Resources to Boost Your Mood

Resources to Boost Your Mood

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At first, I only laughed at myself. Then I noticed that life itself is amusing. I’ve been in a generally good mood ever since.  ~ Marilyn vos Savant

The holidays are a very stressful time for everyone and an exceptionally hard time for some.  So, until the New Year I’ll be posting a Holiday Happiness post each day to try help folks out who are struggling.  As always you can reach out to me at Happinesskane@aol.com for a kind word or someone to listen. ~ Rev Kane

Sometimes this time of year we just feel blah.  For me, I know what my triggers are and they include lack of sleep, lack of exercise and lack of sun.  So when I start getting into a blah mood these are the first things I look at.  We all have our own triggers, although bad or lack of sleep seems to be a fairly universal one.  For Christmas this year I purposefully put myself at a beach house in Florida for the weekend, this allowed me to sleep, to walk the beach, get lots of sun and watch waves.  It’s important to identify your own triggers in order to keep them from tanking your mood.  Unfortunately we can’t always get to a beach house for the weekend, so tonight some resources to help you boost your mood.  Enjoy and have a happier day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Ten tips from WebMD to get your day started with Ten Morning Mood Busters

From Everyday Health, a set of 8 tips for boosting your mood during the day.

From Mind Body Green, some General Tips on Increasing Your Mood.

Finally from WebMD, food and drinks to help your mood.

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Holiday Happiness: Funny Holiday Stories

Holiday Happiness: Resources for Fighting Depression

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Slow Down, Relax, Be Happy

Slow Down, Relax, Be Happy

01Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things. ~ Kenneth Branagh

The holidays are upon us, work has been incredibly busy, I’ve been working six days a week for the last month and staying late a couple of nights a week.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel and soon things should mellow out a bit and give me some time to kick back.  I have a great trip planned for part of my break time.

So it’s time to sit back and relax and take it all in, all of life, the sun and the clouds, the people, the madness, all of it.  Just be thankful for life, grab a cup of tea or cocoa and find a spot in front of the fire and just be.

That’s what I’m doing tonight, I hope you are as well so we can both have a happy day. ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Worry, the Enemy of Happiness

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is Reducing Stress

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Everybody is just winging it!

Everybody is just winging it!

winging itThere are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently. ~ Pamela Druckerman

There’s a conversation I often have with students and I had it again recently and so I thought I would share it with you tonight.  One of the things students often freak out about, particularly as they are about to graduate or transfer, is whether or not they are truly ready.  You see they look around at all of the professionals they encounter in their life, all of these confident and competent looking people.  They see people making decisions and moving forward and they think, my god, I have no idea how they are doing that.  We’ve all had a similar feeling on the first day of work at a new job.  There is always that moment at some point the first day where you’re sitting at a desk thinking, I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing.

The secret I let the students in on, the one they never believe, is that all of these folks are just winging it.  Sure, after being in a job for a few years you know damn near everything there is to know about your job.  But new things always happen, your responsibilities change, however in that first week, first month, first year we all feel a bit like frauds.  It’s one of the reasons people are so afraid to get out of their comfort zones, they don’t want to look like they don’t know what they are doing.  People in general are terrified of looking bad in front of other people.

branson, wing it, quoteOne thing to keep in mind my friends is that this reality applies not just to our jobs.  With our family, our friend in almost every way in everyday life we’re all just winging it.  There was no manual to how to get through puberty, how to date or even how to be a parent.  Sure we call on friends, family those who have gone before us, but in the end, we’re all just winging it.  And you know what, that’s just fine, it’s a core part of being human.  So don’t worry about it, don’t stress over it and just relax, do the best you can and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts on How to be Happy!

How to be Happy Everyday

How to be Happy through Resilience

Overcoming Demons to become Happy!

