kindness and happiness

 

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There have been some in my household – let’s be honest, it includes me – who have been dragging their feet a little as the school term comes to an end. I have been telling my children as they leave for school each day “be kind, don’t worry what is happening around you, just be kind!”

Came across this quote, which I think adds another dimension to being kind and one that I know is a great reminder for me! May you enjoy it too!
Rebekah x

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself. –Gretchen Rubin

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start hugging!

It is holiday season…. and I enjoyed this reminder about the importance of hugs!

Image credit: kipper.8m.com

Image credit: kipper.8m.com

“Holidays can be a lonely and stressful time, particularly for those with mental health issues. Arie Moyal spends two weeks each year around the Christmas holidays providing support to travelers through free hugs. Virginia Satir, a noted family therapist, claimed that we need 4 hugs a day for survival; 8 hugs a day for maintenance; and 12 hugs a day for growth. And scientists have determined that one of the reasons hugs makes you feel good is that they stimulate the production of oxcytocin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to our sense of connectedness, and as a result, happiness.
“You have a better day when you get hugs.”
picture credit: siyli.org

picture credit: siyli.org

To watch a short video that looks at Arie Moyal click here.

a thought for the week in this busy season..

My apologies for not writing recently. The end of the school year was a great but busy time!

My diary had this quote for this week and I thought I would share it with you all!

“Happiness is like a butterfly the more you chase it, the more it will elude you.
But if you turn your attention to other things,
it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

Blessings for this special Christmas season.
Rebekah x

Photo Credit: santabanta.com

Photo Credit: santabanta.com

Love you by your book

I have a child who is struggling at the moment. Today when I asked him ‘What makes you happy?’ his reply was ‘Not much.’
That just broke my heart. I knew he was tired and part of it was a cop out, but I knew it had an element of truth to it. I wanted to stop driving, give him a hug and tell him how much I loved him! (I wished I had……)

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Scrolling through some blogs I came across this one that I had read before and knew that I would go back to sometime and tonight was that time. I leave it with you as an encouragement. I leave it with you as a challenge.
I leave it with myself as something so important to follow through- in the words of my husband, ‘We need to nail it to our foreheads!’

Photo credit: stlaurence.org

Photo credit: stlaurence.org

 

To Love You by Your Book: A Daily Pledge (Hands Free Mama….Click on this for the whole great read!!)

I will study you. I will listen to you. I will watch your face when I use certain words or tones. What brings smiles? What brings pain? I will take note. I will use words that build you instead of break you. When I see that something I do makes you feel uncomfortable and rejected, I will remember and try not to do it anymore.

I want to love you by your book.

I will have one-on-one time with you even if this means having to disappoint people outside my family or make personal sacrifices. Making time to know you may mean declining extra commitments or reducing extracurricular activities. It may mean watching a television show I don’t care for or being willing to learn about your hobbies. It may mean sitting beside you in silence. I vow to be available to you. I vow to show you that you’re worth my time and attention.

I want to love you by your book.

I will tell you all the positive things I notice about you, instead of pointing out where you fall short. There’s enough people who will do that. I will be your encourager. I will be your #1 fan. I want to hear you laugh. I want to see you smile. I want to watch you shine.

I want to love you by your book and witness your amazing story unfold.

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What will you choose?

One of my brood seems to be struggling a little at the moment. We have been talking about grit and choices.  Sometimes I wonder if there is much going in as he listens and sometimes I feel a little frustrated as it all comes down to choices he is making.

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While doing some reading tonight I came across a really interesting website I had not seen before. http://www.actionforhappiness.org/

Below is a quote that encouraged me to keep talking with the gorgeous boy and reminded me that the choices we make really do make a difference!

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Our happiness is not set in stone

Although our genes influence about 50% of the variation in our personal happiness, our circumstances (like income and environment) affect only about 10%.

As much as 40% is accounted for by our daily activities and the conscious choices we make. So the good news is that our actions really can make a difference.

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Gratitude or Happiness – what comes first?

Today has been a crazy day. I knew from the moment I woke up holidays were over! My Man was out the house by 8am dressed in the suit. The list of things to do was compiled and the balancing of 4 other lives and their needs was happening in a whole different way. It was a rude awakening and it has been hard to stay positive!

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Photo Credit: Parableblog.blogspot.com

This evening I had time to read through a few things and came across this:

“It is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. And that gratefulness quickly leads to a satisfied, simplified, focused life.”
Becoming Minimalist

So much of what I have been reading in the positive psychology world is about being grateful and I really appreciated the links made here between gratefulness, satisfaction and happiness. It is easy to be grateful when we are happy, but to realise that being grateful brings that happiness or joy is a different matter.

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Photo Credit: peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.com

I am grateful for the holidays that we have had.  We have been blessed as a family to spend many days in the sun, sand and surf.  And we have been blessed to spend many days with family and friends.

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Sometimes we need the links between theory and practice to be spelled out clearly. That’s what I love about the things I am learning and share with you –  it is all just living.

Thought for the weekend – try these 3 things!

As the first weekend of the year approaches, perhaps some of you are reflecting on New Years resolutions or simply the New Year that looms. I read that the success of resolutions actually lies in the type that you make! http://www.dailygood.org/story/640/3-resolutions-for-a-happier-year-christine-carter

Below is a quick summary of the article. Happy thinking for the weekend and days ahead.

Research has shown that the following three will increase your happiness. Maybe pick one and concentrate on it for awhile, and then introduce the other ones gradually.

1. Spend more time with family and friends.
Study after study shows that we tend to be happier when we feel connected to our nearest and dearest, when we feel like we are a part of a group or a clan.

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2. Everyday, find a way to give something to somebody.
In a world that is more focused on getting than giving, a New Year’s resolution to do one kind thing each day, or to give thanks in one small way, is a pretty radical act. When we make giving a habit, we make gratitude and kindness central themes in our lives.

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Photo Credit: jenniferfordberry.com

3. Get more sleep and exercise.
I know, that’s not one resolution, it’s two, but the science around these physical happiness boosters is pretty compelling. Studies are clear: You’ll be less stressed, less sick, and less grouchy in the New Year if you get more shut-eye. Try increasing your sleep 10 minutes a night for a week, and then another 10 the next week, and so on until you are regularly getting your eight hours.

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Photo credit: greatist.com