Laugh out loud every day!

No matter how bad it is – that is just what it it is. What makes all the difference is what we do about it. Actually, I mean that literally! Are there things you can actually do to make the situation better? Make a plan and DO those things systematically. Start right away! 

AND, then, what makes the rest of the difference is how we react to what happens. Remember, it is simply life. Stuff happens. Not because we deserve it. Not because everything always happens to you. Not because you can’t catch a break. Stuff just happens. It’s not always about you. So – how to react? What to do?

Look for laughter. Lots of studies have shown that people who find ways to laugh improve their immune system. Their physical systems also improve. The body fights off disease better. The “feel good” chemicals in the brain abound. The diaphragm and core get a workout that releases tensions that were clamped on one’s innards.

There are lots of anecdotal stories of people who are diagnosed with a terminal disease who decided to watch as many movies and shows that made them laugh out loud as they could – all the time. And they outlived their prognosis considerably. AND, they enjoyed the time they had, laughing with others instead of sinking into a “poor me” depression.

Laughter is a great medicine for what-ever negative stuff is happening around and to you. Of course you need to deal with that stuff to the level that you can as recommended above. But, at the same time, look for laughter stuff as well. I find myself laughing out loud at the strangest things. Commercials that strike me as absurd. Noticing someone walking their dog and they look so much alike! Kids at play. A scene in a book that I am reading. Just everyday things that I let strike my funny bone.

I keep in mind the advice that I got from my Doctor when I hurt my shoulder. It hurt when I tried to raise it too far up. He said “if it hurts when you do that, don’t do that. If it feels good – do that.” Simple advice. Laughing feels good. Do that!

Bliss List

Throughout my life I have done a huge amount of research in the field of happiness. It interested me that it was a subject that underlies success writings and achievement writings and personal management (what we used to call time management). I wonder if you noticed this stuff along the way as well.

  • You become what you think about! (Earl Nightingale)
  • You reap what you sow.
  • What you focus on grows.
  • Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude … (Viktor Frankl)
  • You’re right about that dear. 😛 (Wayne Dyer)
  • Decide!

You get the idea I think. I wrote earlier about simple pleasures and exhorted us to actually do things that we know will bring us happiness and pleasure. It strikes me that we need to take a few minutes and write down a bliss list (I wish I could recall who taught me that). What it is is simply a list of things that bring feelings of bliss when you just think about them. I just have to think about sitting here in my back yard and I feel at peace.

Take a few minutes and write down a list of the things that bring you feelings of bliss or happiness. For me this list includes things like outdoor patio dining, fresh toasted tomato sandwich, running, being near water, walking on a beach, raisins, nature areas of all sorts, dressing up(!), my special music playlist, being with grand kiddies, dining room meal at home with Luise… and so on, for three pages. It includes things I think I would love to do. I guarantee you that you will feel happy just thinking about these things as you write the list. It is not a gratitude list – it is a list of things that make you feel good. It’s okay to put indulgences here that you might feel a little guilty about – it is your bliss list!

Now what? Do you sit down and do this every time you want a lift in spirits? Not necessary. You have already done that. Rather, place this list in a convenient place where you can look at it regularly. I keep my list in my office which is where I sit down each week to review my past week and plan out my coming week. It is also where I review my day and plan my next day. I look over random parts of the list before I get started. You can keep your list in your sock drawer if you like. The important part is to look it over at least once a day. Just looking over the list will bring you feelings of happiness and even bliss. We should all have that in our days.

Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day! And remind yourself what brings feelings of joy into your life! 🙂

Procrastinator is me!

Procrastination has become a problem for me since I have unlimited and unstructured time available. We have heard for all our lives how work expands to fill the available time. What I did not realize was that anything will expand to fill the available time. Like checking out your social network accounts, like checking out just one more news media outlet, like reading just one more chapter (or six) in that book you are reading. You get the picture. Classic procrastination!

Now you might think that it is not really a problem because you really have nothing else pressing to do. But in my case I am growing so lethargic. At the end of the day I do not feel like I have done anything. But I was having trouble figuring out just what to do to break the cycle. There really are things I want to get done if I can only …

This is where a very timely article presented itself to me. The teacher appeared just when this student was ready. I read an article about productivity shortcuts written by Derek Doepker (@ExcuseProof) In it he suggests procrastinators use these magic words: “Can I just …”. In my case it has started me one a new road (actually it has helped put me back on the road I have been on most of my life). That is the road to getting things done! And feeling accomplished at the end of the day! Happy!

