Wow… I’m not really where to start with this one. I feel as I guess many of you do that everything right now is a bit surreal. Feeling as if you are part of some horror movie or you are just waiting for someone to jump out and shout. “surprise it was just a joke”.
The thing is our lives now will never be the same. Today’s post in part is about also how to make the most of Covid-19 Self-Isolation plus my rantings.
Watching what is happening in Europe and the escalation of it I’m convinced it will get to the stage where we will all lose someone that we know. Personally, I feel we should have been put on lockdown 7 or 8 weeks ago. But now is not the time to point fingers now is the time to pull together and become the community that has been seriously lacking in this country for too many years.
I remember growing up as a child everyone knew everyone. Everyone was an “aunt” or an “uncle” even though they weren’t. People would watch out for each other; fetch peoples washing in when it rained.
The shopkeepers knew my grandmother by name. The butcher would put aside bits that he knew she would like. It was a real community. You felt safe going outside. It was safe to let your kids go to the park on their own. We would go out on our pushbikes all the time and only come back when the street lights came on.
This lack of community really needs to stop now; this is our opportunity to pull it back. Be kind not just to our family and friends but to everyone. War, famine, poverty, there is no need for any of this to exist. Not if we all work for the common good.
Baby formula selling for £300 what the fuck is going on in people’s heads just fucking stop it! Be kind. Do you really need 200 toilet rolls? Be kind. Do you really need 10 bottles of anti-bacterial gel? Be kind. Do you really need to buy every single loaf of bread on the shelf? Be kind. For god’s sake, people be kind!
What is the name of your next-door neighbour? What are the names of the kids you see playing across the road? How many people on your street do you actually stop and talk to? I’m just as guilty of this somehow we have all managed to become something or someone that doesn’t rest easy with me. We can change this now; we can do things right. Not just for us but everyone else.
These are scary times. People who struggle with anxiety and depression will be going through hell right now and so will many more. These are people who don’t usually struggle with their emotions. People are losing their jobs. My daughter was made redundant last Friday because of the virus. Other people are losing their jobs, their businesses including myself. I have not had a client for weeks.
I have just set up a “not for profit” limited by guarantee community interest company. This was so that I can provide free complementary therapies to people in an emotional crisis and on a low income. If you want to follow my progress with the CIC please visit my webpage here and I will be updating it.
There has never been such a time that needs it more than right now yet there is nothing I can do. I am unable to raise funds. The profit from private clients was going to provide free treatment but without clients, there is nothing I can do.
Due to underlying conditions, I am now in self-isolation. The easy way to react is; now what? Try and utilise the time the best you can, decorate, clean, tidy, garden, take up new hobbies, paint, draw, sew, crochet the list is endless.
When your grandchild turns around to you in 20 years time and say. “Grandad what did you do during the virus – be the person that said I helped my neighbours not I went to the supermarket so buy 200 toilet rolls.
Try not to put people at risk; don’t think that maybe you just have a cold. It’s not worth it and you could pass it on or just be a carrier. Don’t take the risk. I’m not going to the supermarkets I can’t help but think of the sneeze covered hands on the trolly handle but that’s just me.
I’m lucky I have quite a few Exante sachets and bars left which I’m more than happy to live on. A good time to diet; there’s always a silver cloud of some sort. I’m also not going to the shops to get tempted by all the chocolate or “comfort food” as I see it. So for me there’s never been a better time and if you decide to do the same and do shop online use my code TRACEY35 and you will get 35% off your bill. I do get a little bit of money for suggesting that but not life-changing and I only recommend things that I use myself. But it does contain all the daily vitamins and minerals you need so you could supplement your normal food with a shake a day too.
When we get through this and we will we should have a street party on every single street on the same day. Come together and celebrate a new era of compassion, empathy, kindness and unconditional love.
Please everyone take care; and we will get through this.
So how is everyone going? Here we are in the early days of a new diet. The first day is usually not too bad as you are usually quite motivated. Although I find the novelty wears off by early evening. Last night at 6 pm I was thinking about spaghetti hoops on toast. Yep followed by chocolate but there you go that’s me. Fortunately, though I didn’t give in to temptation. There is a reason for this and that is the subject of today’s blog post which is what is the best supplement to take on a diet.
What Is The Best Supplement To Take On A Diet
Now I do stick to the four shakes but I have found that after the first Exante diet meal replacement shake and the last shake I need to feel fuller so at those times I make my shake but I add a scoop of collagen powder.
What is Collagen?
The skin-firming ingredient is actually created in the human body, making up a huge 90% of the bone mass and a third of all proteins produced. It is the connective tissue for the heart, lungs, muscles, joints, blood cells, arteries, etc – just to name a few.
From this, you’d wonder why your skin wouldn’t automatically reap the tightening and strengthening benefits as a by-product of producing the popular molecule?
The answer is simple – collagen is considered a fibrous protein, and just like any protein, it is made up of amino acids. Collagen protein will break down without the nine essential amino acids, which can only be obtained through consuming a protein (amino) rich diet.
For example, consuming dairy, eggs, lean meats, and soy can supply your body with these amino acids, enough so to combine and form enough collagen to benefit your body. Alternatively, without it – joints can weaken, muscles can break down, skin can sag… it’s pretty important!
Benefits of Taking Collagen
The side effects of taking collagen can be a feeling of fullness and for some heartburn. Regardless, these supplements appear to be safe for most people. I do find I feel fuller from adding collagen protein powder to my first and last shake.
Collagen for Weight-loss
The purified, high-protein content of hydrolysed collagen is known to be an effective, natural appetite suppressant, in which many clinical studies have proven the satiating effect to promote weight-loss.
Additionally, unlike some weight-loss-promoting products, there are no fillers, hormones, acids and it’s not produced with any forms of harsh processing that may affect the normal functioning of your body. Hydrolysed collagen is also proven to show a decrease in fats, avoiding clogging of the arteries and increased organ support.
