Increase Happiness and Have More Peace in Your Life

1384302_10151680609588456_86415627_nI wanted to do a brief recap of what I have been up to with this blog site.  I reached 50 posts yesterday and I wanted to run down a brief description of my top 10 favorites, (including a few that have two parts.)  I hope you’ll take a moment and find one that will resonate with you and spend a few minutes reading it.  I promise, it could make a big difference in your life by bringing a smile to your face, reducing your stress, making you feel inspired, giving you new strategies or provide you with a new perspective that could make all the difference in your life or in many others ways.  My goal with this site is to do a little bit of all of that for as many people as possible.  Please feel free to share this as often as you’d like so I can serve my purpose of helping many.

I’ve been told that I have it easy in life.  I’ve been told I have it all and I’m lucky to be so happy.  Luck.  That’s not the word I would use.  I am happy because I choose to be and I put a great deal of effort behind it. I have not been immune to tragedies, disappointments and negative circumstances, tt’s all a matter of what I have chosen to do with my life; how I choose to see it and what I choose to feel and think about it.  That is how I guess I make it look easy.  It’s because it can be.  All of it.  Nothing needs to be so difficult.  It takes work, all of it.  So, as I learn by living my life the best way I know how, including falling and getting up and dusting myself off, I discover new ways of how to help myself and in turn, I share them with you here.  After all, I feel we are on this earth to help each other get through it.  All that being said, take my hand.  I will lead you down a few of my paths of self discovery and what has come from them.  Hopefully, you will find my posts of help to you in your life.  If so, please “like” the ones you enjoyed and follow this page.

It was not easy to choose only 10 out of the 50 so please review the categories to see if there is something else that would be helpful to you.  Follow this blog for future inspirations, tips and hints on how to increase your peace and happiness.  (If you see a few that you are interested in reading, simply right click and open each one in a new tab so you can come back to the others.)

TOP 10 OF 50 – To Read, Click the Titles

  1. “The Affects of Stress and How to Begin Reducing It” and “Live By Your Own Rules – Stress Reduction Part 2,” is the first series I blogged about due to its importance to our health.  With some of the most major results of stress being deadly, I felt it was important to start with this subject by helping you to gain a better understanding of stress, what causes it and how to reduce it. With this information we can begin our journey to a happier life with greater peace. I hope you will read these, if nothing else.  It may honestly help you live longer.
  2. “United, Through the Sorrow, the Tears, the Humanity, the Trauma, the Healing – A September 11 Tribute,” takes you through a personal experience of September 11, 2001 and looks at how we, as a country are still dealing with our emotions from the tragedies of that day, more than 12 years ago.  I was actually awakened out of a dead sleep in tears, pulled to write this piece.  I am very proud of it.
  3. “22 Plus Years of Marriage – Our Secrets Revealed – Part 1,” and “22 Years of Marriage – Our Secrets Revealed – Part 2,” are actually in 2 parts due to the amount of important information.  I put a great deal of work into this.  I have been told that my husband and I are “lucky.”  The truth is, luck had nothing to do with us being together for this long.  It has taken a lot of work to make our relationship last and to get through the tough times.  These tips are part of what made it possible.  Every day we work at what we have so we can keep it.  Are you willing to do what it takes?  Read these two and find out.  Perhaps you will find a few tips that will help your relationship and some that I missed that you are willing to share.
  4. “How Well Do You Know Yourself,” is a very personal piece that takes a look inside who I am and how I was labeling myself inaccurately.  I let you in on the secrets of how I came to that realization.  It will make you think about yourself, where you are in your life and whether or not the labels you are placing on yourself are even true and how to move past them so you can improve your own life.
  5. Of all the poems I have written over my lifetime, “Heart Versus Mind,” is one of my many favorites.  It is the title of my poetry book that I have had published, “Heart Versus Mind: Words That Touch Your Heart by Missy Bell,” that is available at Amazon.com.  It is about a battle that ensues between our heart and our mind when we feel that we are in love and cannot be with that person.  If you love poetry, I highly recommend picking up a copy of my book.
  6. “Strategies to Stop Worrying.”  I love this piece.  If you find yourself consumed with worry, these strategies are amazing for helping you through it.  It talks about how worrying affects your body and mind and gives you practical solutions for situations within our control as well as how to reduce anxiety over the things you cannot control.  There are exercises included that help you evaluate what you are feeling and teach you how to change it.
  7. In, “A Simple Tip on How to Show Yourself Some Love,” I share with you a situation from my youth that helped change the way I look at things.  This was my first introduction to affirmations, although I didn’t know it then.  I composed a list of affirmations for you to print out to help you get started toward improving your self image.  This idea had a great response from readers through comments on the blog as well as on my Facebook.
  8. “Overcoming Fear – Tips and Strategies Part 1 – Heart Versus Mind” and Overcoming Fear – Part 2 – Tips and Strategies are a two part series that includes amazing ways to let go, overcome and conquer fear of just about any kind.  Fear can cripple us and stop us from doing things we would otherwise love.  I talk about the different types of fear, where they come from and how to move past them.  What is fear preventing you from accomplishing?
  9. “What Do You Mean, You Don’t Like Me.”  assures you that, not everyone will like us.  This post discusses why it is important to not let it bother you and gives you ways of looking at different situations so you are not as affected when you encounter a situation where you are butting heads with someone.  It also discusses the importance of responding (or not,) instead of just reacting.
  10. “20 Ideas That Give You More Time in Your Day,” gives you just what the title suggests.  Who couldn’t use more time in their day?  These tips are perfect for finding more time and getting more done or to have more time for relaxing or perusing your dreams.  What would you do with more time?

