Saturday, April 23, 2022



Just like the Pharrell Williams song, there are ways to incorporate into our lives to help us all feel happier. When I hear this song, it just makes me feel like dancing and singing along. I did see in my reading on this subject, ways to help add to our happiness. I put the hodge podge together and came up with the some of the ways that made the most sense to me and things that I try to do daily.

When I am struggling to get over a "bump in my road" I try to stop and actually review what I am dealing with; one thought at a time.

If I take the time to feel grateful for what I do have, my whole attitude changes. It is a fairly easy thing to do if I open my eyes and heart and think about all the good things I have to be grateful for.

My compassion must also include myself. (Not just self-criticism which I admit that I am quite good at sometimes). I must remember to also have self-compassion. How can I help others if I can't help myself?

Some emotions are easy to deal with while others are more difficult. I have learned over the years that accepting how I feel helps me move on from there. That is the most important task.

To be a little corny here: it is a joyful feeling to choose joy over sadness. It is ok to have sad emotions. Accept it, understand why and then I talk to myself of how I can move on from that point.

My journey in life is always happier if I welcome enthusiasm. It can be a 'reset' button' on my attitude. And, I might add, a positive reset button.

How many remember this oldie but goodie? Having good intentions help push you in the right direction of happiness. Sometimes, you may need to explain to others your thought process of being joyful and having gratitude when things are going on all around you. In other words, you really don't want to be misunderstood for having good intentions. (By the way, the song is by The Animals.)

It is a true statement for me that if I can be still and be quiet, then I will begin to see the eyes of the heart. It sort of brings it all together for me. 

Really life isn't as serious as my brain makes it out to be. My brain is always on a survival mode. Which in some ways is good, however, I know that I must remember to not take life or myself too seriously. Chill and relax some. I like to use that quiet time to work it out.

We all have our skills. Some need more practicing than others. I have discovered that I am happiest when I am being creative. It can be sketching, painting, writing, calligraphy...just keeping my hands busy. 

I, as well as you, can be anything at all...but most importantly to me is to show others your kindness. It demonstrates that you care. 

Well, I need to master my Spanish on the Rosetta Stone before I move on to French. I do believe that learning new things helps me know that there are  subjects to be discovered and that I can do it. It is a matter of staying with whatever I choose to learn. 

To me, this sums up (almost) my whole blog. By living simply, caring deeply, speaking kindly and by all means to love generously is a sure way to guide me to happiness. 

There are always little things, that are not unimportant but this blog was an overall spin of ways to be happier. If I tried, I could put some of the little things under one of the larger ways that I listed above. For example, it makes me so happy when I have a good hair day. That really fits under self-compassion and not taking myself too seriously. It all mixes together. 

So get busy clapping your hands if you feel like happiness is the truth. It is a beautiful sunshiny day here and that really makes me happy. However, turning my thoughts around on a gray and rainy day of how it is helping the flowers grow? There is a way to help make it work and just be happy instead of struggling through life.

Sunday, April 17, 2022




Sunday, April 10, 2022



After checking out some research, it really does seem to confirm this statement of we are is what we eat, at least on some levels. If, for instance, you consume hot and spicy food, there is a great chance that you may become hot headed easier than others. Foods that we eat can significantly affect our moods. I love spicy foods and I would not call myself an aggressive person. I don't think others would consider this a trait of mine either. Moderation is the key.

Food doesn't just give us energy, it truly does impact our moods. It has been helping me make better food choices. Knowing that different foods trigger different moods, I am able to choose foods that will help me get to my desirable moods.

Just think about it for a minute. If you are like me, when I am feeling down, I crave something sweet. It could be a glazed doughnut, a candy bar, or ice cream. When I eat these type of foods, I almost instantly feel better. The scientific reason is because of the hormones released in our brains when we consume high calorie foods. (dopamine) Besides sweet foods, high protein foods help to improve motivation and concentration.

Getting down to the scientific reason of why food affect our moods in so many different ways is all based on our gastrointestinal tract where billions of bacteria live. The food we eat directly affects our balance of good and bad bacteria and influences the production of the chemical messengers that are constantly carrying messages from our gut to our brain. These neurotransmitters carry the feel good hormones from these foods to help make us feel happy.

The same goes for other kinds of foods, let's call them Mood Foods.

Let's say if I am feeling agitated when it is time to go to bed, it is as if my mind is running like a motor. A study did find that a glass of tart cherry juice might help if I had it in the morning and again at night before bed. The reason being is that the cherries are high in melatonin which initiates the sleep cycle. Somehow this hormone is tied into our biological clocks about when it is time to wind down.

