EDWARDS1411   322,611
100,000 or more SparkPoints
EDWARDS1411's Recent Blog Entries

30 Days To Greater Happiness - Nov. 29th - Laugh

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today's "30 Days To Greater Happiness" SP tip is,

"Laugh out loud. Visit a comedy club or watch a funny show. Laughing makes you feel good, so make time for fun and humour every day."

tells us that laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.

With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.

* Laughter relaxes the whole body.
A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

* Laughter boosts the immune system.
Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

* Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

* Laughter protects the heart.
Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Laughter makes you feel good. And the good feeling that you get when you laugh remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Humor helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss.

More than just a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh–or even simply a smile–can go a long way toward making you feel better. And laughter really is contagious—just hearing laughter primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in on the fun.

* Laughter dissolves distressing emotions.
You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.

* Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.

* Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. All emotional sharing builds strong and lasting relationship bonds, but sharing laughter and play adds joy, vitality, and resilience. And humor is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Laughter unites people during difficult times.

Using humor and laughter in relationships allows you to:

* Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your troubles.
* Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget judgments, criticisms, and doubts.
* Release inhibitions. Your fear of holding back and holding on are set aside.
* Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface.

Laughter is your birthright, a natural part of life that is innate and inborn. Infants begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud within months of being born. Even if you did not grow up in a household where laughter was a common sound, you can learn to laugh at any stage of life.

Begin by setting aside special times to seek out humor and laughter, as you might with working out, and build from there. Eventually, you’ll want to incorporate humor and laughter into the fabric of your life, finding it naturally in everything you do.


One essential characteristic that helps us laugh is not taking ourselves too seriously. We’ve all known the classic tight-jawed sourpuss who takes everything with deathly seriousness and never laughs at anything. No fun there!

Some events are clearly sad and not occasions for laughter. But most events in life don’t carry an overwhelming sense of either sadness or delight. They fall into the gray zone of ordinary life–giving you the choice to laugh or not.

Ways to help yourself see the lighter side of life:

* Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take ourselves less seriously is talk about times when we took ourselves too seriously.

* Attempt to laugh at situations rather than bemoan them. Look for the humor in a bad situation, the irony and absurdity of life. This will help improve your mood and the mood of those around you.

* Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun.

* Keep things in perspective. Many things in life are beyond our control—particularly the behavior of other people. While you might think taking the weight of the world on your shoulders is admirable, in the long run it’s unrealistic, unproductive, unhealthy, and even egotistical.

* Deal with your stress. Stress is a major impediment to humor and laughter.

* Pay attention to children and emulate them. They are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing.

"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul." ~ Yiddish Proverb

"A good, real, unrestrained, hearty laugh is a sort of glorified internal massage, performed rapidly and automatically. It manipulates and revitalizes corners and unexplored crannies of the system that are unresponsive to most other exercise methods." ~ Author unknown, from an editorial in New York Tribune, quoted in Quotations for Special Occasions by Maud van Buren

"Seven days without laughter makes one weak." ~ Mort Walker

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLAMNGLOWDIVA 11/30/2011 1:14AM

    I love this! Laugh all the time.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FISHINGLADY66 11/29/2011 8:25PM

    Love this one Thanks for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSAN134 11/29/2011 7:42PM

    I know how great I feel when something makes me laugh, did not know all the fantastic benefits of laughing though! Wonderful information Val!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAROLEE1945 11/29/2011 7:33PM

    I took a class called "Laughing Yoga" It sounds artificial, to just start laughing for no reason, but in a large group, it was infectious. It actually worked!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEE107 11/29/2011 6:32PM

    thanks for sharing

Report Inappropriate Comment
PAMINHALF 11/29/2011 6:17PM

  I love this quote - "Seven days without laughter makes one weak." ~ Mort Walker

Report Inappropriate Comment
KEEPITUP05 11/29/2011 5:31PM

    Love this! Thanks again for sharing! :))

Report Inappropriate Comment

30 Days To Greater Happiness - Nov. 28th - Donate

Monday, November 28, 2011

Today's "30 Days To Greater Happiness" SP tip is,

"Make a donation. Clear the clutter in your home and give all those "extras" you don't use to someone who needs them. By downsizing, organizing and giving, you'll help yourself and others at the same time."

tells us that there are literally thousands of opportunities for a person to contribute time, money, energy or other resources to support a charitable cause.