I am confident that you will find something in this lineup to help you increase your peace and happiness and reduce your stress.  With now more than 50 posts to choose from, there is sure to be many that you will resonate with.  I truly appreciate you stopping by, now, in the past and in the future.  I hope you will like and share this site as there will be a lot more to come.  You can also like me at my Facebook page, “Words That Touch Your Heart.”  My other blog is called, “Where the Ghosts Live.”  The Facebook for that site is “Where the Ghosts Live – The Haunted United States.”

Missy Bell

How Well Do You Know Yourself

Have you ever caught yourself labeling yourself in a negative way?  I did that this weekend.  It has been a struggle for me, even after all these years.  I had gastric bypass almost 6 years ago.  It seems like yesterday and yet, other times it feels like it’s been a lifetime.

I used to be about 160 pounds heavier than I am now and very inactive.  I was one who would drive around the parking lot and wait for someone to leave so I could park closer.  It was more than that though.  I would actually think about every step I had to take.  It consumed me.  I remember Christmas shopping being a nightmare.  I could never find a spot close enough and then, I knew if there was more than one store I had to go to, I would have to walk too far.  I hated walking, let alone exercising.  That was completely out of the question.

Even after the bypass I wasn’t very good with activity.  It became a lot easier and I did it but I didn’t like it.  I used to roller skate when I was young, EVERY DAY, sometimes for 8 hours total.  It wasn’t as if I always hated exercise.

I seem to fall back into the same patterns as before the bypass at times.  Don’t get me wrong, I can’t eat like I used to, but I find myself eating too much for my body to handle at times.  I know better.  I also find myself getting complacent, lazy.  This is where it gets bad.  I am very big into teaching others the benefit of watching their self-talk and staying positive and being good to themselves but I seem to forget to take my own advice sometimes.

This weekend my husband and I went to Killington Mountain.  I’ve been upset all week about it.  Allow me to explain; two weeks ago, he and I participated in the Spartan Sprint at the mountain.  This was our second Spartan this year, having finished the one in Amesbury just a month prior.  The Killington one took us twice as long, as we climbed the black diamond to the crest and watched every step back down.  Somewhere just after the 3 mile mark, in the woods, my left foot slid in deep mud and I landed on my left knee and it bent the wrong way.  I made it out of the woods and through another section, determined to finish.  We got as far the last water station before I was transported back to the medical tent.  So close.  “NEVER AGAIN,” I said, “NEVER!” (I said this about the previous Spartan Sprint 6 weeks prior but, there I was.)

Diagnosis: sprained knee.  But what did I want to do for my birthday?  Go back and hike an easier trail at Killington.  For my birthday!!  Who am I?  I had to laugh.  I am the one who calls myself lazy, still, out of habit, after all these years.  I am the purple belt kick boxer who has been having withdrawls from not being able to go because of my sprained knee.  I am the one who went to the gym Friday to use the elliptical to try to loosen up my knee to see if there was any way I could still hike on Saturday.

We arrived at the base of the mountain on Saturday and I limped up to the counter and, being mad at myself, ordered 2 round trip tickets for the gondola ride so we could at least enjoy the colors of the leaves and the scenery from the crest that we saw during the race that we were unable to take pictures of.  I could see the trail to the right of us that we had planned to take as we took the 10 minute ride to the top.  The view was breathtaking.  As we neared the top, the mist settled over the mountain and the view was no longer clear.  By the time we got off the gondola my stubbornness had kicked in and that was it.  We were hiking back down the mountain.

