.

Each day we are responsible for our actions whether or not they are good or bad.  I am still beating myself up over hesitating paying for a stranger to get a hair cut the other day, but that moment has passed.  I hesitated because I didn’t want to offend the woman, but she said she was just checking on prices and didn’t have it on her at the moment, but would come back.  We can do good things when we are prompted by our gut…but I let judgement jump in because I thought she would be offended.  I made that choice for her.

Then I let my disappointment bring me down.  Anytime we make poor decisions, or don’t listen to what our intuition tells us, we sometimes do the “repeat” thing in our heads.  I am here to tell you that never solves a thing.  Sing the Cher song backwards, because guess what?  You can’t turn back time.  The time is now.  So let’s start now making those tiny continuous improvements that I have talked about before.   <<< check that out after the article.

6 Things Only You Control:

  1. The Word “NO.”  No is actually a complete sentence.  If people are dragging you into needless arguments and are already committed to being right, why bother being part of it?  No thank you.  Not my circus.  Not my monkeys. I love that line by the way and say it in my head lots… I add colorful modifiers sometimes in my head as well, but truth.  If grown folks are trying to get you to be part of their nonsense, just say no.
  2. No one can steal your breath.  I read an e-mail today that was condescending and blaming.  The person didn’t know how to do their job so they are blaming other things.  I needed to breathe.  Breathing gets my head clear.  Gets me to realize how young this person is.  Gets me to take the higher road than I was going to take in my response.  Allows me to show them why I ask other people for their opinion before I assume.  It’s time to breathe and feel the air come up through your belly, expanding your lungs and then exhaling through your nose.  For a count of 3 before responding.  Own your breath.  Don’t let them own it.
  3. Your reaction.  “Well you made me do that!”  Nope.  Not buying that.  No matter how hurtful someone is, or how petty, you still control your reaction and the words you use to respond.  Find your breath.  Remember the word no is still available, and last, walk away if you need to.  It is always your choice to have higher self-control than the next person.  You can be humble in this situation and show kindness as well.
  4. The voice in your head.  It’s all you up there.  Do you have it on rewind all the time?  What routines are in place to clear it?  Do you know where the delete button is or has it vanished?  When you feel your inner voice repeating a scenario, stop it.  Breathe deeply again 3 times.  Replace it with an affirmation of positive self-talk.  I am worthy.  I am able to move past this.  << By the way, you are.  Forgive yourself and move forward.  Journal if you need to and then close the page.  It is gone.  Out of your head and onto the paper.  End it with “Tomorrow is a new day.”
  5. Your friend choice.  A long time ago, there were some “popular” kids my friend thought were awesome.  I didn’t.  In fact, I went out of my way to avoid them and make my own friends because this particular crew was nothing but mean girls.  I tried out for soccer instead of what back then was the norm.  Not saying that cheering is bad, but it was the norm in the 80’s and 90’s.  Girls playing soccer was not.  I liked to be different.  Go figure.  But along the way I learned that I couldn’t make the mean girls nice, I couldn’t make them like me or hate me less, because you guessed it, if a guy from around their crowd took notice of me, I was called names.  I just did my thang.  You do yours my friends.  Seriously.  Your gut is right.
  6. Your present and your future.  The truth is, these people don’t control how you spend the rest of your life.  If you are letting them, you have to ask yourself why?  Are you stuck in the past?  Are you holding grudges?  Are you motivated by hate or anger?  What are you doing right now that is helping you move forward from this?  It is time to practice forgiveness.  Send that card.  Say thank you.  Let go.  You really can move forward.  It is up to you and it is your choice whether to let go or be dragged.

A few more articles to help you >>>  The Process of Letting Go

>>>   20 Minutes of Anger (or tips for not Hulking out)

Do you need help making progress?  Try 4 Weeks to Wellness.  There is currently a flash sale on the bonus!