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How to be Happy Everyday

How to be Happy Everyday

27Every Sunday morning I start out the day wondering what I will do for my Sunday night post.  I try to make these more reflective, a little more focused on my everyday life.  I try to eat fairly low-carb, a result of having inherited some blood sugar issues and having a small addiction to Coca-Cola.  So I watch what I eat and usually don’t eat cereal but occasionally I get a craving for fruit and cereal and buy a box.  I am particularly fond of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but there’s a trick to this, like many cereals.  You see, you have to soak it in milk long enough to slough off enough cinnamon to form the cinnamilk at the end, but not so long as to lose the crunchiness of the cereal.  As I was admiring the fact that I had pulled off that delicate balance this morning, it hit me that I had my post for tonight.  Appreciating the small things.

26You see we can talk all we want about the big changes in life that will make us happier.  Those things are legitimate and what you should strive for in the end.  But what can you do to be happier along the way.  Recently a study identified gratitude as the single most important factor in happiness.  Whether or not that is true, it certainly is one of the key things that makes people happier.  Long-term happiness is typically most closely associated with strong ties to family (biological or selected) and friends.

For tonight I want to talk about gratitude.  We need to be grateful for the things we have in our life that make us happy, the small as well as the big.  Sure we are grateful for family, friends, good health, the money, food and shelter that has been provided for us.  But if you want to be consistently happy you have to do two things.  First, you have to remember that your attitude, how you choose to react to things, determines most of your happiness.  The second is to appreciate all of the little things around us that bring us happiness.  A beautiful blue sky, a partridge running across the yard, a magnificent sunset or maybe the roses in your garden.

25I often see in November people post 30 days of being grateful to their Facebook pages, that’s great, but if you only have that level of gratitude in November, well then it’s sort of like a fad diet.  You make yourself happier for a time but then lose those gains when you stop.  What I’d rather see people do is a gratitude Monday once a week, that way at least gratitude would stay on your mind year-round.  Maybe I’ll start doing a post on gratitude once a week.

So tonight my friends, be grateful for what you have, remember the little things that make you smile and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and the Benefits of Gratitude

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

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Happiness is Rain in the Desert

Happiness is Rain in the Desert

rainI love the rain, I always have, some of my best memories from childhood are sitting on my front porch in the summer while it rained like a fire hose.  It was always amazing right after the rain would finish, the most amazing smell would rise.  I loved it, it’s a sensory memory that triggers the most amazing feelings in me.

I live in the desert now, and for the first time since I’ve lived here, today there were little patches of rain this morning.  The smell after rain here is completely different, there was actually a smoky character to the air.  It was no less pleasant of a smell, but it was incredibly different than the one from childhood, but it took my brain back to those days, those less complicated and simple days, where I had the time and the inclination just to hang around for the smell rain.  Have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and the Benefits of Gratitude

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

Writing Away the Darkness

 

 

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Happiness: Handling Worry and Uncertainty

Happiness: Handling Worry and Uncertainty

01Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due. ~ William Ralph Inge

Well to say it’s been a tumultuous week for some people in the United States may be an understatement.  With the election of Donald Trump and some of the rhetoric he espoused during the election, and some of the past views of his Vice-President related to the LGBTQ community, there are a number of people visibly worried about the change in US leadership.  So, it seemed like a good time to do a reminder post about worry and happiness.

We often worry before we have to, this isn’t to say the things we worry about are unwarranted, they may very well be, but we often spend a lot of time worry before things have actually happened.  This is really counterproductive and really doesn’t solve anything.  Thinking about and preparing for a possible issue is smart, but think about it, make a plan and move on.  Letting it run over and over in your head accomplishes nothing.

Now I get it, telling someone not to worry is like telling you not to think about a monkey playing a tuba, where was your head just now 🙂  So what I suggest is that you worry for a purpose and move on.  Right now a lot of people have a lot of uncertainty about the future and that is causing them to worry.  That’s ok for a minute, but in the end, all we can do is go forward and live out lives.

All of this causes stress and stress will ruin your happiness and make you ill.  So my friends, as always, take a deep breath, do all of the things you know you need to do.  Get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, limit your access to things that exacerbate your stress.  Stay busy and focused on the positive things in your life and you’ll have happier days.        ~ Rev Kane

 

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Worry, the Enemy of Happiness

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is Reducing Stress

 

 

 

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Happiness & Meaning in Life

Happiness & Meaning in Life

16Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human ~ Viktor E Frankl

So today I encountered a really interesting article on happiness and meaning in life.  The article focused on a study related to suicide, what researchers found out was that it wasn’t unhappiness that caused society, but lack of meaning in life.  I thought this was quite interesting.

