Waves of Happiness
The 10 “T”s to help relieve depression and heartache:

1. Trust yourself and the universe.

Know that the universe has a greater plan for us than we can ever imagine. My first authentic feeling of surrender came by reading self-help books. This gave me the first push toward believing and trusting in the power of the universe. It’s the greatest comfort knowing that you are taken care of.

2. Touch other people’s lives by sharing your personal story.

By reaching out you can help others in similar situations. Tiny Buddha and other spiritual websites helped me recognize that I am not alone with my emotions. There are people out there fighting the same type of battles who are willing to share their experiences. This kind of support system was needed in order to rebuild a healthy relationship with myself.

3. Therapy sessions are like taking an inner journey.

With my therapist’s help, it became clear to me why I acted the way I did and how I could overcome the fear, sorrow, and aggression I felt trapped with. Although professional therapy worked for me on a deeper level, the support from friends and family has been invaluable.

A previous teacher also helped me tremendously during depression. He instantly saw my full potential and became my friend and mentor. We keep in regular contact and he is a true source of inspiration that motivates me to be the person I want to be.

I encourage everyone to connect with someone they trust. Perhaps it’s your grandmother, aunt, friend, teacher, or neighbor who inspires you. Whoever it is, cherish that relationship.

4. Treat yourself (and others) with respect and compassion.

When suffering from depression and heartbreak, the last thing you may want to do is take a walk or go for a haircut. Beauty comes from inside, without a doubt, but taking care of yourself will make you feel better and stronger.

Start with little things, like moisturizing your skin with some nice smelling body lotion. You deserve the extra attention.

5. Tear down those walls that you have built up saying that you are not good enough.

I tell myself every day that I am a unique and beautiful, and I believe it.

6. Thank the universe or your higher power for keeping you healthy, safe, and alive.

I do this every night before going to sleep. It truly helps. I promise.

7. Tea and other hot drinks (not coffee) are calming.

Lighting a candle and drinking a nice cup of green tea can be such a soothing sensation.

8. Trying new things is fun.

For me, practicing guided mediations became an important part of my healing. I am still learning and loving every minute I dedicate to myself.

9. Traveling can be therapeutic, relaxing, and stimulating.

Until recently, traveling was my drug, as I would “use” it to escape from my anxiety. It seemed like a great idea for years, even though the outcome was always the same: I’d spend all my money and still feel empty, as the destination and people never made me feel complete in the way I’d hoped they would.

It took me a long time to accept and realize that serenity and peace start from within. Today, traveling is pure joy and inspiration.

10. Taking risks and chances is crucial to find a sense of purpose.

By throwing yourself out there, amazing opportunities can and will arise. I know this because it has happened to me several times.

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/10-tips-to-help-relieve-depression-and-heartache/

Ultimately, happiness doesn’t come from just getting what you want and having it, but rather from the process of seeking it—from the free pursuit of your desires and ambitions. It’s that feeling of excitement and weightlessness you experience when you feel free to do and be whatever you want, when life becomes a joyous, ever-changing dance. After centuries of dull servitude to responsibility, propriety, and necessity, we’re not used to expressing and following our dreams—the time has come to learn how.
RELEASING EXPECTATIONS: 4 WAYS TO LIVE YOUR LIFE FOR YOU

Through self-questioning and introspection, we can learn a lot about ourselves, and if (or how much) we are unconsciously making decisions based on others’ expectations. Here are 4 suggestions of ways to do this:

1. Ask yourself, “What are the reasons I want this goal or made this decision?”

Sounds simple, right? Actually, it’s sometimes surprising how little we know about the reasons we’ve made the decisions we have. Dig in a little, be inquisitive, and ask follow-up questions to your initial questions.

2. Take the time to check out whose voice you are hearing in your head when you consider the goal.

The voice may be from a parent, friend, or boss. If it’s not your own, that’s worth some examination.

If, for example, you hear your mother’s voice, you can ask yourself how big of an impact or influence she has on your decision. Once that is clear, you can decide if you’re okay with her having that amount of influence.

3. Ask yourself, how will people close to you feel about your statement of (and completion of) this goal?

If the answer is, “They’ll be thrilled!” check that out. It’s possible they are just happy for you and your choices; it’s also possible there are some parts of you that are overworking to please them.

