10 ways to feel happy now

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Wednesday, 30 September 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

We all experience different moods. When we’re happy, we feel great – but when we experience lower moods or general ‘down’ days – it can be difficult to pick yourself back up again.

Bringing more happiness into your daily life doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming, you just need to create a list of happy things to do and/or experience! So here’s a list of ten different ways to kick-start your own happiness list – and to help you start feeling happier now.

#1: Exercise

When you exercise you release endorphins that make you feel happier. So aim to exercise for at least 7 minutes every day – to get both happier and healthier!

#2: Get enough sleep

Sleep – it’s something we all need to function at our best – but we often don’t get enough of it. Learn to sleep when you need it, either by having a nap during the day and/or go to bed 30 minutes earlier than you currently do, in order to feel happier. (By the way, being happier will also help you sleep better!)

#3: Spend time with those who make you happy

Whether it’s your friends and/or family, start building on the time you spend with those people who make you feel joyful – and start spending less time with those who don’t.

#4: Get outside

Make it your daily goal to get outside for at least five minutes a day – several times a day, ideally. Not only does the warmth of the sun make us feel happier and alive, it also tops up essential vitamin D levels, meaning an increase in serotonin levels – meaning better (and happier) moods.

#5: Look to help others

Helping others, and seeing the results of your efforts, will make you feel happier and a better human being. It changes your perspective from you to others and you feel good when they appreciate you and in yourself for helping - double happy boost!

#6: Smile!

Even if you have to initially start by faking it, a smile exercises your facial muscles and helps lift your mood. Your brain can't tell the difference and gives you the boost of happy endorphins each time you smile, real or fake.

#7: Mediate

Meditation gives you the time and space to connect with yourself and learn to listen to your intuition and inner guidance – and who wouldn’t feel happier, if they knew they were trusting themselves more? Taking the time out to let the thoughts stop gives you extra space, perspective and clarity in your own mind.

#8: Practice gratitude

Being grateful for what you have, who you are and the life you have, ensures you are keeping your focus on the positive – and what you focus on becomes a reality – so also be grateful for the positive things that are currently heading towards you. Each day find three things to be grateful for, sometimes the small things are the best to be grateful for like tea being made in your favourite mug.

#9: Pass out the hugs

Hugging someone not only passes on a warm feeling, it also builds trust and opens communication, as well as boosts oxytocin levels – healing feelings of loneliness, isolation and anger. Length of hugs can be increased with people you know, so you feel that oxytocin flowing.

#10: Make a change

Sometimes, happiness comes to us when we simply make a decision to change something. So, if what you’re doing isn’t making you happy – look to make a change. When you are ready to make a change, get in touch or sign up for Finding Your Joy Formula

Image © JorgeAlejandro/Dollar Photo Club

The power behind visualisation

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Friday, 25 September 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

Visualisation is often seen, by those who don’t regularly use it, as just daydreaming and idle wishing. When used correctly, visualisation has the power to change your life, improve your health and increase your wealth and prosperity.

However visualisation has so many hidden benefits and if often used by coaches to ramp up a client’s intention and motivation. So what is the power (or powers) behind visualisation?

Power of focus

Visualisation enables you to get a laser-like focus on what you want, instead of just wishful thinking. You’re actually focusing on a specific sequence of events, whereas a daydream is often just letting your mind wander. It is the difference between concentrated thoughts and focus, versus generalised unconscious thoughts and subconscious habits.

Power of conviction

There’s a reason coaches use visualisation exercises on their clients – it powers up their conviction and motivation. Visualisation ensures you get really clear on what you want AND enables you to imagine what your life will be like once you have what you’re aiming for. This, in turn, will ramp up your conviction around achieving it.

Power of emotion

If you add emotion into your visualisation, you’ll be doing two things. Number one, you’ll be further increasing your motivation and conviction, as you’ll be visualising both what you want AND what it feels like to have it and to live with that desired end result.

But also, number two – you’ll be fooling your brain about already having your desired end result. You see, your brain doesn’t know the difference between a consistent vividly imagined image and something you’ve actually done. What does this mean? Well, it makes it EASIER for you to achieve what you want, as your brain thinks you’ve already achieved it before!

