Archive | February 2014

Practical ways to live longer (Part II)


I intend to live forever. So far, so good. Steven Wright

In April last year we wrote Practical ways to live longer (Part I) which gave a series of suggestions for how we can proactively work now towards a longer, healthier life. Today Happiness Weekly is releasing the second part of this blog – for no other reason other than life is beautiful and we want to be here to enjoy it for as long as we possibly can!

Don’t define yourself by numbers
Ditch the scales, stop looking at your bank account, realise that only you care about your dress size. Fortunately for us, these numbers do not create our worth – so don’t use them as a guide because it will create unnecessary stress.

Lift weights
Studies have shown that strength training twice a week for 30 minutes can actually make your body 15 to 20 years younger in terms of restoring the muscle mass and regaining bone density. Remember there’s no need to turn yourself into the incredible hulk with all the protein shakes though – these may not be so good for prolonging life!

Keep an even mood
Research by US psychologist Dr Howard Friedman and Dr Leslie Martin found children that are cheerful are less likely to live to an old age. It is thought that relentlessly happy people may be prone to underestimate risks to their health and thereby fail to take precautions or follow medical advice.

Don’t fake it – smile authentically
The more authentic your smile and the broader you smile, the longer you will live. Smiling triggers the release of chemicals that can make you feel happier, even if you’re faking it. Better still, laughing boosts levels of infection-fighting antibodies and immune cells. A good laugh can improve blood flow by more than 20% and possibly reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Challenge yourself
Instead of avoiding stress, find a job that challenges you – hard work and accomplishment is a strong predictor of long life. Studies have shown that those with the most career success are the least likely to die young. Also wait five more years to retire – Greek researchers have discovered it decreases mortality rate during that period by 10%!

Be honest
People who stop lying after instructed have been found to have significant health improvements in just ten weeks, with fewer mental health complaints – such as tension and fewer physical complaints – such as migraines and headaches. Lying triggers stress hormones that increase heart rate and breathing, slow digestion and cause tension and hypersensitivity in muscles and nerve fibres.

Enjoy a glass of red wine each night
A glass of red wine could reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and the slow progression of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease due to the flavonoids and resveratrol compounds it contains. Be cautious though, just two glasses more could put you at increased risk of developing mouth, throat, oesophagus, breast and bowel cancer.

Don’t eat peanuts
If you’re looking to keep your weight down: avoid eating peanuts! Just 100g of peanuts is 622 calories which will take an hour of swimming to burn off! If you’re looking for a healthy snack, you’re safer eating a few almonds or better still celery, carrots and capsicum.

Work on your relationship with your parents
Studies have shown those who aren’t particularly close to their parents end up developing high blood pressure, alcoholism or heart disease by mid-life. A closer relationship will promote survival by putting you at less risk of developing these conditions.

Fight it out
Arguing may not be much fun, but suppressed anger can cause high blood pressure, insomnia, heart problems and increased risk of cancer. Studies show that people who suppress their anger are 25% more likely to die early.

Get sporty
People who play golf live an average of five years longer than non-golfers which may be because they’re outside for four to five hours at a time and they walk six to seven kilometres. Yoga is also recommended as when it’s combined with moderate aerobic exercise and diet control it can reduce cholesterol and reverse hardening of the arteries by up to 20%!

Chew your food
Chewing your food carefully will assist with weight loss but it may also reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by half – which could be because chewing your food helps to break it down, making it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients.

Have a family
Men who are unable to conceive are twice as likely to die early from circulatory disease, cancers and accidents, while women without children are four times more at risk. Adoption may also reduce the risk – so the family doesn’t necessarily need to be by blood.

Don’t watch television
Every hour of television you watch after you turn 25 could shave 22 minutes off your lifespan according to scientists at the US National Cancer Institute. Instead of watching television, get out and go for a walk or take up a sport or other activity – muscles that aren’t used properly will raise the risk of illness and premature death.

Learn a language
The ability to speak two or more languages significantly slows the onset of Dementia and Alzheimer’s by creating a greater brain reserve.

Get spiritual
Whether you are religious or spiritual, the gods you believe in want to keep you here longer than your atheist friends. Studies have shown a positive correlation between religious belief and good health. Whether this is due to the better levels of social support provided within religious communities or divine intervention is still not known.

