Simple Phrases that Will Give You Strength

Simple Phrases that Will Give You Strength
Simple Phrases that Will Give You Strength

Yep, I talk to myself… we all do! What a lot of people don’t realize is that it’s not only healthy to talk to yourself, it’s a key to feeling a sense of control and peace.

You can say the wrong things to yourself and feel a sense of weakness and vulnerability.

The trick is having a few positive mantras that you can repeat in your mind over and over when you need them. Here are a few of my favorites which you’re welcome to use anytime you need them. They give me strength and they’ll do the same for you.

  1. I love myself no matter what.
  2. I’m in charge of my own emotions.
  3. I will attract what I think about so I better think about good stuff!
  4. When I’m going through hell, I should keep going… this too shall pass!
  5. Everyone has horrible scars. Mine make me who I am.
  6. What I’m looking for is not in the past. It’s in the present.
  7. Every single day is a brand new beginning–tomorrow could be great!

12 Little Known Laws of Happiness

12 Little Known Laws of Happiness
12 Little Known Laws of Happiness

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.”

– Aristotle

12 Little Known Laws of Happiness

  1.  Integrity is the foundation of a happy, meaningful life.
  2.  Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being brave.
  3.  Happiness is wholeness, and every step and experience is what makes you whole.
  4.  A happy life story does not mean an easy life story.
  5.  Happiness lives in all the small things.
  6.  Happiness is not some possession to be prized – it is a quality of thought, a positive state of mind in pursuit of meaning.
  7.  The secret of everyday happiness is not in always doing what one likes, but in mindfully liking what one does.
  8.  You can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes too.
  9.  Happiness is an evolving mindset.
  10.  Happiness flourishes through detachment.
  11.  It’s impossible to build your own happiness on the unhappiness of others.
  12.  You are incomparable to everyone else, and so are your triggers for happiness.

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9 Ways to Make Your Days Simple Again

9 Ways to Make Your Days Simple Again
9 Ways to Make Your Days Simple Again

Found a great article on how to make life simpler which everyone needs to read. The author’s recommendations need to be read to be fully understood; however, here’s the condensed list:

  1. Know what your perfect day looks and feels like
  2. Determine what’s most important to you
  3. Say “no” to unnecessary commitments that do not support your priorities
  4. Limit your daily tasks
  5. Schedule at least one distraction-free time block each day
  6. Do ONLY one thing at a time
  7. Batch the smaller, less important tasks
  8. Leave space between everything
  9. Practice gratitude

Any darn fool can make a day more complicated than it has to be; it takes a touch of genius to make it simple again.

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Having Less and Loving It

Having Less and Loving It
Having Less and Loving It

Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
– Lao Tzu

Spend five minutes watching TV ads and you’ll know what makes us happier. In the eyes of the advertiser, that is. A new car, diamond earrings, a new kitchen, carpets, house, overseas travel – everything that adverts offer us pretends to be a magic pill that will make us happier.

But does it?

Actually, it does.

I remember a time when I was so small that I had to stretch to see over the table. My parents bought me a  pair of shiny red shoes. And I loved them! I loved them so much that I put them under my pillow at night.

I can’t remember what happened next. But I suppose it is what always happens after we get a new toy. Scuff marks appear on the new shoe, or you drive you car into a hedge and get scratches over the gleaming paintwork. You put down a hot pot on the new kitchen bench and can’t get rid of the burn mark. Your new shiny thing ages.

So, yes – buying something new does make you feel happier. But only for a short while. That’s what our consumer society is built upon. Because when the thrill wears off, we need to go shopping again.

The beauty of less

A minimalist embraces the beauty of less, the aesthetic of spareness, a life of contentedness in what we need and what makes us truly happy. ~ Leo Babauta in The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life

I’ve recently been thinking about the difference between the mind of having, and the mind of being. These two are completely different ways to experience life. In a commercial society, everything is for sale, and everything needs to have a benefit.

The focus on benefits is all about having. What we’ve lost sight is that there is also being. If you look at the question below, you’ll see how limited the ‘having’ mindset is:

What is the benefit of being alive?

That questions is absurd, isn’t it? It just doesn’t make sense. Because being alive is – well – about being. And not about having.

In our consumer society, the mind of having is predominant. Our value in society is measured not by how we are, but by what we have. Everything turns into a lifestyle accessory when we look at it from the perspective of ‘having’ – even love or friendship.