It wasn’t as easy as I envisioned in my head and I was grateful for that.  There were a great number of times I looked at the steps I needed to take in front of me and wondered how I would get to where I needed to be without falling or slipping again.  My fear of falling was intense at times, as was the pain in my knee in the beginning.  But I took baby steps where I need to and we made it to the bottom.  My knee popped several times and I’m not sure why but by the end, it no longer hurt.

My calves and thighs were stiff this morning but I don’t have any regrets.  I’m glad I did it.  It was my birthday present to myself.  So, what is my point with this story?  Why did I just bare my soul for all to read? Because I came to the realization that we tell ourselves things all the time that are not true about ourselves.  I’m not a lazy person anymore.  Sure, I have my moments and I make excuses at times when I shouldn’t; that doesn’t make me lazy, especially on the scale of where I used to be.  So why am I so hard on myself?  Why do I choose to see myself that way?  Perhaps it’s habitual.  I told myself that for so many years that it just carried over.  So, now that I’ve realized that I do it, imagine what I could do now that I no longer believe it?  If I have come this far, I could definitely go further, and I intend to.

How well do you know yourself?  What things are you telling yourself that need to be reevaluated?  What do you believe about yourself that could use a mental makeover?  Consider what you say to yourself.  Listen.  You could be completely wrong.  What you believe about yourself is up to you.  The choice is yours.  Stay the same or change it?  It’s up to you.  Be kind.

You can check out other inspiring posts here that will cause you to think, decrease your stress and increase happiness.  You can also check out my other blog site, Where The Ghosts Live – by Missy Bell.

Thank you for stopping by!!

Missy Bell

What Do You Mean, You Don’t Like Me?

It should never be our goal in life to please everyone nor should we ever expect everyone to like us.

There will always be people who do not agree with our views or what we say, do or act around them, just as we too come across people we don’t like.  Everyone acts differently around different people.   Some people bring out the best in us and we can relate to them easily.  Some have an easy-going personality and aura, others do not.  Some people will make us uncomfortable or may offend us (sometimes unintentionally and sometimes intentionally.)  There are others who engage in lifestyles that we just don’t agree with and that may cause us to feel uneasy.  For whatever reason, we were not all meant to get along.

It is usually the people we don’t get along with who don’t like us.  There are others who will not like you and you have no idea why because you enjoy them.  If the friendship, or even business relationship is important to you, it never hurts to ask if there is a reason for (their actions that make you think they don’t like you or words that they say that are indicators.)  It’s then on them to be honest or glaze over the subject.  The way they are acting may just be a part of their personality and you were just taking it personal or they may reveal a true issue, in which case, you have a starting point to work with.  This should only be done with people you truly care about or enjoy being around.

For those who are just acquaintances who you don’t particularly plan on having in your life, it’s not important that they like you, at least, it shouldn’t be.  There’s no need to waste your energy worrying about it.  I’ve watched and heard people, and even been guilty of, wasting hours of time that could have been spent being productive, happy and positive instead, being disappointed and racking my brain trying to figure what I may have done wrong for them to dislike.  Let it go.  As long as you are being your authentic self, it doesn’t matter.  You shouldn’t try to change who you are just to please someone else.

One of my favorite says is from Eleanor Roosevelt, “What other people think of me is none of my business.”  Let them think what they want.  You, go on living as you normally would.  One thing I like to point out often is that we are with ourselves 24/7.  We are the only ones who are.  The most important person we should care about liking us, is ourselves.

If you are interested in more tips on how to decrease your stress and increase your happiness, please see the sidebar for categories or titles that may be of interest to you and feel free to follow this and share it with others.  You can also visit my newest blog site, “Where the Ghosts Live – The Haunted United States,” for all things paranormal.  Check that one out at http://www.WhereTheGhostsLive.WordPress.com.  Thank you for stopping by.  Please leave a comment to show your support.  ❤

Missy Bell

You Can Run But You Can’t Hide

Have you every just wanted to run away, escape your problems or pack your bags and go on a long vacation  so you didn’t have to deal with what was going on in your life and finally find that happiness you’ve been searching for?  Have you ever thought that perhaps you would be happier if you just left everything behind and started over by moving to another state or country?

Life can be a lot to handle.  It throws you some crazy fast balls, straight at your face sometimes.  Escaping it is only temporary.  Unless you solve the issues that are there, they don’t go away.  They will follow you wherever you go.  After close inspection, you will realize that it was not your problems you were running from, it was how they made you feel.  And, after all, your feelings go with you wherever you are!

Drowning your problems with a bottle of wine or binging on a bunch of comfort food may help temporarily but as soon as the alcohol or sugar is out of your system, there’s the issue you ran from staring you straight in the face.