Do you have any strategies that could help you live longer that weren’t mentioned in part I or part II of this blog? Please leave your comment below.



How You Became the Other Woman

This is an absolutely fantastic blog, far too good not to share and well worth the read. It’s describing narcissistic abuse and how it creeps up on you and leaves you dizzy. Well done Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed! Stay tuned to find out more about narcissism through a post series released by Happiness Weekly during Mental Health Awareness week later this year (6 October).

Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed

The Other Woman ~ Woman Waiting

I can’t count the number of women I’ve interacted with who started out engaged to or married to a Narcissist and then, through a turn of events, became the “Other Woman”.

While the infidelity itself is unfair, the really sad part is that when this happens to each woman, she feels extremely isolated because she thinks she’s the only one “crazy” enough to accept this arrangement.  What she doesn’t realize is that this is very common amongst women who are involved in an abusive relationship with a Narcissist.  In fact, it’s one of the biggest indicators of the depth of pathological brainwashing the Narcissist is capable of.

Logically, who would agree to allow their partner to have a primary lover outside of the relationship, and further, who only comes around when he’s bored or his main partner is on her period?

Shocking, yes?  If you haven’t been…

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Charlotte Dawson – you will be missed


Sometimes, especially if people are wanting you to kill yourself, and you’re somebody who has previously tried to end your life, it’s very, very easy to feel like that’s exactly what you want to do. Charlotte Dawson – Sixty Minutes 2012.

In all the footage you find of her, Charlotte Dawson appears very brave and courageous – something that adds to the shock of today’s news.
Time and time again Charlotte Dawson appeared as strong as her message. Her intentions in campaigning against bullying, among other things, were so good. She was a role model! She may not have done everything right, but the way she kept getting back up, her strength, her courage … she was a positive figure to aspire to.
But today Charlotte lost her battle with depression. Is it another bullycide? The public may never know.
I didn’t know her personally, but we had something in common: campaigning against bullying and that is why I want to dedicate this post to her.

Charlotte Dawson was a model and television presenter who in recent times had a very public battle with Twitter trolls, some of whom she exposed. You just need to watch this YouTube video to see for yourself that they were absolutely no match for her – she lived a lavish lifestyle in Woolloomooloo which, despite her struggles, she managed to maintain. Along with the brave front she held together, that’s a massive credit to her!

In this interview she appears so strong about her circumstances, you’d never pick her for having such a horrific battle with depression behind the scenes. And this is exactly why we need to be so careful with what we say to other people. Everyone has their own battles and demons they’re fighting. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago I blogged about being Being conscious of our words and how they affect others and this scenario is exactly why. Bullying is not ok and perhaps Charlotte’s Twitter trolls need to take a long hard look in the mirror before they post again!

Depression affects 1 in 4 four people and by 2020 it will be the world’s second largest killer.

Charlotte leaves us with her messages of hope and strength for those who suffer from depression and a book called Air Kiss and Tell – a very raw biography about her life. Check out this YouTube clip for more: The truth about Charlotte Dawson.

Charlotte Dawson – you may not have felt like much in your final moments – but you will be missed.

In 2012 I wrote a blog about Being proactive against bullying, with solutions – one being to start an online support network where those suffering at the hands of cyber bullies can get instant assistance from someone qualified. Or even unqualified! The idea of having Lifeline online.

“If you’re going to express those points of view, you should do it with a face and a name so  you can be accountable,” Charlotte Dawson was quoted saying in an interview with The Daily Telegraph in September 2012 following her Twitter attack that landed her in hospital following an attempted suicide.

Domestic Violence organisation, 1800 RESPECT, has recently introduced a similar functionality on their website where people can go online for direct assistance. We need that for anti-bullying and if anyone has the skills to put it together, I would be more than happy to team up, share ideas and start building it to make it happen.

In the meantime, if you are in crisis or are struggling with depression, please contact Lifeline for assistance: 13 11 14.

Related articles:
Charlotte Dawson found dead
TV celebrity Charlotte Dawson found dead at her Sydney home
Charlotte Dawson found dead in Woolloomooloo home

Using frustration for positive action


When you feel the need to feel frustration, go ahead and be fully frustrated. Then, be done with it and get on with making positive progress. Ralph Marston.

