Category Archives: Happiness

As a Child, The Options Were Endless

dont disappoint yourself

I am 26 years old. I remember being little thinking those my age really had their shit together. “I’m going to have a nice car to drive around in and a beautiful house with a white picket fence for my gorgeous family to live in.” – just some of the thoughts I had when I was younger. I also thought I’d be married by now, maybe even have a kid.

Man, what little I knew back then. 

Now, I realize how much work is needed to achieve those things. You can’t just get married for the hell of it, which a lot seem to do now-a-days. Hey, you’ll get a ton of likes on Facebook and Instagram though, right? The sacred bond of marriage seems to have slowly dwindled away the past few years. Some couples jump right into it just to change their Facebook relationship status to “engaged.” And don’t even get me started on the cost of a wedding! Sheesh! If only I put money aside with those cut outs of wedding dresses when I was younger…

And the kid thing, everyone around me is having children. And don’t get me wrong, I am at that age now where this is supposed to happen. And it’s absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to have my own little bundle of joy one day. But… just like marriage, it’s the cool thing to do. So many kids having kids and people expecting you to have them by a certain age!

Me? I want to be 150% okay with myself before bringing a child into this world. Why? Because they deserve me at my very best. And my twenties have been… well, a learning experience. I’ve changed and grown into someone who I’m in awe of at times. And others times I’m angry with myself, but it’s all a part of the growing process.

I am 26 years old and things did not pan out quite the way I thought they would. And that is okay. It’s okay! Things don’t always go as planned and that only means there is something else in store for you that you were not able to “plan” for.

Keep going and moving forward… no matter how slow you may think you’re moving, you’re still going forward, and forward is the right direction. 

Advertisements

10 Things Your Commute Does to Your Body

Image

The average American’s commute to work is 25.5 minutes each way, according to a report in USA Today. That’s about 51 minutes a day getting to and from work, or about 204 hours a year spent commuting. You know that commuting can be a huge pain in the ass—but what does all that back and forth actually do to your body, besides put you in a crap mood when you get stuck in traffic for what feels like the nine-thousandth night in a row? Read on to see how commuting impacts your mental and physical health—and what you can do to offset the damage.

Your Anxiety Increases
A new report from the U.K.’s Office of National Statistics finds that people who commute more than half an hour to work each way report higher levels of stress and anxiety than people with shorter commutes or no commutes at all. While there’s not much you can do to shorten or eliminate your commute, you can make the most of it by doing something like listening to an interesting audio book. Check out these other ways to take advantage of the time you spend in transit.

Your Happiness and Life Satisfaction Decline
The same report from the U.K. found that people with commutes of any length experience lower life satisfaction and happiness than people with no commutes at all. Riding a bus for 30 minutes or longer was associated with the lowest levels of life satisfaction and happiness, but even if you’re lucky enough to bike to work and enjoy the beautiful outdoors, your satisfaction takes a nosedive commensurate to how long you spend doing it. Womp womp. If you want to feel happiness in spite of your commute, be sure to check out these 12 Things People Believe About Happiness That Aren’t Actually True.

Your Blood Pressure Temporarily Spikes
Commuting during rush hour—especially when you’re concerned that you may be late to work or to an important meeting—can result in temporary spikes in stress levels that jack up your blood pressure, even if it’s normally stable. In fact, a researcher from the University of Utah set up an experiment where participants were placed in simulated driving scenarios: They were told they were late to a meeting and had a financial incentive to get to their destination quickly. Half the group was put in high-density traffic; the other half “drove” in a less congested environment. The people who drove in more intense traffic had much higher reports of stress, as well as higher blood pressure. If you feel like you’re always in a rush, it might be worth leaving well before rush hour—even if you arrive at work at the same time as you normally would, you’ll definitely feel less anxious on the drive over. Plus, you may also want to employ these tips on how to use yoga to de-stress during the drive.

