If the words “grateful” and “thankful” were colors, in the shade of red, which would be the darker, richer red? Many of us use those words interchangeably. They are closely related. But there are fundamental differences between the two. Understanding the difference between thankful and grateful will deepen and enrich your mindfulness practices.
Humans NEED to spend a lot of time sleeping. According to some statistics, the average person spends about 26 years sleeping, over a lifespan of 79 years. However, we also spend 7 years trying to get to sleep. That’s a lot of lost sleep! It’s not uncommon to have a few sleepless nights, now and then. And you’ll be able to function still. But a cycle of sleepless nights will adversely impact your life! The secret we all want to know is how to easily get to sleep and stay asleep, so we perform at our best.
In Oregon, we experience our share of inclement weather so it’s easy to get into the rut of staying indoors day after day. As a result, many Oregonians are Vitamin D deficient, which greatly alters the mood, mental health and immune system. So when summer finally comes, I tell everyone, “Get out and enjoy nature as much as possible. It’s one of the best ways to overcome creative blocks and get your creativity flowing again!
Managing our expectations is one of life’s greatest challenges. Positive expectations can lead to positive results. Too often, however, we make ourselves unhappy because we have unrealistic expectations.
Unrealistic expectations can also have a ripple effect. For example, when you expect the best from someone, you’re more patient and supportive. You invest time and resources in them because you believe it’s worth it. On the other hand, when you expect the worst from someone, you downplay or dismiss their efforts. You don’t invest your emotions in them and you withhold time and attention that could help them do better.
What you expect becomes your reality, because the brain believes what you are thinking. Life is too short to let unrealistic expectations stand in the way of happiness. So from time to time it’s a good idea to assess our expectations and adjust to the way life really is, not the way you wish it to be. Because life isn’t a fairy tale where everything magically has a “happy ever after” ending.
How can we have a happy life when we’re experiencing so much hardship right now?
Life takes us on an emotional ride, doesn’t it? One minute you’re on the top of the world, the next, you’re crashing down. Since happiness depends on your emotional response to life’s changing tide, it’s no wonder our happiness is taking a major hit right now. But the good news is that there’s something you can do to elevate your happiness, even during stressful times.
When you know a surprisingly simple technique, your highs and lows of life won’t be so drastic. You’ll be able to maintain an even keel despite life’s storms. After all, a happy life is created from within.