We’re not loving ourselves


commitment

It feels like there is a lot of energy shifting and changing …

It feels like we all need some HEALING

So much so that I felt directed to do a HEALING reading for you!

Everybody is so busy and so reactive … if we could all just tap into our hearts … that’s going to shift and change the WORLD!

Click here to see what messages were sent to you from the Divine.

Love and Blessings,
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Meditation is truly one of the most rewarding and life changing activities that you can explore and ultimately use to expand your life experience.

Click here if you are ready to embark on an entirely new way of being and believing sign up today and start your journey of peace, relaxation and connection.

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If you’ve never tried meditating, I can’t recommend it enough! The lasting effects on your personal well being are just so massive, and this is something you can do in your own home – without spending a dime or even going out of your way to prepare or set up.

Meditation encompasses a rather large portion of different, more specific practices, but at its root, meditating is about relaxation, controlling your mind and body, and clearing away the cluttered thoughts that cause so much tension in all of our lives.

And people have long understood the benefits that meditation can bring in terms of an overall sense of calm, better sleep, relieving physical tension in the body, and a lasting sense of peace – but studies have shown that meditation actually helps the brain reduce stress reactions and increases brain activity in areas associated with compassion, self-awareness, and happiness!

Meditating even one single time makes these positive effects all the more apparent – the good vibes and calm sensations stick with you throughout the day, and as it becomes a part of your normal routine, these feelings of calm acceptance and harmony with the world around you only last longer.

The same sensations of relaxation and oneness actually prime our brains for increased empathy, which means we have an easier time connecting with others (another important element of happiness). Not only does this happen in the first few minutes after meditating, regular meditation can also change your brain chemistry in a long-term way, rewiring your brain for increased happiness!

You don’t even have to take my word for it. Try it out and see!

There are plenty of great meditation aids available out there, that will walk you through steps to relaxation and controlled breathing, and once you’ve got a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to do it all on your own.

Just give it a shot, and I promise that you’ll immediately see the benefits!

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How often do you stop to reflect on what you have? Do you tell the people in your life how much they mean to you on a regular basis? Do you feel thankful for good weather, for new opportunities, for simple pleasures and little conveniences that make your life easier?

If not, it might be time to start thinking this way.

Gratitude is perhaps the single most powerful component of living a happy life. We’ve talked in the past about the importance of connecting with others, of using your energy to improve the lives of others, and even touched on SoulPancake’s study on gratitude – but a lifestyle of thankfulness involves ALL of these topics.

It’s about appreciation for what’s in front of you, and looking for the elements worth appreciating in every experience, both good and bad.

When you learn to live with gratitude, it’s like seeing the silver lining of every cloud – but even beyond making the most out of unfavorable situations, thinking and living in this way opens you up to looking at the world with a very different set of eyes.

Gratitude is more than thankfulness (even though feeling thankful is part of it). Sure, you’ll feel “thankful” when someone does you a favor or pays you a compliment, but a mindset of gratitude will allow you to see the goodness within those people, to appreciate all of the moments that have built up to their kind words or actions (in both your life and theirs), and ultimately prepares you to articulate how important such acts of kindness really are.

It’s like accomplishing multiple goals with a single state of mind! A grateful attitude helps you look on the bright side, it makes you more open to connecting with new people and appreciating the people already in your life, it makes you notice and celebrate small successes (and look for lessons in failures), helps you feel confident and brave, and gives you a reason to smile!

Notice that every one of those things mentioned above is a pathway to happiness on its own – and gratitude helps bring about ALL OF THEM.

Living a life of gratitude is a gateway to greater happiness and more connection with the world around you. You can start small – look for things to appreciate in your immediate surroundings. Look to the things that make you the happiest, and start making it a regular practice. Soon you’ll be looking for things to appreciate everywhere – and then you’ll do it without even thinking about it!

This is your chance to totally change your approach to daily life. Get started now!

Everyone Has Stress

If we had to pinpoint the source of unhappiness, stress (in all its forms) would be a likely culprit. It comes from every possible angle, from work responsibility to romantic relationships, things beyond our control like weather and equipment malfunctions to anxieties and problems that are entirely self-generated. Stress is everywhere – it just comes in many, many forms.