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3 Things That Kill Your Dreams (And How To Handle Them)

Dream KillersPeople always told me, “Don’t quit your day job”.  No matter how many times I said, this is not what I went to school for.  I didn’t think it was going to be like this…I am miserable and the stress makes me ill (side note, it literally did make me ill, but probably the black mold and asbestos tiles didn’t help either).  I was a classroom teacher who only ever dreamed of being a writer.

I actually loved the thought of teaching without strings attached and the children if that makes sense…I did not love lots of other things.  So I started thinking to myself, if people don’t 100% love what they are doing every single day, then why not dream bigger?

So what happened when I finally decided to leave teaching and started secretly planning my escape?

3 Dream Killers…and how to handle them:

  1. Everyone will give you constructive criticism, but it’s not really constructive.  It’s what they would do.  People talk from their place of fear.  I did not have another job lined up.  Had no idea how I was going to make it if we dropped my salary.  I did not have a large savings.  There was no safety net.  I am a kind of jump person think later…soooo.  I get told how others would have done x,y,z.  The only thing that mattered to me was am I currently happy in my job?  No.  That was all I needed to know.  So people tried to break down my dream, or give me safety net options…like just take leave for a while.  So I told people that’s what I was doing finally.  But I honestly was not coming back because I believed that strongly in my dream.
  2. Losing friends, status, or ending up an outcast.  I didn’t worry so much about this the first year, because they all thought I might be taking a year off on one of those awesome things called a “sabbatical”.  If you tell people using special jargon, they are okay with it for some reason.  Ohh, hmm.  Okay, it’s a sabbatical.  However, eventually people started saying things like “Are you ever coming back?” or “Are you really making money?”  See, I had been teaching long enough to get a pin for being there a while, and then I left.  I sacrificed the next level of pin.  I was totally okay with this.  We sacrificed a few things that were wants not needs at home.  My family was okay with this.  And if I lost friends because of this, then they really weren’t my friends to begin with and I was equally okay with this as well.  I made new friends and forged new relationships in this new world of writing.
  3. Fear of failure, being laughed at or making mistakes.  I left 3 years ago, and the first year was the most exciting; however, it was also the year I had to remember to calm down and not go overboard with trying to fit everything I wanted to accomplish in 1 year.  Overnight success might seem like a thing, but I knew it was not the case.  I had to get more established and build trust.  I wasn’t going to find the next viral blog post in a year.  Or year two either…it took year three, but I was learning and I was growing.  I was teaching myself how to think like a business woman and to stop treating my dream like a hobby.  There was no other option in my mind by this point except to succeed at what I was doing.

What helped me turn the dream into a reality?

It was not a hobby.  It was a job.  I finally learned that lesson and took back my old office instead of writing on the sofa with my laptop.  I set up appointments, collaborations, and meetings internationally on Skype.  I said yes to things that scared the hell out of me…like meeting some of my new friends face-to-face overseas by accepting the offer of speaking internationally.  I created workshops with my local friend who really treated her business like a business, and I was grateful to be able to watch her say yes only to things that would propel her in the direction she wanted to go (P.S. she made the free meditation for you guys on my newsletter).  I read books from women I admired who did scary things…like Danielle LaPorte, and I breathed in her style.

I did not create the safety net for myself because I didn’t want to fall back on it.  I wanted to keep going and try new paths should the one I was on not work out.  Some way, some how, I was going to make this new business work.  I could actually be a writer, yoga teacher, wellness advocate, entrepreneur mom and follow my heart.  Start thinking of your dream daily and journal how it would feel to make it a reality.

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6 Things Happy People Know.

What in the world do happy people do differently?

Anger, pride, jealousy, and greed can get in the way of  your happiness.  You might think that in order to be happy you must have X amount of money.  You might think that in order to be happy you must have the perfect job and have the title of Ruler of All.  Whatever floats your boat.  The funny thing is, you will always want more.