One of the ways to escape the trap of having is the way of Minimalism

I’ve recently come across a thought-provoking book by Leo Babauta, called The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life. In it he describes simple ways of escaping consumerism, in order to heighten happiness.

What is a minimalist life?

It is a life, say Leo, “that is stripped of the unnecessary, to make room for that which gives you joy…It’s not a life of nothing, of boringness. It’s a life of richness, in less.”

How to become a minimalist

Leo sets out four steps that help us embrace a life of minimalism:

  • Start by realizing you already have
  • Start cutting back on clutter and
  • Start simplifying your schedule.
  • Slowly edit everything you do.

By Mary Jaksch

Stop Being Your Best and Enjoy Life…

Stop Being Your Best and Enjoy Life...

A lot of times, I hear the phrases “Be your best,” “Live your best life,” “Be the best in everything.” You can buy books and read tons of articles that will “teach” you to be your best (you can check out Optimal Thinking: How to be Your Best Self if you want to employ “the best” attitude).

I think that these mottos create a generation of perfectionists who are highly unsatisfied with everything they have in life because they do not believe that they have reached “the best” status.

What is the problem with being the best?

Well, I can’t say that I am the best I can be. Sometimes I do not look the best, sometimes I do not feel the best, sometimes I do not make the best decisions, sometimes I am not the best mother or wife and sometimes I am not the best friend. Striving to be the best will make me a failure in my own eyes because I cannot live up to the expectations of the “best world.”

Being the best means that you constantly have to climb to the top of a ladder that you have created for yourself. You cannot stop and appreciate the moment as well as you cannot let yourself go down a few steps.

Every day you are hungry for new achievements and new proofs of your “bestness” (being the best in your professional field, earning more money, being the best parent, being the best student, being the best in a competition, having the best house etc.).

After you have achieved all of this you start pushing your own desire for being the best onto people around you (you want the best partner, the best kids, the best parents and the best friends).

When they do not fulfill your expectations you feel like they’ve failed you and that they are not good enough to be around you. This leads to a deep feeling of depression, dissatisfaction with your life, permanent loss of happiness and a 100% imbalance.

For peace of mind, we need to resign as general manager of the universe –Larry Eisenberg, actor

Instead of being the best, I choose to be good in everything I do and this makes my life much more balanced and fulfilling. The motto that I try to follow is “Good is good enough.” I think that this motto can help anybody to live a good life where they can comfortably find their own ZEN.

How do you incorporate the “Good Is Good Enough” principle?

Here are just a few ideas that can get you started and I am sure that you can transform them to fit your life and desires:

  • Set your own standards in life. Do not follow somebody’s else example or vision of life
  • Do not compete with everybody around you
  • Be in touch with yourself
  • Be grateful for what you have (appreciate even the smallest things like a sunny day or a smile on your partner’s face)
  • Look at the big picture. Do not fret about little things like dishes that have not been washed or grass that hasn’t been mowed in a while. What is more important: these details or your general well-being?
  • Do not expect much from others, just be grateful for who they are and for the fact that they are in your life
  • Write a list of expectations of the best you. Analyze this list and decide which of these expectations are really important and will make you happy
  • Do not try to be the best self for somebody else (for your partner, your kids, your friends or colleagues)
  • When the thoughts of “bestness” start chasing you, fight them with loving-kindness meditation

What are your ideas about being the best?

Do you think it is important to be the best, or would you rather be happy and balanced by using the “Good Is Good Enough” principle?

A guest post by Anastasiya Goers from Balance in Me

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5 Hard-Core Happiness Hacks

5 Hard-Core Happiness Hacks
5 Hard-Core Happiness Hacks

Accept your right to happiness

Accept the fact that there isn’t a perfect person alive. Every human being has made countless mistakes, has broken hearts, broken dreams and their share of regrets. You deserve to be happy as much as anyone else.

Get out of your own head

Your brain is a tool for performing tasks and solving problems, but it can suck you into watching an endless string of re-run movies depicting past disappointments and future fears. You can easily stop yourself from watching the reruns just by being aware of them. That’s it. As long as you’re aware when you’re doing it–you can catch yourself and chose to do other things. So choose to live in the “now,” get off your butt and do stuff. Your reruns are boring by the way. Presence is the key to an inner peace like no other.

Schedule yourself in first and last

Put time on the calendar for what you need to stay positive and renew your soul each day. Own at least two time slots on your own calendar. Make them yours and make them great. Read a couple chapters of your book, exercise, meditate, take an online class, whatever floats your boat. Do it.

Appreciate the time between disasters

Life is full of disasters and blessings. An “attitude of gratitude” is the key to experiencing joy in life. Everyone has countless blessings that we can be grateful for. If you or a loved one has cancer, well let’s be grateful for the life we had and still have. If you’re missing a limb, well someone is missing both. If you’re missing a loved one, well, you were fortunately enough to have known them and loved them eternally. If you are reading this and not born into slavery, well, lucky you. A million people less fortunate than you would give everything to for your troubles compared to theirs. Appreciate what you’ve got–as your life is a beautiful masterpiece of good experiences in between the disasters. Nobody gets out alive… so love the time you have.

Fire your old gatekeeper

When others try to feed you negative crap, well, don’t let them in the gate. Once they start up, as the new gatekeeper will say… “gotta go” or “can’t talk right now.” They’ll move on to some other sucker. Same goes for your eyes and mouth. Don’t watch stuff that brings you down and don’t eat what you know you shouldn’t. It’s really self-care or self-love I’m talking about–but let’s just start out by firing the old gatekeeper and commit to managing the gate better. You can do it.

You deserve this thing called happiness.

Reminder, there are no shortage of impoverished people who want and need nothing more than safety to be happy and there’s no shortage of zillionaires who are miserable.

Newsflash: Happiness can be yours, just accept it.

Brain Exercises That Will Leave You Feeling Sharper…

Brain Exercises That Will Leave You Feeling Sharper...
Brain Exercises That Will Leave You Feeling Sharper...

The brain is a muscle and needs to be exercised just like any other muscle in the body. By keeping your brain in tip-top shape, it can increases your IQ, memory retention and improves overall problem-solving skills. This article describes a few exercises you can do to keep your brain in shape.


If you don’t come from a language enrich environment, reading a book can help boost your vocabulary deficit. By increasing your vocabulary, you increase your understanding of language in a more general application. When you come across a word you don’t know, pull out that handy dictionary (AKA google it), then use it throughout the day, making it a new part of your speech, and in turn shrink that language deficit.

Eat healthy and exercise

Scientist have proven that broccoli, tomatoes, omega-3, certain berries, green teas and protein in general will boost neurons to produce important neurotransmitters nor-epinephrine and dopamine― which increases mental alertness. Healthy exercise and eating right is not just for your body but important to the mental wellness of your brain.

Positive mind-set

Recent discoveries prove that your mind-set matters on an emotional level but also on a physiological one.

Believing in yourself when a task is hard, will help you cross the finish line and with every finish-line you cross, you’ve learned something new to get you there. (AKA: Clever. Intelligent. Smart.)

Pushing past your comfort zone

To increase brain functions, we need to learn something new that’s out of our current skill set. Is there an instrument you’ve always wanted play but never took the time to learn? Did you want to study a different language? Childhood fun like coloring and puzzles are a great way to keep your brain in shape which helps to expand the brain’s neural networks.

Brain games

There are many great brain game apps on your phone too. You could also take up the daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, play a board game like boggle and scrabble. The key here is to be creative so your brain gets the exercise it needs to stay sharp.

Written by B. Miles

How to Build Lasting Friendships…

How to Build Lasting Friendships...
How to Build Lasting Friendships...

To have successful friendships, I’ve learned one must have certain qualities within themselves and those we seek as friends. Sometimes we don’t find all those qualities in a single person but within a small group. One might tell us to “Grow-a-pair” when we’re feeling sorry for ourselves. Another may offer, “You need a drink. I’m coming over,” when a shoulder to cry on is the only cure. Listed below are a few successful qualities friendships need in order to thrive, take a look.

Lock Down Your Ego

Healthy friendships work because there’s an equal give and take exchange. You must be genuinely happy for your friends accomplishment, not harbor resentment. My “Keeper-Friends” will celebrate my triumphs, encourage those risks, cry with me through failures and believe I can do anything when I have doubts. Cheerleaders can’t be encouraging if they have wounded egos in need of repair.

Be Yourself

True friendships last because we accept people for who they are; a rule we must apply to ourselves. If we act like a different person when we’re with friends, then you’re not really YOU, are you? Fake facades and false realities, fail. If you want to go from playground Jungle Jim’s to porch Rocking Chairs, sipping sweet tea when you’re eighty, you must be yourself, NO EXCEPTIONS. That history together only makes that long journey… sweeter.