Similarly, if the answer is, “They’ll hate it!” you can check that out as well. If they’ll hate it because you’re doing what you want to do and it’s not what they want you to do, okay. However, you want to pay attention if you are rebelling simply for the sake of rebelling.

Some of us are pleasers; some are rebellers. They are both totally normal behaviors, and not a problem in and of themselves; the trick is to know when we are doing them.

4. Explore anything you do that doesn’t “feel good.”

If you are working toward a goal and consistently feeling like it’s too difficult, or not worth the outcome, or the sacrifices are too much, or… it’s a good time to re-examine (and maybe re-define) what you want, separate from possible influencer

Eight Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues

1. Alter your image of the “ideal Christmas”. Many people create a picture in their minds of what the “ideal Christmas” (or holiday) looks like. More often than not, this vision is probably based on idealized memories of childhood Christmases. Then, when they can’t reproduce this vision, they feel dissatisfied with their current reality.

Also, a lot of people feel that the holiday season has to be perfect; and, of course, perfection is unattainable. Forget the images you have in your head of a “Norman Rockwell Christmas” and be honest with yourself about what you can realistically achieve during the holiday season. Be kind to yourself and remember to set achievable goals. For example, avoid the following:

  • Don’t commit to cooking a seven-course Christmas dinner for fourteen people all by yourself.
  • Don’t accept every holiday party invitation that you receive when you’d rather spend some alone time with your spouse.
  • Don’t feel that you have to get a present for your cousin three times removed whom you haven’t seen in the past five years.

You need to pace yourself, stick to your budget, and get enough rest.

2. Do something creative and flow-inducing that’s holiday-related. I’ve written about the state of flow before–a state in which you’re fully immersed in the activity that you’re carrying out–, and how it’s conducive to happiness. Doing something creative is a great way to enter the flow state. Here are some examples of creative activities you can carry out for the holidays:

  • If you enjoy writing, brainstorm a list of words that remind you of the holidays and write a short story using as many of those words as you can. Some words you can use are the following: snow; tinsel; presents; bells; angels; Santa Claus; family; ornaments; turkey; tree; cinnamon; carols; red and green; manger; winter; glitter; star; reindeer.
  • Also for writers, write an acrostic poem using the word “Christmas”, or another holiday-related word. (An acrostic is a poem in which the first letters of each line spell out a word or phrase.)
  • If you enjoy music, compose a holiday song, make a video of you singing it, and put it up on YouTube (here’s one that one of my readers made).
  • If you enjoy drawing, make your own holiday cards.
  • If you enjoy cooking or baking, make Christmas cookies or try a new recipe to make on Christmas Eve.

There’s lots of ways to get creative during the holidays.

3. Every day in December, practice a random act of kindness. Doing good for others is something else that’s associated with happiness. A great idea is to create an advent calendar of random acts of kindness: every day you uncover a kindness “task” that you have to perform on that day. I found two examples online:

  • Here’s an example of a Random Acts of Kindness Calendar, with ideas such as these three: call someone who’s alone; hold the door open for someone; offer to help someone who looks like they’re in need of assistance.
  • This blog has a virtual advent calendar on it, with a random act of kindness for each day.

There are many ways you can help others during the holidays, such as gathering toys your kids no longer play with and donating them to children who would otherwise not get any toys for Christmas. You can also put together a basket filled with all the traditional staples of a Christmas dinner and take it to a family that’s going through a rough patch. Or simply help an elderly neighbor put up her Christmas lights.

4. Spend time with loved ones. Another key aspect of happiness is strengthening your relationships with those people that are important to you. You may not be able to afford to get your loved ones expensive gifts this holiday season, but you can spend time with them. Here are some ideas on things you can do:

  • Host a Christmas movie marathon and invite your best friends in the whole world. Watch movies such as “Miracle on 34th Street”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “A Christmas Story”, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, and so on. Make it a potluck.
  • Offer to baby-sit your nieces and nephews so that their parents can go out and get their holiday shopping done. Of course, what this actually translates to is getting to spend time with the little urchins. Take a Christmas Activity book with you, and you’re all set.
  • Have a gift wrapping party: get together with your siblings, make some wassail–which is just a fancy name for holiday punch–, put on some Christmas music, and get to  work wrapping presents.