Individuals can, therefore, benefit from losing weight by consuming edible collagen, due to a lessened desire to snack and helping the body feel naturally fuller for longer… without the nasty side effects!
Consuming collagen protein may reduce both the elasticity of loose skin and the visible appearance of cellulite during your weight-loss journey. This is due to the molecule being responsible for making the connective tissue in your skin, therefore able to thicken the skin and camouflage any irregularities!
Muscle Growth and Performance
Collagen is a powerful molecule that promotes a multitude of benefits to assist the needs and demands for athletes, bodybuilders, and everyday gym-goers.
Consuming hydrolysed collagen in the form of smoothies, protein shakes, and pancakes aid the promotion of a natural source of creatine in the body.
How Does it Work?
Your muscles rely on a direct energy source to maintain a regular function in the body – this is provided through the breakdown of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in your cells. The amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine form the creatine molecule.
Where Does Collagen Come In?
Collagen peptides contain two of the three amino acids needed to form a natural, energy-boosting creatine source in the body. The glycine and arginine duo in collagen may aid the production of creatine, helping to increase physical performance through repeated bouts of exercise. Arginine also helps promote increased muscle growth and maintain muscle mass.
Joint And Bone Strength
The high percentage of our bone mass, that’s made up of collagen, has significant control of how strong or weak our joints will be going about everyday life – especially those with an active lifestyle. Not providing your body with the necessary essential amino acids it needs to build up the proteins required for support, will result in the breakdown of proteins in the body. Not what you need when you’re trying to gain strength.
On the other hand, nourishing your body with the amino acids needed will build up proteins needed to strengthen many parts of your body, allowing for:
fewer aches and pains that could prevent any form of exercise.
an increased range of motion when lifting weights
the strength to be able to increase the intensity of exercise/lift more
Collagen For Sleep
A decent sleeping pattern can do miraculous things for your body. Besides the obvious factor of making you feel less tired and lethargic during the day, more sleep can increase the quality of your health, improve your everyday mood and your sex life.
Plus, not getting enough sleep could be the reason you’re not losing weight too.
Multi=tasking amino acid Glycerine has the ability to help individuals who struggle to sleep or suffer from insomnia.
A study analysing the effects of consuming glycerine, in comparison to a placebo before bed, clearly shown the amino acid to reduce fatigue and have a tendency toward reduced sleepiness.
Collagen For Digestion
A healthy digestive system is a great base for a happy and energetic lifestyle. Alternatively, a weak digestive system can result in feeling sluggish and lethargic, make you feel demotivated and it can additionally cause stomach pains – in other words, you definitely won’t feel like exercising. Does this sound like you?
Collagen can contribute to a healthier, less agitated digestive system due to the soothing properties of one of the amino acids glycine.
Just in case you’re interested in the sciencey bit..
When meat is consumed, amino acids cysteine and tryptophan are released into the bloodstream, which can suppress normal thyroid functioning. This can lead to the brain receiving signals to break down muscle rather than fat for energy also having a potential domino effect causing fatigue, inflammatory conditions, and a weakened immune system.
Glycine from collagen can help even out the absorption of these amino acids, building a smoother, ‘protective-like’ guard in the digestive tract.
So by taking collagen peptides you can improve your joint health, support bone strength, promote healthy aging, boost skin beauty, support connective tissues and prevent injuries. Some other potential things that collagen may help with include: maintaining a healthy gut, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing anxiety, improving mood, and promoting healthy nail and hair growth. As I have already mentioned I use one scoop in the morning and one at night in my last shake.
At this point I want to say I am not a nutritionist, I’m not an expert on supplements. All I can say is that I have learned these things from my own research and trial and error over the past couple of years. The best supplements including Collagen I have found is by My Protein (also recommended to me by the PHD nutritionist that worked with us on The Fast Fix alongside the Exante meal replacement meals). I use the unflavoured version and it comes with a scoop inside the packet. To look at this product please click here.
Improve Your Skin From Within
A doctor once told me that all these face creams etc that contain collagen are a waste of time; you need to ingest it which makes perfect sense to me. So if you want to feel fuller and look and feel younger at the same time I’d give some a go and decide for yourself. Each scoop contains 90 calories and 22g protein.
The take-home message is that by adding collagen protein to your diet might just be the answer to your problems. (Laura Bowden)
If you decide to try some please let me and the readers know how you get on.
As I started my diet yesterday my weigh-in dates will be every Wednesday so watch this space.
I’d love to know how many people make this as one of their New Year Resolutions. I’ve lost count how many years I’ve said that and stuck to it. The only time I reached that goal was when I took part in The Fast Fix using Exante meal replacement products. As said in my previous post I’ve had a bit of a break from dieting, counting calories, etc over the past six months for various reasons.
To be honest, I’m sick to death of chocolate and the indulgences you have over Christmas; I feel yuck, bloated, sluggish actually I feel like a slug! I actually can’t wait until New Years Day to get stuck in with my shakes – I’ve actually really missed them. If it was up to me I’d start them now but I know readers are taking part from New Years Day so I will be joining them with their journey.
I will be doing a variety of posts to help motivate. I had a lot on my old website but because of the computer hacker, I lost so much work. But I’m going to think of it as a fresh start. So if you want to join me please do. If you are doing the Exante diet please click here to visit their site. They have various offers on and there is also my exclusive code of TRACEY35 to get 35% off your shop.
2. Walking The Dog For Longer
My second resolution is to take Harvey Houdini, my trusty canine sidekick, on longer walks. This is for two reasons it’s good for him and it will be good for me. Exercise even 30 minutes a day (which can even be two lots of 15 minutes) It’s the total that is important. So if you have a dog and you walk him or her once change it to twice. If you already do it twice do each one for 5 minutes longer etc.
Those minutes quickly add up and also being out in nature and some sun or fresh air works wonders. If you did watch The Fast Fix you might remember the effect of 5 minutes gentle walking every hour had absolutely amazing effects on lowering our blood sugar.