On the outside, some people appear to have it all.  They shine and sparkle even when their smile doesn’t really reach their eyes.  Once they realize that they are in charge of their own happiness, you will notice the sparkle reaching their eyes as well.

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”  ~Dalai Lama

6 Things Happy People Know:

1. You are unique.  That’s right.  Even if you are a twin, you are still different.  Only you have the power to decide how you are going to feel, react and go about your day.  What you decide to act on is ultimately up to you.
2. A bad moment doesn’t make a bad life.  Remember when you were a kid and you had a bad moment?  Maybe you wanted to run away, or hide in your room, but then you woke up the next day and it was sunny and beautiful and you forgot all about whatever made you mad?  Those were the days, huh?  When did we start living in the movie Groundhog Day?  Stop this shit for real.  Wake up, stop thinking about whatever happened yesterday and move on.  Don’t even call the moving company to haul all your old baggage with you.  Nope.  Just get on with life.  Make new memories.
3. Nice people exist.  I have found them.  And at times, I have been one.  I went through a horrible period of time where I wasn’t one and I disliked all happy, nice people.  When you are in pain and chronic pain is your life, you can’t think past the pain at times.  It does change you.  It really does.  But if you are lucky enough to come out on the other side of that, remember how you felt as you interact with those who seem unhappy daily.  Focus on the rare moments they seem happy and compliment them on something…anything.  Trust me, they need it.
4. Good can come through change.  My motto is “Changed people, change people.”  For those of you who read the newsletter, you know this.  I will always live with invisible diseases for the rest of my life.  But how I live is up to me.  If you were dealt a hand that you want to walk away from, start thinking about how you can play the cards.  What can you do that will help others learn from your mistakes?
5. Everybody has their own baggage.  A friend once said to me, “Everyone wants you to get your hands dirty helping them push their own shit cart up the street.”  That one statement changed the way I help people.  I no longer wanted to take on their “stuff” as my own, but sought a way to help my clients see what was really theirs and what they were carting around that might have been accumulated from other people, or even old ways that just weren’t serving them anymore.  It was time to lighten the cart.
6. We make our own happiness.  I was once put in the middle of something that was definitely not my fight…but for some reason, I tried my best to help.  I later realized that I never could have helped, and it was only a matter of time before the outcome imploded on the makers of the situation.  You see, these people relied on things, friends, money, events, gatherings, alcohol, and whatever else was available to be temporarily happy.  That’s like putting a band-aid on a giant wound that needs stitches.  You have to get to the root of the problem and start there.  Peel back the layers.  Use all the tips I talk about.  If you can’t fix it, seek help.  Mental health professionals, yoga, meditation, or something that will soothe your soul, not numb it.  In my wellness coaching, I do my best to let my clients peel back their own layers and start healing.  This is the only way to move forward my friends.  Look within.

6 things happy people do

 

The Formula for Happiness.

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We need to reverse the formula for happiness and success.  Do you follow the formula of if I work harder, I will be more successful and then I will be happier?  Watch this and see what you think.  The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance.  Your brain at positive is 31% more productive that at negative, neutral or stressed levels.  Hmm.

Did you realize that being happy has a direct correlation with your performance?  Finding a way to be positive in the present moment is imperative to you performing better.  But…how can we do that when we are under stressed out conditions?  Guess what.  I have some ideas.

Dopamine makes you happier and turns on all the learning centers in your brain.  What are you doing when you are not happy I wonder?  Are you making important decisions in an angry state? 

I’m going to be honest.  I used lots of research to come up with my programs that I just launched here under the work with me tab…but I want to be able to give you some ideas that you can begin to use now.