If you have never given a thought to donating to a charity, this is a good time to start. There are so many ways that making a charitable donation can benefit you and those around you.

One good reason to donate to charity is that such donations can be written off when you file your taxes annually. There isn’t a soul out there who would not like a tax break. If you donate to charity, that money does not count toward your overall tax bill. So you can kill two birds with one stone by helping others while also helping yourself.

Another reason to donate to charity is to clean out items from your home that you no longer use. Many people have homes filled with clothes, toys, books and furniture they no longer use. Donating items such as these can be as useful and helpful as simply writing out a check to your charity of choice. In many cases, these things are still in good enough condition to be put to good use by families and individuals who do not have the funds to purchase such items on their own.

Perhaps the most important reason to make charitable donations is because it fulfills a grander purpose. You are helping people who are less fortunate than you because circumstances in their lives created that situation. It is a good thing to give back when you have the means to make a difference.

One thing you can do to make it easy is to donate to a charity that has helped you, your spouse, a family member or a friend in a time of need. The best way to repay an act of service like that is to return the good turn done to you. If you donate to a charity that helped you or someone you know, you are helping that organization also make a difference in other lives.

"Give cheerfully and freely. It is the energy behind the giving that matters so do not give grudgingly. The law of cause and effect guarantees that you shall receive plenty for what you give." ~ David Cameron Gikandi

"I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver." ~ Maya Angelou

"You cannot receive what you don't give. Outflow determines inflow." ~ Eckhart Tolle

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLAMNGLOWDIVA 11/29/2011 1:19AM

    This is a wonderful idea. I try to donate things at least 3 times a year. It's good to do it all year long.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEE107 11/28/2011 10:52PM

    the best thing is that it makes others happy.. we do it through our church and they pick up and deliver and the people who get it are so appreciate

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAGGIE101857 11/28/2011 8:29PM

    Love your holiday background! So festive!!! Great reminder to think of those less fortunate, especially important at this time of year. We do this throughout the year, regardless of the tax write-off! Today as I was making purchases at the "dollar store" for my office bulletin board, I contributed to their $1.00 toy bin charity - I try and do this every time I go in there! Also noticed many stores on Black Friday had donations to St. Jude - another wonderful cause and "painless" to add a dollar or two to your purchase! Every bit helps!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FISHINGLADY66 11/28/2011 5:41PM

    Great Idea!

Report Inappropriate Comment
EFFIEANNIE 11/28/2011 5:08PM

    This is always a good reminder. What I have been doing as I am losing weight- when my clothes are too baggy to look nice, I put them in a bag and donate them to Goodwill. I will then have no fattt clothes to fall back on- I must not gain the weight back.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HLOCHRIDGE 11/28/2011 4:44PM

    Very good idea!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

30 Days To Greater Happiness - Nov. 27th - Grow A Garden

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Today's "30 Days To Greater Happiness" SP tip is,

"Grow a garden. Watching plants grow and thrive under you care is a great experience! Dig in with cheer, knowing you're beating stress, becoming more active, and surrounding your home with beauty."

tells us that in today's hectic, multi-tasking world, gardening is an activity that allows us to escape, to ground ourselves, and to focus on creating.

Gardening allows us to ...

1. Exercise. Gardening increases joint flexibility and strength, and uses all the major muscle groups (legs, shoulders, back, abs, & buttocks). It has been shown to burn as many calories as the average aerobic workout, and it definitely tones your body in the process.

2. Improve our diet. A personal garden produces healthy, flavourful food that is in season. Vegetables and fruits that are grown from our own garden taste better so we will be more likely to eat them. And when we're eating more veggies and fruit, our body is getting more nutrients. More nutrients = better heath.

3. Grow our creative edge. Planning which seeds to use, where to plant them and how we want our garden to look requires imagination and inspiration to try new ideas. As these skills are practices, our mind develops new neuroconnections and learns how to be more creative. Our newfound skill of creativity can then cross over into others of our lives like our work, relationships and health. Indeed, gardening can enhance our lives.