2. Successful Business
I decided to change my direction in life in 2018. Sick and tired of working in an office for someone else I decided to re-train and work for myself. This is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’m doing what I love every single day and also get to meet some amazing people along the way.
So hopefully by this time next year, I will have a full client list. I am now a qualified complementary therapist so I provide Reiki treatments, reflexology, aromatherapy, and massage. I am also currently on a Level 3 nail technician course so that I can provide manicures, pedicures and nail enhancements.
I have a business website which you can find here. My daughter has also taken her first step into her business and has become a micro-blading technician and you can find her business page here. One day it would be nice to have our own clinic to work from. Maybe that can be next year’s resolution.
3. House De-Clutter
As if I’ve not got enough to do already I need to add de-clutter the house on the list definitely. I can’t believe how much junk I seem to collect and struggle to throw away. I need a serious de-clutter. The last time I did it I felt as if I had a great weight lifted off my shoulders. It might be easier with a flame thrower but it needs doing. I’d hire a skip but I know the cheeky bastards on my street would fill it when I was asleep so it might be a man and a van job. Either way, it’s getting done. Then next it will be re-decorating; can’t wait for that (not).
4. Publish the Poetry Anthology
I am in the process of putting together an anthology; a collection of poems written by people who suffer from mental health and also by the loved ones of people that suffer. This is to raise awareness. The title of the book will be called “A Darker Shade of Blue”. I would also like to set up a social enterprise or not-for-profit organisation to provide complementary therapies to people in emotional crisis.
God this list could go on forever. Maybe my next post will be a 2020 “to-do list”.
For everyone who has made some resolutions good luck and please feel free to share some with us.
As my regular readers know my weight loss journey with Exante started 2 years ago. Taking part in the groundbreaking documentary; ITV’s The Fast Fix: Diabetes. I along with 4 others lost weight (a lot of weight), reduced our liver fat considerably and reversed our type 2 diabetes. All this was done in a short space of time also. We were looked after by 2 professors, a nutritionist, and doctors. I can guarantee if you follow the diet to the letter you will and can accomplish the same results as we did. Exante diet meal replacements are one of the safest and cheapest ways and they will show you how to lose weight fast and safely.
If like me you gave yourself time off from diets over Christmas and enjoyed yourself a bit too much (like me). New Year is a good time to shift those few extra pounds we have put on. I for the last month have been following a vegan diet which I have to say I have enjoyed; however, I will be changing to vegetarian now as opposed to vegan. This also means I can enjoy a lot more of the Exante diet meal replacement products. However, if there are any vegans looking to go on this diet Exante does have Vegan shakes.
Time To Get Stocked Up Before The Rush
Believe me, if you are wanting to do this diet you need to get your orders in before the rush. I have a discount code of TRACEY35 which gives you 35% off all meal replacement products. Exante’s codes vary so please bear this in mind when placing your order.
New Year – New Me – New You
So for anyone wanting to shift a few pounds please feel free to follow my new Exante journey. You can also find information on my blog when you are needing a bit of a helping hand and motivation.
Firstly, I need to apolgise I have been away far too long. I have been extremely busy with so many different things. That is no excuse I know but I’m back. I went through a bit of a “for fucks sake” period after the hacking when I lost everything and kind of gave up in all sorts of ways for a period of time.
However, my life has changed so much since my last post. I’m now a qualified complementary therapist. For those of you who don’t know what that is I am a reflexologist, aromatherapist, massage therapist and a Reiki practitioner; and I absolutely love it. This is the work I was meant to do definitely. Took me 50 years to find out but it is worth it I promise you. For anyone who wants to follow me on the complementary side of things please visit my website and sign up on the blog. That is the blog where I will be concentrating on health, wellness, mindfulness, etc.
Anyway along this journey I was pretty much out of my comfort zone and the old demon in disguise of biscuits and chocolate sneaked back in and took over while I’ve been studying.
It all came to a head, quite literally, when I recently had a bad fall and banged my head quite hard. When the ambulance came they did my vitals, my heart rate at that point was 142, my blood sugar was far too high and blood pressure was also on the high side. That bump to the head woke me up most definitely.
Light Bulb Moment
I got home from the hospital and had definitely had a kick up the backside. I’d let myself go and was so angry with myself. So much guilt, let my family down, let my fast-fix team down but most importantly let myself down. It had to stop.
The Fast Fix Documentary
So last week I watched The Fast Fix Diabetes again. The first time since last June. Something clicked big time inside me and watching it took me straight back to last January with my fast-fix friends, the whole team in fact and the people we met that were not shown in the documentary. I’ll admit I shed a few tears watching it but afterwards my head was right back to where it was back then and I’m now feeling empowered.
Back On It
The past 4 days I have been back on the Exante Shakes (Yes.. cherries and Berries Steve and Luke). I have not been following the Exante to the letter I’ve been doing my own thing which consists of 2 or 3 Exante shakes throughout the day but with a healthy dinner at night.
Mainly the dinner has consisted of chicken and vegetable soup with a slice of homemade wholemeal bread or bought bread with real butter. It has been working for me. In fact I will be making a lot of healthy soups moving forward. The one I have been having this week contains 11 different types of vegetables and is bloody gorgeous and extremely filling and I will share the recipe with you.
If you want to try the shakes and bars which are also fab (especially the lemon and the strawberry) or to read my story on the Exante website click here from there you can also find the shakes, bars etc. You can also use my money off code TRACEY35 which will give you 35% off your basket.
No More Guilt
I’ve noticed a difference already and it is only day 5. It has also got me thinking that there will be some others out there who have also fallen off the wagon too. So the reason for this post is to hold my hands up and say I’ve had a bit of a life “fart” but it’s ok. And this goes for all of us… Stop with the guilt… Stop with the biscuits, the chocolate and anything else that is on that bad list. But most importantly stop the food being in control of your life. You need to change your mindset because I am now in control of my food and what enters my body and that is how it is staying.
