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happiness Stress

4 Effective Habits of Happiness to Relieve Stress and Navigate Your Mind Toward Health and Well-Being

Make Happiness Your New Foundation

Train your heart and brain to make happiness your new foundation. There will still be challenges, but you will create a new baseline in your heart, brain and nervous system for happiness instead of stress. This new benchmark will increase your resilience and be an inspiration to others. The new habits you adopt make this baseline a possibility with our current knowledge of neuroplasticity. The brain changes according to its experience, and you can take charge and navigate your mind toward health and well-being.

“Take responsibility of your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hand’s” Roy T. Bennett author of “The Light in the Heart”

Acknowledge Your Stressors


Expressing happiness and enthusiasm is an inspiration to others in our fast-paced digital world where there is always something on the horizon. We have round-the-clock news reporting on the ineptitude of governments, storms, wildfires to wars, fatalities and viruses. Rapidly advancing technology brings with it the pressure to shape up and align ourselves to ever-changing trends on Instagram and Facebook. People are continually in search of likes and validation through social media. There is a long list of stressors that impedes our inner peace.

Strive for contentment despite what happens around you. We have an illusion that circumstances, places, trips, cars, purchases and more money will make us happy. These are short-lived boosts we believe validates who we are. Put your energy into your values, what is meaningful, and gravitate towards what will last.

You Are a Chameleon


A chameleon has perfected the art of camouflage through changing its colour and adapts to its changing environment with resilience. Similar to this old world lizard, our wise and resilient mind leads to genuine happiness through simple daily practices.

Call to Action:

1)Recognize and Reframe

When you notice stress is developing, select methods to neutralize it before it escalates. Redirect your mind to recognize negative thoughts and reframe them. Steer yourself away from crippling beliefs and distorted thoughts that have you confined. These are mistaken ideas which we have created which inhibit us from achieving our goals. Learn to reframe thoughts through effective and positive affirmations. Get hold of these limiting notions and don’t allow your emotions to control you.

Say Stop;Reframe


Notice negative thoughts. An example would be “I can never seem to get this done” to “I am doing this easily and effortlessly.” Say to yourself, stop and reframe. Find a new way, no matter how challenging it is, to find one element of good in your situation. We become what we envision the most. Having fear as a guide impacts thoughts, influencing your abilities. Talk to that fearful person inside yourself; ask him or her to sit this one out so you may take full charge. When you alter your mindset to give yourself happy thoughts, you change your brain chemistry, heart rhythm and improve health and wellbeing.

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.” Elizabeth Gilbert author of Eat, Pray, Love


It is unfortunate that we work less on lightheartedness and latch onto more stress. Anxiety and stress has turned into our default setting, and we have made that our new normal, becoming accustomed to fear as the familiar voice. Reroute your intellect towards a happier default setting for health and wellness.

2)Understand Fear of Happiness and Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm and happiness can be a source of fear, as we might dread being out of control. Our negativity bias scans for the worst, which causes anxiety. We perceive being too happy and positive might upset other people, or someone may perceive it as abnormal. But this idea is far from the truth. It is our brain’s primal natural tendency and need for safety that keeps pushing us towards familiar negative thoughts. 


Fear of being happy crosses many generations. We search for a hazard to arrive, and over time, projecting this culture of negativity completes a cycle of doom. This doesn’t mean that we ignore adversity, loss and pain. It means educating our upcoming resilient, wise and peaceful generation to have compassion for themselves and others. Establishing happiness as a foundation is a valuable achievement. Learn a set of higher level emotions such as joy, love, appreciation, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion to reduce fear and anxiety.

Photo by Jakob Owens 

3)Understand the Science of How Happiness Affects Your Heart

Heart coherence means your heart, brain and nervous system are in sync, which results in a smooth even heart rhythm and neurochemistry that improves mood. Studies show you can influence another’s heart rhythm by staying coherent yourself. The happier your state is, the lighter the mood is of those around you. Happiness and a genuine smile is contagious. Our relationship to joy is a responsibility for ourselves and others. Fear and negative emotions is contagious and has a ripple effect. Sometimes we have a false belief that if we’re not suffering or anxious, we are falling short and not doing enough. We have many generations of worriers. But by making happy our new normal, we help new generations to develop reservoirs of strength and resilience.  