Your Blood Pressure Rises Over Time, As Well
A study of 4,297 Texans found that the farther the participants lived from where they worked—the longer their commutes—the higher their blood pressure was. High blood pressure over time is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. To learn more about how stroke is related to high blood pressure, click here.

Your Cardiovascular Fitness Drops
The same study out of Texas found that people with longer commutes also had lower levels of cardiovascular fitness and physical activity. Cardiovascular fitness is critical for heart health and maintaining a healthy weight. For more intel on maintaining your heart health, check out four great (and four terrible) things you can do for your heart.

Your Blood Sugar Rises
Driving more than 10 miles each way, to and from work, is associated with higher blood sugar, according to a report written by researchers from the University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and the Cooper Institute in Dallas and published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine. High blood glucose levels can lead to pre-diabetes and diabetes. To counteract the high blood sugar issue, check out these 12 ways to never get diabetes.

Your Cholesterol is Higher
The same report in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the 10-mile one-way drives were also associated with higher cholesterol levels among commuters. Scary stuff since cholesterol is a warning sign for heart disease.

Your Depression Risk Rises
The researchers from the University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and the Cooper Institute in Dallas also noted in their report that people with commutes of at least 10 miles each way have a higher tendency toward depression, anxiety, and social isolation. Sometimes it can be hard to determine if your down-in-the-dumps mood is a real problem or something that’ll pass. Check here to determine if you’re depressed or just feeling blah.

Your Sleep Suffers
The Regus Work-Life Balance Index for 2012 found that people who commute for longer than 45 minutes each way reported lower sleep quality and more exhaustion than people with shorter commutes. To get better a better night’s sleep and feel more rested, regardless of your commuter status, check out our story, “Why Are Modern Women So Exhausted?”

Your Back Aches
Spending hours a week slouched over in a car seat (either as a driver or a passenger) has negative consequences on your posture and your back; commuters are more likely to report pains and aches in their backs and necks, according to this story in the Washington Post. To counteract these ill effects, be sure to check out six ways to straighten up your posture.

 

[Source: Women’s Health]

Self Love

Self Love

Loving yourself is so important. Letting go of things that are unhealthy for you is a GOOD thing. It may be hard at first, not matter what it is, but in the end you will thank yourself! Letting go of certain things means you are growing as a person and should only be seen as a positive thing. Once you start to doubt yourself, there is way too much room for other poisons in your brain. You will continue on a self-hating rant. Wouldn’t you rather a self-loving rant instead?

Helpful Ways to Relieve Stress

Image

Whether your stress is coming from your job, family, friends, a relationship, etc. there are a bunch of different ways one can lessen their stress levels. Of course, it won’t be gone forever (don’t we wish?) but temporary relief is better than nothing! Check out some of the ways I like to alleviate stress.

1. Cleaning. This may sound weird to some people and even cause stress for some. But try it out and see what happens. Usually once you start, it’s harder to stop and you end up cleaning the whole house. It gets your mind off things and helps you focus on the task at hand. Throw on some music to add some fun to it.

Image

2. Cooking. This is for those of you who actually enjoy to cook. Pour yourself a glass of wine and make a delicious dish. Cooking can be very relaxing if you let it. And the best part is, you get to indulge afterwards.

Image

3. Working Out. The hardest part to working out is getting started. So, once you push yourself it will get easier as you go. After your work out, you will feel better than before and will feel satisfied knowing you didn’t back out of doing it.

Image

4. Yoga/Meditation. This is something I’ve only tried a couple of times but when I did do it, it definitely made me feel relaxed. Apple has a bunch of apps you can download to listen to soft, spa-like music and most are free to download. You can also look some up on YouTube if you don’t want to download anything. The music will help set the mood and make you feel extra peaceful.

Image

5. Take a bubble bath. Light some candles and take a nice, long bath. Even if your mind is still running rapid from the day you had, your body will be forced to calm down… soon making you feel amazing. Put on some soothing music and drink a glass of wine to really set it off.