The study also did an experiment by taking two groups of people.   Asking one group to do meaningful things, help others, be kind etc… And the other group they asked to do things that made them happy.  The participants were in their twenties and did things like party, play video games and eat ice cream.  Both groups saw gains in meaningfulness and happiness respectively, but the meaningful group had longer lasting benefits.  This was the one part of the article I had a problem with.  As someone who studies and regular writes on happiness the researchers made a mistake.  We know that the types of activities that bring on long-term happiness are experiential.  Taking a trip, participating in a project, being out in nature.  The activities in the experiment were things that provided temporary endorphin rushes, so I think they aren’t giving enough weight to the benefits of being happier.

None the less, I thought it was impressive that a week of doing even small meaningful things could have such a positive impact on living a more meaningful life.  Those things are worth doing and the article is worth reading and is linked below.

Here’s how to find meaning in life:

  • Belong to a group: I’ll be at lunch with Andy and the guys. Where will you be?
  • Give your work purpose: You’re not emptying trash cans. You’re helping get a man on the moon.
  • Craft your story: End it with redemption, not contamination, and become the superhero of your life.
  • Transcendence: Nature is big. Your problems are small.

I hope you enjoyed the piece and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and the Benefits of Gratitude

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

Writing Away the Darkness

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Happiness is Poetry: d.a. levy

Happiness is Poetry: d.a. levy

poetry, happiness, d.a. levy

d.a. levy

If you want a revolution, return to your childhood and kick out the bottom. ~ d.a. levy

Like a lot of poets I read, I first encountered D.A. Levy in the American Bible of Outlaw Poetry a book I consider to be the best collection of American poetry.  Levy was from Cleveland a Buddhist Jew, who wanted to read everything and write everything.  He was someone who always seemed to be searching for something and I think that’s one of the reasons I identify and enjoy his work.  He also saw the need for change in society, I wonder what he would think of America today.  Here are a few of his pieces, enjoy, and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

Sitting on a bench near TSquare

                                       (for David Meltzer)

1.

through the branches of
the thin trees of tenth street
the blue sky waits
with me &
im waiting for god
(on a white horse)
to ride thru the
branches of
the lower east side
before returning to
cleveland
& something
tells me
he isnt coming

2.

im a levy of the levites
yet in cleveland
i have painted myself
celtic-blue
& am feeling
something like an outlaw

the druids give me soup
& think im a lama

its been close to 7 years
ive been looking for god
& the trails wearing as
thin as the trees on tenth street

i am a levy of the levites
& last week
a fanatic jew in the heights
called me a halfbreed
because my mother was a christian

i am a levy of the levites
& last week a rabbi
thought i was kidding
when i told him
i was interested in judaism

god i think yr sense
of humor is sad
& perhaps you are also
feeling something
like an outlaw

god i am wondering
for how many years
have the jews
exiled you
while they busied themselves
with survival

 

for a rainy day

kisses
we tried to save
pressed in books
like flowers from
a sun warmed day
only
years later to
open yellowing pages
to find those same
kisses – wilted and dry.

 

Suburban Monastery Death Poem

PART ZERO – Celebration With Rada Drums

only ten blocks away
buildings burned – perhaps burning now
the august night broken by sniper fire
police men bleeding in the streets
a sniper surrenders (perhaps out of ammunition)
Gun Jammed?
someone sed he was framed in a doorway
like a picture – his hands in the air
when they shot him –

only ten blocks away
from my quiet apartment
with its green ceramic buddhas
& science fiction books
unread skin magazines to be cut up
for collages

only ten blocks away
from my total helplessness
from my boredom enforced by the state
they are looting stores
trying to get televisions
so they can watch the riots
on the 11 pm news

the national guard jeeps patrol
the streets again
the army-green trucks with the
giant white star on the side
moving in the summer lightning

i cd tell you partly
why it happened
but you wouldnt believe me

like in Milwaukee
during a reading
just after i said
“this is a paranoid poem – written when i was
experimenting with paranoid states of consciousness,
but im not there anymore”
& a young girl sat writing
“shows paranoid symptoms”
probably for her psychology class
not hearing me at all

i cld try to tell you
about the hopeless despair
ingrained in ghetto walls
& police brutality or police stupidity
or police reality is more than just words
to define situation
by students looking for a cause.
the situations exist & continue
quietly in the dark while the
protest goes on in daylight –
both unheard.

