Forgiveness is…

This week I had the pleasure of teaching about forgiveness in my mindfulness class with 5th and 6th graders. I was amazed at how well they understood the concept of forgiveness and the way they approached hurtful incidences. While some said they cried and talked about it, others used sheer determination to prove the other person wrong, and the rest confronted the others and stood up for themselves. The common thread that I noticed in the 3 approaches was the courageous and self-compassionate choices that were taken to let go of their pain.

Let’s Learn from the Kids

Whether through tears or talking, the kids naturally had a way of taking action to feel better.  We can learn so much from them. We adults tend to have such a difficult time at forgiveness that it’s costing us our mental and physical health.  According to the 2011 study in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, people who hold on to hard feelings have been shown to live a shorter life compared with those who make the choice to forgive. As a stubborn and proud person, I know that I am not perfect and can hold on to a hurt feeling like there’s no tomorrow. What I’ve came to realize, though, was that I was the one suffering and not the other way around. I was the one losing sleep, waking up with bags under my eyes, feeling cranky, and being miserable all day. It was I who was using this pain as an excuse to sabotage my diet or to use this ugly state to pick on the little things that I would normally tolerate. Practicing self-compassion has helped me tremendously. It’s helped me heal old wounds and made me healthier and happier.


Permission to be Human

As mentioned in previous newsletters I am certified in Positive Psychology, the science of happiness. One of the greatest techniques that I learned while studying this amazing field is self-compassion. Self-compassion has a way of helping us feel the pain while also giving ourselves a break. Self-compassion doesn’t mean that we are weak and the other is strong. It doesn’t mean that we don’t feel any pain—it’s quite the opposite. Self-compassion is all about awareness, forgiveness, and self-love. It gives us the time to make the best choice that will make us feel better. It also reminds us that we have the choice to take the control back into our lives by letting go of what no longer serves us.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the Best Call to Make

While forgiveness may not be the easiest thing for many of us to do, it is important to remember that it can possibly be one of the best acts of kindness and love that you can do for yourself. In other words, forgiveness is a choice that can set you free — it is the best call that you will make to become healthier and happier. Nobody can do this work for you. This is something that you and you alone must do to become happy.

Healthy Dose of Forgiveness

Just think about how much brighter and beautiful our world would be if people took a healthy dose of forgiveness daily. I bet that if people were to commit to a daily practice of forgiveness many pharmaceutical companies would be put out of business and doctors’ visits would go down drastically. Basically, forgiveness can put more money into your pocket and add more years to your life. Still not convinced? Here are some facts about people who tend to hold on to grudges. They tend to have higher:

  • Blood pressure
  • Facial muscle tension
  • Heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Loss of control
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

The Call is Yours

In a nutshell, the call is yours to make when it when it comes to forgiveness. Hopefully, I’ve shown you that holding onto grudges is detrimental to your health. Let’s start learning from the kids and not hold onto the grudges so that we can feel better right away.


Try this!

Next time you feel this frustrating feeling come on, try the following:

  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Go for a walk
  3. Allow yourself to feel the hurt
  4. Notice what your body is doing
  5. Say to yourself, “Permission to be human.”
  6. Repeat 1-5 until you feel better.

Remember to love yourself enough to make this courageous and self-compassionate choice.

Need help?

If you need coaching to help you with forgiveness and self-compassion, contact me at info@healthandhappinessspecialist.com so we can work together to get you to your winning state of mind.

 

Boost Happiness and Burn Calories within Minutes

This past weekend was full of laughter!

Last Saturday I started my 4 week Laughter Yoga™ class at a nearby yoga studio, and last Sunday was World Laughter Day. As a Laughter Yoga™ teacher I still get so amazed at the power of laughter and how it instantly transforms people. I love it when new participants come into my Laughter Yoga™ class with a perplexed, “I don’t really know what I am in for” kind of look. When I explain to them about what laughter is and how it can bring us to a place of oneness, they immediately see the genius in it. The reason why I wanted to learn this form of yoga is that it’s easy, playful, and non-intimidating. If you can laugh and take deep breaths then you can do it!


No Yoga Experience Necessary

It can be done literally anywhere. Further, it’s a wonderful way to get people, who are intimidated with the concept of yoga, to get the feeling of blissful mind-body-spirit connection that yoga delivers. Laughter Yoga™ can be done sitting or standing and with no yoga experience. I’ve had the honor of doing this yoga for stroke patients in rehabilitation centers, for seniors, for low income housing residents, cancer survivors, care givers, health care professionals, and even Harvard researchers!

As a nurse and a Laughter Yoga™ teacher I get invited to speak at corporate retreats, cancer survivor events, and hospitals. I really enjoy sharing practical information with people so that they can be inspired and reminded to add more laughter to their day. This exercise is perfect for those who can “use more laughter” in their lives.

Laughter Yoga word cloud with site-59210
Experts Seriously Studying Laughter

The science of laughter, Gelotology, is a field that has been getting attention from researchers since 1964. Researchers like Dr. Edith Trager and Dr. William Fry are the pioneers in this field.  In the 1970’s Norman Cousins, writer and magazine editor for the Saturday Review, was diagnosed with a painful and debilitating autoimmune disease. When his own doctors could not help him cure or manage his pain, he discharged himself from the hospital and checked into a hotel where he used high doses of Vitamin C and laughter to cure his disease. He found that 10 minutes of deep belly laughter gave him 2 hours of pain-free sleep.