5. Find DIY alternatives. Make your immediate surroundings as beautiful and comforting as you can. Who cares if you can’t afford the ornaments you see in fancy magazines or in expensive stores! Make your own ornaments:

At the end of the day you’ll probably appreciate these ornaments even more than store-bought ones, since you made them yourself. Studies show that we value objects that we build more than objects we simply possess (source). In addition, if you make the ornaments with your kids you’ll be creating memories with them.

Think of this quote by Gladys Bagg Taber:

“Best of all are the decorations the grandchildren have made, fat little stars and rather crooked Santas, . .”

6. Focus on what’s good this holiday season. Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar teaches a course at Harvard University on “Positive Psychology” which, at its height, was the university’s most popular offering. One of the happiness tips he offers is to keep in mind that being happy is mostly dependent on our interpretation of the events going on around us.

In addition, Daniel Gilbert, author of “Stumbling on Happiness” , reminds us that reality is a movie being generated by our minds. That is, barring extreme circumstances, our level of well-being is determined by what we focus on and on how we choose to interpret events.

So, instead of focusing on Christmas traditions that you won’t be able to celebrate this holiday, for whatever reason, concentrate on creating new traditions instead. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Go to the local church holiday play.
  • Attend a Christmas costume party in which the proceeds from ticket sales go to a children’s charity (everyone dresses up as Santas, elves, candy canes, and so on).
  • Have the youngest member of the house ring a bell on Christmas Eve as everyone goes to bed to signal to Santa that he can come now.
  • Every day in December read a Christmas-themed book to your kids.

7. Go through the motions. Taking action is one of the best ways to beat the blues. Make a list of twenty Christmas activities that you enjoy and make yourself participate in them. Here are some things that might make it onto your list:

  • Go out for a drive at night and look at all of the Christmas lights.
  • Listen to your favorite Christmas Carols, such as: “Jingle Bells”, “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”, “Oh Tannenbaum”, and “Deck the Halls”.
  • Decorate your Christmas tree and then have a moment of tree appreciation; sit on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa, just admiring the tree.
  • Include eating your favorite holiday foods on the list (for me that would be tamales, ham, and turkey).

Don’t wait to be in the Christmas spirit before you participate in these activities. Instead, use these activities in order to get yourself into the Christmas spirit.

8. Shift your perspective. Instead of  focusing on the consumerist aspects of Christmas, think of what the holidays are really about. Remember what the Grinch discovered: “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” You can even make yourself a little sign so that you don’t forget.

-http://daringtolivefully.com

the power of positive choices: 7 tips for choosing wisely
  • Listen to your instinct. When I was first faced with the choice, I had a gut instinct. Before I gave into the pros and cons lists and asking my friends and family for their opinions there was just me standing at a crossroads, instinctively knowing what choice I wanted to make. The other day I read this quote: “When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin…because in that brief moment when that coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you were hoping for.” You instinctively know what you want. Don’t ignore that instinct. 

  • Weigh the pros and cons. While I really do believe that it’s essential to listen to that first instinct, I also recognize the importance of weighing the pros and cons. Though I can give into my emotional side a bit too often, I’m generally a logical person and I think listening to logic can be vital when making big decisions. Take some time and thoroughly analyze the pros and cons of each situation. In most cases, there will be both good and bad. Recognize that and then work to determine which situation will provide you with the most good and least bad. 

  • Get outside input. I’m a big fan of listening to myself and making my own decisions, but I cannot deny the value of getting input from others. When it comes to making big life decisions you may have to make them with others in mind, but sometimes it might be all up to you. In my situation, it’s completely up to me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t value the input of others. I want to know what they have to say and I want to get a variety of opinions. These words of wisdom will help me to make the best possible decision. 

  • Don’t let fear decide. One of the greatest foes I’ve come up against through this decision making process is fear. I’ve been battling it throughout weighing the pros and cons and as I was listening to the advice of others. Big changes can be scary. Making choices can be intimidating. One thing I find creeping into my decision making process is fear. It leads to believe that keeping things the same is better and that change is not worth the risk. I’m learning to push that fear aside and recognizing that I need to make a choice that’s based on what’s best for me, not a choice based on avoiding what I am afraid of. 

