Quick Technique to Relax and Replenish: The Green Break

Forest trees

This is technique that I learnt about recently that really helps you to have a proper break when you don’t have a lot of time.

A Green Break: Simple but effective

  1. Stand facing something green (this can be outside, just looking out of a window, at a plant in your home or office, even at a picture of something green and naturey)
  2. Focus on the greenery
  3. Breath in slowly
  4. Breathe out slowly
  5. As you breath in again raise your arms in the air and then down
  6. Move your head from side to side slowly, then down towards your chest. Relax for a moment here and relax.
  7. Drink a glass of water
  8. Still standing rock from side to side gently. Sway for just a moment.
  9. You are ready to carry on with your day

This technique was adapted from the marvelous book: ADHD-Friendly Ways to Organise Your Life.

Studies show that being in or around nature, and even looking at pictures of nature,  releases endorphins which contribute to a positive mindset.

Let me know how you get on!

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Gratitude to an Old Friend and Much Much More

The last few months have been really challenging at home and we all needed to get away.  As they always do with the Law of Attraction, things conspired to help us do just that in a way that was more perfect and magical than planned. Setting intentions, doing our best and then letting all the rest just happen in a way that was better than anticipated.

We ended up going to Brighton and then going on to Seaford to stay overnight with my marvellous kind and wise friend Trudy and her children.  And I’m so grateful to Trudy.  For offering us her home when we really needed a break, for listening to my endless rant (I had not talked that much in a long time – my throat was sore), for offering love, support and home.  I had not seen her in over 10 years but it felt like it had only been 5 minutes as is the way when old bonds are strong and deep.

There were lots of Simple Pleasures and things to be grateful for that weekend:

  • my eldest daughter came home to be with my youngest and make sure she was safe
  • listening to the sea from Trudy’s bedroom window
  • the chance to go down memory lane
  • sharing an adventure with the man I love
  • being able to see Brighton again in all its busy splendour
  • travelling through beautiful English towns and villages
  • seeing the Japanese rugby team taking a plunge in the freezing cold sea
  • being able to be near the sea again – seeing it, hearing and smelling it
  • seeing the most amazing stormy, dramatic sky that I have ever seen
  • getting caught in a heavy shower of rain
  • fish and chips opposite the sea front

Intensive Happiness Creation Day

Source: Intensive Happiness Creation Day

Ask for Help: A Happiness and Relationship Boost

 

Asking for help can be a stretch sometimes.  It can make us feel vulnerable.  But scientific evidence shows that people like to help.  It makes them feel good.  It boosts their happiness.  But we already know that – we all feel good when we can give someone a hand. And very importantly, helping enables relationship bonds to become stronger.

Sometimes we are so wrapped up in being independent and going it alone that we forget that relationships are the best source of mutual support.  Being able to help someone just makes you feel good.  But when we need help and don’t ask for it we forget about that.  And sometimes we don’t even realise that we need help – we are just used to getting on with it and ‘coping.’

Asking for help deepens relationship
From a scientific point of view science tells us that helping others sets off the Law of Reciprocity.  This is a deeply embedded social behaviour which enables relationships (and communities and nations) to thrive.

When we help someone it kick starts the Law of Reciprocity.  We help someone, they are happy and grateful (or occasionally not) to receive the help and they then feel predisposed to help you back.  This may not be immediately, but there is a level energetic ‘debt’ that lingers.  This idea can be evidenced in society at every level:

  • “givers get”
  • “karma”
  • “I owe you”

Of course, giving is often imparted selflessly with no idea that we will receive gain.  The gain can be derived just from the giving.  It just feels good to help someone out.

And its that good feeling of giving and receiving that creates and deepens relationships:

I help someone and that makes me feel good.  They accept the help and they feel better and they see me in a warm and friendly light.  Both of us start to develop stronger positive feeling towards each other and we begin to get to know each other better.  I then know that that person is someone that I can ‘depend on.’  They will be there when I need them most.

Money for Help: A clean exchange.  No relationship necessary.
Money is a funny thing.  Its a way to getting lots of help without the kick-staring the Law of Reciprocity.  You hand over your money, you get the thing or service that you need and bingo!  The energy cycle is complete.  Nothing more to be done.

Exchanging money for help is clean.  It’s not messy.  There are no blurred edges. But studies of happiness show that money is important to reported feelings of happiness but only to a certain degree. At a certain income level, having more money makes absolutely no difference to your happiness level but having good relationships does.

Law of Attraction and asking for help
Asking the universe for help is a bit like handing over money for help.  It’s clean.