The Power Is Within
I’m at the point during week one usually around day 5, where we find it’s a bit hard but whenever my thoughts turn to the twix that I know is in the fridge I remind myself I am boss not the twix.
Over To You Guys
So I would love to hear from anyone else is cross with themselves, fell off the wagon or even want to lose a few more pounds. You can start this journey with me.
First of all, I seriously can not believe that it was one year ago this week that The Fast Fix was broadcast on ITV. It has gone so quick but so much has happened in that time also. So one year on from The Fast Fix and what has happened?
First of all, I am still not on Metformin to control my blood sugar which is fantastic. I’m still in touch with some of my Fast Fix friends which is also wonderful; definitely friends for life. One of which is currently strutting his stuff around a swimming pool abroad; lucky bugger!
The Fast Fix experience started back in January 2018 and for 4 weeks I lived with 4 strangers in a gorgeous house down South. We were put on a very low-calorie diet of 800 calories a day using Exante products. For more information about the Fast Fix and the products, we used please click here.
I have to say I still use these products as they make staying on track so much easier. I always have one in my bag, one in the car and anywhere else I can think of. Also, cherries and berriesExante diet meal replacement shakes are still my favourite 18 months on.
Now yes it’s great that all the above happened but I wasn’t expecting it to change my life as much as it has done.
I have gone from being a recluse, behind closed curtains 24/7, not talking to anyone to going to college to study complementary therapies. I now have my own business Karma Times providing people with massage, aromatherapy and reflexology and I finally finish my course at the end of July. But it doesn’t stop there I am going to be doing level 4 Complementary Therapies in September; to take me to a more advanced level.
This is not just because I want to but I want to learn as much as I can about something I am very passionate about. The more I learn the better I can help my clients. I also have started wheels in motion to set up a social enterprise, a not-for-profit, charitable organisation. I want to be able to provide complementary therapies to people who really need it. People who are in emotional crisis, and/or on a very low income and struggling with a chronic health condition.
I have seen first hand the effects that therapies have on people struggling and it is life changing. I mean seriously life changing! Not only will this improve peoples emotional and physical wellbeing it will also ease the NHS considerably.
So I want you to look at this blog post as a sign that anything and everything is possible. If I can go from recluse to a passionate individual on a mission to change the world you can too. And – for me, it all started by going on a simple diet with a bunch of friends.
You can do anything you put your mind to… It is completely down to you!
Ask yourself what can you be doing one year from now?
Thank you to all my readers over the past year and a half and here’s to our futures.
It’s been far too long since my last post but I have been super busy; mainly with college related things. So thought I’d get the old trusty laptop out and now it is the perfect time for an update.
I have been working like mad on practising reflexology as I have 100 treatments to complete to become a qualified practitioner but it is going great guns. Also, I have also found a fantastic little treatment room to work from and to use to build up my clientele and to practice from.
I must say I thought I would hate working with feet. My initial view was that I would study it as it is part of the course but won’t use it very often. My views have now completely changed I actually really love it. It keeps surprising me as I learn new things. There is definitely a correlation between peoples feet and their physical health. As an example, this week I gave a mini reflexology to a lovely lady and there were so many crystals etc in the intestine and bowel area and nowhere else. As it turned out she is waiting for a bowel operation.
Aromatherapy is something else I am really excited by. We are learning how to do consultations and make products for individuals. The first product I made for myself and I absolutely fell in love with it. My daughter bought me a very expensive face moisturiser for Christmas but the one I made myself is far superior and the benefits have been incredible. I’m not buying any others I’m going to be making my own from now on.
Essential oils are something I’ve been using and interested in for absolutely years but it is great to now be studying to become a qualified aromatherapist and I love the thought of being able to make products for individuals.
As well as making my own products I have become a consultant for Neal’s Yard. The quality of their essential oils and ingredients are just outstanding. So I will be using their essential oils etc to make my products. They also sell ready-made products for people who don’t want to have a personal aromatherapy consultation and I can highly recommend them. In fact, if you click here it will take you to my Neal’s Yard Consultation page where you can see for yourself.
Not only have I nearly finished my level 3 which makes me qualified I have decided to study level 4 in September; that’s how much I enjoy it.
The changes I have seen in people when receiving therapies has been mindblowing. It is because of this I am wanting to invite corporate sponsorship to enable me to do this. I have an interview with a reporter on Monday to discuss this further as they will be running a story for me. I also have a story coming up in the FHT (Federation of Holistic Therapists) International Summer magazine which I’m really happy about. There will be a lot more coming out about this shortly. I might also have a launch night in the not too distant future and will write about this nearer the time.
Also, it is the BIG 50 this year and my daughter told me she is going to take me on holiday abroad; which will be my first in over 20 years. Because of this, I’m going back on The Fast Fix Exante dietto lose a few pounds before I go. I think I’ve put a stone on since Christmas so need to shift it ready for the beach as I don’t want Green Peace trying to throw me into the sea.
For anyone interested in knowing more about the therapies I do please click here.
I shall keep you up to date with postings from now on and let you know how the weight loss is going, how college is going, and how a lot of other things are going. Oh you lucky lucky people you ;o)
Today I am going to share with you 10 ways to grow your own happiness. Are you struggling to shake off that gloomy feeling, or constantly shifting between cheerful highs and sorrowful lows? In the past you may have looked for a distraction to snap you out of a bad mood, reached for the chocolate or, if all else had failed, resorted to antidepressants. But if you find it hard to feel positive about life, the good news is that you can train yourself to be happier.
New studies suggest happiness isn’t just a product of a stable childhood or a naturally sunny disposition – it’s closely linked with the physical structure of the brain, which is something that can be changed.
Researchers from Kyoto University, Japan, have found those who rate themselves as happy have more grey matter in a part of the brain called the precuneus. Not only do these people experience happiness more strongly, they feel sadness less intensely and are able to find a deeper meaning in life. And previous research has found it’s possible to increase grey matter in this area of the brain – meaning that no matter what’s happening in your life, you can develop your own happiness, rather like strengthening a muscle.