I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery-air, mountains, trees, people. I thought this is what it is to be happy” Sylvia Plath author of “The Bell Jar”

4)Lean into a Happiness Habit Each Day


New lifestyle patterns such as reading inspirational material, Heartmath exercises, and mindfulness practice resources, help you gain insight into your brain’s neuroplasticity, which can cause lasting change. Repetition is the key to working beyond our reptilian brain that wants to stay fearful, negative and afraid. You have everything within you to recondition your brain to discover joy and happiness.

Get revved up on what you will do next, and focus on an idea that sparks your creativity and excitement. This creates a powerful positive force you can rely upon to keep pushing you forward. Think of this energy as emanating from an untapped precious source. This impacts vitality and health.

Once you are aware of this precious resource within, it becomes our responsibility to use them for the health benefits of our bodies. We often mistake excitement with fear. Transform your fear energy into forward-moving solutions and make whatever task you need to do easier. Make happiness your new revolution. Enjoy every minute of your journey and make your life a beautiful song.

About the Author:

https://www.awomanofworth.com/kim-mowatt
Kim co authored the #1 Bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters, which provides a set of supportive tools and inspiring stories to help women conquer negative influences, harness the power of psychological wellness and thrive emotionally.

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Anxiety Dealing with a Crisis Distress Tolerance happiness letting go of fear

How to Quickly Release Yourself From Anxiety, Overwhelm and Frustration

“Don’t let your mind drown out your intuitive voice, train your subconscious to be positive by using the heart intelligence.” Steven Redhead author of “Unleash the Power of Your Heart and Mind”

The key to being strong in the face of adversity is to practice mindfulness by taking a step back outside of the situation and look at it as a quiet observer. Heartmath Quick Coherence Technique gives you a tool for that pause. When you jump into the problem, you are in a much less effective state to deal with it, than if you take a step out of it. Much stress can be prevented by practicing pause and calm. Pausing before responding to situations gives us a chance to be in charge, rather than be in a stressed out and reactive state. Rushing, we can miss inner signals to pause when needed. Our mental and emotional energies can jam with anxiety, frustration or overwhelm and it is more effective instead to pause, and ask our heart’s intelligence what perception would give us inner balance and clear direction. I have found that when you learn non-reactivity without being carried away or swept away by external difficult circumstances you find wisdom instead.

Remember that the heart is the CEO, and can bring you to a state of ease, so instead of trying to master your thought process ruled by the cognitive part of your brain learn to re-calibrate a belief of safety and refuge through regulating your heart rhythm. In my experience this is the deepest and most permanent way to feel better. When you do heart focused breathing you put your heart in a coherent state with thoughts of joy, love, appreciation gratitude, compassion and forgiveness. This is a higher level of thinking which puts your heart rhythm in a smooth even wave. If you stay in a lower level state of anger, despair and anxiety your heart rhythm is in an incoherent state or in a jagged wave which can cause stress-related disorders.

  1. Put your hand on your heart and focus your attention there.
  2. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out through your heart.
  3. Focus on the photo of this beautiful bunny and breath in the feeling of love into your heart.
  4. Once you have shifted into a positive feeling, sustain this emotion by continuing to do heart-focused breathing. http://www.heartmath.com

At any point in time we are either in our primal state which is the fight flight zone of the sympathetic nervous system or we are in a healing and powerful state of the parasympathetic zone of the nervous system which means we are connected with the healing vagus nerve. Our primal state is limited with fears or insecurities, doubts, worries and anxieties, as this is is the cognitive part of our brain which is a lower level state. When we are overthinking things and getting into a worry loop, this can be mentally draining and affect health. At any point in time we have the choice to shift out of this primal state into the higher and healthier state of heart coherence, connecting with joy, creativity and inspiration.

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Antoine De Saint-Exupery author of “The Little Prince”

Call to action: whenever you are in your monkey mind with your thoughts are racing out of control understand that you are in this primal state and notice your negative inner dialogue. Say OK I am in a primal unhealthy state and I am now going to my powerful higher level state. Put your hand on your heart, do heart focused breathing and know that your higher level of intelligence lies in the intuitive voice of your heart.