No one likes being driven to the point of frustration but is this emotion really as negative as it feels? Possibly not. Frustration is what causes us to make a change. “If we never experience frustration and disappointment then we are never moved to make changes to transform our lives,” a girl from work told me recently. After a little bit of contemplation over this, I came to the conclusion: she’s right. This week Happiness Weekly looks at how you can use that burning sensation caused by frustration as motivation for positive action.

What is frustration?
Frustration is the feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something. The intensity of frustration is caused by the degree of control we have to change things. Once we make a change we can go forward to accomplish the purpose, fulfilling desire or problem we have been withheld from.

According to Cathryn Bond Doyle who wrote Turning frustration into positive action, people can become addicted to feeling frustrated, using it as a way to distract from their real feelings. Frustration can also justify making someone else accountable for our situation and so it feeds denial. “When people are addicted to something, they don’t continue doing whatever to feel good, they do it to stop from feeling something worse. Feelings of frustration can mask guilt about something we’d rather not face and help us legitimize non-action,” she said.

The good news about frustration is that just like any emotion, it is up to us how we control it – we can allow it to hold us back or we can enable it to propel us forward. The choice is ours!

So what steps can we take to turn our frustration into positive action?

1. Reframe the frustration
Sometimes we need to get frustrated enough to make a change – and without that sense of frustration we only find excuses. Frustration is an uncomfortable emotion but it can force us to become accountable. For this reason we should look at frustration as a response to something we don’t like and appreciate it for acting as a messenger to tell you to take action one way or other.

2. Remember your values
Part of living a conscious life involves honouring your core values, and as long as you are doing this you will be able to listen to your irritation with an open mind. Generally frustration is caused because something is taking us away from our personal values. So when you start to feel frustrated, ask yourself what value isn’t being met and how you can make a change so that it is met. Making this change may not be easy, but it’ll be necessary in eliminating your frustration. If you continue your patterns, your frustration will remain – it may be dormant for a while, but it’ll return with vengeance if you ignore it for long enough which can cause you to act irrationally.

3. Analyse the frustration
Take a good look at what is truly bothering you and the options you can take. When you face your truth head on, the energy in the feeling will dissolve which enables you to make a choice with a more empowered mindset. Whatever your frustration is about, but particularly if it’s about your patterns of thinking or behaviour, life in general, work or study, there’s no denying that nothing will change as long as we continue to do the same thing. If you get frustrated enough, your habits will change – allow it to change your direction.

4. If the frustration is about others – refocus!
You can’t control others. Accept that you are only responsible for your feelings and responses – as is everyone else. If someone else’s actions are impacting you in a way that evokes frustration, take your control back by stopping blaming them for the situation or the situation for how you feel. Focus on what you can control and influence and take action in that space – the rest will take care of itself.

5. If the frustration is completely outside our control – question it
Ask yourself what the feeling is really about, especially if you feel it frequently over things outside your control such as a business decision, government or even something spiritual. Dig until you get to the truth and use this truth as a clue to what you could be doing to make a change and which direction you should take. Instead of getting frustrated about why someone isn’t doing something about something, take action yourself. You may feel small in the scheme of things, but with enough passion behind you, I guarantee you’ll make a positive difference to the world.

6. Continue to work towards your goals
Keep your dreams alive and stay on track by continuing to work towards your goals and not letting anything stop you from achieving what you set out to do. Your goals don’t need to be short-term, you could go for something even longer than your lifetime and align it with your deepest passion and greatest love. Frustrations tend to disintegrate faster when we are engaged in our own conscious evolution – in the meantime, be patient. If your frustration leads you to greater change, which weren’t in your initial goals, prepare yourself for a positive transformation!

Always remember you are in control. Don’t be scared of your emotions.

More inspiring posts about frustration:

Turning frustration into positive action by Cathryn Bond Doyle

Positive ways to deal with your frustration by Aurelia Williams

Turning failure, disappointment and frustration into accomplishment by the Ultimate Happiness Secret

Photo: Sarah Webb by Tony Palliser (Sydney, Australia)

Discovering your self-love: How to love yourself easily!


The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself. Steve Maraboli

Loving yourself is the key to successful relationships and fulfilling happiness. Drew Coster from Psych Central believes self-love has more to do with perception than actions. Read more here on Relationship Free.

Being conscious of our words and how they affect others


The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. Norman Vincent Peale

One of the greatest signs of success is when people try to stop you from doing what you’re good at by trying to bring you down. Actually, Habeeb Akande said it best:

Whoever is trying to bring you down is already beneath you.

