Posted on October 26, 2016 in Self Improvement by Sandra Bienkowski
Keep your body fast, fit and flexible to stay happy and healthy as you age.
Exercise just may be the magical key that unlocks happiness. Science tells us that exercise improves mood, fights depression, enhances quality of sleep, reduces stress and prevents disease. And according to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise,regular exercise can actually slow the aging process. If you are north of 40, keep your body strong and your energy up with our best exercise advice.
1. Choose something you love
If you see exercise as a chore, you are less likely to experience its benefits because you probably won’t stick with it in the long-term. Find an exercise you love and you don’t have to go in search of your motivation. No one has to drag you out of bed to do something you love. Experiment until you find a type of exercise that makes you happy.
The feel-good emotions can also help you stick with exercise long-term. In his book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, Dr. John Ratey, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard, writes, “When we begin exercising, we almost immediately begin releasing dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Those are all neurotransmitters that deal with feelings of reward, alertness, contentment and feelings of wellbeing.”
What to do: What exercise did you love as a child? Use your answer as inspiration to find an exercise you love as an adult. Ride a bike. Go for a hike. Swim laps or try water aerobics. Take up Pilates or the newest class at your gym.
READ THE REST OF MY ARTICLE on LIVE HAPPY!
Posted on December 21, 2015 in Happiness by Sandra Bienkowski
Use this list to kickstart your happiness, starting now.
Hope isn’t the same thing as optimism. Hope is believing the future will be better than the present, and working to make it so. Pick a goal you are excited about, and write down two things you can do to make it happen.
Connect with your children on a deep emotional level by looking for their essence. What are your kids’ positive qualities? What is your child really interested and invested in? Make a list.
The great outdoors and exercise have something in common—both improve your mood and reduce stress. Now you can reap all the benefits to your mental and physical well-being by working out in nature.
Overwhelmed by your To-Do list? Break down bigger projects into steps that feel the opposite of overwhelming. Don’t stop until your list turns into a “gladly do” list.
Read the rest of this article on Live Happy.
Posted on October 18, 2015 in Gratitude, Happiness by Sandra Bienkowski
Poor Mondays. The black sheep day of the week, they always get a bad rap. Here are six tips to help you love, instead of dread, Mondays.
1. Don’t buy into the Monday hype
If you believe Mondays are terrible, you might look for little things to prove your case. You stub your toe in the morning and automatically think, “Yep, here we go, this whole day is going to be a disaster.” How can you enjoy your Monday if you think Mondays are doomed? Don’t program your brain to scan for the bad stuff. Change your outlook to view Monday as the start of your spectacular week.
2. Make Mondays easier
What can you do on Sunday to make your Monday go more smoothly? Put outfits out for the kids ahead of time? Make a dish in the slow cooker to heat up Monday evening? Make sure your fridge it stocked up? Review your calendar for the week on Sunday night and make your to-do list for the week. Then get a good night’s sleep so you can start the week refreshed.
Change happens. Be prepared with a resilient mindset.
Our lives are a series of transitions. The weekend eventually ends and Monday comes. We get married. Summer becomes fall. Vacation ends and we have to go back to work. We happily anticipate milestones such as graduating from college, getting a job or buying a new house. But once an experience ends, our mood can take a dip.
Is it possible to navigate change with a sense of resilience while remaining happy? The experts weigh in:
1. Realize transitions are a matter of perspective
“There is no such thing as positive or negative transition; it fully depends on the way you think,” says Michael Mantell, Ph.D., a San-Diego based psychologist and the author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: P.S. It’s All Small Stuff.
“If it weren’t for transitions, we wouldn’t move, change, be agile or face new opportunities … So I never, ever regret having to return to work. Instead, I always think, ‘Wow, what a great vacation this work gave me the opportunity to take, and how grateful I am for the vacation and the job.’ ” If you dread coming back to work, you are setting yourself up for depression and anxiety, he says.
Susan Fletcher, Ph.D., a Dallas-based psychologist, says accepting life’s inevitable ups and downs can make transitions easier. “Peaks and valleys are to be expected,” the Working in the Smart Zone author says. “That doesn’t mean the good times are always vacation and the bad times are everything else. Even on vacation, we can have the same kind of stress we have in our ordinary life.”
The key, Susan says, is knowing what works for you. “I need one full day to power down to go on vacation, so I don’t ever take a 6 a.m. flight to get the most out of vacation because then I am worthless when I get there.” Instead, she schedules midday flights and makes the journey part of the experience, stopping for lunch with her kids, playing cards on the plane and preparing to have fun when they arrive.
The same is true at the end of the trip: If you need to, take a day to decompress and do laundry, buy groceries and open mail instead of returning the night before you go back to work.
Posted on February 3, 2015 in Happiness by Sandra Bienkowski
About half of your happiness is genetically determined, but the other half is in your hands. Want to be happier? Live Happy can help! We put together the Ultimate Happiness Hot List with 54 things to help you become happier today.
Need more happiness to savor with your morning coffee? Check out Live Happy’s Wake Up Happy Tips from the experts!
Do you love to pin or peruse Pinterest? Follow Live Happy! If you want a big delivery of happy to arrive in your mailbox, subscribe here to the magazine.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ― Dalai Lama
It’s up to you! Do your happy homework!
Posted on November 12, 2014 in Entrepreneurs by Sandra Bienkowski
I dislike the whole dread the work week, look forward to the weekend mentality. Why would you dread five days and look forward to two? I’m not great in math, but that adds up to more dread than happy anticipation from my calculations. If your weekends are way more fabulous than your work week, it’s a clue that what you do Monday through Friday probably needs to change. If you are happy because today is almost Friday, here are some questions you might want to ask yourself:
How can you make your work week more like the weekend?
Are there things you enjoy doing on the weekend that you also could do during the week?
Does your job align with your purpose?
Is your job just a job?
Are you passionate about how you contribute to the world?
What would you rather be doing Monday through Friday?
If money wasn’t an issue, what would you be doing with your time?
What needs to happen for you to look forward to the work week?
If I had a magic wand, I would …
You don’t have to keep living your life the same way just because it’s the only way you know. You can decide to live differently. And if you are already beating up on your enemy named Monday, read my article on 6 Steps to a Happy Monday.
Cheers! I’m so psyched it’s the work week!