  • Do what’s best for you. And that last point brings us to this: you have to do what’s right for you. This can be hard to determine sometimes when you’re weighing all of the options and getting various words of advice, but ultimately you have to focus on yourself. Tune everything else out and really ask yourself, “What is the right choice for me?” If you took away all of the details and distractions and “What if” questions, you’ll come to the realization that you know what’s best for you. Once you determine what’s best for you the question is: are you going to do what’s best for you? Sometimes this is much easier realized than acted upon… 

  • Trust in yourself. This ties in with the first point, but it’s not entirely the same. Once you’ve done all of the things above and you reach a decision, you may find yourself stepping back and questioning the choice your about to make. Even after all of the work you’ve done to get to this point, your mind might be filled with doubts. Don’t let those doubts overcome you. Remind yourself that you are doing what’s best for you and you’ve taken great steps to come to this conclusion. Believe in the choice you’ve made and, above all, remind yourself that everything is happening just as it should. 

  • Don’t ever look back. Once you’ve made your choice, make sure that you commit yourself to it and refuse to look back. It’s easy to begin doubting your choice, but looking back and wondering about what could have happened if you had made a different choice will do you no good. You have to make a decision and stick to it. At times it may not even seem like it was the right choice, but you have to keep reminding yourself that everything is happening for a reason and those choices are the choices you made because they were the choices you were meant to make. Know that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to and that you have done the very best you could to make your decisions. 
The Gift of Anxiety: 7 Ways To Get The Message And Find Peace

1. Welcome it.

Make friends and peace with anxiety immediately. Talk to yourself and the anxiety reassuringly:It’s ok. I’m listening. I want to hear what you have to say. I know you’re just trying to get my attention and that the more directly and peacefully I listen, the sooner you’ll stop repeating yourself.

Fighting with anxiety or resisting it will cause it to persist.

2. Write about it.

I know it’s trite to journal since it’s a suggested solution to most personal troubles, but the slower pace of writing and full engagement of your senses helps you travel down the path of the anxiety message to its source.

We don’t always know where our anxiety is coming from, so we have to take the time to dig and poke. Plus, we’re literal people. Our thoughts are literal. By using a linguistic mechanism the analogy of anxiety message becomes more clear and easier to work with.

3. Laugh.

Bring more laughter in your life. It will help you take life less seriously.

4. Love.

Express love for people, places, and things that you cherish. Be a greater beacon of love.

5. Help others with their anxiety.

The more people you help with anxiety, the greater a vocabulary you’ll develop, and this will help empower your inner dialog for when you’re sitting with anxiety.

6. Meditate.

Anxiety races thoughts and can be very distracting. With a rushing mind, it’s hard to hear the anxiety message and follow it back to its source. Meditation helps tremendously.

If you can learn to notice your thoughts without attaching to them—seeing them as cars passing by as you stand on the edge of a busy highway—you’ll become better at picking out what really matters in this moment.

7. Realize that You Are Enough.

Be accountable, no matter how much “such and such/so and so did” to you. It doesn’t matter. Now is what we have to work with. Tomorrow is what we have to create.

Realize that you are your own solution. You have what you need to look clearly; to hear and to heal. Anxiety is a message born within you, speaking to you through you, and therefore it’s within you to heal.

-tinybuddha.com

10 WAYS TO FEEL MORE ALIVE

1. Tell someone how you really feel about them, instead of waiting because you’re scared.

2. Tell someone what you really want and need instead of building up resentment.

3. Share your fears publicly, in a blog post for example, and ask the community to keep you accountable in overcoming them.

4. Tell a friend your greatest dream, and then ask them to hold you accountable in pursuing it.

5. Admit to a friend how you really feel about how you spend your time—then brainstorm about ways to improve it.

6. Introduce yourself to someone you’ve been dying to meet, even if you feel nervous.

7. Ask someone who’s done what you want to do for advice and encouragement.

8. Tell your boss what you can do instead of wondering if you’ll ever move forward professionally.

9.  Or tell your boss his services are no longer needed—then finally start pursuing your passion.

10. Tell yourself the truth instead of lying to yourself about the changes you want to make in your life.

For 30 more ways to feel alive check out tiny buddha

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/40-ways-to-feel-more-alive/

How To Make Yourself Shine


  • Believe in your abilities. 