In my experience, from many years ago when I had my own business promoting unsigned bands, it is these negative comments that can actually stop you going further. In fact, you’ll never know how close you were to success if you give up somewhere in the middle. And it only takes one or two people to get inside your head and plant that seed of doubt, that could cause you to turn your back on everything you’ve worked for.

Let me tell you, the biggest mistake you can make is to quit what you are doing based on a couple of complaints. Remember, the glass is half full, don’t forget who you’re there for and remember all your other followers and supporters before giving up. Sure, if you’re only making a difference to two people and one makes a malicious complaint, then perhaps it’s worth reconsidering if you should continue or not. But if you’re getting hundreds of clicks a day, and regular comments and it’s one person who complains … stick with it!

What inspired this blog today? A couple of things.

I follow a gorgeous Facebook page called “Dreams that come true” by Jolita Kelias, who recently posted this:

“Now that the number of my followers have increased immensely in the past couple of weeks due to the work that I do and the message I share, I started receiving plenty of promotional emails which I delete without reading and Hate messages from some of you. I guess some of you are having issues with another person’s happiness and goodness. So here is my message to you:
You have a problem with something, deal with it. Some of you write to me demanding to delete some posts you don’t like. So my answer is – You don’t like it, don’t look at it. No one is holding you here. The exit is in front of your nose – turn that way.
And to the ones who harbour beautiful feelings I say – Thank you for journeying together with me. Hugging you all. Jolita Kelias”

Today I went onto YouTube to look up trailers for some upcoming movies and instead came across these. This is how celebrities respond to mean Tweets directed at them (I found some of them hilarious!):

When I consider the whole scenario of these people going out of their way to be deliberately mean to others, all I could think was this…

The fact that all these negative people that are being referred to – all the trolls, all the complainers, all the “haters”, whatever you want to call them – they’re all old enough to write. Most of them can even spell. They’re all intelligent enough to access and use social media. Using that to deliver such hurtful, hateful messages in a bid to bring someone down who is working to pull everyone up is beyond me. Clearly something is going wrong with the values we are now teaching or maybe we’re overlooking values all together with much faster-paced lifestyles.

And not just the celebrities, but just people and their ignorance in general. Bullying is not ok. Anyone who follows my blog knows Happiness Weekly’s stance on that.

Trying to tear someone down when they’re on their way to success is not ok.

Interfering in anyone’s life in a negative way is not ok.

Pulling someone down when you see them succeeding is not ok.

In fact using words for anything negative is simply not ok.

We all have a right to freedom!

The intention of Happiness Weekly is to make a positive difference to many, many lives. This blog is dedicated to helping people, loving each other and building others up so we can work together as one big team to create a very positive and harmonious future for everyone to live in. If you wish to unsubscribe from something you’re following, and you’re not sure how, Google it! That’s what it’s there for.

If you’re not here to do that, and you’re on my page, or their page or any page that you just want to rip down, then I ask that you please don’t be there because these people are making a positive difference to many other people. And it’s not about you. In fact, I ask anyone with any negative thing to say about someone to first look beyond themselves. Why? Because a blogger can shut a page down and it won’t make a huge difference to their lives – if anything it could enhance it by giving them more time for themselves and to do other things they enjoy without the focus on others. But it’s not about them. It’s about the people who they are selflessly helping, who they are making a difference to, who will be hindered by the blog or Facebook page or other medium closing down because of your negative comment. Same goes for celebrities. What if these celebrities stopped entertaining because of the mean things people said to them? So that’s why I ask, anyone with anything negative to say, to think beyond themselves first.

And on that note, I wish to share this with you, it’s an absolutely incredible YouTube video by motivational speaker Lizzie Velasquez. It’s a little lengthy, but please watch it the whole way through if you have time:

Life Coach Darren Poke who writes the Better Life Coaching blog recently released this easy-to-digest blog about revealing our critics for who they are, it’s well worth the read. It’s called How to stop the hyenas laughing – a story about dealing with critics. Well done, Darren.

So finally I want you all to remember this: negativity can inspire rather than hinder. It can make people stronger. Everyone has a choice about how negativity will affect them. If you’re a blogger, or getting bullied, or have had hurtful things said about you that have knocked you down – which we all have at some stage – then look for the positive and keep going.

Don’t give up.

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