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5 Tips for Balance & Harmony in Your Life

Have you ever driven down the road when the sun was shining, the music on the radio was perfect, and all was good?  Remember that feeling of harmony and warmness?  It’s as if you were happy and you did’t know why, but it didn’t even matter.  That’s because you were in the moment of balance and harmony.  It’s a great feeling so here are five tips I’ve put together for you to help you feel balanced in life more often.

1.              Schedule time for yourself. It’s kind of like the whole airplane thing – you need to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help another person put on theirs.  Help yourself help others by making time for you first.

2.              Learn to be flexible.  Having a plan in life is a great way to stay organized and have clarity, but sometimes life events are not set in stone.  If something happens out of the norm and throws you off, remember to breathe, keep your cool, and be okay with change.  Some of the best adventures come from spontaneity.  Being in the moment can be one of the most beautiful feelings in in life.  Check out the links & resources at the end of this article for more about being in the moment.

3.              Prioritize. Take out a piece of paper and pen.  Hand write a top 10 priority list from family, work, fun, to staying positive.  If inner peace is important to you, write it down, make it your number one priority.  Knowing your priorities is helpful in the decision making process.  Often, when facing a decision, it’s easy to get lost and get stressed.  If you are feeling stuck, make your list, and then make your next step based on your true priorities in life.  Also, a quick note that your priority list may change throughout time.

4.              Build a support network. Balance & Harmony are awesome states to be in and having a group that you know you are close to and trust is key.  Even if you have three people in your support network, that can be enough.  Remember that giving is part of taking, and if your group is giving, you will feel balance more often, if you are giving too.  Support networks are great when you are feeling overwhelmed and need help, just like all of us do.

5.              Enjoy quality time with your loved ones.  Yes, you might feel great when you are meeting your life goals, but you will feel even better if you celebrate your friends and family.  Spending quality time with the people in your life brings sincere harmony to your heart.  When spending time with people, remember to listen to them and their needs.  Find out how the other person is feeling in life and find ways to uplift them.  That little tip puts the quality, in quality time.

Remember, the most important person in the world is you, and you enjoy meeting your life goals, spending time with the people closest to you, being true to your own priorities, being okay with change, and making time for you.  Follow these five tips, and feel lighter every day.

Resources

·      Ways to Find Peace

·      The Power of Now

·      The Five Love Languages

 

“The Best Kept Secret to Happiness”

How compassion is the best kept secret to being happy, healthy, wealthy and wise
Published on November 5, 2012 by Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D. in Feeling It
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Marketing executives want us to believe that happiness lies in a product that will taste delicious, magically fill our bank accounts, or transform us into a supermodel that looks not a day past 20. Our social norms promise that happiness will lie in status, accomplishments, relationships, and possessions. We are always on the lookout for the next thing: once we have the perfect mate, we look for the perfect home; once we’ve found the perfect home, we look for a bigger one, or a new car or a bigger bank account; once the perfect job is attained, we look for the next promotion or look forward to retirement or a new job.  We seem to be on a constant and futile chase after the promised land of lasting happiness. Dan Gilbert of Harvard University has shown that we are, in fact, terrible at predicting what will lead to happiness. Our norms, for example, would suggest that a winning lottery ticket would make our happiness scores skyrocket while paralysis would make them plummet. Research shows, however, that winning the lottery ticket, though it creates an initial rise in well-being, does not lead to lasting happiness over time nor does becoming paraplegic lead to lasting unhappiness.

A closer look at our own experiences as well as research data suggests that the secret to lasting happiness does not lie in any goods, relationships or achievements, but rather in what we can give: not just material gifts, but gifts of time, gifts of love, gifts of ourselves. Compassion and service don’t just make us happy but they also have a host of other associated benefits and may even contribute to a longer life. Here’s how:

Compassion Makes You Happy

brain-imaging study headed by neuroscientist Jordan Grafman from the National Institute of Health showed that the “pleasures centers” in the brain, i.e. the parts of our brains that are active when we experience pleasure (like dessert, money, sex) are equally active when we observe someone giving money to charity as when we receive money ourselves! Giving to others even increases well-being above and beyond spending money on ourselves. In a revealing experiment published in Science by Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton, participants received a sum of money. Half of the participants were instructed to spend the money on themselves and the other half were told to spend the money on others. At the end of the study, participants that had spent money on others felt significantly happier than those that had spent money on themselves. This is true even for infants! A recent study by Elizabeth Dunn and colleagues at the University of British Columbia shows that, even in children as young as 2, giving treats to others increases their happiness more than receiving treats themselves.