The only way to get rid of a problem is to face it or solve it.  Although I cannot give you the answers to solving each of your issues, I can tell you from experience that the only way to be at peace is to search for it from within.  It is possible.  You have all the tools you need inside you.  You can even find happiness during times of tragedy.

You must first take care of what is in front of you.  Tackle or face the issues that have you stuck.  Know what is within your control.  It is important to remember that not everything can be solved by us.  Sometimes things need to work themselves out or require someone else’s effort to fix them.

What you can do on your end is find what it is that makes you happy.   Happiness is a state of mind, not a thing.  You can keep trying to fill your life with new “things” but things don’t bring you happiness.  The thoughts you give them do and eventually the newness wears off and the happiness will wear off too.

Choose happiness.  It can be found without spending money, consuming food or alcohol or moving to another state.  Find it in everything you do; spending time with family and friends, a walk in the park, memories, relaxation, exercise, yoga, writing in a journal, watching your favorite show on TV, engaging in a hobby, accomplishing a personal goal, finding gratitude for what and who is in your life or just sitting still focusing on something that makes you happy.

Remember, you can run, but you can’t hide from your problems.  You can however,  still find happiness where you are.  It’s a state of mind.

Where do you find your happiness?  Can you offer other readers ways to find happiness that doesn’t require running away, spending money or the quick fix of alcohol or food?  I would love to hear from you.  Please respond in the comment section.

(For further ideas, tips and videos that inspire peace and happiness, please check out the lists of posts to the right or search through my blog topics.  Please share with others who you think could use a little more peace and happiness in their lives.  As always, I appreciate you!)

“If It Bleeds, It Leads” – Should This Still A Viable Media Slogan – Your Opinion Please

I wrote this post last night to post for today.  I had second thoughts on posting it so I asked my husband to read it.  I, for reasons mentioned below, stay away from the news, but he mentioned a story that was in the news today and now I feel that, after a slight revamp, this subject has more relevance today and must be shared.

I was replying to one of my comments on yesterday’s blog posts and had this thought.  I wanted to share it briefly to get your opinion.

Yesterday’s post was about a picture my son’s girlfriend took of a young man who was crowd surfing at a concert they went to last week.  He was in a wheelchair!  The band pointed to the young man and said, “Get him up here on stage!”  So the crowd picked him up in the wheelchair and sent him above their heads safely to a spot on the stage with the band.  The young man was in heaven.  One of the points I made in my post was how this crowd just came together and did it.  They used strength some of them probably didn’t even know they had.

After reading the story completely, one of my readers, Ramona made a comment about how inspiring it is to see people come together to do something good for someone.  Her comment lead to this response, “There is so much good in the world. I think the media would do well to notice that even though the old slogan of, “What bleeds, leads” worked for years for ratings, maybe if they started focusing more on the kindness in the world and the heroes and stopped giving criminals such power through media play that perhaps there would be a shift.   At least there would be a shift in perception of more good going on and people would start duplicating it.”

I loved how locally, in the Boston area, the media didn’t really give the Boston Marathon Bombers much credit by name, only when necessary.  We really didn’t care who they were or what their names were, nor did we care to remember them.  We just cared about the justice.  They stuck with “Suspect #1 and Suspect #2” as their names most often.  I remember at one point, we were calling the first suspect, “Speed Bump” because his brother had run him over when trying to evade the police.  Some of you may argue that it was uncalled for or cruel.   What they did to innocent people put us in a position to not care at all about these two.  I do think reporting on something like the bombings was necessary and very instrumental in catching the people responsible but on the other hand, it dominated our TV’s.  There were reports of the heroes and their back stories, but it took up very little time.  It got to the point that the negative side of the story was all anyone was talking about for a week on end.  It was depressing and mind-altering.  I had to turn the TV and computer off, shut my phone down and escape it all for my own sanity.  Every show in the Boston area was preempted for the same story and it was so overplayed that the reporters were running out of things to say and the same footage was shown over and over.

So, what if we were to go in the opposite direction and spend more time on the good things that are going on in our area or our country?  Stop repeating negative stories, introduce more heroes and stop making criminals famous.  What if doing so would create a higher vibration and positivity in those who watched, resulting in greater happiness, less stress and greater overall peace?  Just what if?

The above was written last night.  Today the Boston Herald reported on a story stating that Boston’s Mayor, Tom Menino sent a letter protesting the picture of the bomber being on the August 1st cover of Rolling Stone’s Magazine.  He stated that he felt that “it rewards a terrorist with star treatment,” and that the survivors more deserve cover stories.

The article in the Herald stated that, “Stop & Shop, CVS Pharmacy, Tedeschi Food Shops and Cumberland Farms are boycotting the Rolling Stone Magazine over next month’s cover.”