It would be nice if I could get to my Happy Place (the beach) anytime that I am feeling anxious and need to relax. An easier way may be to munch on a few Brazil nuts. They are loaded with selenium. Just one ounce contains over 700% of our recommended daily intake. The greater the selenium intake has been linked to lower anxiety levels and improvement of moods.
Then, if I am feeling stressed, I tend to gravitate to junk food instead of foods that could actually reduce my stress level and maybe even prevent it from happening. Snacking on vitamin C rich bell peppers and citrus fruits help to lower levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone that takes over the fight or flight mode in all of us. Research has shown that large doses of vitamin C may actually stop stress before it starts simply by reducing the amount of cortisol released.

I suppose that it really is true in that we are what we eat. It is important to stay nourished and to know why. Four important things to remember is that trans fats actually may prevent the formation of omega-3 fatty acids which have been proven to elevate our moods. We all know what a quick jolt of refined sugar does to us. Gets us moving and going BUT is it worth it? There is going to be a sugar level crash that will leave us irritated and tired. Stay hydrated. Even when we are just a little bit dehydrated it is easier to lose focus and have that headache with fatigue. I found it easier to invest in a water bottle that lets me know how much I have had to drink. I have discovered that when the water level in my bottle has not gone down, a headache comes on much easier. 

There are fruits that are called power fruits for a reason. Kiwis and blueberries are known to be at the top of the list. Tests were done showing that people who drank smoothies made with blueberries did better on memory and concentration tests than those who did not. Coincidence? I need all the help I can get on memory and concentration, so I will not question that research. 

Let's be realistic. Keep this quote in mind when meal planning, however, there are times that you just might need that cookie...just not every day.

Sunday, April 3, 2022



There is an age old question (no pun intended) about should we believe anti-aging or pro-aging? Of course, anti-aging simply shows 20-30 something year olds using creams and makeups that will make you look younger. (anti-aging) Well, duh! My skin could look like that if I were back in my 20's also. 

So let's be honest here. If you are like me then let's start exactly where we are. Whatever age you may be (and I will not be sharing mine, thank you) why not look at it on the positive side? Pro-aging. There is a way to do that. 

First of all look at this in a positive manner. Aging is better than the alternative. So, growing older is not an option unless you have a magical wand, so why not at least try to do it gracefully? And, let me add that there are many ways to do just that. I am only going to talk about some things that I have read about and try to work on for myself. There are so many other ways, many of which I am sure you could add to my list.

  • Let's start with the obvious. Smoking and too much alcohol is not good for anyone; older or younger

  • Be sure to see your doctor and dentist and even a therapist, if need be, on a regular basis. 

  • Along with seeing the doctor for physicals, it helps to know which foods are better for us than others. At least by my age, I have read and learned which are better choices. Some good ideas to consider is to limit red meat and meats that have nitrates in them such as hot dogs, bacon, deli meats. Notice that I said limit. Moderation is the key word. Avoiding too many processed foods and little tricks like buy plain yogurt and add your own fresh fruit. Sugary fruit juices that are high in sugar, as well as sodas and energy drinks should be avoided. Whole wheat breads and pastas are so much healthier. Butter is better than margarine. (I like that!) Too much salt and sugar along with caffeine will add wrinkles. Proven research backs this up for proof. Again, I like to live by moderation. Best to keep hydrated with water. 

  • Vitamins are important. It may be a good idea to discuss which ones and how much is best for you when the doctor does blood work. Vitamin D and C are very important. Better to get vitamins from the food we eat, so always be sure that you are eating foods with those vitamins in them. If not, then time for a supplement.

  • Doesn't have to be the can-can dance. A simple walk will do it.

  • Exercise, at almost any level that you are physically able to do is better than nothing. For example, I can no longer do yoga on the floor. There is a great book out that is all about chair yoga. Plus a few that a physical therapist recommended to me. I am working up to walking our furry friends, which is getting two items off my list with one activity. Furry friends need walking and so do I.

  • Turning that frown upside down will help tremendously. First of all, you use less muscles to smile than to frown and it can change not only your frame of mind but those around you as well. Add laughter to it and you have a win-win situation.

  • Organizing your life and decluttering help in your mind set. That, along with getting enough sleep are two ways to help everyone age gracefully. Dark circles under our eyes will not help. Just another subject to talk to your doctor about. And while we are on the topic, let's talk about make-up. It is true that less is better. That does not mean NO make-up. It may mean a trip to the make-up counter to find out how to apply make-up so that it seems to enhance your age. There is a way. I highly recommend monthly or every other month facials to help restore your skin. And never, ever forget your neck. That is one of the first places that age. The "M" word  -  MOISTURIZE. Yes, even for men.

  • Gratitude is the attitude that will take you where you want to be. Saying thank you, even to yourself as you do things for you is not a selfish thing. It is important to be kind to yourself. 

“And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!” ― Audrey Hepburn