Creating Lasting Positive Change:

I referenced Shawn’s video, so watch it!
  • 3 Gratitudes, new things you are grateful for each day!  (remember my previous blog post??  I had not even found his research yet, but look at how forward thinking we are.  It goes together!)
  • Journaling (WAIT!  I didn’t even go to Harvard and I have been writing about this, and counseling my clients for a while.  Research skills work!)
  • Exercise, which yes, includes me continuing to bug you about my yoga research:)  Namaste happy.
  • Meditation…heyyyy.  Here is where I told you about my collaboration with a friend who does guided mediation.  Or you can sign up for free ones online…like Deepak speaking into your ear.
  • Last, but not least, what I wrote about last week.  Random Acts of Kindness.  My friend Shelli did some shout-outs on Facebook one day and let me tell you, it was nice.  It can be that small to you, but to the person you are praising it means you are thinking about them and that kind of recognition whether public or private is a happiness booster for both of you!

The interesting thing about all of this, is that if you use the search feature, you can see some of the things I have written about the above ways to create your lasting positive change.  I have also come up with workbooks and other things to help my clients over the years, but the bottom line is, if you do the work on the inside, you will start to see results on the outside.  ~Aimee

Want even more help?  Check this out.

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The 6 things you need to know today.

Every once in a while, we get in a “rut”.  We feel as if we are not going anywhere and that our situation will never change.  I’m here to tell you it can and it will.  Just by implementing a few strategies, your life can change drastically…for the better.  We are works in progress and our job here is not done…yet.

The 6 things you need to know today.

  1. Money will not make you happy.  Okay, I know you are thinking “I’d be really happy if I won the lottery!!”  I would be happy too, but I’m not going to arrange my life around money.  I’m going to arrange my life around my passion, and once I am doing something I love, the money will come.  It will.  I am actually doing what I love right now.
  2. Be you. The choices others make in no way shape or form define who you are.  So they think you are making a mistake doing x,y and z.  That’s on them, not you.  Be around people who lift you up not bring you down.  Be true to you.
  3. Live in the present.  If this was your only take-away from this post, I would be happy.  Put the damn phone DOWN.  Step away.  I know that I am working on this one too…so you can comment if you have solved this, but I love the post that is on Facebook about the group of people out to dinner and the phones are in the middle.  The first one to reach for their phone pays for the meal.  Ta-dah.  Being present and accountable!  It’s a win-win.  Even if the conversation around you is not something you can contribute to, being fully aware of the moment is important to us all. 
  4. Take risks.  Never apologize for taking a chance.  A risk.  For stepping out on that limb even if you hear a crack.  Because the bottom line is…you would have always wondered “what if” and now you don’t have to live with that.  There is a chance your choice could be just what you were looking for.  It might even be life-changing.
  5. Happiness depends on you.  There is no magical castle where they give out happiness wands just for visiting…or magic beans.  You have to work hard at deciding what you will let in and what you want to keep out.  For me, this is always a work in progress as I do pick up on the moods of others, but it’s my choice what I let in.  Mine and mine alone.  Choosing another way takes practice.  Focusing on the good I have in my life works wonders.
  6. Love.  You know, as a child, I don’t remember random people telling me that they loved me.  I don’t remember friends telling me that either…until I became an adult.  Why is it so hard to think in terms of love?  We are humans doing the best we can.  We make mistakes.  We fail.  We cry.  We hurt.  We get hurt by other people.  We are simply trying to navigate some pretty hard storms at times and it’s okay to say “I love you.  I made a mistake.  I am here for you.”  If you haven’t said this someone today, try it and see what happens.  P.S.  I love you for being here today and truly taking the time to read this.

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Things you should do more of.

Things you should do more of this year…as the word resolution has never sat well with me.

  1. Tell someone you love them everyday.
  2. Laugh daily.
  3. Make eye contact with a stranger and smile.
  4. Say thank you and mean it.
  5. Appreciate the good in your life.
  6. Start each day on your terms.  Decide what the day is going to be like.
  7. Trust yourself more.
  8. If the choice is anger or kindness…count down in your head.  You’ll make a better choice.
  9. No self-pity.  That’s right.  If for one second you start, re-direct your thoughts to the gifts you possess (p.s. harder to do).
  10. Choose friends who love and approve of you…not bring out the negative.