Compassion Makes You Wise

One reason compassion makes us happy is by broadening our perspective beyond ourselves. We know from research on anxiety and depression that these tense and unhappy states are highly self-focused. During stress or sadness, we are usually focused on the things that are going wrong in our lives. Research shows that depression and anxiety are linked to a state of self-focus, a preoccupation with “me, myself, and I.” When you do something for someone else, however, that state of self-focus immediately dissolves. Now think of a time you were feeling blue and suddenly a close friend or relative called you for urgent help with a problem. All of a sudden your attention was on helping them. Rather than feeling blue, you began to feel energized and before you knew it, you may even have felt better and had gained some perspective on your own situation as well.

Compassion Makes You Attractive  Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Wired to Worry”

Stealth Super-Powers

Deep within you are powers you’ll never know you have—until they’re unlocked by fear. By Jeff Wise, published on November 01, 2010 – last reviewed on November 18, 2012

Before he even knew what he was doing, Tom Boyle Jr. was out of the truck and running. He’d been in the front seat of a pickup with his wife, feeling relaxed after a dinner at a Tucson mall, waiting for the line of cars in front of them to make a right turn out of the parking lot. The Camaro at the front of the queue lurched into the street, wheels squealing, and roared away trailing sparks.”Oh God, do you see that?” his wife said.

Boyle saw it: the crumpled frame of a bike under the car’s bumper, and tangled within it a boy, trapped. That’s when Boyle got out and started running. For an agonizing eternity the Camaro screeched on, dragging the mass under it. As it slowed to a stop he could hear the bicyclist pounding on the car with his free hand, screaming. Without hesitating Boyle bent down, grabbed the bottom of the chassis, and lifted with everything he had. Slowly, the car’s frame rose a few inches. The bicyclist screamed for him to keep lifting. Boyle strained. “It’s off me!” the boy yelled. Someone pulled him free, and Boyle let the car back down.

The young man was bleeding badly. Boyle held him in his arms until the ambulance came. Then he sat on the curb, drained. He felt like he was going to throw up. He asked his wife to drive him home.

Today, looking back on that frightening evening, Boyle is deeply proud of how he helped the injured cyclist. But the one thing he still can’t figure out is how he managed to lift the car. He’s a strong guy, sure. But a Camaro weighs over a ton. “Today, right now,” he says, “There’s no way I could lift that car.”

Boyle suddenly found himself in a zone that he had never before encountered. Thrust into the intensity of a life-or-death crisis, he experienced an ancient and automatic resolve. So strong is this force, so alien to our normal conscious experience, that those who experience it report that it’s like being possessed.

Most of us tend to think of fear as a negative, as something to be avoided. But fear can have powerfully positive effects as well. Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts”

Are You Shy, Introverted, Both, or Neither (And Why Does It Matter)?
Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Published on July 6, 2011 by Susan Cain in Quiet: The Power of Introverts
Bill Gates is quiet and bookish, but apparently unfazed by others’ opinions of him: he’s an introvert, but not shy.Barbra Streisand has an outgoing, larger than life personality, but a paralyzing case of stage fright: she’s a shy extrovert.

Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Shyness is the fear of negative judgment, and introversion is a preference for quiet, minimally stimulating environments. Some psychologists map the two tendencies on vertical and horizontal axes, with the introvert-extrovert spectrum on the horizontal axis, and the anxious-stable spectrum on the vertical. With this model, you end up with four quadrants of personality types: calm extroverts, anxious (or impulsive) extroverts, calm introverts, and anxious introverts.

Interestingly, this view of human nature is echoed all the way back in ancient Greece. The physicians Hippocrates and Galen famously proposed that our temperaments – and destinies – were a function of bodily fluids. Extra blood made people sanguine (calmly extroverted), yellow bile made them choleric (impulsively extroverted), phlegm made them phlegmatic (calmly introverted), and black bile made them melancholic (anxiously introverted.)

