I feel for men. We women want them to listen not just try to problem-solve everything. But sometimes problem-solving has it’s place.
Whether from circumstances that are forced upon you or – as is often the case – from saying ‘yes’ to too many things, being in overwhelm feels like drowning in the ocean. In fact the official test for overwhelm is to take a deep breath. If you swallow water, you’re in it. Continue reading
“One of us is wrong…
and it’s not me.”
That’s the way every single conflict begins. Of course it does, because if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be a conflict, would it?
…[But] The thing that’s worth addressing has nothing much to do with the matter at hand…We cure disagreements by building a bridge of mutual respect first, a bridge that permits education or dialogue or learning. When you burn that bridge, you’ve ensured nothing but conflict. Continue reading
I bought it.
But when it arrived, it wasn’t just the size that threw me, but that there were no quick tips on how to do those quick shifts. Disappointed that I didn’t get the book I had expected, I thought, maybe I should write it then. Continue reading
What are the best things to do to overcome a recent separation from a married man. I was deceived by all his promises and one day he just left. Only to find out that he is with a second mistress.
Its been 6 months now and I am still sending him messages and asking him to give me a second chance because I am still longing for his presence and company. How can I get over him and move on?
Your insight on this would be highly appreciated.
~ Heart Stuck Continue reading
I believe this is true with bullying. Taking on a situation where someone is trying to take you down can make you feel stronger. Unfortunately when you aren’t successful – whether due to skill, wit, strength or being up against too sophisticated a foe – it can kill you. It can kill your spirit, your sense of self worth or in extreme cases make you think that killing yourself is the only answer. That is why we all need to take this issue seriously.
Recently, I went with my 18 year old son to see Bully a newly released movie that attempts to shed some light bullying and its effects. Here are my thoughts:
We have this little cousin 7 years old that has brain cancer and she is getting chemotheraphy every week. She is starting to lose her hair and we do not know what to do or say to make her feel better. She says that she does not want to lose her hair and cries. Please help us and let us know what to do.
~ At a loss over child’s hair loss
Dear At a Loss,
Thanks for your e-mail though I am sorry for the reason.
As for your question on how to help you 7 year old cousin, it is hard to watch someone you love, and someone so young, have to go through such a tough ordeal.
As for her sadness about losing her hair – the first thing I would say is to just give her space to be sad. Yes it is about the hair but it is probably also about the fact that she has little control over all that is happening to her. She got no say in getting cancer or having to go through chemo or dealing with all the side effects. The hair is such a visual thing that it means that anyone who sees her will know and she will have to deal with their reactions. This is a lot for a grown-up to deal with, let alone a child.
Statements like, “I know it is sad.“, or “I am sorry that that chemo made you lose your hair.” and then allowing her to be upset for a little while can help her deal with her emotions.
After a pause or if she seems open, I might follow up with more positive comments like, “Hair or no – you are so beautiful.“, or “I’m sorry that you lost your hair but I am glad that the chemo is in there helping you get better.“, or “You are very strong girl to deal with all of this.”
One thing that is often offered but sometimes doesn’t help because it feels dismissive is to remind the person that it will grow back. So instead of just saying this you might consider: “I know it might not feel very comforting right now but does it help to be reminded that it will grow back?” Just remember that she may say ‘no’ which is a completely reasonable answer.
If she is open to a little humor (which can often help at the right time) you might jest about whether it will come back purple or something like that.
In terms of actions of things you can actually do: experimenting with scarves or a wig can help a little. You can find some ideas by clicking here.
In a recent development, Mattel has created a Bald Barbie that will be offered to hospitals where children are getting chemo. Whether that would help or if it inspires you with ideas, I don’t know but it is encouraging.
Finally, as a sign of solidarity with your cousin, you or others close to her might even consider shaving your own heads to help her feel like she isn’t quite so alone. Of course that is a grand gesture and may not be something you are open to but it is something people have done for those dealing with cancer treatment.
I hope some of this advice helps. I do feel for your cousin and all of your family. Obviously you care about each other deeply to be seeking ways to help and this in and of itself is probably the most important thing at this time.
Please take care,
P.S. Feel free to get back in touch with an update or more questions.
~ ~ ~
Money can buy things that give temporary pleasure but because we are adaptive creatures by nature, things only bring fleeting joy.
However when money is used to help you survive – food, shelter, safety – or when you are using it for experiences or to help others, it effects your happiness levels more deeply.
If you are lucky enough to have seen Happy: The Documentary by director Roko Belic, you’ve already learned some powerful – and surprising – findings about what truly contributes to happiness. (If you haven’t seen the movie, I hope you do. Its strength lies in finding happiness even when the world does not cooperate.)