Not only are there many types of stress, it also affects different people in different ways. Some people thrive on it, others buckle – and everything in between. It’s something we can relate to in others, but never quite fully understand because we all experience stress differently – and get stressed out by different things.

Stress doesn’t really go away with career success, money, family, healthy relationships, or any of the other stuff we seek out to build our happiness. It may change forms, but it will never truly go away.

Poverty is stressful, so is managing a massive and lucrative investment account. Loneliness can cause stress, so can navigating social circles or large families. Jobs of all kinds, mundane activities, huge existential questions, anxiety about the unknown, fear, physical injuries, illness – these are potentially stress inducing experiences that just about everyone has to face. There’s no getting around them.

So if there’s no escaping stress, what are we supposed to do?

The short answer: learn to deal with it.

Just as we all experience stress in different ways, and from sources unique to our own lives, we have to develop our own ways of coping with it. The most important thing to understand about this need to create your own path to stress relief is this: there are healthy ways and unhealthy ways to deal with stress, and you have to know the difference.

Turning to drugs, alcohol, binge eating, self-harm, lashing out at others, and other destructive behaviors are certainly the unhealthy route, and should be avoided – no matter how much better they may make you feel. Any relief gained in this way will be temporary, and likely lead to even more stresses in the future.

On the other side of the coin, there are plenty of healthy ways to relieve stress like yoga, meditation, exercise, music, a walk in nature, and a host of other nondestructive activities.

The point is to recognize that stress is just a part of life. You can develop your own ways of coping, and when the stressors start to pile up, you’ll have a way to handle it in a way that you know works for you.

I’d love to hear what you do to relieve stress. Leave me a comment below.

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In the pursuit of happiness, many people hold the opinion that an improved body image would make them happier. With this for motivation, people hit the gym, start dieting, and look to make other lifestyle changes that will help them achieve the ideal body they desire.

While this is usually just fine, it’s worth noting that healthy and “fit” are not always the same thing, and focusing too much on a desired body image (instead just focusing on having a healthy body) can be quite damaging.

We all have different body types – different shapes, sizes, needs, deficiencies, etc. – and that means that while there might be an “ideal” version of your unique body, setting your sights on certain appearance may actually be counterproductive to your health and happiness.

To maximize looking and feeling good, it’s important to make it about YOU and your individual needs. Choose the diet that is right for you and your own chemistry, choose a workout regimen that fits with your life, and make sure your point of comparison is yourself!

Look for improvements in your own progress instead of comparing yourself to someone who isn’t you!

Making your efforts to slim down or get in shape about the desirable image of someone else’s body is not only unrealistic, it can also lead to unhealthy diets, overexertion, and in the long-term, disappointment when this ideal is unreachable – no matter how much progress you make.

If you want to be happy about your body, focus on your health first, and the “fit” version of your body will emerge. Some people are thin but terribly unhealthy, others are less thin, but in excellent health and the best shape of their lives. No two bodies will be exactly the same, so worry about your own.

If you want to be more muscular, thinner, etc., work toward that goal, but not with the image of a particular athlete, model, or celebrity in mind. Create the body you want out of the body you have, and do so with your health at the top of the priority list.

You may think that it’s about looks, but feeling good because of your healthy body will bring so much more happiness than an appearance.

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Did you know the act of smiling is good for you? The simple gesture, one that most of us think of as showing other people how we feel, can actually affect our own happiness as well!

In fact, smiling has a way of working like a feedback loop: when something pleasant happens, and the muscles in your face make you smile, the act of smiling actually reinforces those positive feelings by sending more “feel good” sensations to your brain, which in turn make you smile even more!

And because smiling tells your brain that you feel good, even a manufactured smile can help bring about sensations of happiness! Thinking of a pleasant memory (to make yourself smile), or even just practicing the motions of your genuine smile, will actually make you feel happier!

These smiles stack up too! Smiling leads to more smiling, of course, but also reduces stress, can help foster improved social interactions and relationships, and even lead to a more successful career and a longer life!

A pair of studies, one focused on success and happiness in women, the other on longevity in men, both looked at the sincerity and quality of smiles in photographs for correlation to a long and/or happy life.

Both the “yearbook study” (focused on women) and the “baseball card study” (focused on men) found a strong correlation between those showing full, genuine smiles and longer, happier, more successful lives!