Image

6. Get organized. This is another idea that some people may find to be weird to alleviate stress. But if you think about it, when things are cluttered and all over the place, your mind feels that way as well. So, once you have everything in place, neat and clean you will gain a sense of fulfillment knowing that it’s one less thing to worry about.

Image

7. Blast the music and sing along. Even if you can’t sing, let it out anyway. It’s sort of like screaming really loud and feeling relief after. The music and singing will boost your mood.

Image

8. Get a massage. You may think massages are expensive, but local nail salons sometimes do a better job and are less expensive than spas. I do this every now and then just to get some temporary back pain relief without breaking the bank.

Image

9. Take a road trip. This is one I wish I could do more. Take a short road trip one weekend with a friend, lover or even by yourself if it’s what you need. Just being away from your routine life and daily surrounding will give you a sense of serenity. And another great plus, you will have the chance to explore new things and see new places.

Image

10. Drink a glass of wine, or three. I mentioned wine a few times in this post so it’s easy to tell that I use it as one of my stress relievers. Get together with the girls and have a wine night or cuddle up on the couch and watch a feel-good movie to take you out of your element for a bit.

Image

What I Would Like to Accomplish by the Time I Turn 25

Image

Turning 25 seems like a big deal for me. It’s not like turning 22 or 23… you still feel young at those ages. For me, just turning 24 scared me knowing it was one year closer to 25. Since I was little I have always looked at 25 year-olds as people who were so grown up and had everything they wanted. Now that I’m reaching this age that is half way to 30 (eek) I am realizing I was very wrong thinking this! I thought by now I would have my college degree and have a good job and maybe even be engaged to someone. (This was my thinking when I was like, 15/16 years old) Boy, was I wrong again. I never knew that I would end up not having my degree due to finances, be at an OK job and not be engaged. I’m ok with the engagement thing because now that I’ve reached 24 I feel I am too young for that anyway. I’m in a relationship and I hope it comes to that one day, until then, I wait. I also remember thinking I would have such a nice car and go out drinking to places in NYC all the time. Ha! All that requires a good amount of money. I’m in the middle of saving what I can, but the last thing on my mind is having a nice, lavish car to drive around in. The point is… things don’t really ever end up the way you think. I’m in shock that my 25th birthday is this year. It makes me kind of nervous knowing I haven’t achieved certain things yet, but I always try to remind myself that not everyone knows their path right away. It also makes me want to do everything that I’ve ever dreamed of doing because life goes by so fast and I want to make the most of it while I’m still in my 20’s.

What I Would Like to Accomplish by the Time I Turn 25 (which is in 8 months)

  • Write a short story
  • Have a specific amount of money saved up
  • Have another trip planned
  • Have my credit cards paid off
  • Reach at least 300 followers on my blog
  • A healthy, fit body inside & out
  • Participate in another writing contest
  • More positive thinking

I will continue to add on to this last in the next few months and in September I will look back and see what I have accomplished!

10 of My Favorite “Feel Good” Songs

Image1. Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

2. Oasis – Wonderwall

3. The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony

4. Nicki Minaj – Moment for Life

5. Rehab – Bartender

6. AC/DC – Shook Me All Night Long

7. Incubus – Dig

8. John Cougar Mellencamp – Jack and Diane

9. Kid Rock – Roll On

10. Zac Brown Band – Chicken Fried

Those songs that get you pumped up when they come on the radio… the songs that make you day dream about anything and everything… the songs that make you feel alive.

Eat, Pray, Love – My Peaceful Spot

Image

If you could pack up and just leave where would you go? What places do you see inspiring you and making you a better version of yourself? In Eat, Pray, Love a woman sets out on an adventure to pursue the things she believes will give her happiness. What’s so special about these places you want to travel to that you feel you cannot receive being at home living your everyday life?