The mayor’s message came as Stop & Shop, CVS, Tedeschi Food Shops and Cumberland Farms all announced they are boycotting Rolling Stone over next month’s cover – See more at: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/07/mayor_top_cop_blast_rolling_stone_over_tsarnaev_cover#sthash.08bdZ0dJ.dpuf
The mayor’s message came as Stop & Shop, CVS, Tedeschi Food Shops and Cumberland Farms all announced they are boycotting Rolling Stone over next month’s cover – See more at: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/07/mayor_top_cop_blast_rolling_stone_over_tsarnaev_cover#sthash.08bdZ0dJ.dpuf

PLEASE!!  I really want your feedback on this.  If you want to make a statement, stop watching the news and buying magazines and newspapers that promote the sales of their media by making the criminals and terrorists famous.  Start aligning yourself with more positive news and more positive people.

This movement has already started.  We just need more people to join in.  Let’s send a message to the media that the statement, “What bleeds, leads,” is no longer necessity in order to obtain high sales.  Are you with me?

(Click through more articles on the right hand side of this page for more positive posts.  Thank you for stopping by.)

Now, That’s Just Funny – What Do You Think?

How do you view the situations in your life?  Is your glass half full or half empty?  Do you use your ability to choose how you feel or respond in any given situation or do you just jump on the first emotion and choose not to try to see a different side?

I had two incidences yesterday that caused me to reflect on the fact that everyone sees things differently.

The first incident was with my husband who was in the emergency room today for cellulits.  (He was discharged and is doing well.)  The nurse who tended to him brought in a couple very small bottles to collect blood samples in that looked like nips of alcohol.  My husband, who had already built a reputation with the nurse as a joker, asked if that is what they were.  The nurse, who also had a great sense of humor the entire time we were there and who was very personable, laughed and then told us a story of the same question that went in a completely opposite direction with another patient.

Nurse Debbie told us that one day she was treating an older lady and her adult daughter was with her.  She brought in the same style bottles and the mother asked her the same question.  She responded with a joking tone that they were shots for her for after her long shift.  She left the room to get the rest of the supplies needed and when she came back, the younger woman gave her a bible and told her she was a very troubled soul and that she truly needed help.

My husband and I were in hysterics.  I can see why some people would be offended I guess, but she said she thought it was very clear that she was joking.  They, were serious.  We asked how she responded.  She said that she just had to leave the room.

Two separate patients saw the same exact situation in two different ways.  We chose to see the light side of it while the other patient was offended and did not understand that the nurse was 100% joking.  Nurse Debbie says she is very cautious with what she says to who now, which is sad in a way because she was so funny with us.  She had the ability to make a stressful situation a light-hearted visit.

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In the second situation, my family and I went to see Grown Ups 2 after my husband discharged from the ER, which I highly recommend, but is not the reason for this part of the post.

As we were getting our popcorn and drinks it started getting busy at the counter.  The lines were growing fast.  I probably wouldn’t otherwise have noticed the new line opening up except that this one young man, who seemed to come out of nowhere was wearing a fake mustache and crowd-calling as if he was a ring leader at a circus.  “Step right up!  Get your hot, freshly popped popcorn right here,” he called.  The lines split as people quickly jumped out of their long line to be in the new, shorter line.

His energy seemed to overpower the other employees as his loudness continued.  He was joking with the customers and even commented to me as I was adding salt to my popcorn, telling me that he was, “in-salted” that I hadn’t chosen his line.  We both laughed as I headed to our theater.  As I walked away I heard someone toward the back of his line comment, “Wow, someone likes his job way too much,” in a condescending and sarcastic tone.

I thought about this.  Is that even possible?  Shouldn’t we all love our jobs at least that much?  The other employees behind the counter didn’t seem annoyed with him, which they very well could have been.  There were two ways to view that situation I suppose.  I chose to enjoy his enthusiasm and the way he interacted with his customers while the woman in the back of the line seemed annoyed by his behavior.

We have a conscious choice on how we view every situation in life. We chose to see both situations in a light manner while others took the same situation very seriously.  I was grateful that I chose the manner I did in both situations.  My night had been stressful, worrying about my husband’s condition and I could have definitely let that affect the way I saw things but I didn’t.

In both situations I feel that my stress was lower than it could have been because I chose to think the way I did.

Take a moment.  How have you been seeing situations lately?  Are you allowing situations to add to your stress or can you see the lighter side?  What types of situations have you been in lately where you could have seen something a different way, for better or for worse?  Please share in the comment section.

I hope to see you back soon.  Thanks for reading!