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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 11

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Start a Journal. Use it to record positive experiences and things you are thankful for. Read your own words during times when you feel down to remember how fortunate you truly are.

What SparkPeople appears to be addressing is more of a Gratitude Journal. There are some benefits to writing about the 'good stuff'.
But there are also benefits of getting out the bad stuff as well.

Years ago, while my father was recovering from serious health issues and I was taking care of him, I was having trouble sleeping. Dad noticed and brought home a set of Worry Dolls
Each night before I went to sleep, I would tell one worry to each of the dolls and tuck them in their box. By releasing the energy, worries and bad thoughts, it allowed me to sleep peacefully.

The same can be said for journalling. Yes, gratitude is wonderful, but so is purging your mind of bad thoughts. Make room for the positive. Allow yourself to go forward instead of being stuck in the past.

I probably have 4 or 5 blank books around my home. Most only have a page or two with writing. More that one has been started after watching "Bridget Jones' Diary". If you've seen the movie and are a single woman, you might have one too! I'm not so good about the journalling. I should get better. But seeing as it is the 15th of November and I'm working on Day 11... I get behind. And here I know people are watching. If no one is watching, what do you not do???

Please note that there is a difference between journalling and blogging. Journalling can be private, book or online. Not so much for sharing. Can be directed at specific events (travel, work out) or every day life experience. Blogging is more about sharing your experiences with other people. To get feedback and help inform others.

Did you know there is a Journal feature on SparkPeople? On your start page, go to Planner> Journal. Are you artistic? Maybe you could draw how you feel. Are you a 'scrapper'? Cut and Paste away. But get your thoughts and feelings on paper. It is important. It is cathartic. It is a way to keep memories and remember the little things. Because some days the little things add up.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALASKASKY 11/16/2011 6:39AM

    Thanks. Great Blog. Great advice. I journal but not as often as I should. I also feel better when I get those emotions on paper. I have tons of notebooks to write in and am waiting for my Oprah Life class Journal to arrive.

I'm going to sit down today and journal away. I have a lot to get off my chest and a lot to work on right now.

I like the dolls.


Comment edited on: 11/16/2011 6:44:01 AM

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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 12

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My favorite day yet!!

Dark chocolate is healthy in moderation, but it can also increase well-being and boost your mood. Savor a small piece to satisfy that craving.

Every day. I plan for at least some chocolate. EVERY DAY!! Last night I finished a wonderful bar of Dark Chocolate with chili and lime. It was YUMMY. It was 8 squares and lasted me 12 days... yes, twelve days.

Here's a link about the benefits of Dark Chocolate

Please note, none of the articles list anything made by Hershesy. They are not saying eat a Snickers bar every day. It really is only GOOD DARK chocolate that has the true health benefits. NOT milk chocolate or any over processed, mass produced, sugar filled chocolate.

Last year I had a Costco bag of assorted small squares of dark chocolate. It lasted me over six months. I had to throw it away because the chocolates all melted together... time to go back to Costco!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIKO1908 11/16/2011 12:10AM

    I love this day too!!! Too bad I'm currently not eating candy or I'd work on this one for awhile!!! Cocoa is my go to for chocolate...LOVE IT!!!

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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 10

Friday, November 11, 2011

(Playing catch up still, yep, Making Time for Myself is still an issue!)

"Simplify your life. Unburden yourself of possessions that lock you in the "rat race" of earning more money to pay for more things you don't really need. Spend time and resources on things that add real meaning to your life."

This is a concept I have been working on for years. I still have work to do. My friends laugh at me because my TV is "so small". I think it's just right. It's what I NEED. My apartment is too small. Nope, it's what I NEED. (albeit, I have too much stuff in it... but I'm purging!). My car is too old. Nope it's paid for and runs fine. Buying a new car when mine is good enough would be silly and a waste of time, energy, money.

Getting rid of stuff, the bits and pieces that clog my house and my mind is what I need to do. It's a long, slow process. There are emotional ties attached to things that need to be broken.

Living simply is a way that I want to live at home and outside my house. In my relationships with freinds and family.

One of the ways that I have done this is to TRY and convince my friends/family that we, as adults, don't need to buy presents for other adults for Birthdays, Holidays and the like. Some days I feel like I'm just talking to air. Frankly, half of the stuff given or received is never wanted/used/liked/enjoyed anyway. But because they are gifts, we have to keep, display and use things we don't want.

For Christmas, my nieces get TONS of gifts. Most end up broken at the bottom of the toy bin, barely used. Several years ago, I started to give them something different. "A Day With Auntie Gretchen"... just me and one of my nieces. We chose something special that they want to do. An event, movie, pedicures, dress up tea, play, Chuck E Cheese... THEIR CHOICE. We make a full day of it. Dress up, go out, have luch, always find a side trip or a park to visit. So what I do is give a Memory. The memory cannot be broken, will never be the wrong size, can't be lost, and doesn't take up closet or toy chest space.