  • You ask for what you truly, truly want
  • You get it
  • No guilt necessary, no karmic debt to pay
  • Simple

Deepen relationships with giving and receiving
There are relationships of all sorts and they vary in what they do for us

  • doing things – spending time doing things with others instead of alone
  • sharing heart and soul – communicating our thoughts and feelings
  • sexual – exchanging sexual energy and good physical, emotional and spiritual feelings

Good relationships increase happiness
Good relationships are reported to be the most significant factor affecting a person’s happiness level.  And sharing the good as well as bad times is part of  creating strong relationships that are rewarding. Part of that process is being vulnerable and asking and accepting help.

So what stops us asking for help sometimes?
Taken from the other point of view it can feel awkward and uncomfortable when you are not used to asking for help.  Some people do not life to ask for help.  They see themselves as independent and like that others see them that way.

Is this you?
You are normally independent and capable but now you need help.  You may feel vulnerable.  You may not know how to ask for help.  You may not even want to ask for help even when you feel desperate.  You may feel that asking for help will make you feel beholden or you may feel that your relationships with the person will change, in a way that you might not be comfortable with, if you ask for help. You may feel that you don’t have close relationships where you can ask for help.  You have always been so independent that you’ve never needed help.  Perhaps because of this others have never asked you for help.  Perhaps this means that your relationships are not as close as they could be.

So how can you get past this hurdle?  How can you ask for help and feel good about it?

When is it time to ask for help?

  • When you are stuck – you have tried everything you know how to solve your own problem but you can’t
  • When its obvious people want to help you but they know you are stubborn/proud and find it hard to ask or accept help.  They are ready for you to ask but you haven’t been able to.
  • When your inability to ask for help is holding you back both in your life and your relationships.  It might look like stubbornness from the outside.  It’s not.  It’s fear based.  You don’t want to feel vulnerable.

How to feel better about asking for help?
Back to the law of reciprocity.  You can use this in your favour to make you feel better about asking for help. Sometimes we don’t want to ask for help because we think that we would be beholden to someone if we did.  Ideas to feel in control of that energy inequality:

  • Go out of your way to create a Big Deal Thank You.  Find ways to SHOW your gratitude.  Not just in words but by creating something special.  A meal, a poem, making a gift, creating a thank you video.  Create a thank you that you will enjoy giving and that you know will mean something to the person that has helped you. Sometimes being embarrassed to ask for help means that you skirt over the help when its given instead of embracing it and being grateful.
  • Give them a funny IOU note.  Let them know that when they need your help they can cash it in and you will be there.
  • Instead of asking for help ask for an energy exchange.  “I really need help with this but I feel very awkward asking.  It would feel better to me if I could do something for you in exchange.  What could I do for you that would help you in some way?”

Do you need to ask someone for help right now?  How can you make it easier to do so?

This blog post was inspired day 10 by Natalie Sisson’s 15 day blog challenge.

 

 

How to Stop Distractions Getting in the Way

Do you have a project that you really want to work on that would make a big difference in your life, a hobby that would bring you a great deal of joy but you just never seem to get round to it because of the distractions in your life?

In Day 4 of Natalie Sisson’s blogging challenge, Natalie talks about the distraction of online things – checking email, Facebook, Youtube and that habit we are all partial too – pleasurably following links to goodness-knows-where land.  She discusses how these things distract us from the things that we really want to do, things that will benefit us in the longer run.

My main distractions are:

  • My own mind
  • Working from the family home

I get distracted by ideas and feelings and constant thoughts of what I should be doing (and not really doing them either).  I go off at tangents.  Sitting down at my laptop and focusing can seem like a great ordeal even though I love writing and blogging.

Working from the busy family home is a tricky one.  There’s lots to do and lots of people to be with.  I love spending time with my partner and family, just relaxing.  But then …. I get frustrated because I set myself the goal of doing a little work on here and then …. I just don’t do it.

Science of happiness
The science of happiness suggests that working on big projects and ideas that stretch us, even though they may be a challenge at times, really does reap great rewards.  Challenging ourselves, learning and working towards something ‘big’ really does up our happiness quotient.  In other words, its worth the effort.  Its worth pushing yourself out of the comfort zone of everyday life.

My solution
Nothing works better for me that taking myself off to a coffee shop.  For over a year now Costa is my favourite.  Even if its noisy I can work for hours.  You see, its not ‘my’ noise.  Its like white noise, it just blends into the background.  I find it soothing and relaxing working in coffee shops.

Once I’m installed in my favourite spot my mind chatter stops and I can just get on.  I’m captive there – no ironing, no ‘things to do’ list.