If you’re wondering why you should bother, our mood can dictate everything in our lives, from whether we’re able to form good relationships to how healthy we are.
One key activity that has been shown to help change the brain is meditation. Studies have found that regular mediators alter the structure and function of their brains – an effect known as neuroplasticity. As a result of years of meditation practice, French Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard was shown to have increased activity in the left prefrontal cortex area of the brain, which is linked to positive feelings.
Ricard, author of Happiness: A Guide To Developing Life’s Most Important Skill, recommends meditating for 20 minutes every day. ‘Start by simply paying attention to the sensations of your breath going in and out,’ he advises. ‘If your mind wanders, which it will, bring it back to your breath.’
As you get used to this, you can use the same principles throughout the day whenever your worries start to get on top of you. When you notice yourself drifting from the present moment, you focus instead on feelings of hot or cold, or sounds around you. It’s all about consistency, though. ‘Regular practice is needed – it’s like watering a plant,’ said Ricard.
While meditation is an essential happiness skill, building contentment is also about doing lots of small things each day to lift your mood and cultivate positive feelings. Of course this won’t guarantee permanent joy, but getting into the happiness habit can act as a buffer against life’s difficulties, helping you bounce back when things are tough and allowing you to enjoy the good times to the maximum.
Yuna Ferguson, assistant professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University Shenango, USA, champions the idea of using meditation and other methods to enhance your mood. But she offers a word of caution about constantly asking yourself: ‘Am I happy yet?’ She says: ‘Rather than focusing on how much happiness they’ve gained and doing a kind of mental calculation, people could focus more on enjoying their experience of the journey towards happiness and not get hung up on the destination.’
To actively improve your mood, try out these 10 exercises, remembering to enjoy yourself on the your journey to thinking yourself happy.
10 Ways To Grow Your Own Happiness
Let Go Of Your Expectations
Often, the big things we think will make us happy actually don’t, argues Professor Paul Dolan, government wellbeing adviser and author of Happiness By Design. for example, parents report that bringing up children gives life more meaning, but it doesn’t actually lead to higher happiness levels. Similarly, money can’t buy you joy.
So forget about concentrating on what you believe will make you happier overall. Professor Dolan says it’s more about paying closer attention to what brings you pleasure in each moment. ‘We’re happier if we are focusing on the person we’re with, and the thing we’re doing right now.’
You could get the most out of family life by enjoying a Sunday afternoon out with the kids – and staying closely in the moment rather than worrying about the next week at work. If you’re playing with your pet, concentrate on the game instead of shaking a toy half-heartedly while watching TV. Whatever you’re doing, you’ll get more from it if you give it your full attention.
Turn Negatives Into Positives
Our thoughts control our moods, so it’s worth trying to transform a negative mindset into a positive one. ‘Positivity affects everything from how quickly we recover from an operation to how long we live – the positive among us live longer,’ says Rachel Kelly, who wrote Walking On Sunshine, to share the strategies that keep her upbeat after suffering from depression.
But how can you be more optimistic if you’re naturally a glass-half-empty type? According to Kelly, the first step to improving your mood is to simply notice your negative thoughts. It’s easy to allow them to spiral downwards, so make an effort to become more aware of any negative patterns.
‘Next realise these thoughts aren’t facts. It’s worth questioning them because many turn out to be false assumptions,’ she says. If you can’t successfully challenge a negative thought, accept it while breathing in. When you breathe out, try to find a more positive way of viewing the situation or issue. For example, if you’re feeling anxious that you’re going to argue again with your partner, tell yourself that if a row does kick off, you’re going to listen as well as talk calmly – the disagreement could actually end up being positive. Whenever you do this, the old neural pathways in the brain that process negative ways of thinking begin to fade and are replaced by positive ones.
One study found people who write down the things they’re grateful for on a regular basis feel more optimistic, exercise more and visit their GP less. The “three good things” exercise is a handy tool,’ says Rachel Kelly. “As you wind down for the night, think of three positive things that happened that day.
The more detailed and specific you can be, the better. Reflect on each one how it made you feel.’ Tell your partner how much you appreciate them too. Research shows that when people take time to express gratitude for their partner, they also feel more comfortable airing concerns and this can make the relationship healthier.
Do Something Kind
Doing something thoughtful for someone else is a proven way to boost your own happiness. The reason being it can help give your life meaning and purpose, and draw your focus away from your own problems. To get the most benefits, Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, advises against random acts of kindness such as buying a coffee for the person behind you in the queue.
While you might get a short-lived kick out of this sort of act, doing something another person truly benefits from gives you a deeper feeling of contentment because it genuinely helps them. ‘Its more productive to target someone who’s in need of a little more help,’ says Rubin. ‘Help a colleague even when you’re rushing to meet a deadline yourself, or go out of your way to assist an overwhelmed parent who is juggling toddlers and shopping bags.’
If you can’t shrug off that bleak mood, act as if you feel cheerful. First, put on a smile – research has shown smiling, even when you’re faking it, helps you feel more relaxed. And the more you can perfect a genuine-looking smile, the better – that means grinning so the smile reaches your eyes. A study at the University of Kansas, USA, asked people to hold chopsticks horizontally in their mouths (try grinning and holding a pencil horizontally in your teeth), which resulted in them moving their facial muscles to mimic a smile. These people were better able to cope with challenging tasks afterwards. This is because your brain is constantly monitoring your body to see how you’re feeling, which includes scanning facial expressions.
As well as painting a smile on your face, Professor Sir Cary Cooper, a psychologist and wellbeing expert, suggests that you can trigger a good mood. He says, ‘wear your favourite clothes on ordinary days and don’t save them just for special occasions. Put on bright colours and talk about cheerful things. This can make a difference and help you feel more upbeat.’