4. Calms our mind. Gardening gets us outside and away from all the things that overstimulate our minds such as cellphones, computers and TVs. When all these devices are gone, our mind can relax, focus on one thing at a time, and be immersed in the sounds, smells, and sights of nature. A calm mind will improve the health of every cell in our bodies.

5. Connect with the earth. Humans have a deep need to connect with nature - an interesting fact when we consider the amount of time we spent cut off from nature in houses, cars, offices and stores. No wonder many of us have lost the true appreciation for our environment that is needed in order to motivate us to make changes in our lives to save our earth. Gardening can help us rekindle our true appreciation of our earth and give us more leverage to take action to help it. A healthier earth means a healthier you and me!!!

"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity." ~ Lindley Karstens, noproblemgarden.com

"Plants give us oxygen for the lungs and for the soul." ~ Linda Solegato

"I cultivate my garden, and my garden cultivates me." ~ Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLAMNGLOWDIVA 11/28/2011 2:11AM

    Great advice.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JSPEED4 11/28/2011 12:59AM

    emoticon I like corn eaten raw, straight off of the stalk---silk and all, though most people make a tea from the silks since they are stringy.

Green beans are great, fresh from the garden, raw. Add plenty of fresh tomatoes and a few mint and/or sage or basil leaves; you can make a meal sitting at a simple yard table, or on a yard bench.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEE107 11/28/2011 12:30AM

    thanks for sharing this

Report Inappropriate Comment
FISHINGLADY66 11/27/2011 8:14PM

    emoticon My daughter ask me how to grow a garden.

Report Inappropriate Comment

30 Days To Greater Happiness - Nov. 26th - Do Your Best

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Today's "30 Days To Greater Happiness" SP tip is,

"Do your best. Your accomplishments ae important and deserve recognition, so be proud of a job well done. Mastering skills and meeting goals can increase your own self-esteem and self-worth."

wisely tells us that our best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when we are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, when we simply do our best, we will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret. The following further explains this.

says to under any circumstances, always do your best, no more, and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good. When you wake up refreshed and energized in the morning, your best will be better than when you are tired at night. Your best will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick, or sober as opposed to drunk. Your best will depend on whether you are feeling wonderful and happy, or upset, angry, or jealous.

In your everyday moods your best can change from one moment to another, from one hour to the next, from one day to another. Your best will also change over time.

Regardless of the quality, keep doing your best -- no more and no less than your best. If you try too hard to do more than your best, you will spend more energy than is needed and in the end your best will not be enough. When you overdo, you deplete your body and go against yourself, and it will take you longer to accomplish your goal. But if you do less than your best, you subject yourself to frustration, self-judgment, guilt and regrets.

You are going to be productive, you are going to be good to yourself, because you will be giving yourself to your family, to your community, to everything. But it is the action that is going to make you feel intensely happy. When you do your best, you take action. Doing your best is taking the action because you love it, not because you’re expecting a reward. Most people do exactly the opposite: They only take action when they expect a reward, and they don’t enjoy the action. And that’s the reason why they don’t do their best.

For example, most people go to work every day just thinking of payday, and the money they will get from the work they are doing. They can hardly wait for Friday or Saturday, what ever day they receive their money and can take time off. They are working for the reward, and as a result they resist work. They try to avoid the action and it becomes more difficult, and they don’t do their best.

They work so hard all week long, suffering the work, suffering the action, not because they like to, but because they feel they have to. They have to work because they have to pay the rent, because they have to support their family. They have all that frustration, and when they do receive their money they are unhappy. They have two days to rest, to do what they want to do, and what do they do? They try to escape. They get drunk because they don’t like themselves. They don’t like their life. There are many ways that we hurt ourselves when we don’t like who we are.

On the other hand, if you take action just for the sake of doing it, without expecting a reward, you will find that you enjoy every action you do. Rewards will come, but you are not attached to the reward. You can even get more than you would have imagined for yourself without expecting a reward. If we like what we do, if we always do our best, then we are really enjoying life. We are having fun, we don’t get bored, we don’t have frustrations.

"Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones tend to take care of themselves." ~ Dale Carnegie

"A man is relieved and happy when he has put his heart into his work and done his best ." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it." ~ George Halas

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEAGLASSQUEEN 11/27/2011 7:04AM

    Thanks for all your posts!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GLAMNGLOWDIVA 11/27/2011 1:00AM

    I love this!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEE107 11/26/2011 11:49PM

    thanks like this one a lot

Report Inappropriate Comment
KEEPITSIMPLE_ 11/26/2011 9:48PM

    WOW! Great perspective and a wake up call too. I love my life, feel great, and am very happy, except for work. That describes me to a T! I try hard every work day to remember it's for God, and I should feel joy in everything when I'm doing it for Him. Then I pull into the parking lot.....

Great blog! Thanks

Report Inappropriate Comment
FISHINGLADY66 11/26/2011 8:18PM

    emoticon another good blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment

30 Days To Greater Happiness - Nov. 25th - Connect With Family

Friday, November 25, 2011

Today's "30 Days To Greater Happiness" SP tip is,

"Connect with your family. Make time for your loved ones, partner and children each day. Reminisce, celebrate, and just have fun together! Enrich your life with family memories for greater purpose and satisfaction."

gives us "The Six Greatest Gifts You Can Give Your Loved Ones".

1. Your Presence. This means making it a priority to spend time with them — if they are truly important, you can make the time. You might have to change things in your life to make the time, but it’s worth it.

Beyond just making the time, though, you have to actually be present when you spend time with loved ones. That means learning to stay in the moment, rather than having your mind on other things, checking your iPhone or Blackberry every two minutes, or trying to take care of other tasks and chores while spending time with them. Instead, drop everything else and focus on being there with your loved ones — really listen, really have fun, really be present.

2. Your Love. This is perhaps an obvious one on the list, but it’s too important to gloss over. It’s imperative that you tell your loved ones that … well, that you love them. Regularly. But just as important is that you actually show them you love them, in your actions every day, throughout the day. Hugs, intimacy, smiles, doing kind things for them, considering their needs and feelings … just little things that mean a lot.

3. Your Compassion. How is this different than giving the gift of your love? Well, it’s possible to love someone and not show compassion. For example, we parents often discipline our children and love them at the same time … but often compassion is even more important than discipline.

Compassion is finding empathy with your loved one … trying to see things from their eyes, trying to understand what they’re going through … and then doing your best to be kind and to end their suffering and to make them happier. Read more.

4. A Voice. We can give so much just by paying attention to a loved one, and really listening, and showing that we’re interested in what they have to say, and showing that what they say is important and respected. Too often our children or spouse might talk to us but are only met with a disinterested nod or other small acknowledgment, or we’ll make light or fun of what they say, as if it’s not important. But giving a person a voice, and showing that their words matter, will have a long-lasting different in their lives.

5. A Healthy Lifestyle. When you spend time with your loved one, try to do so while enjoying a healthy and fun activity, such as going on a hike, playing a sport, tossing around a Frisbee, going for a walk or jog, doing some yardwork, and so on. When you get together to eat, try to eat healthy foods. Make the habits of good health a part of your lifestyle, and encourage your loved ones to do the same — it could save their lives.

6. Your Belief in Them. Simply believing in another person, and showing that in your words and in your deeds, can make a huge difference. Studies of people who grew up in dysfunctional homes but who grew up to be happy and successful show that the one thing they had in common was a significant adult who believed in them. Do this for your child, and for the adult loved ones in your life as well. Support their dreams and passions and hobbies. Participate with them. Be nothing but encouraging. Be their greatest cheerleader. Whether they actually accomplish these dreams or not, your belief is of unlimited importance to them.

“When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.” ~ Joyce Brothers

“Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing.” ~ Jim Rohn

“The family is the nucleus of civilization.” ~ Ariel and Will Durant

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLAMNGLOWDIVA 11/26/2011 2:37AM

    This is the perfect time of year to do that. Thanks!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEE107 11/26/2011 12:20AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCYBOAT 11/25/2011 10:06PM

    A great post!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FISHINGLADY66 11/25/2011 10:00PM


Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 Last Page