I'm still working on purging *stuff* from my house. 3 giant bins of too large clothes to charity, a couple of bags of paperback books back to the used book store for credit. Unopened gifts either re-gifted to a more approprate recipient or in the bin to Goodwill.

Unclog my home, unclog my head, free myself for better, healthier live!!

Here is an article on zenhabits about Living Simply:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRYS13 11/14/2011 12:47PM

    I really wish there was some magic potion I could drink in order to de-clutter without caring! I have so much junk in this house that it's paralyzing!! But, every time I come to get rid of it, I rationalize and talk myself into an "I just might need this" state!
I better get going and see if I could just part with one thing per room! It's a start!

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BOBINVA 11/11/2011 10:36PM

    I like this one. I have been getting rid of so much stuff that I have not used or worn in years and am not looking to replace it.

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DARKCHILD 11/11/2011 2:11PM

    I am soooooo feeling you on this one!! I'm getting rid of stuff today. Already went through the closet in the bedroom, was amazed at the stuff in there, next shoes...and so on and so forth. Ditto to what you had to say in your blog! emoticon

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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 9

Friday, November 11, 2011

Savor every bite.

I have never been a fast eater. I'm the one that people used to yell at to hurry up at Thanksgiving dinner. My family had already finished their seconds and was waiting for me to finish so they could start dessert. It doesn't mean I didn't eat a lot, I would eat plenty, just slowly. The one thing that did do is keep eating, and eating, and eating.

By using the Principles of Mindful Eating I have been able to tone down the over-eats. I no longer eat until I'm sick because I'm so full. I use portion control and sometimes will throw away even that amount of food if I feel full.

By focusing on eating and paying ationtion to my body. I have been able to feel when I am full, or getting close to full.

By paying attention to the food I am eating: texture, smell, appearance and, the best part, flavor, I am able to enjoy my food and feel satisfied instead of just eating for eatings sake.

By truly tasting and taking my time, I can eat one small square of YUMMY dark chocolate (w-chili and lime) and not eat the whole bar. The second bite never tastes as good as the first, I have been working on that bar of chocolate for 2 weeks... and I still have several squares to go!

I'm putting a small challenge out to you. The next time you eat, take your time. Truly TASTE your food with your eyes, nose, mouth (hands if it's a 'touchy' food). Don't sit at the tv. Turn on some nice, soothing music. Heck, light a candle and break out the 'guest' dishes, even if you're alone or with kids. Make it a calm environment.

Take your time and think about your eating.
Does the first bite tast different from the second?
Does it taste the same while it's getting warmer/cooler?
Does the taste change when you drink in between bites?
Does the food bring memories/feelings of events that have happened?

Here is a link to an article on the "Principles of Mindful Eating":

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOBINVA 11/11/2011 10:38PM

    It was once pointed out to me that I chew slowly and breath really deep when I am eating. I was self conscious then and a girl told me. It is amazing how much more you taste when you breath and eat slowly.

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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 8

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Make time for yourself. Pursuing personal growth is just as important as spending time with others. Pencil in some "me" time, even if it's just a few minutes each day.

I'm single, no pets, no roommates, have a M-F 9-5 job (if I'm not out on the course or at a special event).

My problem is not HAVING "me" time. It's making better use of "me" time. I have been spending too much time staring at a list of all the cool things that I could do. I have been spending too much time catching up on tv shows and watching movies. I have been spending too much time... wasting time.

What I need to do to make room for personal growth is Go Back to the Beginning... These are the key places I need to work on:

A. Clean off my art desk. Gather motivational quotes. Get my artistic self to work.
B. Clean and organize my house. So that my time at home is comfortable, not CHAOS.
C. Stop watching re-runs on tv. If I'm going to watch, I need to limit my time. Too often, I sit down in front of the box and just get drawn in, waking up several hours later, tasks not completed
D. Stop making excuses. I am in control of the food I put in my body. I am in control of the action (or inaction) I take at home, at work and at the gym. I am in control of my schedule, shopping, chores etc. I need to take responsibility and take action for my world.

Might as well make my "me" time work for me. Then I can be a better friend, better employee, better mentor, better person.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIKO1908 11/9/2011 11:48PM

    I need to work on improving my "me time" too...I'm thinking I should be doing this 30 day thing right along with you...hand in hand... :)

Keep at it Girl!! :)

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BOBINVA 11/9/2011 9:51PM

    Enjoy your you time.

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