    No one can believe in you better than you can. And you must do it! Sure your friends and family and coworkers might tell you you’re great, that you’re a shining star, but you won’t really believe it until YOU know that you’re awesome. It’s as simple as that. Believing in yourself is the first step to being the shining, awesome person I know you are. 

  • Take care of your mind and body. 

    By keeping your mind and body in good working order, you’re likely to be a lot more confident in your abilities. Take time to listen to what your thoughts are telling you. Know yourself and respect that person. Likewise, listen to your body. Take into account your bodies needs and respect the way you treat your body. You will definitely me more confident if you feel good and have a clear mind. 

  • Emphasize your strengths. 

    We ALL have strengths and weaknesses. No one is perfect. So instead of harping on your less-than-perfect traits, focus on what you can do, what you’re good at. If possible, get a job (or a hobby) that highlights your abilities. This will reinforce your true awesomeness and remind you of what a stellar being you are. Focus on the good in you! 

  • Leap over obstacles. 

    When you encounter things or people standing in your way, use all of your strength and creativity to maneuver around them or leap over them. Those who aren’t supportive of you and who don’t believe you are a star should be left in the dust. Those activities that don’t showcase your true talents should also be left behind. Who needs those anyway? 

  • Break down barriers. 

    When barriers are so tall that you can’t easily jump over them, break them down. Even if you have to use a tiny chisel and it takes all day long, you CAN break down the barriers in your life. You don’t have to sit back and watch life pass you by because something is standing in the way of your awesomeness. If it’s in your way, get rid of it. You deserve to shine and no wall of “you can’t do it” should stand in your way! 

  • Be YOU and no one else. 

    There is only one you, so be the best you you can be. You don’t have to live up to someone else. You don’t have to be someone else. You only have to be you and you deserve to be the best you that you can be. Consider what you want from life, what you need and what you don’t. Make your needs and desires clear to the world and, above all else, stay true to yourself. 

  • Accept praise graciously. 

    The best thing about being a shining star is receiving praise for a job well done. Don’t shy away from praise or pass it off on someone else. Accept every kind word and amazing compliment and bask in it. No, this doesn’t mean you’re selfish or cocky or full of yourself. It means you know that you’re a star and you’re happy that other people know it too. It’s tempting to shrug off praise, but don’t. You deserve it. 

  • Tune in to yourself. 

    Listen to yourself first and foremost. When you get an idea, don’t be the first one to shoot it down. Believe you can do it. Encourage yourself. Fill your mind with the belief that you can do ANYTHING, and you’ll find that you can. When you hear negative voices whispering that you’re not good enough or can’t do it, silence them immediately. Listen to the real you — the you that believes you can do whatever you believe you can do.

http://www.positivelypresent.com/2009/06/watch-me-shine.html

Rebirth

I originally intended this blog to be a daily reminder that life is precious.

We are all blessed to be on this microscopic rock. My aim was to account for happiness that was graced upon my daily life; no matter how tiny it may have been. My hope was to be able to recognize these moments and revel in them and let them completely wash over me in joy.  

No one said the path to enlightenment would be easy.

I was sober when I originally started this blog. I was trying to wake up again after living for months in a lonely depressed state. I was arrested on numerous charges and spent the better half of a year trying to crawl myself out of the hole I dug. However once I did old friends started to emerge back into my life and fear had morphed into cravings and I started to use again.

Now I am back. My head and my soul just as deranged as ever , but this time I have support. This time I am going for a full transformation. I decided it was time for me to stop, not my probation officer, not my family, but me.

I am going to stop planning and start doing.

To accomplish anything in life it takes tremendous amounts of hard work and willpower. I am looking for as much support as I can but I know the ultimate reality is that YOU control your life. You can blame everyone in the world but it is YOU who decides your fate. If you are not happy than do something about it!

So onward I go on my journey of physical, mental, & spiritual rebirth.  

peace, love, & happiness