Clear Your Clutter
It’s been proven that being surrounded by clutter has a powerfully negative effect on your mood, according to research by neuroscientists in the USA. The mistake many of us make, says Gretchen Rubin, is saving up for one big tidy. ‘Mess makes it harder to focus and can leave you irritable,’ she says. ‘Instead, you need to de-clutter on a regular basis. Whenever you have a spare minute, clear a shelf or a kitchen drawer.
If you’re standing around waiting for the kettle to boil or your toast to pop out use the time to see what you could clear up – even small things like a recycling of junk mail, putting away teabags or hanging up a coat can make a big difference. Get rid of anything that isn’t beautiful or useful, too’.
It can be tempting to stay in touch by email or social media, but it’s no replacement for seeing friends in person. Plenty of studies have shown the happiest people spend more time socialising. And that doesn’t just mean having nights out with lots of pals – spending quality time with your partner is also important. Make the effort to snuggle up, even if you’ve been together for years, because frequent hugs can boost levels of the love hormone oxytocin, which encourages feelings of intimacy and closeness.
Making small connections with others throughout the day is also beneficial, easing stress and boosting contentment, says Professor Cooper. ‘Smile at people in the street, chat to bus drivers and people who serve you in supermarkets,’ he says. ‘This kind of everyday interaction can give you a lift.’
Do What You Love
For me this is an obvious one to add to my 10 ways to grow your own happiness and have been saying this for so long. Having a hobby that absorbs you is an important way to get sources of stress into perspective and boost contentment,’ says Professor Cooper. A study at the University of British Columbia, Canada, found people who spent time pursuing their passions were happier than those who prioritised their job.
So leave work on time and do something you enjoy. ‘One of your hobbies should be an exercise you really like,’ says Rachel Kelly. ‘I feel more alive when I live in my body as well as my mind,’ she adds. So instead of focusing on what it is you can do to lose weight or get fit, find something you really look forward to, whether that’s dancing swimming or running.
Toast To Good News
We often see a harsher version of ourselves than is the reality. So to give yourself perspective, be more attentive to your good points. Notice your achievements – at the end of each day, note down what you’ve done well, whether that’s completing admin that has been hanging over you, getting to the gym despite feeling tired, or lending an ear to a friend who’s having a hard time. This will build you self-esteem so you feel more in control.
When it comes to the bigger bits of good news, like getting a promotion or plucking up the confidence to ask a friend out on a date, allow yourself to acknowledge it by telling others – research shows those who share good news are happier and more satisfied with life. By choosing the most enthusiastic friends to tell you’ll get a more positive response, which will reinforce your own satisfaction.
Listening to upbeat music you like really can life your spirits. Studies at the University of Missouri, USA , found listening to positive music daily for two weeks lightened people’s moods in the short-term and boosted their overall happiness. There’s no other stimulation like music to arouse the brain,’ says Professor Paul Dolan. Make music part of your daily life – put it on when you’re getting ready in the morning, exercising or whenever you need a lift. Having a musical soundtrack to your day will help you feel amazing.
I hope you found 10 ways to grow your happiness of interest. I’m going to start applying these to my life; let me know how you get on if you do the same but remember it won’t happen overnight. This is something to be worked on, on a daily basis.
If you would like to add your own items to my 10 ways to grow your happiness – please leave them below.
Love these little beauties. Made out of ground almonds instead of flour. I will be putting the recipe on my keto website soon. As you know I’m on a diet (aren’t we all) not only to lose weight but to help my fibromyalgia symptoms. I miss biscuits with coffee but I can make these beauties and then I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.
Photo 2 – Keto Packed Lunch For College
Now I know carrots are a bit carby but they aren’t too bad as long as they are in moderation. So I had a few shavings of carrots for a bit of extra crunch mixed with baby spinach, chinese leaf lettuce, rocket, watercress, kale, tomatoes, spring onion, cress and cucumber with leftover chicken from the night before. As you can see I also had fresh coconut and a homemade salad dressing of Avocado Oil, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, MCT oil, Balsamic Vinegar with a little bit of freshly ground Pink Himalayan salt and black pepper – Have to say it was delicious. There was still some chicken left over so had the same thing again today.
Photo 3 – Back of Sewing Pattern
I’ve been inspired to get my sewing machine out again after watching The Sewing Bee (one of my favourite programmes and so glad it’s back on air). So I’ve been looking at patterns and this I took so I could see how much material I needed. I’ll update you with the progress of this item I can’t wait to get started on it.
Now I made this for my daughter. She is always at the gym and she likes to have a smoothie afterwards. So I made her this out of Exante chocolate meal replacement shake, 1 tbsp of collagen powder, egg white protein powder, a banana and 1 tbsp of peanut butter powder and she loves it! You can find the Exante chocolate shake here. Also for my new readers you can get 35% off Exante diet meal replacement meals by using my exclusive code TRACEY35 which is fantastic.
Photo 5 – My Son’s Baby Tortoise
I can’t remember the names of these little guys but I find them fascinating. This photo was taken on Mothers Day at his home when they were out having a bit of a run around well as much as a tortoise can do.
Photo 6 – Shepherds Pie with Cauliflower Mash
Yep food again you know me only too well. I know there are carrots in there but again they are ok in moderation on a keto diet. We are potato free in my house now and they have been replaced by mashed cauliflower which is fantastic even my daughter loves it.
Photo 7 – Prepping For College
I’m not sure why I took this and I don’t even remember doing it but this is where I study complementary therapies and a fantastic place it is too. I think that may be Amanda’s backside you can see on the left. Shall have to let her know that her butt is on the web.
Photo 8 – My Eldest When He Was Studying Drama
Found this recently and was so happy because I thought I’d lost it. This is my eldest when he was studying drama. This is one of the photos I took with me on The Fast Fix Documentary and had in my room. So proud of him and also of all my children. So lovely to see them growing and making their own way in life. Sometimes I wish I could do it all again, I miss holding them in my arms and holding them close. I’d do it now but I don’t think they would appreciate it. So all of you out there with little ones cuddle them as much as you can while you can.
