7 Steps to Living a Happier Life

How happy are you?

The truth is you may not be that happy. You may be going through life miserable and unfulfilled.

Why?

You probably learned to be miserable from your parents and family. Let’s face it; these are the people we spend the most time with. Yes, a negative mindset and depression are contagious. You can catch another person’s crappy mood like you can catch a cold!

I’m sure you’ve heard over and over again that “happiness is a state of mind” and that “you can choose to be happy now.”

The truth is being happy could be a challenge if your desires and dreams haven’t manifested. The key is to stop thinking you need this or that to be happy. Release your dreams instead of constantly focusing and worrying about manifesting them. Be happy with what you have. You’ll feel better.

Let’s examine the 7 steps living a happier life…

1. Stop seeking approval from others, especially family. I’ll tell you something you probably never heard before: not everyone in your family, this includes your parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents will approve of you and or your dreams. I know this sucks to read because all of us have been conditioned to believe that family is everything and that family will support you. This is a lie. Just ask any teenager who comes out of the closet to their parents. Not all teens are accepted for who they are. The sad truth is that some of them are kicked out of their homes because of their sexuality. The sooner you KICK THE HABIT OF SEEKING APPROVAL from others the happier you’ll be.

2. Choose a career path that works for you. Quit listening to people who say, “You can’t make a living as an artist.” You may have to have a day job to pay the bills, but you can pursue your art at night (or whatever it is that brings you joy). You can paint, write, act, design, sculpt, etc. on weekends and weeknights. Share your art with the world by creating a website and marketing yourself on social media networks. Join groups and network with other artists. You never know who you’ll meet who can help you get noticed. Choose a CAREER that works for you and it will work for others too.

3. Speak words of favor. Try this experiment. Listen to the words that come out of your mouth. Heck, listen to the words that come out of your spouses, partners, family, friends, and co-workers. I’d bet you any money they speak words of defeat. This gets old after a while. Learn to tune-out the negativity and SPEAK words of favor.

4. Be grateful. I know you’ve read and heard about this one. The majority of self-help authors on the planet stress the importance of being GRATEFUL. You could keep a gratitude journal or you can state out loud what you’re grateful for. For example, I’m grateful I have a roof over my head; I’m grateful I have the world’s greatest mother; and I’m grateful that I can see and hear. The list goes on and on. Give it a try.

5. Smile and laugh. How many times a day do you SMILE? I’d bet it’s not a lot. How many times a day do you laugh? I bet it’s not a lot. Look in the mirror and smile. Watch a good comedy and laugh until your stomach hurts. Stop taking life on planet earth so serious. Lighten up. It will do your mind, body, and soul good.

6. Love. Before you can love others, you MUST LOVE you! Give yourself a hug every day. Love unconditionally without any strings any attached. If you ever find yourself in a sticky situation ask yourself, “What would love do?” Be still and listen for the answer. Love has the power to transform your life in HUGE ways. When you transform your life, you can help others do the same.

7. Be you. Just BE YOU! Quit trying to please your mother, father, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, cousin, teacher, co-worker, etc. You are unique. Embrace your individuality and don’t be afraid to express yourself. Just be you and get on with your life. The sooner you accept you, the happier you’ll be. You’ll be free of stress and anxiety.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d appreciate if you’d share it with others. Email it, tweet it in Twitter, stumble it on StumbleUpon, pin it on Pinterest, and like it on Facebook. Thank you!

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Can You Catch Depression?

Depression can be a peculiar disorder, especially for those who’ve never been depressed a day in their life. What happens when you’re feeling depressed? Are the feelings truly yours? Or, do they belong to someone else? Can you ‘catch’ depression like you catch a cold?

Below are some tips to help you deal and interact with the depressed people in your life:

7 Steps to Interacting with the Depressed People in Your Life
Depression (emotion )

Depression (emotion ) (Photo credit: Andreas-photography)

Notice when your feelings are off.