Smiles reinforce happiness and confidence, help maintain relationships, and help others connect with you, so why not make a point to smile as often as possible?

Flashing a smile has so much impact, but most of us never consider it as a way to actually grow our levels of happiness. We assume that we smile when we’re happy, but never that smiling can make us happy!

Now that you know, get to putting it into practice! Smile as often as you can, even when you have to do it consciously – it’s such a simple little thing, but makes a world of difference.

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Twice a day, five days a week – the commute to work day in and day out is something most us are all too familiar with, but did you know that it can actually have a direct effect on your happiness?

While traveling to and from a job is something of a necessary evil (we have to get to work somehow, right?), the further you have to go every day, the more apt it is to impact your happiness.

The problem comes from unpredictability. While we might be able to get used to other forms of daily drudgery (doing the dishes, for example), the fact that traffic, road conditions, and other delays/problems crop up with no rhyme or reason makes commuting all the more stressful.

The longer the trip, the higher the chances for something to put a wrench in your daily routine.

This unpredictability, combined with the absolute necessity of making the trip time and time again, creates the potential for all kinds of stressors – which you have to face over and over without knowing what to expect.

The resulting unhappiness can overshadow even the best job or nicest house, since those stressors are impacting happiness every single workday.

So, what’s the obvious solution?

Work closer to home, or move closer to work!

Cutting down on that commute time essentially reduces the chance that traffic, accidents, construction, idiot drivers, nasty weather, or any other road hazard will negatively affect your mood on any given day.

Now, I understand that the prospect of moving and/or changing jobs seems like a lot of trouble, but when you realize what a big influence a commute can have on your overall happiness… you just might adjust your priorities!

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Romantic relationships can be some of the most rewarding and fulfilling things we ever experience, and they can also be some of the most painful, stressful, gut-wrenching experiences we ever endure. Human beings are terribly complex, with all of our hangups and emotional responses, our needs and wants, our selfishness…

There’s an awful lot going with every last one of us.

This stuff gets even muddier when we try to mix two people together. Suddenly, all of those shortcomings and personality traits have to coexist with another person – who is just as full of individuality as you are.

So how can you possibly make it work?

It’s simple really: if you want to be in a happy relationship, you have to be happy with YOU first.

Part of coming together and sharing yourself with another person is about what you can do to mutually improve each other’s lives. It’s about growing together and creating a sum that is greater than the parts. But if one (or both) of the people involved are unhappy with themselves, their station in life, their notion of self-worth, then the opposite is likely to happen, and people will drag each other down.

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with an unhappy person you know this is true. Unhappy people (though it isn’t necessarily their fault) probably won’t want to seek out new experiences to share, or be supportive when you need it most, or even be able to enjoy your company because of the shroud they live beneath.

To be able to contribute the happiness of another person, you first have to be able to own your own happiness. If you aren’t happy with your body or personality, how will you feel about another person being attracted to it? Will you even be able to believe the compliments they give you?

I’m not suggesting that you have to be perfect, or that you need to exorcise all of your demons before you even think about a relationship. I’m saying that if you want to find joy with another person, you first have to know how to find joy on your own – or at least be on the lookout.

Positivity tends to breed positivity, and vice versa. A person with an optimistic worldview is going to help others, support others, and look to the world with open arms. People struggling with unhappiness, however, tend to close themselves off, to feel distrusting of the world, to find the bad in everything. Which seems like a more capable partner?

Happiness doesn’t come from other people. It has to start within first, and only when that inner happiness begins to grow, can we effectively share it with someone else.

Even if you’re already in a relationship, look to build your own happiness first. The happier you are as an individual, the greater your contributions will be to the relationship. Problems are easier to solve, setbacks are less stressful, and you’ll both be able to lift each other up, not drag each other down.

I’ve put together twelve tips for putting the “HAPPY” back into Your “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” after the loss of a loved one. Check out my ELEVENTH tip on how to get your endorphins going and get a little pep back in your step.

 

I’ve put together twelve tips for putting the “HAPPY” back into Your “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” after the loss of a loved one. Check out my TENTH tip:

Make sure to take some time for yourself. In the hustle and bustle of the holidays it’s easy to get caught up in doing so much for other people that you forget to take some time for yourself. Learn a couple tips on how to treat yourself here: