7 Things Happy, Healthy People Do Every Morning

7 Things Happy, Healthy People Do Every Morning

When you get up in the morning, think of what a priceless privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to learn, to love – and then make the day count!

The morning is extremely important.  It is the foundation from which the day is built.  How you choose to spend your morning can be used to predict what kind of day you are going to have, and thus, what kind of life you are going to live.

Each morning truly is a brand new opportunity.  Each day is another chance to get it right.

The happiest, healthiest people I know embrace this truth and use it to their advantage.  They have effective morning rituals that gradually improve their well-being and give their lives purpose.  Here’s what they do differently:

1.  They wake up with a sense of gratitude.

In other words, they start the day with love in their hearts and minds, and are truly appreciative of their life and all of its priceless idiosyncrasies.  They practice small acts of gratitude in the morning by expressing thankfulness directly to the people they care about, and to the immediate circumstances (health, opportunities, etc.) they could so easily take for granted.

From the research and coaching Angel and I have done over the years, we’ve found that the more a person is inclined to gratitude, the less likely he or she is [Read more…]

12 Things You Should Start Making Time for Again

12 Things You Should Start Making Time for Again

This is a new day.  A new beginning.  And things will change.

Today, I was jogging on the outskirts of downtown Austin when a woman I had just passed began screaming for help.  I turned around to see that her husband had fallen to the ground and appeared unconscious.  I ran over and checked his pulse.  He had one, but he wasn’t breathing.  The woman called 911 on her mobile phone while I performed CPR on her husband.  Somehow, miraculously, I got him breathing again before the ambulance arrived.  And although I have no idea how this couple’s story will end, I’m hopeful based on positive remarks from one of the paramedics who said the husband seemed to be in stable condition.

Now I’m sitting here reflecting on the incident and, even more so, on the words the woman repeated over and over through her tears as I was attending to her husband:  “It’s not his time.  Oh please, it’s not his time.”

And in a backwards way, her words keep echoing in my mind, reminding me that life is fragile and fleeting, and that I need to start allocating my time properly again.  Life has been busy lately, and certain things have fallen by the wayside, but it’s time to revive and resume the rituals that best serve my well-being and my relationships.

I hope you will join me in…

  1. Taking better care of yourself. – You are like a building with stained-glass windows.  You always shimmer and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in your true magnificence is revealed only if there is light shining from within you.  It’s your duty, and yours alone, to keep your inner light shining bright.  So learn to love yourself first, instead of loving the idea of other people loving you.  Loving yourself does not mean being selfish and narcissistic, or disregarding others.  Rather, it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart and mind – a guest worthy of extra care and respect.  Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it.  Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it.  That’s a great start. [Read more…]

8 Ways to Stop Hurting Your Happiness

8 Ways to Stop Hurting Your Health and Happiness

“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.”
―Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

It takes no more time to see the good side of life and act upon it than it does to see the bad side and trip over it.  If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change your thinking.  If you know you’re on the wrong track right now, take a deep breath.  It’s OK.  Sometimes you have to be wrong before you can be right.

The road of life is rarely smooth.  It’s easy to stumble and fall and hurt yourself.  But these bumps and bruises are a necessary part of your growth – you fall down, you learn something, and then you brush yourself off and move forward.

Today, let’s take a step forward.  Your bad habits – the ones that hurt your health and happiness – are 100% dependent on YOU for their survival.  Stop allowing these habits to control, limit, stifle, and discourage you from being your best self.  Today is YOURS to shape; own it!  Break free from the bad habits that are poisoning and diluting your potential.

1.  Stop resisting what is.

Life is a series of continuous natural events and changes.  Don’t resist them; doing so only creates unnecessary stress.  Let the reality of these events and changes take place.  Let them flow.  Or as Henry Wadsworth once said, “For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.”

To move forward in life you must first accept the reality of what it is.  This acceptance provides you with an important starting point from which you can move in any direction you choose.  To deny this reality or to fight against the past will merely waste your time and energy.  To wish that things were different, or to pretend that they are, gets you nowhere. [Read more…]

50 Ways to Nurture Your Happiness

50 Ways to Nurture Your Happiness

Decide to be happy.  It’s good for your health.

The happiest people I know appreciate what they have, keep an open mind to new ideas and ventures, use their leisure time as a means of self development, and love good music, good books, good pictures, good company and good conversation.  In other words, they do small things every day to nurture their happiness.

It’s a lot easier than it sounds.  Anything that helps you feel more positive and joyful is self-nurturing.  The result?  A happier, healthier you.  Here are 50 simple ideas to get you started with nurturing your happiness.

  1. Act like today is already an awesome day. – Do so, and it will be.  Research shows that although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact we often feel because of the way we act.  A great attitude always leads to great experiences.  Read The How of Happiness.
  2. Make yourself smile first thing in the morning. – It’s difficult to feel down when your face is happy.  Fill your bathroom or bedroom mirror with post-it notes of your favorite quotes, goals, mantras, photos, etc., and then reflect on them for a minute or two when you first wake up.
  3. Spend time with people who make you smile. – Who nourishes and supports you?  Surround yourself with these people.  Spend time with those who reflect the person you want to be – people who do good things and make your life a little brighter simply by being in it.
  4. Try something totally new. – Go somewhere you’ve never been.  Do something you’ve never done.  It will shake up your vision of what the [Read more…]

50 Natural Ways To Boost Your Energy

50 Natural Ways To Boost Your Energy

Conquering drowsiness before it overwhelms your mind can be quite a challenge without the help of caffeine, taurine and drugs.  With the prevalence of energy drinks and coffee shops conveniently located all around us, finding an unnatural, unhealthy energy boost is easy.  You’ll certainly be wide awake and wired, but your health will pay the price too.

So the question is:  What are some healthy, natural ways to boost your energy and stay awake and alert when you must.  Let’s take a look at 50 possibilities:

  1. Turn on all the lights. – Darkness promotes fatigue and laziness.  Turn on every light in the room.
  2. Go outdoors. – Getting some fresh air outdoors is always a good way to rouse your senses.
  3. Pull down on your earlobes. – This may sound strange, but pulling down on your earlobes can help you stay awake and alert when you’re feeling drowsy.
  4. Rub the roof of your mouth with your tongue. – Rub your tongue against the top front area of your mouth cavity.  It feels a little weird, but it does give you a quick nerve jolt that’s bound to make you a bit more alert.
  5. Call a close friend. – Sometimes a quick conversation with someone you care about is just what you need to boost your mood.
  6. Eat nutritious low carb snacks. – Low carb fruits such as raspberries, apples, oranges, and grapefruits are great energy boosters.  Heaping scoops of spicy salsa on a few small crackers is another goodie.  Stay away from meats, breads and dairy products.
  7. Listen to some fast beat music. – If it’s not too much of a distraction, listening to fast beat music can be a great way to keep your mind awake.
  8. Roll up and down on your toes. – This stimulates your circulatory system, which will deliver much-needed oxygen and fuel (glucose) throughout your body.
  9. Watch or read something that inspires you. – Sometimes all you need is a little pep talk.  Watch a motivational video or read something that inspires you.
  10. Have a good laugh. – Watch a funny video clip or read your favorite comic strip.  A good chuckle will stimulate your mind, giving you a renewed level on energy.
  11. Crank up the AC. – Warm, stuffy environments accelerate mental fatigue.  If you need to stay awake and energized in a lecture hall or meeting room find an open seat under an AC vent.
  12. Apply pressure to the top of the back of your neck. – Use your fingertips to apply pressure and lightly massage the top part of the back of [Read more…]