The secret of visualisation

Consistency is the real secret behind visualisation, as touched on in the section above. It isn’t enough to just think about what you want. You have to REGULARLY think about it and REGULARLY imagine what it would feel like to have it. By ramping up the emotions, the colours and the sounds, you’re on track to making your brain believe you have it already – and the Law of Attraction will be activated, to ensure you have what you wish.

And that is the driving force behind visualisation. Visualisation is a way for you to change your thoughts and your mental images, to replace them with better ones, ones that vibrate at a higher level. This in turn, raises your expectation and motivation, along with your emotions and your senses – and you believe you CAN and WILL have what you’re visualising in your mind’s eye.

If you are ready to visualise a new life for yourself and want some support along the way The Joy Journey is my 4 week online course

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What the musical ‘South Pacific’ can teach us about happiness

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 08 September 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

It’s hard to imagine that a movie about World War II and racial prejudice can teach us anything about happiness. However both the 1949 Broadway musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, and the subsequent 1958 film, can teach us A LOT about it – and it boils down to one simple, quick song, sung by a character called ‘Bloody Mary’.

Happy Talk

The song I’m referring to is only about 1½ minutes long – but it’s the wording that has the real gold:

“Happy talk, keep talkin' happy talk,
Talk about things you'd like to do.
You got to have a dream,
If you don't have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?”

(Happy Talk, lyrics from South Pacific sound track)

The importance of having a desire and wish

It reminds us of the key elements around having a dream or wish. It’s not enough to just have that desire, you need to talk about it and focus on it too. Having a desire is important to all of us – it gives us something to aim for. The song illustrates in simplistic terms, that we cannot change what we have, unless we have something different to aim for. It shows us that our personal happiness is in our own hands.

Our self talk

And this brings us onto the main part of making that desire a reality – the self talk. You have to keep talking about what you want in positive terms. You have to talk happiness, in order to be happy. It isn’t about what you have on the outside – it’s about what you have and feel on the inside that counts.

How we talk about our desires makes a difference. If we believe we CAN have what we want, we’ll be more likely to GET what we want. But it’s also about using positive wording around that desire too. Be happy and good to yourself and you’ll attract more happiness and goodness in to your life.

Implementation is important too

However being positive and talking positive ISN’T enough on its own. Why? Because you need to ACT on it too. Talking and thinking positive thoughts and using positive wording will NOT work on its own.  In order for any desire to become reality – whether you want a physical goal or to achieve a feeling of general happiness – you HAVE to act on those desires.

If you practice the art of talking happy, use positive language daily, believe in your desires AND act on them, you WILL achieve your goals. You’ll achieve happiness in your life NOW. More importantly, it will also change how you view the world – and this, in turn will make it go full circle – as it will also change your lives and your subsequent actions.

Image courtesy of photostock/FreeDitialPhotos.net

The health benefits of the Lotus pose

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

When it comes to yoga poses, the Lotus pose looks quite simple. Appearances however, can be deceptive, as ‘padmasana’ (the Lotus pose) is not as simple as it looks!

How to get into the Lotus pose

Before you attempt the Lotus pose, if you have any ankle or knee injuries or problems, check with a doctor and only attempt it with an experienced teacher.

  • Start by sitting on a mat with both legs in front of you, spine straight.
  • Bend your right knee and place right foot on left thigh, with your heel close to your abdomen (ensure the sole of your foot is pointed upwards).
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Place your relaxed, open hands on your knees (palms facing upwards).
  • Ensure you keep your head straight and your spine erect.
  • Ensure you alternate which leg is on top, every time you do this pose.
  • Watch your breathing – gentle long breaths in and out.

If you struggle to complete the full Lotus pose, you can place just one leg on the other thigh, again alternating every time you do the pose, until you are able to complete the whole pose.

The importance of the Lotus plant

Hindu texts describe the Lotus plant as being able to heal all, as well as awakening the dormant ‘kundalini’ energy at the base of your spine. In Buddhism, the Lotus plant is not only one of the most easily recognised motifs, it’s also seen as a really sacred aquatic plant.