If your home environment has been turned upside down, and you find yourself living with someone who’s depressed, you could experience emotional highs and lows. Step back and ask yourself, “Are these my feelings?” You may be surprised to find out that they’re not your feelings.

If you’re empathetic, you become like a sponge and absorb the feelings of others. It’s important to clear yourself and energy field every day. You could meditate; take sea salt baths, etc. to rid yourself of lower energies that are not yours.

Stay positive.

There’s no reason for you to stifle your upbeat, positive attitude. Be who you are, even when you’re around those who are in a state of depression.

Send them love and light.

You don’t have to totally cut-off the depressed people in your life. Send them lots of love and light and try to uplift their spirits.

Don’t take anything personally.

This can be easier said than done. But try not to take things personally. If someone says something nasty to you, know that it has nothing to do with you. People usually say things out of aggravation and frustration.

Laugh!

Laughter really is the best medicine. Watch comedies or listen to comedy records. Watch funny YouTube videos! Do whatever you can to laugh and shift your mood when you’re around someone who’s depressed.

Have an attitude of gratitude.

Be thankful that you’re not in a state of depression. You probably have no idea what the depressed people in your life are going through. Be as understanding as you can and don’t fall into the trap of trying to ‘fix’ everyone’s problems. You can’t fix it.

Consult with a psychologist or counselor.

It wouldn’t hurt to speak to a professional if you’re surrounded by people who are depressed. You could learn how to deal the people in your life who are depressed and learn more about depression. The more you know the better you’ll be able to understand why and how someone becomes depressed.

Related Articles on Depression

What Conscious Women Want from Men Partners

This is a guest post from Dr. Jim Sharon. He’s a licensed psychologist and certified life coach and has served in private practice in Colorado since 1977, specializing in men’s issues, couples counseling,wellness and in practical spirituality. He co-owns Energy for Life with his wife Ruth and is the Founder/Coordinator of Whole Man Expo and Whole Man Network in the Denver metro area. 

What Conscious Women Want from Men Partners

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Image via Wikipedia

A “conscious” person is one whose attitudes/values and actions are centered on overall well-being and development of oneself and others, including the environment and planet.

I have been married 41 years to a highly-conscious woman and have raised two daughters who are steadily following in their mother’s footsteps. Also, I have about four decades of experience working with “conscious” women as a therapist, consultant and seminar facilitator. Based on my extensive experience, here are some key qualities in men partners that women seek:

  • Foremost, high-functioning women want their mates to deeply appreciate, cherish and respect them. They want to be experienced and listened to on a heart level. With an aversion to being dominated or controlled, these women are drawn to men who, like themselves, seek an egalitarian relationship. These guys tend to have both a collaborative and assertive nature. While directly expressing their viewpoints,they communicate and resolve conflicts in a clear, “clean” and respectful manner. Furthermore, they typically collaborate with their female partners in parenting,sharing household tasks/chores, and in joint decision-making.
  • Distinctly “conscious” women place a premium on mutual personal development and on growth as a couple. They are especially attracted to well-balanced men, who integrate traditional male and female traits—i.e. they are androgynous. Such men blend inner-direction with being active “in the world.” For example, in addition to enjoying career success and being sociable, these guys tend to be introspective, emotional and spiritually-based. Although desiring various forms of intimacy with their partners, “strong” women prefer a lot of independence and want their men to need considerable autonomy, as well.
  • Essentially, “self-possessed” women, who have genuine self-esteem, seek male partners who are clearly “comfortable in their own skins” and in turn, are available to champion and nurture their overall well-being.

To learn more about Dr. Sharon and his wife Ruth, please visit Energy for Life and Mens Anthology.

Related articles

  • Key Ingredients for a Healthy Relationship (successfulsassybutsingle.com)
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Say Goodbye to Every Year the Right Way

Many of us can’t wait to say goodbye to 2011 because it was a year filled with heartache, financial ruin, devastation, etc. To put it bluntly, it was one hell of a year! Luckily, 2012 is right around the corner and you can begin anew. However, before you dash out of 2011, you may want to conduct an ending ritual. It’s a way for you to contemplate what happened in 2011 and how you want 2012 to be different. Warning: This will take honesty. If you’re not willing to take an honest look at 2011, whatever ritual you do won’t work.