7 Fun-Facts

Here are some fun and interesting facts about laughter:

  1. 1 minute of deep hearty laughter is equivalent to 10 minutes of rowing a boat or jogging!
  2.  Deep hearty laughter is an aerobic exercise.
  3. We can “Fake it til’ we make it.” Our mind doesn’t know the difference between fake and real laughter. We feel good either way.
  4. Kids laugh 300-400 times a day. Adult laughs approximate 50 times a day.
  5. It’s a social contagion. It’s catchy and people who hear it also benefit from the sound of laughter increasing the positivity in the environment.
  6. Deep hearty laughter reduces tension and boosts energy.
  7. Deep hearty laughter can boost the immune system.


LOL

Next time you find that you’ve run out of time to work out or if you are feeling low, why not try laughing? Start with a “fake” laughter and just keep going until you start feeling better. You don’t have to wait for someone to make you laugh out loud (LOL.) You can get started anytime. Remember, whether it’s fake or real laughter your body will respond to it and you will begin to release your stress and tension and pretty soon you will start to burn calories. Yes, with laughter you can boost your happiness and burn calories within minutes.

Interested in more ways to sustain a high level of positivity in your life, contact us at info@ultimatehealingjourney.com to find out. We can work together in helping you reach your dream of living a happy and healthy life.

Thank your stress away!

Hello there!

Here’s a quick guide to use anytime you feel stressed throughout the day.

My mother’s recovery from her double cancer surgery inspired me to create this technique.  Two years ago—just about one month after celebrating being breast cancer free for 5 years—my mother was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and lung cancer. It was one of the worst years of my life, seeing my mother undergo so much physical and emotional stress from her diagnosis and myriad of hospital tests and surgeries.

As a nurse, I knew how extensive and painful her surgeries were going to be. As a daughter, I was afraid of losing my mother and worried about my father who always relied on my mother. While I did my best to be supportive and strong, “the nurse,” for the rest of my family and relatives, I had moments where I would just break down and cry. Ironically, that year the source of my strength, besides God, was my mother. I felt so much better every time I saw my mother. I recall how she would laugh at herself when her hair was growing back and I remember the countless of times I heard my mother say “thank you.” One of the most memorable times that we as a family said “thank you” was when she got the results from her endometrial, lung, and thyroid biopsy (yup, they found a suspicious area there too) that all of her cancers were not related. This meant that they were not a metastasis from her breast cancer.

During each of her surgeries that summer, I would hear her say, “thank you” when she woke up and was able to get up from her bed by herself. She would say “thank you” when she would have enough strength to walk from her bed to the bathroom all by herself. She would say “thank you” when she had a restful night of sleep without bone pain that was caused from her chemotherapy. Her days were (and still are) filled with thankful moments from morning to night. She uses gratitude to fuel every action and every thought.

My mother naturally used gratitude as a way to become resilient and to thrive after that long, hard summer.

Next time you feel stressed or scared, try this technique that I call Thank Your Stress Away.

Thankful

I hope you enjoyed this technique. Please share it with friends who might benefit from it.

Need extra support in managing your work-life stress? Contact me at healthandhappinessspecialist@gmail.com!

Cheers,

Debbie

Your G.I.F.T.

Hello there!

I just want to take this moment to wish you a Healthy and Happy Holiday season.

Have you been running around like crazy these last few weeks trying to get ready for the holiday season?

And has that stress been making your feel overwhelmed and exhausted? I know the feeling. I’ve been there and so have hundreds of other people trying to make this season special for everyone but themselves.

I will keep this short because I know you are busy. I want to offer you a priceless present that will surely help you enjoy and savor this season. Here it is and it’s called G.I.F.T.

G.I.F.T. stands for “Get In Free Time”.

Try using this G.I.F.T. technique today to see just how much it will make you feel more focused, clear, and energized. Trying any one of the G.I.F.T. technique will bring you so much cheer that you will want to keep doing it all the time.

present

Don’t have time to do this, you say?

Think again! “Free time” doesn’t have to be an all-day affair, although it would really be nice it if were. It’s true that when it comes to time, the more the merrier matters, but let’s be practical here.

The best way to get “free time” is by accessing it in small bursts during the day or even during the week. This moment of time can be as little as 5 minutes or up to 30 minutes. Be imaginative and spontaneous when you do this. Remember, the whole idea behind this is to add yourself to your busy schedule so that you feel more refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated during the day.

Yes, it is possible!

Of course it is possible. I do this all the time and it has become one of my most priceless holiday traditions.  Not only does it give me a boost of energy and excitement, it also helps reduce my stress because I am able to have fun.  This technique has helped me become more productive and effective, giving me more time to do more for myself at the end of the day.

This technique is a great one to help bring the little child out in me and has helped me believe even more in the magic and miracles that are all around us at this time of the year.

Here are my top 10 suggestions in how you can start enjoying your G.I.F.T.:

  1. Go for a nature walk.
  2. Grab a cup of tea and “people watch.”
  3. Start (or finish) a book that you’ve been meaning to read.
  4. Call up an old friend and make a “play date.”
  5. Buy yourself a special treat from the bakery and savor each bite.
  6. Eat a meal without doing anything else. Savor the flavor.
  7. Take a nap.
  8. Meditate.
  9. Reflect on your achievements and “aha” moments this past year.
  10. Book a massage for yourself as soon as possible.

Have fun and pick one of these suggested techniques today to begin making this holiday season one of your best ones ever. Enjoy your gift of precious moments. You deserve it!

If you need coaching to help you find ways to add yourself consistently to your busy day, contact me at info@ultimatehealingjourney.com today. Or visit www.ultimatehealingjourney.com to learn how you can achieve the goals that you want.

 

Client testimonial:

“Debbie is the best speaker around happiness and living a balanced life! She is also a great coach who always knows when and how to help smart and successful women achieve what they truly want! Debbie gets it – and she is the best ever!” -A. Sanford