Kim co authored the #1 Bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters, which provides a set of supportive tools and inspiring stories to help women conquer negative influences, harness the power of psychological wellness and thrive emotionally.For more information click on the photo or go to:
https://www.awomanofworth.com/kim-mowatt
Categories
Anxiety Dealing with a Crisis Distress Tolerance Stress

When Your Emotions are Unruly and Untamed, Try These Three Simple Steps

“Don’t react while you are upset because at that time your reaction will be based on negative emotions; but intuitive and positive thoughts flow when you are calm.” Hina Hasmi author of “Your Life a Practical Guide to Happiness,Peace and Fulfilment

Direct your emotions when your mind is unruly and untamed. It is essential to practice steadiness of mind on a daily basis to benefit health and well-being. Bring your wandering mind back to the present moment should you get lost in the swirl of worries and thoughts. Thought reframing as a habit becomes not only a great practice and a practical route out of these disruptive or maladaptive thoughts, it helps us radically shift our perspective. Reframing makes it possible to change our viewpoint by planting ideas, concepts and emotions with positive alternatives. This change in thinking patterns is therapeutic and allows us to connect more effectively with others both personally and professionally. 

Your thoughts are only mental activity and chatter. Acknowledge them as they come up but don’t pay too much reverence to them as they are usually full of inaccurate material. Thoughts will always arise and then disappear as they follow this natural route. Disregard them, and like a pressure cooker instant pot, let them blow off steam with all the frantic drama. Remind yourself that your thoughts have no power over you, thank them for the feedback and then let them go.

Your attitude and the story you tell yourself matters, as it is your personal style that describes to others who you really are. For example, a persistent attitude has been attributed to determining successful outcomes. Keep and cherish the story you love about the unique and incredible person that you are highlighted at all times.

We are programmed to find meaning in our stories and make sense of things and this comes in the form of a story. If you don’t see the good with a positive vision of yourself, you may be unknowingly creating an unhealthy self image.The brain with its negativity bias relays inaccurate analysis or predictions about the present situation which can deprive you of joy and happiness. When you sense chaos, your brain’s natural tendency will be to create stories to gain a sense of order. A majority of these made-up stories however, are inaccurate and inconsistent. 

In our present world our minds are overwhelmed with so many things happening each minute, information overload becomes too much for us to process, and we need to pick which elements to pay attention to. When experiencing stressful events, it is the positive stories that are healthy. Disqualifying the positives means that we are afraid to pay too much attention to sharing positive emotions. To recall positive emotions and beautiful memories takes practice because of our brains’ natural tendency to latch onto negativity. It is not your fault, but it is time now to take charge to feel lighter and happier.  

Giving yourself thoughts of safety while in a swirl of emotions will help you stay grounded and calm despite your present circumstance. Having a consistent daily practice to challenge difficult thoughts changes both your neurochemistry and heart rhythm. This also works towards building your resilience overtime to stress and overwhelm. Our life is a work of art, and we can become the masters of directing our story. 

Three simple steps to practice when in an uncomfortable emotional state:

1) Recognize your negative thought.

2) Say stop.

3) Say SNAP! and then reframe the story.

Kim co authored the #1 Bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters,which provides a set of supportive tools and inspiring stories to help women conquer negative influences, harness the power of psychological wellness and thrive emotionally.For more information go to:
https://www.awomanofworth.com/kim-mowatt
Categories
Anxiety Dealing with a Crisis Distress Tolerance letting go of fear Mindfulness

When in a Crisis,Try These Four Steps That Work Quickly to Keep You Calm

“Sometimes there is no time to wait for the sea to calm down! If you have to reach your target, let your voyage start and let the storm be your path.” Mehmet Murat Ildan

Kim co authored the #1 Bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters,which provides a set of supportive tools and inspiring stories to help women conquer negative influences, harness the power of psychological wellness and thrive emotionally.For more information go to:https://www.awomanofworth.com/kim-mowatt

Julie Blackwater’s legs were going like pistons, a pure celebration of speed on her morning run. She pumped through the burn in her thighs, keeping her pace to the rolling tunes of rock music. The sun was high overhead; the heat pressed all around her. She gradually slowed to a stop and stooped over panting. Her muscles hummed, tingling as she stretched. Sweat was heavy on her lids, she swiped at them, and flicked her wrist to check her temperature on the screen of her smart watch. She blinked. She was burning up, hotter than the usual. As her breathing gradually dropped to normal, the adrenaline quickly dying out, her senses took in her surroundings. The air was different. She sniffed it, noticing a pungent scent. Her eyes strobed the area as her mind struggled to place it. 

