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Keep your feet on the ground and your head in the clouds.


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Wanna be happy? Here’s how

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Our thoughts and perspectives shape us. The personal stories that we create about who we are and how we got here are what make us the people we are. Happiness is the same. It is not a result of circumstances but of a mindset, a piece of our identity that must be cultivated so that it lives within us, no matter what comes our way. Everyone is on a journey to happiness, but it’s time to realize that everything we need is within us. It’s not about looking for something but tapping into what already exists within us, and stripping away the things that hold us back from true happiness. Here are some ways to do that.

1. Train your brain

Our thoughts create grooves in our brains that become the building blocks for our habits and personalities. Every thought we have creates matter and over time the thoughts that we nurture become our identity. So, to change our outer circumstances we must first change our inner circumstances by cultivating healthy thoughts, even if we don’t believe them at first.

This means having healthy self talk, being positive, assuring, loving and kind in your head in every situation. First, you must become aware of your thought patterns, and then consciously make the effort to create different thoughts. Practicing gratitude is one of the best ways we can do this, as it makes us focus on the little things that matter, like a thank you note from your boss, instead of the things that don’t, like that idiot talking way too loud in the gym.

2. Know that getting what you want doesn’t always necessarily make things better

We all have goals. Get a promotion, save more money, take a trip, find a new lover, whatever. Goals are great because they give us a clear vision of what we want so that we can create a way to get there. It’s important to remember, however, that the achievement of our goals comes with issues of their own, and that they won’t ultimately change our level of happiness. This is because as humans we look to the next big thing as soon as we get what we want. Ie you get your promotion, which involves learning a new skill that you haven’t had to work on yet. Or, you meet someone amazing you have a real connection with, and then you start wondering when they’ll tell you they love you.

We are constantly evolving, changing, growing. The only way to ensure happiness is to commit to it now, and not look to the future for it. No matter what the circumstance, to resolve to be happy so that you know that when things change, for better or for worse, you’ll still be happy.

3. Do things that are good for yourself

Call an old friend, join a sports team, ride a rollercoaster. We have these rigid ideals of what constitutes being a good human, and they usually involve lots of stress and very little self-nurturing. Being gentle on ourselves and doing something every day that makes us feel whole and happy is the best thing we can do for ourselves. It makes us more sincere human beings capable of focusing on the needs of others because we first value the needs of ourselves. Have fun, be lighthearted, and do what makes you feel good, because that’s the only way to be happy all the time.

 

 


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Mountain Poses // Malibu, CA

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Photos by Hazardous Taste


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5 Habits for Exceptional Health

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1. Start your day with awareness

Meditate. Drink tea. Write down three things you’re grateful for.

By paying attention to yourself first thing in the morning you set a peaceful tone for the day ahead, and honor the possibilities of a new day.

2. Only eat when you’re hungry

We make thousands of choices about food every day. Eating should only be done when you’re hungry. Not bored. Not sad. Not lonely. Not drunk. By eating when you’re not hungry you don’t allow your digestive system to relax, and more than likely you’ve got waste hanging out in your intestines that won’t get properly broken down and used for energy. This leads to weight gain, lack of energy, inflammation, and toxicity in the body. When you feel hungry, ask yourself if that’s really what it is. Most of the time, a glass of water, cup of tea, or walk around the block will help get rid of the urge and tide you over until your next meal.

3. Don’t punish yourself

We all do things we’re not proud of, but when it comes to food we tend to be typically brutal on ourselves. If you want desert, eat desert. If you want a glass of wine, enjoy a glass of wine. Don’t look back on it and hate on yourself for it.

By making reasonable indulgences part of your regimen, you won’t go crazy at your niece’s pizza party and pass out covered in ice cream. Commit to a solid foundation of whole, nutrient dense foods, and mindfully appreciate when it comes to enjoying things that aren’t necessarily so healthy.

4. Make exercise an enjoyable ritual

If you hate yoga, don’t do yoga. If running the stairs ten times makes you nauseous at the thought of it, stay away from the stairs.

