25 Apr

Take a moment to be grateful


Even in difficult times we have things to be grateful for.  As a counsellor I find gratitude exercises to be positive and very powerful for clients.

Gratitude can be as simple as being grateful for a sunny day or as complex as gratitude for the opportunity to find your way through an emotional struggle or serious illness.  People often spend time thinking about what they are not grateful for but there is quite a shift when we look at the good things in our lives instead of the negative.


Robert Emmons,  a leading scientific expert on gratitude looks at the physical, social and psychological benefits of gratitude in Why Gratitude Is Good.  His research finds that gratitude can help us have more restorative sleep, be happier and more connected.

In 10 Ways to Be More Grateful  Emmons provides suggestions on how we can integrate gratitude into our daily living. In an inspiring Ted Talk by Benadictine monk David Steindl-Rast the answer is simple “Want to Be Happy? Be Grateful.”

So to help you get going, we’ve added to the Lidkea Stob,  Gratitude board on Pinterest some great strategies to choose from.  Perhaps a 7 day gratitude challenge or the creation of a happiness jar.

So get started, don’t wait, find your way to a more relaxed and happier you. The moment is now!





19 Apr

Don’t Believe Everything You Think


Negative thoughts can impact our daily lives. They can be barriers to our success, they can stop us from trying something new and they can feed us false information.

A negative thought can start out small and seemingly harmless but the more our mind  nurtures it the thought takes on a life of it’s own and multiplies becoming enormous!

You may feel you are fighting an uphill battle because yes the world is full of negativity as the media constantly likes to remind you. The world however is  also filled with positivity and we get to choose what we would like to see more of in our life.

Is our thought real or based in fact……or Do we know this to be trueWhat evidence do we have to support it?  Is there another explanation? What positive thought about this might counterbalance the negative one?

Tackle that negative thought early before it is joined by friends.  Choose to implement strategies that embrace the positive over the negative.

On a site called Tiny Buddha an article by Michelle Uy, gives 10 Tips to Overcome Negative Thoughts: Positive Thinking Made Easy. She shares ideas about making a gratitude list or one of my personal favorites, remembering we are not perfect and not dwelling on our mistakes.  We can be our worst critic even in adulthood, it is as though we go back to our childhood and that test that we wrote and that question we think we should have gotten right.  What about choosing to celebrate the good things we have done and looking at the things we have learned along the way?!

The inner critic is explored in How Negative Thoughts are Ruining Your Life by Lisa Firestone Ph D, from Psychology Today.  They support the idea of self reflection and mindful living to be  important ingredients in finding happiness or more positivity in our lives.

If we dig a little more on the internet we find that there are sites dedicated to the positive. You can take the Positivity Self Test to find out what your positivity to negativity score is. You can check out a writer’s take on Benjamin Franklin’s daily journal. Ben started each day with a morning question, What good shall I do today? and ended the day with What good have I done today? Tim Goessling on the Good Men Project, shares with us how he matched up on I Lived A Day According to Ben Franklin’s Schedule and It Changed My Life.

If you are tech savvy and like to use apps there are of course apps to keep us on track in our journey to embrace happiness and positivity.   Happify (free in iTunes) and Positive Thinking by TappCoder (Android and Apple) are just a couple I came across.   If you are a reader then a great read is The Happiness Project and Happy at Home  by author Gretchen Rubin. So be kind to yourself and make a choice, a choice to see more positive and to let happiness into your life.



12 Apr

What would you do for yourself?


We are never too young or too old to do something good for ourselves.  Sometimes it is difficult to put ourselves first or self nuture. I asked a few friends what they might thank themselves for in the future and the answers were all so different.  One said they would thank themselves for starting their own business and creating freedom for themselves.  Another said they would thank themselves for setting boundaries with family members that they found brought negativity and self doubt into their daily life.  One friend said the best thing they did was take a vacation with no wifi and without looking back.

In an article from Power of Positivity titled 10 Things You Can Do Now That You’ll Thank Yourself For Later, they mention living in the present as one of the ten.  While there is nothing wrong with with planning and setting future goals sometimes we can miss out on what is happening here and now.

Do you ever find yourself sitting at a family event while making a mental to do list in your head?  Or maybe watching your child play hockey while sending a grocery list to yourself on your phone?  By not being truly present we might miss that first hockey goal or family story that makes everyone laugh for years to come.

Be who you really are each day challenges an article by Lifehack, 30 Vital Things your future self will thank you for. It suggests first you can start with deciding who you really are and then take the next step to be that person daily.  Being authentic and true to yourself is a gift you can give to your future self.

So be present, be honest, be you and then do something that your future self will thank you for!

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