I purchased Robert Ohotto’s Endings: A Conscious Inventory and Release of Last Year and conducted my ending ritual today. I had a lot of baggage to release, again. I was amazed at what came up and am determined to make 2012 a great year! No more excuses, no more giving advice when someone doesn’t ask for it, no more worrying because it only creates more worrying; no more people pleasing, no more worrying what this or that person will take, and no more B.S. in my life!

If you really want to start 2012 on the right foot, consider purchasing Robert’s Endings MP3 download. It could change your life now and in the future.

Wishing You and Yours a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Amandah

How to End the Year and Plan for the New Year in 7 Easy Steps

Yesterday, for the fun of it, I pulled three Tarot Cards from the Lifestyle section of MSN.com. I received the Five of Cups for the Challenges card. My question was, “What career path is right for me?” Here’s an excerpt:

When the Five of Cups is in this position, maximize what is left after loss. The receiver of this card received copious potential in the five cups shown, but three of them have been upended and their contents spilled into the earth. Whether it was carelessness or destiny that spilled these cups isn’t ultimately important.

The ending of the reading got me to think about this year and the challenges I faced. Actually, it’s been a challenging four years! Even though I have 3 cups that spilled, I still have 2 cups left. I can use them wisely to rebuild my resources. I can make the best of what is left and cultivate a new beginning. I can stay optimistic.

I use the word ‘plan’ in the title of this blog post very loosely. There’s a saying, “Man plans and God laughs.” True, you can’t plan everything in life; however, it helps if you have a ‘general idea’ of where it is you’re going or what you want to do. It also helps to Let Go and Let God which means … Throw your intentions out into the universe and release them. According to Les Brown, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” End the year with a little self-reflection and preparation for the New Year. Below you’ll find tips on how to do that.

How to End the Year and Plan for the New Year in 7 Easy Steps

1. Reflect on the year by asking the following questions:

  • What did I learn about myself that I didn’t already know?
  • What obstacles did I face? How did I overcome them?
  • What was good about this year?
  • What was not-so-good about this year?
  • What were the BIG LESSONS from this year? What did I learn from them?
  • How did I strengthen my spiritual growth?
  • How did I evolve?
  • What was my biggest success? What was my biggest blunder?
  • How did I self-sabotage myself this year? List the ways.
  • How many people moved out of my life? Why? What did I learn by them leaving?
  • How many people moved into my life? How did I draw them to me?
  • Anything else I might add.

2. If you moved during the year, remember the following, “When you move, you take yourself with you.” If you move again in the New Year, remember you take yourself wherever you go. Be mentally, emotionally and physically prepared to move.

3. Write letters to people who’ve hurt you or vice versa. Please do not mail these letters! This is an exercise for you to exercise these people from your mind.

4. Accept what happened during the year and release it. Do not carryover any grudges to the New Year. Forgive and let them go. What’s done is done. Learn from it and move on with your life.

5. Give thanks that you made it through another year. Be thankful you survived the year. The New Year is a blank slate. Do not take it for granted.

6. Become very clear about what it is you want for your life, for the New Year. Write down your dreams, hopes, and desires. Stop focusing on your current reality and start writing a script for your life. What does your life look like? What career do you have? Who’s in your family? What kinds of people surround you? Write it all down.

7. Focus and mediate on what your life will look like in the New Year. Once you become clear about what it is you want for your life, focus on it. Don’t focus on the how or when. Just focus!

Amandah

 

 

Thornton Wilder’s Our Town Teaches You to Appreciate Life

Recently, I re-read Thornton Wilder‘s Our Town. I read this play when I was in high school. But like most teenagers, I never really paid attention to it. I rediscovered Our Town by watching an episode of My So Called Life on Netflix. Rayanne, Angela Chase‘s party animal of a friend, tries out for their high school production of Our Town and is cast as Emily and delivers a remarkable performance. It was a tear-jerker.