Can I just write one more blog entry? Can I just spend the next 25 minutes going through the things on my desk and throwing away what is not needed, filing what needs to be filed and putting things back where they belong? Can I just do cardio workouts every second day for the next two weeks? And so on. I am back to using my self management techniques that I had let slide because I thought I did not need them. I am back to feeling accomplished and productive. Even if I am not doing work in the traditional sense, I am happy anyway.

What about you? Can’t seem to break the procrastination blocker? Try it! When you are facing some challenge, break it down to a smaller bite and ask yourself: “Can I just …”

Lucky or Grateful? Yes!

Virtually all of the teachers in the field of achievement, happiness and abundance teach us that we need to “Be Grateful”. We need to develop and cultivate an attitude of gratitude. No matter what is going on around us we need to find something to be grateful for.

I have known and understood this virtually my entire life. However, it is only recently that the light came on for me that I have indeed been grateful virtually my entire life. You see, I used to think that it was very hard to maintain an attitude of gratitude. I thought it meant that I had to constantly focus on being grateful and being specific about what it was that I was grateful for. Sort of like taking time out and concentrating.

Certainly we need to do that sort of thing. We need to pay attention to what we are feeling about what is happening. We need to focus on what we would like to feel grateful for in order to attract that into our lives. In the present tense. But how do we do that? That is where the light has finally come on for me. I have been doing this for my entire life. Maybe you have also.

People who know me will recognize this sort of phrase from me. “I am so lucky to have chosen to be born in the right place at the right time in history to the right parents.” I use the “lucky” word a lot. You will usually hear it shortly after something “bad” has happened. I have intuitively always looked for the silver lining and expressed it out loud. I now finally realize that what I have been exercising is my attitude of gratitude! And I have had lots of occasions to exercise it!

I do not really recall being taught this along the way in my early years but it does not mean that I was not being exposed to it. I read voraciously in the achievement fields and goals fields. The concept was likely there and I probably picked it up by osmosis. But I have had this my whole life, even as a child.

So what? Has it made a difference? Do I enjoy abundance? Am I happy? Do I have great relationships? Can I do what I want, when I want to and with whom I want? Simply, yes. In my 20’s I decided that I wanted to be able to retire by the age of 50 and I did. Along the way, I helped others in ways that allowed them to do and get what they wanted out of life. Great relationships! My family life has had the occasional hick-up as all families do but it is fabulous. I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want and with whom I want. I am so “lucky”.

There is that word again. Always look for the luck/gratitude views on what is happening to you. Take the silver lining and run with it as your flag. When it is the toughest that you have ever faced, feel lucky because it is getting you ready for something greater than you could have believed in earlier times. You can be happy anyway!

Simple Pleasures

We are so intent on finding the magic formula for happiness that we miss the obvious. I have said else where here that it is really all about choices. We just have to choose to be happy. Not always easy. Sometimes life is just too hard at the moment to make that choice.

What to do? Simplify. Find some little pleasures that bring peace and indulge yourself, even just for a few minutes. If you can do this, you get a little respite, perhaps gain a bit more perspective and maybe even start to see the lessons and a road to being able to choose to be happy anyway.

So, turn off the lights, light a couple of candles, get some of your favorite “soft and peaceful” music and just sit back and listen carefully for  while. Take a short detour and stop at that park and just go for a walk and SEE nature around you as you walk along. The birds busily getting food. The trees and shrubs doing their thing in the midst of everything else that is happening around them. The flowers. The snow on the shrubs. Squirrels jumping along a snow edged fence.

What are some of your “little pleasures”? A warm bath. Reading an historical mystery novel, stopping at a pub for wings and beer, sitting with your life partner and enjoying memories, day dreaming about what might be ahead, a glass of good wine, thinking about who to check in on – and doing it, looking at photos of great memories and so on. I guess you know a few of mine. What are some of yours? It is ok to not live in the moment for a short moment.

Don’t think about the big things when your going through a tough time. It might be too hard to keep a good perspective. Just move outside of life for a few minutes, unplug from your phone or tablet or computer and enjoy one or two of the simple little pleasures. While you are, look for the perspective. It is there.

Yes and – live well, love always and laugh out loud Now!