The movie has so many inspiring ideas that you might not know where to start. So here is a list of ideas to help you on your journey. But don’t get overwhelmed – just pick one that you can see fitting into your life and get started. (You are always welcomed back for another):
10 Tips for Happiness
- Explore your expectations of happiness. Are you ready for happiness? Do you think you deserve it? What does it look like? Don’t just wish for more happiness. Be specific and decide what are you going to do to make that happen.
- Connect with people you like. The research is clear. Our happiness is tied to having good people around us. So first – be that person for someone else. Then – make sure you are investing in relationships that support your happiness. Reach out, join groups, say ‘yes’ to quality social connections.
- Find experiences that offer deeper meaning. What is important to you? How can you engage in experiences that tap into your values? You can’t find deeper happiness if you don’t dig deeper into this source. Connect your values to how you spend your time. Reinvigorate the roles you already have: Find the deeper value in your parenting, in your intimate relationship, in your creativity or your special gifts. Volunteer, be part of a solution to a problem, change jobs to more align with what you would like your legacy on this earth to be.
- Go with your Flow activities. What is an activity that engages you so much that you lose yourself in it? Not for money or accolades but for the pure purpose of instrinsic pleasure? That’s Flow. It could be building a fence, playing a game of tennis, jogging, working through a tough dilemma or a tough crossword puzzle, tackling a yard full of weeds or writing a satisfying article. When you are done you feel refreshed, accomplished, maybe even sweaty but very satisfied. And to be happy, you need to make time for it – hopefully often!
- Practice Kindness meditation. The research is very strong here. Spending time meditating – especially in kindness meditation – can seriously boost your happiness quotient. Think of it like healthy eating for the heart. And it is simpler that you think.
- Do kind acts. Help someone else. You might think this is counter-intuitive. Shouldn’t happiness come from someone helping or being kind to you? And while receiving kindness can be wonderful, waiting for it sets you up to be passive and possibly even a hostage of your unhappiness. Turn it around. Instead of wanting the world to make you happier – set out to give to someone else. Turns out it’s like a boomerang.
- Do something novel. This one can be challenging because novelty – by definition – must be created again and again which competes with the comfort and safety of routine and familiarity. In fact saying ‘yes’ to novelty requires being open to being open. Need practice? Start with doing familiar things in novel ways.
- Get physical. Play. Spend time in nature. Lets face it – we get too good at the opposite – being sedentary, working in spending time in artifical environments. Challenge yourself to increase your pleasure activities. They may seem fivolous but only if happiness is not your goal (see Tip #1).
- Express gratitude often. Gratitude is the mother of happiness – as in it is where happiness is born! Without appreciation, you cannot really know that you are happy. So find a way to practice gratefulness in your thoughts, words and deeds – often.
- Combine several tips into one activity! Possibly the only good use of multi-tasking. Why not combine a few happiness tips like 3 & 7 or 2, 6 & 9. In fact feel free to get creative if that puts you in Flow and come up with something that combines 4 or more? And if you do and want to share – post it below (but only if you do it for real
Here’s to being happy on your quest for happiness.
Annie Zirkel, LPC is a Relationship Consultant with a specialty in Optimism and Gratitude. Contact her at email@example.com.
Not only that but the happiness of your friends’ friends (people you may not even know) increases your happiness potential by 10%. And perhaps most surprising, the friends of your friends’ friends still impacts your happiness by 6%! In contrast increasing your income by $10,000, according to author Nicholas Christakis only increases your chance of being happy by 2%.
These findings are some of the most compelling (though possibly selfish) reasons to bring Happy: The Movie to your town – on February 11, 2012 – World Happy Day. By increasing the happiness of those around you, you increase your own.
It’s what I’m doing in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Why? Because having seen the movie I already know that it is filled with extremely powerful insights for people seeking happier lives. And the way it presents this information, switching between the science behind life satisfaction and poignant stories from places like Japan, Bhutan, Brazil and the Louisiana Bayou makes this a truly memorable film.
How happy is your state, county, town, neighborhood, street, next door neighbor, home, family? How happy are your friends? How happy are you? You all have a ripple effect outward. I hope you take that to heart and doing something about it such as:
- Join thousands of people across the globe on February 11, 2012 and watch Happy: The Movie. Find a screening near you at www.worldhappyday.com/map. (For Ann Arbor’s show info go to www.practicehow.com)
- Not playing in your area? Host it yourself! World Happy Day made this extremely easy. Go to www.worldhappyday.com/screening/ to make this happen.
- Invite your friends, family, co-workers, even your nextdoor neighbor. They will be happier, and so will you!
Here’s to your happiness and to the happiness of those around you! ~ Annie