Look at every Buddhist deity and they’re either sat on a Lotus plant or holding one – even Buddha himself is seen with each foot on a Lotus plant. The importance of both the Padmasana position and the Lotus plant in both Buddhist and Hindu life is seen more easily, once you break down the meaning of ‘padmasana’; it comprises of the Sanskrit words ‘padma’ (lotus) and ‘sana’ (meaning seat or throne).

The benefits it has on your physical body

The Lotus pose helps you improve your overall posture, as it helps strengthen your back. It works the lower body particularly well, stretching your ankles, knees and ligaments, whilst also maintaining flexibility in both your back and your knees. It also ensures your spine is stretched and straight, indirectly helping prevent a myriad of problems, including stomach and intestinal discomfort, constipation, lower back and lower joint aches and pains.

Your hips also benefit from the Lotus pose, as it opens up your hips – enabling the ligaments and muscles to be stretched. This also has the added advantage of making painful periods less painful and sciatica

The Lotus pose and pregnancy go together quite well to, with the Lotus pose ensuring both pregnancy and childbirth are less painful and stressful on your hip joints.

The benefits it has on your wellbeing and health

But it isn’t just your physical body that benefits from the Lotus position – your inner health and wellbeing are improved too. Consistently using the Lotus pose will increase your attention span and general awareness, whilst calming the monkey chatter in your brain.

Stretching and moving your muscles and ligaments will also naturally restore your energy levels safely – unlike the ‘false’ energy you get from fast food and chocolate – making it a perfect pose for not just strength, but also meditation, relaxation and stress relief.

 

If you are a beginner to yoga and can't quite get into the Lotus pose yet, why not check out my Yoga for Beginners DVD?

Image courtesy of sepy/Dollar Photo Club

 

What colour is happy?

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 01 September 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

Different cultures and circumstances will dictate what a colour means to us. This form of non-verbal communication is known the world over. We all know that colours DO affect us – regardless of whether we believe in the psychology behind them or not – but the feelings we have around a certain colour can change, depending on our own energy and thought patterns at the time.

That is why we use both specific colours and generalised terminology to help vocalise how we feel, i.e. ‘black (or grey) mood’, ‘white lie’, ‘tickled pink’, ‘out of the blue’, ‘get the green light’ and ‘yellow-bellied’.

How colour can affect our mood

We often subconsciously link a colour back to how we perceive that colour in nature. For example, blue and green are often seen as relaxing (think the sky, water, trees and grass), so it therefore makes us feel relaxed and calm. We store hundreds of references to each colour and, when we see this colour, we immediately associate the dominant referenced feeling to our mood.

It therefore goes without saying, we can build on these internal references and enhance our feelings through our choice of colour. Surround yourself with red and, depending on your association with it, you could feel brave, powerful, passionate and daring or alternatively, panicked, in danger, scared and unsettled.

What colours are associated with positive thoughts?

When it comes to feeling generally positive, you’ll want to sway more towards the warmer colours – such as red through yellow and orange. These colours tend to be seen as warm, energising and happy:

  • Yellow can be seen as cheerful, fresh, warm, energising and optimistic.
  • Red can be energy, strength, excitement, passion
  • Orange can be seen as healthy, attractive, wealthy, youthful and happiness.

How we can expand on that colour and happiness connection

So if you want to feel happy, surround yourself with colours that imply happiness to you. Look to decorate your office and living areas with positive, happy, warm and energising colours and wear colours that reflect the same.

Another great way to expand on your happiness connection is to visualise yourself surrounded by a bright light of your chosen happy colour. Silver, white, purple and yellow are often seen as positive, spiritual and regal colours – leaving you feeling energised, special and positive – making them great visualisation colours.

However, when it comes to decorating your bedroom, look to go for the more calming and soothing colours, such as greens, pale yellows and blues – to ensure you get a good night’s sleep!

Oh, and what colour is happy? If you agree with the colour experts out there, it’s orange! If you don't agree join the conversation on facebook, and if you want help discovering what your happy is my 4 week course The Joy Journey is a great place to start, or my Finding Your Joy Formula 1:1 coaching is the fast track focussed way.

 

Image courtesy of seaskylab/FreeDigitalPhotos.net