But if shyness and introversion are so different, why do we often link them, especially in the popular media? Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“The Will and Ways of Hope”

Talent, skill, ability—whatever you want to call it—will not get you there. Sure, it helps. But a wealth of psychological research over the past few decades show loud and clear that it’s the psychological vehicles that really get you there. You can have the best engine in the world, but if you can’t be bothered to drive it, you won’t get anywhere.

Psychologists have proposed lots of different vehicles over the years. Grit, Conscientiousness, self-efficacy, optimism, passion, inspiration, etc. They are all important. One vehicle, however, is particularly undervalued and under appreciated in psychology and society. That’s hope.

Hope often gets a bad rap. For some, it conjures up images of a blissfully naïve chump pushing up against a wall with a big smile. That’s a shame. Cutting-edge science shows that hope, at least as defined by psychologists, matters a lot.

Hope is not a brand new concept in psychology. In 1991, the eminent positive psychologist Charles R. Snyder and his colleagues came up with Hope Theory. According to their theory, hope consists ofagency and pathways.  The person who has hope has the will and determination that goals will be achieved, and a set of different strategies at their disposal to reach their goals. Put simply: hope involves the will to get there, and different ways to get there.

Why is hope important? Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Dogs, Happiness, and Health”

Which is most likely to make you significantly happier and healthier?
Published on August 29, 2012 by Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D. in Secrets of Longevity

Many, many scientific studies reveal that being actively involved with friends and associates is an excellent predictor of well-being. There is even pretty good evidence that getting yourself more involved in a social network with others, such as by volunteering in the community, is a reliable way to make yourself feel better, both mentally and physically. Or, if you prefer scientific jargon, we could say: Individuals who are well integrated into their communities are much happier and healthier, as compared to the network-less lonely recluse.

Right now, tens of millions of people worldwide are spending time on THE social network, namely Facebook. So why isn’t everyone doing great? Is Facebooking just as good as hanging out in real life? Perhaps it matters what you are doing on Facebook? Browsing around, I’ve noticed that there are more than a few pictures and videos of dogs and cats in cyberspace. Most of us love pets, so does this kind of posting provide a double benefit? All the evidence is not yet here (as studies continue to trickle in), but I doubt that Facebook is the secret to vitality and longevity. read more

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Finding Your Voice”

Control is an illusion. Release it, and freedom emerges.
Published on July 16, 2012 by Jennifer Hamady in Finding Your Voice

People want control. We’re all desperate for it. What we wouldn’t give to have more of it in our relationships, our work, and our lives.

Not that we come right out and say so. Instead, we hedge a bit, asking mentors, coaches, therapists, and friends how to better manage our careers and other people. How we can change this or that aspect of ourselves or our circumstances… how we might better deal with specific situations and relationships.

Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with wanting growth and development. Yet that’s not what most of us are really after. Subtle as we try to be, the proof is in the pudding of our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions; in spite of all our questioning and questing, many of us feel pretty stuck. No matter the energy we exert, we remain in a standstill. Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“The Key to Success is in Taming Your Inner Critic”

Self-Compassion: Foster a positive self image to increase motivation and happiness.

Published on May 8, 2012 by Dan Buettner in Thrive

What is Self-Compassion?

Most people are familiar with self-esteem, but the idea of self-compassion is still in its infancy. This is somewhat surprising given that modern society considers compassion a virtue. If you doubt this, consider the Dalai Lama, who currently has just over 3.2 million Facebook followers! People who exhibit high levels of self-compassion are, in the most basic sense, nice to themselves.

Many believe self-compassion leads to people taking less responsibility for their actions, but according to a study at Duke University, exactly the opposite is true! People who have this quality work hard purely because it makes them feel good, not to meet someone else’s expectations. read more

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Feeling It”

Reading Bodies, Touching Minds

How eye contact, facial expressions, and body language are the key to connection
Published on October 1, 2012 by Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D. in Feeling It

Just by looking at someone, you experience them. Ever fallen in love at first sight or had a “gut feeling” about someone? You internally resonated with them. Ever seen someone trip and momentarily felt a twinge of pain for them? Observing them activates the “pain matrix” in your brain,research shows. Ever been moved by the sight of a person helping someone? You vicariously experienced it and thereby felt elevation.

We are wired to read each others’ bodies. Not just in terms of physical appearance but at a subtler and more complex level that lies at the root of lasting love, empathy and social connection. This process is called “resonance” and it is so automatic and rapid that it often happens unconsciously. read more

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com