Synopsis of Our Town

Our Town is introduced and narrated by the Stage Manager who welcomes the audience to the fictitious town of Grover’s Corner, New Hampshire on a May morning in 1901. The stage is sparse and the Stage Manager introduces the characters; they pantomime their activities and chores throughout the play. The ‘big event’ of George Gibbs and Emily Webbs wedding happens in Act II. The ‘bigger event’ of Emily’s death in childbirth happens in Act III. The audience sees the town gathered in the cemetery for Emily’s funeral. They also see the deceased residents of Grover’s Corners at the funeral who try to warn Emily not to go back and observe her childhood. Emily realizes they were right after she sees her and her family and how they really weren’t ‘present’ in each other’s lives.

What Our Town Can Teach You about Life

It’s in Act III where Emily realizes that the residents of Grover’s Corner don’t realize life while living it. They hurry through their days without noticing what’s happening around them; they brush-off their children because they’re too busy preparing meals or cleaning. They don’t stop to savor their food and drink, clothing, sleeping, etc. They won’t know how much they missed until they die and then it will be too late.

Today, most people waste time in various ways from being couch potatoes to hurrying about from one place to the other. They play video games instead of getting outside in the sunshine and exercising. They waste time worrying about this and that; they waste time being lazy. To quote Simon Stimson, “they move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those … of those about you. To spend and waste time as though you had a million of years.” I couldn’t have said it better.

Our Town may have been published in 1938, but its message is applicable today. If people don’t realize what a precious gift life is, they’ll have regrets on their deathbed. They’ll have wished they did this or that; wished they would have taken more risks; wished they would have taken a job opportunity in another state or country; and so forth. Don’t allow this to happen to you! Pickup a copy of Our Town and learn from the people in Grover’s Corners. Allow Emily’s spirit to teach you that life is in the here and now. Once it’s gone, that’s it. There’s no coming back and rejoining the human race.

Amandah

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Interview with Farouk Radwan of 2 Know Myself — Part II

Here’s Part II of my interview with Farouk Radwan, owner of 2 Know Myself.com, a website that offers visitors practical solutions to most life problems. 

About Farouk

Farouk Radwan is the founder of 2knowmyself.com, the one who wrote all the 2000+ articles found on the website and the author of all 2knwomyself.com’s books.

He’s a motivational speaker and trainer, he is studying psychology since he was 17, in addition he is the owner of the company Empowerment (based in Egypt) which is specialized in delivering personal development courses to individuals and corporations.

Learn more about Farouk Radwan at 2 Know Myself.com.

Interview Questions

1. I noticed the article category titled “Attraction Psychology.” What is it? How does it work? 

All research findings have shown that attraction, like any other process, is governed by rules. If someone managed to know these rules then certainly he will be able to use them to attract others to him.

The Attraction psychology section in the site attempts to explain how attraction works. It also contains practical advice that can help people attract friends or even lovers to them.

2. The book How to make someone fall in love with you (Based on the psychology of falling in love) sounds intriguing. If someone doesn’t want to fall in love with you, how healthy is it to make someone fall in love with you? How effective is it for long-term relationships? If someone brain washes another into falling in love with them; wouldn’t the relationship be considered fake or false? What happens when ‘reality’ sets in? 

People always ask me that question because it touches an important ethical point. Any kind of knowledge can either be used in a good way or a bad way. For example, if you really love someone then you will have to change personality in order to appeal to him instead of fooling him just to let him believe that you are the one he is looking for.

The previous advice covers half of the techniques in the book. The second important point is that sometimes the main reason people fail to attract others is that they do behavioral mistakes. By changing their behavior permanently in such a way that makes them more attractive they will manage to attract the person they love and they won’t be fooling anybody.

