Do You Worry About What Other People Think?

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I hope that you don’t spend your life worrying about what “other” people think of you.  A friend of mine refuses to leave the house without her make-up on.  She thinks that “other” people will think less of her if they see her without her make-up on.  This extends to all people who might see her, not just people she knows, but anyone and everyone who might see her.  As a person who routinely leaves the house without make-up on, I find this to be a complete waste of time.

However, there have been times when after having a lengthy conversation with myself in a store, I will look around and be relieved that no one else was in the aisle with me.  I’ve been known to be overheard, and when I am, I simply smile at the other person and continue on my way.  The truth is that I probably will never see that person again, and who cares anyway.

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There is one place that people seem to feel immune to others looking at them, and that is while in the car.  When I worked in the city, sitting in traffic on the way home was the most interesting time ever (especially if you’re a people-watcher, like me).  I’ve seen people singing and “dancing” along to the music, (which is one of my favorite things to do in the car), talking to themselves, putting on makeup, and my favorite (and I’m sure yours, too), is the men (it’s usually men) who feel that picking their noses while in public is fine, since a car with many windows, apparently is not public.  So, when I occasionally get “caught” doing a few dance steps to really good music at Walmart or Stop and Shop, I truly don’t get upset.  After all, I haven’t been caught with my finger up my nose!

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So, don’t spend your time worrying about what others think of you.  Whatever it is that you’re doing, you can be sure someone, somewhere is doing something much more interesting!  Enjoy yourself, be yourself and don’t worry.  In the large scheme of things, it doesn’t matter!

 

 

Creating Happiness

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Believe it or not, material possessions and other people do not make us happy.  Sure, buying something new can give you a little “lift” in spirits, if that’s the way you think you should be happy.  However, that lift never lasts, and then you’ve got to go out and get something new again.  It’s a never-ending proposition and one that certainly will not bring you lasting happiness.  The same holds true with collecting new people.  When you look outside yourself for happiness, you will always be disappointed.  Whatever lift you feel initially, will not last, and will often leave you feeling even more empty inside.

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However, when we realize that the only happiness that lasts is the one we make ourselves, that is when we will truly be happy.  Happiness really is an inside event.  Only we can create our own happiness.  How can this be done?  First of all, you have to really know yourself.  You need to spend some quiet time with yourself, and find out what might make you happy.  Many times, unhappiness stems from not pursuing those things that really give meaning to our lives.  If you want to change your life, what’s stopping you?  Can you start small, and build from there?  We have an unlimited capacity to improve our own lives, even in just the tiniest ways, and happiness will stem from there, if only we try.

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By working on ourselves we can create our own happiness, and from there, we can change the world.  How can our own happiness change the world?  By bringing happiness into the world, we bring kindness to others, creating a new compassion for others.  Your changes help transform the world you live in.  It’s a pond with ripples radiating out into the rest of the pond where it eventually hits the shore and continues on from there.

 

How to Stay Positive

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Positivity is a mind-set that is hard to maintain in a negative world.  Every day there are many new injustices to deal with, so how does a person keep themselves positive?  This is a question that I’ve been pondering over for quite some time.  I’m not very good at doing this myself, but here are a few of the things that I feel help.

Number one is that I exercise.  Endorphins are wonderful things.  As a person who is just this side of depressed, I find that doing something physical every single day is a must for my mental health.

Another important thing is that I take St. John’s Wort.  I know that it doesn’t work for everyone, however, I have found benefits to taking it every day.

I have also found that it helps when I try to do yoga every day.  I’m not good at it, I won’t be posting photos of myself doing any positions on social media.  I haven’t ever taken a yoga class.  However, I do Sun Salutation almost every day both as a meditation, and a stretch.  Good stuff and I highly recommend doing it.  If there is one thing we all need to do is stretch and calm down.  This is most helpful.

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And, finally, the last thing that I do is that I try to work on my goals every single day.  I set goals for the week on Sundays, and try to get most of them done by Saturday.  The more goals I accomplish, the more positive I feel.