Photo 9 – Importance of Play Time
I found this the other day and wanted to share it. I have been saying for as long as I can remember how important it is to play. To let go – To have fun – to celebrate your inner child. Life is too short and play keeps you alive. For instance for me it is being creative whether that is writing poetry, painting, drawing, sewing a dress, playing with the dog, it can be so many things but whatever it is that makes your heart sing do it and then do it some more!
Photo 10 – Something That Made Me Smile
I think this will appeal to my hippy type friends. You can’t beat a bit of sage.
Photo 11 – Face of Fibromyalgia
One of the worst conditions and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It’s about time they made cannabis oil legal. People are suffering unnecessarily in this country and I find it appalling. Children having over 100 seizures a day being denied something that will give them their life back but instead we fill them with hundreds of drugs just to fill the fat cat pharmaceuticals pockets.
Photo 12 – Harvey Houdini My Trusty Canine Sidekick
He’s still going strong bless him. Found his place next to me in bed. Not sure what would happen if I ever did manage to find a bloke they would have to fight over it.
Photo 13 – I’m Crap At Technology
This was me trying to ask Siri something but instead managed to take a screen shot. I can’t believe after all this time I still haven’t got the hang of it – no smart remarks 🙂
Photo 15 – My Dream (please come true)
I desperately want to get my garden sorted so I can have one of these in it. I’d be out there all the time. I’d also use it for massaging clients too. So if anyone wants to help me sort out the garden (a lot needs doing) you can get free massages afterwards.
There you go I hope they weren’t too boring for you.
Happiness is a habit that we have to practice on a daily basis. Life is full of uncertainty, fear, and struggle; but we can cultivate a practice that brings out the true joy living inside us at all times
It doesn’t matter what your age is or how much money you have in your bank account, your marital status or what you do for a living, we all want to be more successful in our lives. Of course, defining success is different for each us, but here are proven ways that can make you more productive, happy and successful in life.
Please feel free to share this list, add to it, and make it your own. Happiness is a habit that we have to practice on a daily basis. Life is full of uncertainty, fear, and struggle; but we can cultivate a practice that brings out the true joy living inside us at all times. These practices will make us more resilient and allow us to bounce back with more ease and grace from life’s challenges.
64 Tips for Living a Happy Life Starting Right Now
No matter what goals you have set for yourself in life, you have to be committed. It’s through commitment that you’ll continue to make the improvements needed to better yourself. Whether it’s taking a chance on launching a startup, getting a gym membership to improve your physical well being, or taking a cooking class because you want to become a chef, commitment is what drives us all to become more successful.
People care about you; not your success
Let’s be honest. People don’t care about the expensive clothes you wear, how big is the house you own or the car your drive. That’s not to say that they don’t respect your achievements or possessions. Instead, they care for you as an individual and they’ll support you no matter what — because they love you. Believe it!
Be grateful everyday
According to researchers Martin Seligman, Robert Emmons, and Michael McCullough, being grateful can result in feeling better about your life, more enthusiastism and more willingness to help others. Being grateful may even reduce coronary artery disease. Take the time to write down what you’re grateful each and every day.
Money can’t buy happiness
As The Beatles famously proclaimed, (money), “can’t buy me love.” You know what else money can’t buy? Happiness. Just because you’re earning six figures doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily content. Sure, money is obviously needed, and it makes some things easier. But, you should be focusing on your passion and not how much your paycheck is.
Don’t take rejection personally
At some point we all face rejection. Instead of taking it personally, use it as a learning experience. Why did a someone reject your proposal? Maybe there wasn’t a market for your product. Perhaps you didn’t have a convincing pitch. Maybe the their partner just called and said he’d spent their extra cash. Accepting and learning from rejection is one way to guide you to success. Learn from rejection and use it as motivation to make things bettter!
Have a backup plan
You never know when the unexpected is going to happen, but when it does happen, you’re surrounded by chaos. Being prepared for the worst case scenario can at least make things a whole lot less chaotic.
As Yii-Huei Phang states on The Huffington Post, traveling is a great way to “develop a person’s character” and become more open-minded. Additionally, while traveling is a great way to get away from the daily grind, it also helps you appreciate what you have back at home.
If you’re feeling constantly burnt out it’s probably because you’re doing too much at one time. Research has found that “when you switch away from a primary task to do something else, you’re increasing the time it takes to finish that task by an average of 25 percent.” You’re also burning your reservoir of energy. Both of these issues decrease your productivity and prevent you from accomplishing tasks and goal.
Embrace a growth mindset
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck argues that we have two-mindsets; “fixed” and “growth.” A fixed mindset “assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static.” A “growth mindset,” however, “thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”
Balance work and life
When work interferes with life, it can result in employees getting burned out and decreases base morale in the office. While this may not be an option for employees, it proves that everyone needs time away from the office. If you’re able to spend less time in the office by working remotely or having flexible hours, you should be able to be productive in both your personal and professional life.
Don’t hold grudges
There is really no need to hold onto a grudge. It can mentally wear you out and makes you miserable. And, doesn’t life seem to go a whole lot smoother when you’re not angry?
Stick it out
After years of studying both children and adults, psychologist Angela Duckworth found that one of the characteristics of successful individuals is having grit. During her TED talk Duckworth stated, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Live in the moment
You can’t change the past and you have no control of the future. Live in the moment and enjoy what’s in front of you right here, right now. When you’re busy making too many plans, you’re causing stress that prevents you from enjoying the present.
Take care of yourself, then help others
According to Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society at the University of Minnesota, “People who volunteer tend to have higher self-esteem, psychological well-being, and happiness.”
Additionally, helping others is beneficial for our health. But, how can you help others if you haven’t taken care of yourself first? Take care of your needs first and then begin to help others.
Giving: Do Things for Others
Give sincere compliments often. You can easily lift someone’s spirits by complimenting their work, attitude, style, or anything else you genuinely find remarkable. Not only will it help them but it will help you be seen as a person who is uplifting and nice to have around.
Say thank you to the supermarket cashier, coffee barista, taxi driver, or anyone else who makes your life easier.