3. What do you hope visitors gain from visiting to 2 Know Myself? 

I really wish to make people live better lives. If someone was feeling really bad, and I managed to life his mood even a little bit then I will feel really happy.

I want people to learn how to deal with their emotional problems so that they can live happier lives.

4. What is your personal philosophy?

Life is like a battle, only those carrying swords cut their way through.

In other words, life is not simple. It was not designed for the lazy or for the coward. If you want to reach what you want in life then you must be brave and start fighting back.

5. Anything you’d like to add? 

Well it’s not about me but it’s about you. I think your blog, MisticCafe.com is really helping people as well and that’s why it caught my attention. I am really happy that I got this chance to know you. Just keep up the good work. 🙂

I’d like to thank Farouk for his interview. I found his website to be very useful and refreshing because it offers practical solutions to life’s problems. I love science and like how Farouk ties in psychology and science within his materials.  ~ Amandah

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Interview with Farouk Radwan of 2 Know Myself — Part I

Here’s Part I of my interview with Farouk Radwan, owner of 2 Know Myself.com, a website that offers visitors practical solutions to most life problems. 

About Farouk

Farouk Radwan is the founder of 2knowmyself.com, the one who wrote all the 2000+ articles found on the website and the author of all 2knwomyself.com’s books.

He’s a motivational speaker and trainer, he is studying psychology since he was 17, in addition he is the owner of the company Empowerment (based in Egypt) which is specialized in delivering personal development courses to individuals and corporations.

Learn more about Farouk Radwan at 2 Know Myself.

Interview Questions

1. What as the motivation behind creating 2 Know Myself? Why did you create the website?

I was passionate about psychology and after reading for years I felt that I have something to deliver to people through my writings. Honestly, I had the intention of making it an internet business since the first day I started.

2. What makes 2 Know Myself different from other personal development and or self-help websites? 

2knowmyself offers practical solutions to most life problems. You can hardly find an advice on 2knowmyself that is just based on a theory or my personal analysis, but instead you will only find practical advice that is backed by research findings and real life experiments.

2A. What do you think of the ‘new age’ movement in the 21st century? Can people really transform their lives by reading popular books like The Secret and others like it? Is it that easy to ‘think a thought’ and change your life? Or, is there actually work involved? 

Of course, I believe people can dramatically change their lives through books and personal development. However, when it comes to The Secret I strongly believe that positive thinking that is not backed by hard work and real life actions will not lead anywhere. Let’s suppose a person wants to lose weight, if he lied in bed and started imagining his ideal body he will only gain more weight unless he starts moving!

So … positive thinking, optimism and all of these factors can help the person who takes actions and not the one who lies in bed waiting for miracles to happen.

3. What is NLP and how can it help people change their lives for the better? 

NLP in fact is not a new science; it’s just a collection of information that was already available before in the form of complex psychological principles. The people who came up with NLP simplified this complex information into simple techniques in such a way that allowed the average person to apply them and make impressive changes to his life.

4. What would say is the “Number 1” obstacle in peoples’ lives? How can people overcome the obstacles in their lives?

False beliefs! A human being can do whatever he believes he can do, that is the only weak point in the chain is his own belief system. Let’s suppose that I had to lift a heavy object in order to keep moving in the same direction. If I was a very powerful man but believed that I am weak, I will never try to lift the weight that is standing in my way and will become helpless.

In short, without false beliefs you can do miracles.

This concludes Part I of my interview with Farouk. Part II of my interview with Farouk will post tomorrow.

I’d like to thank Farouk for his interview. I found his website to be very useful and refreshing because it offers practical solutions to life’s problems. I love science and like how Farouk ties in psychology and science within his materials.  ~ Amandah

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What I Learned from Reading Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through

I recently finished reading Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Best-Selling author Iyanla Vanzant. I saw Ms. Vanzant on Oprah‘s farewell season — it was a good show! I didn’t run out and get the book, but months later I ordered it from the library. I admit I started doing this as a way to ‘try a book before I buy it.’ I decided I want to add this book to my library.