Share your ideas on remaining positive.  Maybe you’ve  got some wonderful things I could add to my list.

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Swimming

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I’m back in a bathing suit and swimming again!  I was that kid at swimming lessons who had already completed Jr. Lifesaving at the age of 9, but had to re-take all the other class due to the age restrictions.  While I was never a super-fast swimmer (I was a “pretty” swimmer with little to no splashing), I did a mean dive and was on the local swim team for a few seasons.  If it was summer, I was at the local pool.  My mother had us riding our bikes the mile-and-a-half to the pool from the time I was 6.  This was another time, when kids were much “safer”, or if they weren’t, no one actually heard about it.

So, for years I haven’t gone to the lake that’s just about a mile from my house due to my feeling I was “too fat” to get into a bathing suit.  Yes, I know, vanity captures us all at some point or another.  But, now that I’ve lost weight, I went out and bought myself a black one-piece, and the rest is history.

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I’ve been going early in the morning and swimming laps between the two decks.  The other day I was the only one there at 6 am.  It was quiet, meditative and nice.  And, the lake is too crowded to swim laps at any other time of day.  There is a pair of eagles living at our lake this summer, and I’ve been hoping to catch sight of them.  No luck yet.

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I really missed this and can’t believe that it’s been so long since I went swimming.  I think that in another life I may have been a mermaid; either that, or a narwhal (the unicorn of the sea).  I hope to improve by the end of the summer, and be able to complete more laps.  For the moment though, I’m just loving it!

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This is one of my favorite quotes. Love Dory!

 

The Benefits of Walking

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While we all know that we should walk more, there are now even more reasons to do so.  In a study published one year ago in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2047487316655466  low aerobic capacity was associated with increased mortality rates.  In other words, if you don’t walk, you will die.  Of course, this study was conducted on middle aged men, however, as with other studies, one can assume that it will hold true for women as well, since other scientific studies do show corresponding factors for women.  To back this assumption, there is another study http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288042.php  completed with 340,000 male and female participants showing that 20 minutes of brisk walking per day was enough to decrease the chance of early death by 16% to 30%.

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However, there are benefits other than fitness and lower early mortality rates to consider when a person walks.  For one thing, anyone can go take a walk.  We don’t need fancy shoes, we can walk no matter what our fitness level is, and we can control how long and how difficult our walk is.  Just the very fact of getting outside does wonders for our mental health.  We can get some sun (not too much), breathe fresh air, and enjoy nature.  All these factors are a mental health boost.  Not only that, walking in our neighborhoods gives us a chance to interact with our neighbors, boosting our sense of community.

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I go for a daily walk, and I find that it really helps me to be outside and getting some much needed exercise.  I love the boost walking gives me, and of course being in nature is so important to my own mental health.  Do you go for a daily walk?  Where are your favorite walks?  Do you prefer your own neighborhood or do you go to a park or a walking trail?  Have you felt the benefits of walking in your own life?  Let me know in the comments below.

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And of course, don’t forget to perfect your silly walk!

 

Rainy Weather

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This “spring” has been crazy.  We’ve had many days with temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s.  Last weekend I cleaned out both fireplaces, and my husband cleaned out the left-over wood in the wood room.  So, what kind of weather have we had this week?  You guessed it, most days didn’t make it over 60°.  The nights went down into the 40’s, and we had no heat.  Bring on the afghans!  I actually slept with my winter nightgown over my spring nightgown and socks on my feet.  The dog was chilly enough to jump up on the bed also.  Thank goodness, since I appreciated his warmth!  While this has been a bummer as far as enjoying the outside, my state no longer is in a drought, and everything is wonderfully green.  However, I really need more than just a few hours of sun peeking through the clouds.

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Thankfully, it looks like the sun is coming back, the clouds are in retreat and some warm weather is headed our way. Hopefully not too warm (I can just imagine it being in the 90°’s with 95% humidity this summer).  Hope not, but it is New England where it can snow in the morning and be 75° and sunny in the afternoon.

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I hope that you’ve been able to get out and enjoy your spring!  If you have, let me know what you’ve been doing.