Some of these might be hard for you to do; however, you can and you must refocus your thoughts this year.  It is not time to dwell on what went wrong.  What happened is over.  Let it be.

HappinessThank you for finding me on “the Twitter” and my Facebook page.  Re-vitalize your life by checking out my tab “Vitalize You” or my brand-new online course that helps you start changing your habits in as little as 4 weeks!

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Motivational Monday…

Envy is what one has when someone lacks something that someone else has.  So I was too busy being envious of this guy’s great blog and book deal this morning to post anything.  I was too busy thinking how great it would be to run off to another country, with nothing, and start this business that flourished.  I was too busy being, wait, human.

Whew.  Glad that feeling passed.  I’m sure that even His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet has had envy.  Okay, maybe not, but he’s human too.  What we have to remember is that we can’t be too hard on ourselves when we have these “flare ups”.  We all have them.

Anger, pride, jealousy, and greed can get in the way of  your happiness.  You might think that in order to be happy you must have X amount of money.  You might think that in order to be happy you must have the perfect job and have the title of Ruler of All.  Whatever floats your boat.  The funny thing is, you will always want more.

On the outside, some people appear to have it all.  They shine and sparkle even when their smile doesn’t really reach their eyes.  Once they realize that they are in charge of their own happiness, you will notice the sparkle reaching their eyes as well.

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”  ~Dalai Lama

Motivational Monday…

Envy is what one has when someone lacks something that someone else has.  So I was too busy being envious of this guy’s great blog and book deal this morning to post anything.  I was too busy thinking how great it would be to run off to another country, with nothing, and start this business that flourished.  I was too busy being, wait, human.

Whew.  Glad that feeling passed.  I’m sure that even His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet has had envy.  Okay, maybe not, but he’s human too.  What we have to remember is that we can’t be too hard on ourselves when we have these “flare ups”.  We all have them.

Anger, pride, jealousy, and greed can get in the way of  your happiness.  You might think that in order to be happy you must have X amount of money.  You might think that in order to be happy you must have the perfect job and have the title of Ruler of All.  Whatever floats your boat.  The funny thing is, you will always want more.

On the outside, some people appear to have it all.  They shine and sparkle even when their smile doesn’t really reach their eyes.  Once they realize that they are in charge of their own happiness, you will notice the sparkle reaching their eyes as well.

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”  ~Dalai Lama

Acts of kindness…

At the beginning of this month, I told you guys I was on the lookout for stories of compassion and kindness.  Then all hell broke loose.  Literally.  It will take a long time to recover from this, but we have to move forward somehow.  My idea isn’t just the 26 acts of kindness for each person lost at Sandy Hook Elementary, but more of a movement.  Each and every day until next year at this time.  Here are a few ideas just to help your community get started:

  • Pay off someone’s layaway here http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/dap_10151_10104_DAP_kmart-angels-layaway
  • Reach out to the home bound in your neighborhood and bring them books from the library or do chores for them
  • Call your local animal shelter and ask them if they need donations
  • Pay for the person behind you at the grocery store
  • Have a charity day at work and collect food for the food bank
  • Prepare a meal for a homeless person and/or give them a warm coat
  • Stop and give that guy who always waits in the cold for the bus a coffee
  • Leave a special card for the mailman
  • Give a gift card to the lady who works the drive thru (you know the one who always smiles)
  • Give a lottery ticket to the man who hangs out in front of the gas station
  • Make it a point to smile at people who are rude to you…it will drive them crazy
  • Leave an extra large tip for one waiter or waitress during the holiday season
  • Take your neighbor’s paper up to their door for them
  • Once a month, pick a nursing home to visit
  • Donate crayons and coloring books to local hospitals

This is just a small list, but anything will help.  Get your children involved and let them see that the world can be a better place.  Believe me, I know how hard it is to feel positive right now, but there is good in the world even if we have to put it there ourselves.

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.” ~Mother Teresa