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.

 

Why Happiness Fuels the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection

happinessIf you want to further your happiness and success, then having a mind-body-spirit connection is vital. If you are overcome with stress, unhappiness and depression then your emotional well-being will suffer. You may feel as though something is missing, and you may feel as though your life isn’t being lived to the best it can be. Your body is connected to your emotions and your spirit, so when one is upset, the others will follow. So what is the secret to a mind-body-spirit connection?

Happiness

When we are unhappy, we become detached from ourselves. This is a natural reaction, one that we use to protect ourselves. If you can learn to be happy then you can strengthen the connection that you have within yourself. There are many things that may make you unhappy in your day to day life, whether it is lack of support at work or simply the stress that you live through every single day. Although these things can’t be avoided, they can be re-evaluated with a positive outlook. For example, instead of thinking how bad your job is at work, be thankful of the support you have around you, be thankful that you are valued enough to work that position, and be thankful that you are giving your family a better life. Once we can begin to look at life from a different perspective, we can then begin to feel happier within ourselves, strengthening our mind, body and spirit connections. Happiness has a way of helping us feel not only connected with others but also with ourselves.

Love and Relationships

You can also help to fuel your mind-body-spirit connection by looking at those around you. If you have a family, think how lucky you are to have them by your side. When someone puts you down at work, think about how much love surrounds you at home, as opposed to the negativity that surrounds you at work. When you begin to appreciate the things around you, you can then shut off the negativity, which is the first step toward achieving true happiness and a strong mind-body-spirit connection. Experts say that social relationship is the greatest predictor of happiness. So next time you are with your friends and loved ones savor the moments that you have with them. This will surely help sustain your level of happiness to greater heights.

Why Gratitude is Important

gratitude

Why Gratitude Is Important For Young Kids, Teachers and Parents

Everybody has something in their life to feel grateful for, but we don’t always have the time to appreciate it. There is now an increased awareness of the importance of having a positive mental attitude, and there are many reasons behind this. A mind which uses the belief that success will come is far more powerful when compared to a mind which has doubts and reservations. By taking into consideration the emotions which supply negativity, we can then begin to eliminate them from our lives, boosting our happiness and success.

Gratitude for Teachers

Many teachers will have a picture of their children on their desk, to remind them that they have something to feel happy for. This keeps them filled with positive energy, and in turn, this energy is passed on to the school children. As you can see, positivity is contagious, and it can have a huge effect on those around you if you utilize it to your advantage.

Gratitude for Young Kids

Children can pick up on our emotions, sometimes better than other adults can. Although they cannot always express this, it can really have an effect on their lives. For example, if a child attends a class which is positive and filled with opportunity, they will learn faster, be more engaged and they will also feel better about themselves through a positive learning experience. Although this form of gratitude isn’t the same as the example above, they will still feel the same emotion. Children don’t always know how to display gratitude, but by simply recognizing it, they can develop into thoughtful and considerate human beings.

Gratitude for Parents

If you are a parent, then you will certainly understand the concept of gratitude. As a parent, you may feel as though you are overwhelmed with your daily life, but this doesn’t mean that you don’t have gratitude for the things around you, it simply means that you aren’t showing it through your emotions. By showing gratitude to your children, your family and your work colleagues, you can be sure to feel more positive about yourself because it makes you realize how lucky you really are.