The first alarm went off in her head, when she realized her eyesight was hazy. It felt wrong. She keened her vision and picked out the feathery wisps of smoke. Smoke on a summer’s day? She downed the last contents of her water bottle. The cool liquid quickly disappeared down her dry throat, doing little to quench her thirst. She frowned down at the empty container. 

Her gaze swept wildly a second time, coming up short of an explanation until she spun to the east. A few yards away from where she stood, a thick wall of smoke slowly crawled its way towards her, its ghostly mass swallowing trees as it hovered closer at a steady pace. The sight rooted Julie to the spot as her thoughts blanked, her frantic nerves struggling to piece reasoning.

Without thinking, she burst into a quick run in the opposite direction, climbing up a slippery slope on all fours until she had gained a few meters above level ground. She paused to glimpse back at it, and that was when she saw it, above the tops of the trees, a blazing wall screamed towers of thick smoke into the sky. The blood in her veins curdled, the shock pinning her in place, but only for a moment. 

She cautiously swept a scanning gaze around her, realizing that the wall of fire stretched down south and beyond view. How had she missed it, she thought to herself, snatching the pods from her ears. The crackling of the burning forest and the roaring of the fire surrounded her hearing at once and the pulsating flames, though a distance away, beat sweltering waves of heat towards her.

 Stress is a very distinct feeling in the body. We can get hijacked with an unexpected crisis along with a torrent of concerns with worry and regret. Emotions are natural and part of being human. However, when we remain in our emotional mind, upsetting circumstances and negative states can break away on us like a colt out of control galloping for home. When we have overwhelming emotions, just like the horse bolting out of control, they can take charge. Don’t clear away painful emotions, but  shift them, and remain solution focused. When something unexpected happens, acknowledge that emotional shock wave that you’re feeling in that moment. You have earned the right to say WHAT! Are you kidding me? You must become aware of what you’re feeling before you can let it go. Acknowledge it, but don’t park yourself and stay there. It doesn’t hurt for you to take a pause, take a step back, and objectively and cleverly find a solution.

This doesn’t mean that you’re just suddenly all together and over the situation, and it doesn’t magically erase what happened, but by bringing a  different perspective this now refocuses your mind. The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is the brilliant google of the brain. When you focus on a solution, ideas that you may have never thought of before will pop up, sorting and filtering through data on information that you are zeroing in on. In Julie Blackwater’s case, she needed those solutions for her very survival.  This newfound strength and understanding is not a perfect science, but you always know that when you take a step back and trust your RAS as well as your heart’s intelligence, you will be OK. Despite the pain, accept that there are always things beyond your control and that you can make some room for what could be an opportunity in looking at your life differently. This insight may not happen overnight but be patient with yourself, as sometimes ideas take time to show up.

“Change the Changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable”

In Julie’s case she was in crisis and there was no time for contemplation as the only option was for survival and to forge ahead with creative ideas. When we look at what crisis has happened, sit with some acceptance of it and not try to change it, anxiety lifts. By letting go of wanting things to be how you want them to be and free yourself of controlling events, you’ll spend more time focusing on what you want rather than what you don’t want, and feel lighter and happier. Take a good hard look at what happened and problem solve on what you can do. Immediately let go of what you can’t control about it, and take a giant step back outside of the problem, knowing that you are in the drivers seat with your RAS at your side.

Four Steps to Use in a Crisis:  STOP

S: Stop: look at the situation

T: Take a giant step back in your imagination outside of the problem.

O: Observe your feelings, put your hand on your heart and name the emotion. This gesture reduces the stress response in the body.

P:  Problem solve, by using your RAS which is the reliable google of the brain, and seek 1-3 solutions. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box.

I invite you to share with me in the “Leave a Reply” section at the very bottom of the page your experiences, and how you creatively problem solved through them.