Really
the police try to protect
the banks – and everything else
is secondary

during the riots
i watched the news
& didnt pick sides for a change

i just sat wondering about all
the living room revolutionaries
safe in the suburbs
who cheered everytime someone
was shot or a building went up
in smoke

ten blocks away
it was real
thousands of tourists
arrived

More poems and poetry!

Doug Draime

Warsan Shire

Hosho McCreesh

Charles Bukowski

Ashe Vernon

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Happiness is Continuous Improvement

Happiness is Continuous Improvement

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Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. ~ Benjamin Franklin

So recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the phrase continuous quality improvement.  It has a lot of relevance in my job and it has become a bit of a motto in my life.  Where happiness is concerned, we really know all of the answers.  After years of researching and writing about happiness, as the Taoists say, the masters have already given us all of the answers we just fail to see them.

We have talked on this site about a lot of things that can bring you happiness: expressing gratitude; showing kindness; being positive; seeking adventure; damping down our fear; being mindful and many other strategies.  But you have to be realistic about things, no change occurs overnight, if you are a worrier, you can’t just stop worrying because you know it’s a bad idea.  But maybe, bit by bit you can learn to worry less and less over time.

This is what continuous improvement is all about, really it’s simple.  So how do you do it?  Well, the goal is to simply be better than you were last year.  How do you do that? Well, this month you try to be better than last month, this week better than last week, today better than yesterday.  The trick is of course that it doesn’t matter how fast you are moving forward, just that you keep moving forward.  Consistency is the key, whether or not were talking about weight loss, or fitness or happiness.

So my friends, pick whatever method of being  happier that you want to work on, just work on it and have a happy day ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and the Benefits of Gratitude

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

Writing Away the Darkness

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The Importance of Courage and Openness

The Importance of Courage and Openness

courage, quoteThe secret to happiness is freedom…the secret to freedom is courage.                ~ Thucydides

So I’ve discussed recently that I’ll soon be taking some time off again.  There are a number of options that sit before me.  I’ve considered doing a bit of vagabonding, possibly moving to Mexico for a couple of months, I’m having conversations about some business ventures with a friend and doing some hiking.

The thing is that now I’ve taken the first step and resigned my position, I’ve let myself become open to things, honestly open to consider almost anything.  It has always been my contention and it’s echoed by Paulo Coehlo’s book the Alchemist, that when you make the effort, the universe does whatever possible to make your dreams come true.

As such some positive little things have been popping up, just yesterday I stumbled into an opportunity to teach English in Taipei including salary and room and board.  An idea that I’m actually pretty excited about.

Right now things are utterly chaotic for me, there is no plan, as of July 1st I don’t know where I’ll be living or if I’ll be living anywhere.  I don’t know if I’ll be solely focused on a new business venture, vagabonding across the US or moving to Taiwan.  It’s all a bit terrifying, but that’s where the courage comes in.  But in the process staying open to what life has to offer seems to be bringing me some great opportunities if not a lot of certainty at the moment.

This all comes back to the idea of getting out of your comfort zone to find change in your life.  I’m a planner, having everything so up in the air is uncomfortable as hell and definitely outside of my comfort zone, but that’s what also makes it so exciting.  As we’ve talked about here before if you’re not happy where you are in life than you have to make a change, change is uncomfortable but often leads to really wonderful things.  So have the courage to make that positive change in your life and have a happy day my friends.

~ Rev Kane

Other Happiness Posts You Might Enjoy!

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Overcoming Demons to be Happy

Making Change Happen

 

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