Tag Archives: intention

Happy for no reason!

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

 

laughingdogAh, the joys of feeling happy for no reason! Isn’t it the best? You wake up feeling full of hope, a smile on your face with enough energy to handle all problems, challenges, and tasks you encounter. Life is good and you feel good in your life.

Unfortunately you, like me, may not experience this special kind of day of grace as frequently as you would like. These happy for no reason days feel like random gifts given to us by the gods, angels or pure chance.

Perhaps it is because I’m a greedy person, but I want to see if I can change this dynamic. Instead of feeling happy for no reason, I want to start cultivating a different attitude. Can I practice being happy for lots of reasons! After all, why should Thanksgiving be celebrated only one day a year?

Of course there are many secular and religious holidays on the calendar set aside to bring our focus to gratitude, appreciation, meditation of love and goodness, increasing our kindness and generosity in all forms. In fact this year December 1, 2015 has been declared Giving Tuesday. We are encouraged to come together around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

My plan, starting NOW, is to collect all the reasons I can find to be happy. I know I will find lots of reasons to be happy if I will only change my focus and pay attention. My brain will automatically inform me of all the ways life is out of order:  from my awareness of my physical well being, to the well being of my bank account and my personal relationships. And then there is the long list of grievances and dissatisfactions I feel about my professional life.

This means that my daily job, my Mental Health & Happiness work, and my intention for well being must be focused on hunting for and discovering all of the delights, sweet moments, natural beauty and personal encounters that I find pleasing, satisfying, and reasons to be happy.

Top on my list is I’m accepting the task and the hunt to discover all of the reasons to be happy today. Next on my list is that some smart, generous and peace-seeking people have declared December 1st to be our International Day of Giving! And today there is the joy of seeing the sparkling white snow coating my world with the bright sunshine sparkling every crystal beneath the deepest, bluest Colorado sky!

Please join me in being greedy. Instead of waiting for the random miraculous days when you feel happy for no reason, start collecting all the joys you can find to cultivate your own personal happiness. Start today, continue tomorrow and carry on the search to discover how to be happy for lots of reasons.

Advice

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Give help rather than advice Luc de Vauvenargues

Are you aware of your God-given gift? We all have it.  We all have the ability to tell other people how to live their lives. Some people offer this advice freely, whether welcomed or not.

What’s amazing is that often the very people we are freely advising are not necessarily open and ready to hear all we have to offer. Some people are actually insulted and annoyed by our generous sharing.

If everyone could learn that what is right for me does not make it right for everyone else, the world would be a much happier place — William Glasser, MD

To test out this idea, think back in your own life, maybe only as far as the beginning of this day. Who has given you unsolicited advice? Did it help? Did it hurt? Were you insulted? Were you enlightened?

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The reality is that no one knows all that is involved in what is happening in your life circumstance as well as you. When someone offers unsolicited advice, usually meant with the best of intentions, the advice is all wrong. As a result you may be no better off and you feel worse about yourself, the problem, or your relationship with this person.  Ugh!

Why do people offer this advice? Certainly their intention is not to detract from your Mental Health & Happiness. However, most people, especially friends, colleagues and family members, want to help solve our problems and help us feel happier. Unsolicited advice is often offered to help contribute to other people’s Mental Health & Happiness in a positive way. Instead this too often is a mistake, detractor and at best a nuisance.

Here are some ideas (dare I say advice) that you might find useful:

  1. The next time a person is complaining, sharing, or moaning about a problem or overwhelming circumstance ask what you can do to help? As the above quote reminds us, offering help instead of advice is almost always welcomed. Amazingly the person may frequently tell you that when you simply listen that is all the help they need!
  2. If you have such fabulous and perfect advice that you simply cannot resist sharing, ask permission to share first. “I have an idea that I think will help. Would you like to hear it?” If the person politely declines, go to the bathroom or the closest mirror. Now tell this great idea to the person looking back at you in the mirror. Do not share it with the person who declined your offer!
  3. If you discover that you seem to be a frequent recipient of other people’s unsolicited advice, start self-evaluating? Are you voicing frequent complaints such that others might perceive that you are asking for help? Are you clearly stating what you want; someone to listen attentively without offering advice?

The simple practice to improve Mental Health & Happiness is to offer help rather than advice. Please know that this advice was offered in the spirit of helping.

What’s Your Habit?

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

How often do you brush your teeth? If you want to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy hopefully you aim to brush twice a day. How long do you need to maintain that practice? My dentist told me I only need to do that as long as I want to keep my teeth and have a healthy mouth and gums.

How often do you make nutritious food choices? Do you make these kinds of  choices only while you are on your weight reduction program? Perhaps that isn’t the best example since too many people make crazy and unhealthy choices when they are trying to trim down. When following the best advice about developing, improving and maintaining good, strong and healthy bodies, we’re told to choose good, healthy and nourishing foods every time we eat. . . for our lifetime.

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How often do you follow an exercise program? Do you practice yoga once every six weeks and consider that the best practice for your body? Do you go to the gym once a week hoping you can maintain some level of being in good shape with this level of commitment? There are some who are able to develop a routine, habit and practice of physical exercise that they maintain all of their lives. Still others of us get into a good habit, something disrupts and stops us, so we need to start again. The goal, however, is to find and maintain some kind of physical activity we enjoy, that benefits our bodies, and that we can do forever.

How often do you follow a Mental Health & Happiness practice? If you only think about and do something that supports your Mental Health & Happiness occasionally you will get limited results and benefits. Imagine only following an occasional routine for your oral, nutritional, or physical health. This too would result in limited results and benefits.

In order to develop, improve and maintain your Mental Health & Happiness you need to set your intention and develop a daily habit or practice. Doing something once while hoping for positive results is not a good habit or practice. Following a Mental Health & Happiness habit needs to be part of your daily routine and practice in order to get the positive results you want.

Since this habit is something you will do regularly, it is best to find the practice that you enjoy. You are more likely to follow this routine until it becomes an automatic habit if the routine is  pleasurable and enjoyable. After all, eating cod liver oil may be a practice that supports your health. But if you find it unpalatable, you won’t swallow it.

There is no difference when developing a Mental Health & Happiness habit. If your have valiantly tried to keep a journal, but just find the practice tedious and onerous there is no good reason to make that your practice or habit. You won’t do it.

For those of you who have signed up for the Mental Health & Happiness daily challenges, you have been offered many suggested strategies. When you signed up for this website, you also received a list of even more strategies you could try.

Why not make today the day you will set your intention to find the Mental Health & Happiness habit you enjoy and can commit to following daily. If you found one, but as sometimes happens have been slacking off in the follow-through recently, make today the day you pick up that practice again.

After all, developing, improving and maintaining Mental Health & Happiness is something you can choose to practice every day.