I found the book to be very moving, especially when Iyanla spoke about her daughter, Gemmia. I recognized myself in Gemmia; I also recognized my mother to a certain extent in Iyanla. I also recognized my father in Gemmia’s father, even though my father didn’t leave; he was an abusive alcoholic and in a sense, checked out of my life.

Like Gemmia, I threw myself into school and got good grades and was responsible. I was looking for validation from my father that I really didn’t get. He tried to tell me how proud he was when I earned my B.S., Accounting degree; however, I always felt that a part of him was jealous that I did earn a college degree. He wanted a degree and attended college here and there, but never earned a degree.

I also learned that it would be in my best interest to let go of the anger towards myself. I forgave my mom and dad; I realized they parented me based on they were parented. They didn’t know better which is why they didn’t do better. However, I still haven’t forgiven myself for the decisions I’ve made along the way such as pursuing an accounting degree, when I wanted a marketing degree. I also wanted to pursue art and writing. I pursued an accounting degree to please my father. There’s another lesson — people pleasing seems to run rampant in my family.

Getting back to forgiving myself … I need to let go of the anger I have towards myself because my life hasn’t worked out as I thought or planned it to. For example, I moved to Arizona in 2007, and three years later I was living back home with my mom in my home state. I kept beating myself because I know I’m responsible and it should have worked out because I planned everything out. I also allowed certain people to ‘guilt’ me into thinking I made a mistake by moving to Arizona; I left my mom and sister. I now realize I can’t help it if certain family members are scared to take a risk such as moving out of state. I now know — it’s none of my business. I also realized that sometimes family members won’t have your back. It is what it is. I’m now determined to ‘create’ my own family, a family of loving and supportive people.

BTW: I released my hold on Arizona when I read Iyanla’s words about hearing her daughter say, “Let go of the physical.” I re-read those words over and over until it sank into my brain.

I realize that I need to acknowledge my disappointment about my move to Arizona and other things that have occurred in my life — there are too many to list here. It’s not easy for me to wade into disappointment; I’m a fun loving Leo (horoscope sign). I know if I want to continue to heal, it would behoove me to feel the pain and work through it. If I don’t, I could repeat the self-sabotaging pattern. I’d rather work through it.

I also realized that Gen X and Gen Y could benefit from life coaching from their peers. No offense — but most life coaches seem to be old enough to be my mom or dad. I’m not saying I can’t learn from these people, obviously I learned from Ms. Vanzant, but it’s nice to hear from my peers and how they released and forgave their past, parents, spouses, them, etc. It makes think, “Gee, I’m not alone.” This is why I’m glad Iyanla wrote about her daughter, Gemmia, and her life experience.

I would recommend reading Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through. If you’re ready to really get to the ‘heart’ of your family’s pathology and recognize the patterns, this book is for you. If not, that’s alright. Perhaps, one day you’ll be ready.

Best,
Amandah

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What’s the Point of Life?

A very ‘short anecdote’ based on the 10 random words from Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #194. Posted: 17 Nov 2011 08:02 AM PST

Put
Point
Bizarre
Weave
Spiral
Weird
Goofy
Pop
Cult
Fan

“Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!”
~ Sir Walter Scott

Melanny pondered Sir Walter Scott’s words as she gazed at the ocean from the deck of her Malibu home. She’s been contemplating life since her childhood best friend Karrey overdosed a few weeks ago. Melanny tried to help her, but she couldn’t. No one could. Life really is a spiral. We think we move backward, when in fact, we continue to move forward. How bizarre is that? What is the point of life? She continued to stare at the ocean.

Karrey had a goofy, weird sense of humor – some people thought she was over the top. She loved The Cult and was a huge fan of music from the 1990s. Karrey loved alternative music but would listen to Pop music now and again. She was a free spirit through and through. Why did she have to put those damn drugs into her body? Melanny was searching for answers that may never be answered.

Amandah T. Blackwell

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