When I want a break, I can just stop and people-watch.  I’ve actually met a few really interesting people too.  And reunited with a really old friend.  We’d been estranged for years (a great loss to us both) and now we are back in touch.

How to get going
One of the important things that helps to motivate us is to focus on why we want to do what we want to do.

Get into the heart of why
What are the benefits of you forging ahead with your project, hobby, idea?  Make a list, think about it.  This focuses your mind.  It helps you give it the importance it deserves. Get juicy with it.  These are you motivations and motivations can be made stronger when you attach emotion to them.

What are your distractions?
Family, children, other things to do, watching TV, social media, working lots of hours?  There are so many possibilities.  We all have distractions. Identify what is stopping you.

What are ways round it?
Once you start to give it some focused thought lots of ideas will spring to mind.  Here are some suggestions:

  • ask for help
  • get a baby sitter
  • get up a bit earlier
  • go to bed a bit later
  • set a timer
  • put a do not disturb sign on the door
  • can you change your work schedule?
  • go to a coffee shop
  • get together with friends to do your activity – you can keep each other in check then
  • get an accountability partner
  • for social media – watch Natalie’s video to get ideas on how to block out interruptions on your computer
  • talk straight to family and friends
  • don’t answer the phone or door

Start small
If you are not used to taking time for you and your needs you could start very small.  Just take a little time each day, or week to work on your project.  If you have a family this will probably be useful for them too.  They will get used to you being focused on your needs in small stages.

That’s it for now folks!

What Makes Ali Perry Happy

I’ve been finding out what makes people happy for weeks and I only just realised this week that I hadn’t answered my own questionnnaire.  So here goes.

1. Out of ten how happy are you right now? 8

2. What ‘little things’ in your life make you happy and why?

the moon, flowers, colour, sex, massage, kissing, holding hands, cuddles of all kinds, coffee, the smell of lemons, the smell of jasmine on a warm summer night, sunglasses, Spring, meditation, the sea – looking at it, being in it and hearing it, reading, clutter clearing, being in coffee shops, creating things, conecting with people, looking at beautiful things, medical dramas, new stationery, my laptop, my mobile phone, my costa travel cup, the colour of the new paint on my bedroom wall, music, dancing, laughing, the freedom I have, finding bargains, thunderstorms, buying things that I really want and need, enjoying food and eating, yoga and my lovely yoga teacher Lesley, scrapbooking, the freedom I have – but of course this is actually a HUGE things, comedy films – rom coms in particular, learning, learning and learning !  Its endless it seems.

3. Which particular people in your life make you happy and why?

  • My children – we way they are making their way in the world. That they are kind but tough, creative, expansive.
  • Lots of my Allied Care customers. They are funny and full of life and personality. They have a lot to deal with but they are survivors – they enjoy laughing and they are tough.
  • Glenda Phillpot – the Purple Poet – she makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.
  • My sister – she’s always there for me and always has been.
  • My very old friend Diana Miller who has just come back into my life again – yay!
  • My ex-mother in law Stella Perry who saw me grow into a women and is still part of my life.

4. What do you feel would give you more happiness in your life right now?

  • Being with a man I love all the time. Giving it a go. Making a new life together. Doing new things but as part of a team. Being with someone instead of doing everything by myself.
  • Using my time more wisely. Having a more balanced energy to do this. Making the most of every second instead of squandering it with petty worries and anxieties.
  • Being more trusting

5. What makes you happy about being a woman and why?

  • That I have given birth. Wow. The whole idea of it still amazes me, our bodies and what they can do. Also I loved being pregnant and childbirth
  • My soft gentle body
  • Having breasts
  • Having periods – I actually like the cycles of life!
  • That I breast fed my children
  • We have more social choices – what to wear, how we wear it, if we cry in public, if we don’t, if we are tough, if we are gentle – we are not bound by so many social conventions like men
  • I love being a woman if you haven’t guessed! That I can be whoever I want. I can be soft, I can be tough, I can be vulnerable, without question or critique.

6. What makes you happy about men and why?

Of course I am going to generalise here but …..

  • Their physical strength
  • Their personal presence
  • Their pride
  • The way they will do almost anything for the woman they love
  • Their independence – most men just need one person – usually their woman
  • Its hard to put into words but their ‘essence’

7. What would make you more happy in the future and why?

  • More financial independence. This would give me more freedom and choices.
  • Seeing more of my family

8. Out of ten how happy are you after answering these questions?

9

What Does Your Heart Tell You?

What Does Your Heart Tell You?

What Does Your Heart Tell You?