When I’m having a bad day or just day dreaming while at work… I picture myself somewhere peaceful, and warm with a slight breeze. I can see myself looking over an ocean or grassy hills while the wind is blowing through my hair. I’m on top of something, a rock or a hill. I have a smile on my face because I’ve never seen something so beautiful. I’ve never felt as happy as I am in that very moment. I breathe in air that feels pure and clean and when I breathe out I feel all the everyday burdens lifting off of me. I feel as light as a feather. I have my hair up, which I never really do while at home because I feel it looks better down. But, in this moment my hair is up so I can see the smile on my face. The wind makes it a bit messy, letting the strands fly up in the air and over my face.

Now, I wonder, where exactly is this place? There’s a couple of places it could be that I’ve always dreamed of going to. Tuscany, Italy… Ireland… or a place like Bali which the woman in Eat, Pray, Love actually travels to. Bali is attractive to me because she seems to really find herself and get in touch with her inner thoughts while there. This is what I feel like when I’m in my peaceful spot. I’m also alone. Maybe someone has traveled there with me and is out being a tourist or inside the villa making breakfast. But either way, my peaceful spot is just mine.

Until I find my peaceful spot, I live everyday waiting to get to it. Maybe under the surface it is what keeps me going. Knowing that one day I will find it and feel the breeze while I’m smiling big. My everyday life gets in the way of finding my peaceful spot here. I just don’t feel that it’s possible to find here, but that’s okay with me because I don’t plan on being where I am forever. So, after reading this think of your peaceful spot… you may not even know you have one. It’s the place your mind travels to when you need to go the most.

Image

10 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

Image

I always think back to when I was younger and how I had specific expectations about my future, not having any clue as to what was ahead. If I could go back in time and prepare myself for anything, it would be the following:

1. Save more money. Every time I received money for holidays, birthdays, etc. I quickly spent it. Now, at the age of 24, I wish I had some more money to fall back on when needed.

Image

2. Make the most out of your college years. If I could do it all over, I probably would go away for college and actually try my very best to finish. I would have stayed on top of financial aid and anything else that went along with schooling. I went to a local school and sometimes I feel I would have had a better college experience if I went away. Your college years only come around once, make them count.

Image

3. Don’t bother trying to fit in. After high school, no ones gives a crap what “clique” you belonged to. Don’t stress over silly people who one day will probably be out of your life forever. The only person you should care about impressing is yourself.

Image

4. Things will change – be prepared. You don’t realize when it’s happening but things change constantly and you never realize until you’re looking back on things. Your friends will change, your relationships will change, your looks will change. The only constant in this life – change.

Image

5. Take advantage & be thankful for all the things you have access to. We don’t realize until we’re older all the things we received as children that are now not as easy to get as adults. This goes for a couple of different things… anything from food, hot water, health insurance, schooling, a roof over our heads. If you were fortunate enough as a child, your parents or guardians made sure you had all these things growing up. All the necessities. Now as an adult, you hope you don’t get injured because getting health insurance through your job is too expensive so you just don’t have any at all. Everything comes with a price.

Image

6. Keep a journal/diary. Write down all the big moments in your life so you can read it ten, twenty years from now. You’ll get a good laugh at how silly you were as a kid and it will remind you of some fun childhood memories. It’s nice to take a walk down memory lane and you will want to once you’re older.

Image7. Listen to your parents when they tell you to brush your teeth. This may sound funny but it’s so true, they’re telling you this for a reason and if you don’t listen you will most likely pay for it when you’re older. The dentist sucks – plain and simple. And it costs money.

Image

8. Be adventurous as much as possible. Go everywhere you can and cause some trouble. Paint the town red and enjoy every minute of it before adult responsibilities get in the way.

Image

9. Eat the cake… eat the candy… eat the ice cream. Eat it all. One day your metabolism will slow down and you will definitely not be able to eat like you used to. Feed your sweet tooth.

Image

And most importantly…

10. Stop rushing. I remember being young and wanted to be a “grown up” so badly. Ugh, now I ask myself “why?!” You have no responsibilities when you’re a child, nothing to worry about. Enjoy it, stop rushing to become an adult because when it happens you’re going to wish you could go back to a time when things were much simpler.Image