Being active is a critical part of a vibrant life. The most important part of exercising is finding activity that suits you as an individual. This is the only way you’ll stick with it and the only way it will benefit you. Do whatever is in line with what makes you happy. Ride your bike at sunset. Walk your dog for an extra twenty minutes. Join a local team for a sport you played in high school. Pick something and get to it.

5. Eat the colors of the rainbow

Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds – these foods are completely packed with all the nutrients you need for a healthy body and mind. Do as best you can to start all your meals with vegetables, and to snack on fruit and nuts during the day.  You’ll have tons of energy, great skin, and a strong immune system, and will save money at the store not buying packaged products.

Photo by Ben Moore


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5 Tips to Developing Good Habits… and living life to the fullest!

‘Freedom is the power to make the decision today that is the best for our future self’

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Habits are behaviors that are acted out subconsciously. They create grooves in our brains, which is what makes them so hard to change. A habit can be lighting up a cigarette first thing in the morning or lacing up your running shoes first thing in the morning. Both are subconscious, behavioral and automatic.

Our habits define us. They are what encourage us to make the decisions we make every day. The decisions that we make shape our lives and lead us to blissful self-expression or a downward spiral of self-destruction.

The body loves routine, so when we settle into one it becomes very comfortable and difficult to change. Is your routine energizing and exciting or is it causing you to gain weight, feel lethargic, and take you out of touch with yourself?

When it comes to nutrition, having good habits is everything. Will I have a croissant for breakfast or a fresh organic mango? Will I pick up a bag of walnuts for a snack or a donut? Will I eat fast food for lunch or something from the Co-op?

So many decisions are made in haste and have only short-term benefits: I’m in a hurry, I’m craving something sweet, it’s the only thing in my house/office/purse.  

Being mindful enables you to break out of habits that inhibit your ability to make the best decision for yourself, and to instantly become more energized and joyful.

What’s important to know is that changing one habit creates a domino effect, so making more changes becomes very natural and enjoyable. This is why it’s crucial to focus on one thing at a time.

Drink a latte every morning? Switch to green tea 3 days a week. Those caffeine (and dairy) cravings will quickly quiet down. Love snacking on candy bars or ice cream? Try natural sugars such as berries, and when indulging look for delicious and chemical free dark chocolate covered pretzels, or coconut-based ice cream alternatives. Used to unwinding at happy hour after work with your colleagues? Try hitting a spin class or finding an interesting talk to attend.

The key is not to cut out things you love, but to replace them with more wholesome habits that you can still enjoy and that create positivity in your life.

A huge part of emotional and physical health is paying attention to your mind-body connection. If you constantly fall prey to habits that you know aren’t good you create a conflict in your system. When you make positive, mindful decisions, your personal environment becomes harmonious, leading to more overall happiness and wellness.

Steps to changing habits

  1. Introspect  – What habit do you do every day that you want to change- pick ONE. Eating late at night? Too much sugar? Facebook addiction? Ask yourself, why do you do these things?
  2. Cultivate the opposite habit – Drink calming tea at night instead of eating – a lot of times we think we’re hungry when we’re actually just thirsty. Look for something to snack on without added sugars. Read an interesting article or watch a TED talk instead of flipping to Facebook to zone out. Take time to think and be MINDFUL- don’t look for a quick fix.
  3. Be gentle with yourself – Big change starts with small steps. The most important thing is to have the right intention and to constantly reinforce the fact that you are not controlled by your habits. Remember one positive change leads to many more.
  4. Have a buddy – When you tell someone your goal is becomes that much more real. We tend to feel more obligated to succeed when someone else is watching and supporting us. Set a goal with a friend or partner and notice how much more motivated and committed you feel.
  5. Listen to your body – When you notice your cravings or bad tendencies your habits are no longer subconscious. They are out in the open and available for you to recognize and choose a better option. In need of caffeine around 3pm? Talk a brisk walk around your building for ten minutes and breathe deeply- it will energize you and get you to do something different than just heading to the vending machine or coffee shop.

Remember that change comes from will power. You must have the will power to want to get the most out of your life. When you commit to doing the best for yourself your life will become a lot more harmonious, with love, opportunity and happiness appearing in abundance.