No Judgments

This can be tricky sometimes because everyone is raised differently; developing our own distinct moral codes. If you believe people think the same as you do, GAH!― they don’t. And if we judge others, doesn’t that make it our problem, not theirs? I’ve learned just because I don’t approve of something, doesn’t make it wrong. Who am I to judge someone for making different life choices than I do. Once I let my major hang-ups go, my relationships improved dramatically.

Be Flexible

No one can force someone into becoming the perfect friend. Having expectations is another “Me-Problem”. That’s why I have a variety of friends. Some are tough, telling me to put on my big girl panties when I’m whining. Others will cheer me up instantly by sharing their crazy life stories. A few who are great listeners, allowing me to vent when I’ve had a really bad day. They key here is to be flexible and let everyone be themselves. When we do that, it creates a great circle of support, like King Arthur and the Knights of Round Table with the strength of Excalibur by our side. Okay, that might be a little dramatic, but you get my point.

Good friendships can have a positive impact on our lives and if we can incorporate these important qualities, our friendships should flourish. Nothing is better than recalling those lifetime memories of grooving on the dance floor in our early twenties, to sitting shoulder to shoulder through our golden years― and of course… reminiscing about the good ol’ days.
Written by Beverley Miles

Can Living in the Moment Improve Your Health?

Can Living in the Moment Improve Your Health?
Can Living in the Moment Improve Your Health?

At some point in your life, someone probably told you: “Enjoy every moment. Life is short.” Maybe you’ve smiled and rolled your eyes at this well-intentioned relative or co-worker. But the fact is, there’s something to it. Trying to enjoy each moment may actually be good for your health.

  • Being Mindful:
    The concept of mindfulness is simple, but becoming a more mindful person requires commitment and practice. Here are some tips to help you get started:
  • Take some deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for 1 second and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 5. Repeat often.
  • Enjoy a stroll. As you walk, notice your breath and the sights and sounds around you. As thoughts and worries enter your mind, note them but then return to the present.
  • Practice mindful eating. Be aware of taste, textures and flavors in each bite, and listen to your body when you are hungry and full.
  • Find mindfulness resources in your local community, including yoga and meditation classes, mindfulness-based stress reduction programs and books.

The idea is called mindfulness. This ancient practice is about being completely aware of what’s happening in the present—of all that’s going on inside and all that’s happening around you. It means not living your life on “autopilot.” Instead, you experience life as it unfolds moment to moment, good and bad, and without judgment or preconceived notions.

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How to Cope With Everyday Stress…

How to Cope With Everyday Stress...
How to Cope With Everyday Stress...

Physical or emotional tensions are often signs of stress. They can be reactions to a situation that cause you to feel threatened or anxious. Stress can be related to positive events (such as planning your wedding) or negative events (such as dealing with the effects of a natural disaster).

Find out how to manage stress after a traumatic event by following CDC’s tips for self-care.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following information to help individuals cope with stress.

Strong emotions like fear, sadness, or other symptoms of depression are normal, as long as they are temporary and don’t interfere with daily activities. If these emotions last too long or cause other problems, it’s a different story.

Sometimes stress can be good. It can help you develop skills needed to manage potentially threatening situations. Stress can be harmful, however, when it is prolonged or severe enough to make you feel overwhelmed and out of control.

Symptoms of Stress

Common reactions to a stressful event include

  • Disbelief and shock
  • Tension and irritability
  • Fear and anxiety about the future
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Feeling numb
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nightmares and recurring thoughts about the event
  • Anger
  • Increased use of alcohol and drugs
  • Sadness and other symptoms of depression
  • Feeling powerless
  • Crying
  • Sleep problems
  • Headaches, back pains, and stomach problems
  • Trouble concentrating

Tips for Self-Care

The best ways to manage stress in hard times are through self-care.

  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. They may seem to be a temporary fix to feel better, but in the long run drugs and alcohol can create more problems and add to your stress—instead of taking it away.
  • Find support. Seek help from a partner, family member, friend, counselor, doctor, or clergy. Talk to someone with a sympathetic, listening ear and share your problems This can really help to lighten the burden.
  • Connect socially. After a stressful event, it is easy isolate yourself. Make sure that you are spending time with loved ones. Consider planning fun activities with your partner, children, or friends.
  • Take care of yourself.
    • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
    • Exercise regularly
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out—for example, treat yourself to a therapeutic massage
    • Maintain a normal routine
  • Stay active. You can take your mind off your problems with activities like helping a neighbor, volunteering in the community, and taking the dog for a long walk. These can be positive ways to cope with stressful feelings.

Make sure that you spend time with loved ones after a stressful event.

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