Write a thank you letter to someone.
Hold the door open for the person behind you.
Carry a Homeless Care Bag in your car and hand it out when you see someone in need.
Relating: Connect With Others
Say “I love you” to someone you love.
Give someone a hug.
Tell your co-worker how much you appreciate the work she/he does. Be specific.
Have device-free lunch and dinner time with co-workers and family. Each person agrees to turn off their devices and have a meal connecting with only the people at the table.
Exercise: Take Care of Your Body
Take a walk and smile at everyone you pass.
Do 20 Jumping Jacks. This easy, do-anywhere exercise is sure to give you a quick energy boost and get the blood flowing. It also helps get creative juices flowing, so it’s a great break to take during work or when feeling stuck on a project.
Do a headstand. Headstands are a great way to flush fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients to the brain.
Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator.
Go for a bike ride, walk or hike with a friend. Getting outside in nature has a restorative effect on the psyche. Research shows that just 15 minutes of walking in a park or forest increased feelings of vitality and relaxation.
Awareness: Live Life Mindfully
Smell the flowers and while you’re there count the number of petals they have. Really notice the beauty nature provides us.
Watch the sunrise or sunset. Remember that no matter how difficult things get, the sun will rise again tomorrow.
Light a candle or fire and watch how mesmerizing the flames can be.
Eat an orange mindfully (or raisin, piece of chocolate, anything you have on hand).
Marvel at the all tasks your body performs automatically without you having to tell it anything. Breathing, feeling, digesting, thinking, yawning, blinking, sweating, shivering….how many can you come up with?
Trying Out: Keep Learning New Things
Ask more questions. Keeping your mind open to the marvels of the world is fuel for your imagination.
Visit a museum or historical site in your town or city.
Try a new sport, yoga class, or activity in your area. Studies have shown that learning a new sport increases the volume of gray matter in parts of the brain responsible for motor movement.
Learn to draw, play an instrument, cook a new meal, or learn a language. Learning helps build self-confidence and feeds creativity.
Teach what you already know. Teaching others forces you to take a new perspective and often leads to deeper understanding.
Direction: Have Goals to Look Forward to
Plan a trip. Having a holiday on the horizon builds the excitement of anticipation.
Create a Weekly Ritual. Rituals provide stability and comfort while also connecting you to the present moment. If your ritual includes others, such as family movie night, it becomes a great way to connect and nurture relationships.
Sign up for an event that you have to train for, like a mud run or a triathlon — bonus points for doing it with a group. The sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a goal after months of training is one of the greatest happiness boosters I know of. It builds confidence in all areas of life.
Break down larger goals into small, attainable actions that move you towards your goal. Have a weekly check in to make sure you are on track.
Find a mentor, coach, or teacher who can help guide you and hold you accountable.
Resilience: Find Ways to Bounce Back
Listen to your favorite happy song at full blast and sing it loud!
Meditate. This is a great way to build strength of mind, heart, and spirit. If you’re new to meditation start with just one minute of focusing on your breath coming in and out. When you get distracted (and you will), just begin again.
Smile. Studies have shown that the body can trick the brain into thinking it’s happy by flexing the zygomatic major muscle, which is the smiling muscle. So when you’re feeling blue, turn up the corners of your mouth and your brain will get the signal to be happy.
Be curious. Rather than judging setbacks or disappointments as bad or failures, approach them with curiosity, like a scientist. Figure out how you could improve for next time. Use everything as a learning experience and you will always be moving forward.
Lean into the pain. This may seem counterintuitive, but a lot of our struggle comes from the resistance we use to avoid being uncomfortable. Often times, once we open up to the pain, sadness, fear, etc., we release the power it has over us and see it as the temporary state it truly is.
Emotions: Look for What’s Good
Keep a daily gratitude journal. Each day write 3–5 things that happened that you are grateful for.
Make a Gratitude Board. This can be a chalkboard, white board, bulletin board, any type of board, that you can write or post things you are grateful for. Keep it somewhere that you see often so it serves as a reminder of how much you have to be happy about.
Make a practice of sharing the best moment of your day with family or friends at dinner each night. Knowing that you have to come up with something good that happened each night will train your brain to look for the good things in your day.
Know what makes you happy and do more of it. Does dancing put you in a good mood? Then make a point to dance a little each day.
Visit the Soul Pancake website. They create inspiring, heartwarming, uplifting, and humorous content guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Acceptance: Be Comfortable With Who You Are
Practice loving-kindness meditation. This type of meditation cultivates the awareness that happiness is accessible to us at all times.
Notice what your self-talk is like. Are you constantly criticizing and judging yourself? If so, try talking to yourself the way you would talk to a friend or loved one.
Have an open mind. The more accepting you are of yourself, the less you care what others think. This allows you to open your mind and broaden your horizons.
Challenge yourself. Step outside your comfort zone once in awhile and you will begin to grow exponentially. This can be as big or small as you like. I like to say each day I will do at least one thing a little more, or a little better.
Nurture yourself. Get a massage, go to a spa, take a warm bath.
Meaning: Be Part of Something Bigger
Volunteer. Whether your thing is teaching underprivileged kids, visiting the elderly, or helping clean up the environment, there are numerous ways to volunteer your time and feel part of a community.
Visit the planetarium. It’s amazing what learning about the solar system does for putting things in perspective. Even gazing at the night sky can have inspire feelings of deep connection.
Join a community group. Whether it is social activism or a recreational sport team, getting together with people in your community will make you feel a deeper connection to the world around you.
Adopt a pet. There are an abundance of domestic animals that need loving homes. Having another living thing that is dependent on you brings deeper meaning to your life.
Plant a garden. Tending to a plant, especially one that you will eat, creates an appreciation for the nourishment the soil can provide and a deeper respect for Mother Earth.
And there you have it, some of my tips for cultivating a happy life. I hope they provide some inspiration and motivation to discover your own best ways to live a happier and more meaningful life.