happiness

Your greatest challenge yet

 

You do so much. 

You manage your career, take care of your family, and try to better yourself. Yet there are times when all of that doesn't feel like enough!

It's that gnawing feeling of "I know I can do better. If I just....." fill in the blank with the problem of your choice! 

In most aspects of your life, this relentless pursuit of excellence is a good thing. Society rewards you for it.

But what happens when it doesn't serve you? When it burns you out? When you wish you could just stop sometimes?

I want to offer you the greatest challenge yet! ...to just be. Can you do it?

Watch this week's video to see if your up for the challenge!


 

Abundance for the win!

Well folks, this is it! The last video in our Holiday Survival Series! But the great news is that if you're reading this...you survived!!! Congrats on making it to the home strech of the holidays. Wrap up your holiday season this week by enjoying the greatest gift- all that you already have!

Most of us live from a place of scarcity and not having/being enough the majority of our days. But that can be different.

This week's video will show you how to stop, drop, and find all the abundance in your life.

So take off your abundance blinders and bask in all that you do have right now!

{http://youtu.be/_AIXu888Fwk}

Did you share it? With whom? Did that start a movement (or even a small ripple) with others in your world? Don't be shy, share it with us on the blog or the comments section of the video!

Don't forget- stay tuned for our New Years series starting next week!

Happy holidays to all of you! Thanks for watching this series, and know that I am so thankful for all of you!

Create the Best Weekend Ever!

Brittany Drozd
Brittany Drozd

What if I told you that you have all the power in the world to make yourself as happy as you want to be?

Chances are you wouldn’t believe me. That’s because our consumption-oriented and instant-gratification seeking culture tells us that we can buy happiness. And to some extent, it works! We are happier in the moment of making purchases and enjoying them shortly afterward. But this kind of happiness is fleeting.

The reason why these purchases make us happy is that we’re excited and engaged in the process of actually buying them. That’s the key- being and staying present!

Ever go to dinner with friends and realized the time has flown and it’s 3 hours later? Or been into a great book and realize you haven’t checked your phone in forever?! That means you’ve been present and stayed in the moment!

Matt Killingsworth, of Harvard University, gave a brilliant TED Talk in which he outlined his research on happiness. Killingsworth concluded, “We're often happiest when we're lost in the moment. And the flip side: The more our mind wanders, the less happy we can be.”

This is even true of activities we despise - like traffic. Killingsworth assessed that when commuters are more present and engaged in their commute, they are happier than when driving while talking on their phones, on social media, or reading emails. You make think you’re being productive, but you’re just making yourself unhappy!

So how do you stay present?

This super easy tactic is bound to make you more conscious and present: ask yourself, “Is my head in the same place my feet are in?” You have the opportunity to bring yourself back to the present moment by focusing your mind on what you’re currently doing.

Why does a wandering mind make us so unhappy?

When our minds wander, they typically go to a few common destinations:

-       What I wish I were doing

-       What I wish I had

-       And who I wish I was

The space that exists between where you’re at now (doing, have, are) and where you wish you were (doing, have, are) is cognitive dissonance.  The incongruence that exists in how we feel about ourselves can be very uncomfortable and disheartening. This is the juice of what makes us unhappy.

What can you do about?

The good news is that cognitive dissonance exists only in our minds. We give it life, so we can also lay it to rest. Here’s how to erase dissonance in your life:

-       Activity: Think about the purpose behind what you’re doing right now. Is your current activity bringing you closer to a goal? If it’s a means to a greater goal, can you reframe your thinking around the activity? How engaged are in what you’re doing right now?

-       Possessions: Do you have everything you need? If you’re reading this article, the answer is likely “yes.” Only once all of our basic needs are met do we have the mental capacity to consider self-development, fitness, and lifestyle. There will always be someone with more possessions than you, but if you have everything you need, can you find more gratitude for that? Make a list of 5 things you’re grateful for right now!

-      

Who You Are:

We all have areas of shame in our lives that we usually don’t speak about. Our job, money, family, body, etc. But often these thoughts get out of control when our minds wander and stretch beyond reality. We make conclusions about ourselves aren’t even close to reality. Change this by staying present!

Take your weekend to the next level by using this tools to be present and live happier right now!

Use the #BYBS hashtag in all pics and posts of a happier you!

Are You Really Satisfied?

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Are You Really Satisfied? If I asked you to rate how you feel about your life right now, how would you rate it? A solid 8 out of 10, or more like a 5 because it could really be better?

Why do I ask?

A Wall Street Journal article posed this question recently: “Are you a Satisficer of a Maximizer?” The researchers asked a series of questions to see if people were generally satisfied with what they have (job, possessions, lifestyle) or if they found themselves always searching for the next best thing.

Why is this important?

What the researchers found is that there is a significant gap in “happiness” between the Satisficers and Maximizers. And the Satisficers come out on top!

Surprised by these results? At first it may seem that they’re suggesting you lower your standards. But what the research really suggests is that you need more gratitude in your life!

Come over to the blog to watch the video for ways to get more grateful and become a Satisficer!

In the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

Have you ever felt overwhelming nagging to have something different – a car, a job? Or, if you’ve been about to get over that “next best thing” search and have a story to share, let us know!

4 Steps to Being Heard!

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Do you ever catch yourself saying this: "How many times do I have to say it?" Or "why can't you understand me?" Or better yet "am I speaking English?"

Communicating with others can be confusing and frustrating at best! Sometimes it seems that those closest to us have the most difficult time understanding what we're really saying. But who's really to blame - them or us?  

Great communication is the result of authenticity and love-based efforts to be heard! Are your speaking from a place of love or fear? Psssttt - have you ever not send what you really meant or wantd? Ever held back or held it in? That's fear.

Use these 4 components to say what you truly want, desire, and value to get your needs met!

1.    Observing: The concrete actions we are observing that are affecting

       our well-being

2.    Feelings: How we feel in relation to what we are observing

3.    Needs: The needs, values, desires, etc. that are creating our

       feelings

4.    Request: The concrete action we request in order to enrich our

       lives

Watch the video to see how it all plays out!

What component works best for you? When have you tried this and it actually worked? What's an example in which you can use this strategy that wasn't mentioned? Let's start a conversation in the comments section on this video or blog post!

Your Key to Happiness

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Ever look aimlessly for your keys and they're nowhere to be found?! Yeah, this is kind of like that. Frustrating, but so rewarding when you find them!

Ever look aimlessly for your keys and they're nowhere to be found?! Yeah, this is kind of like that. Frustrating, but so rewarding when you find them!

Everyone’s always looking for the key to happiness. Trying to find it in their career, their relationships, and other external things. But happiness has to come from within. 
This is good news for some and bad news for others: the good news is that if happiness comes from within, that means we’re all capable of having it. We’re all capable of being happy. The “bad” news that it comes from within, meaning that you’re going to have to look in the mirror and dig through the trenches to find it. 
Sometimes it’s hidden beneath the very things we’ve been trying to avoid and ignore in our lives. Sometimes it’s smack dab in the middle of us and our relationships with others. But no matter where happiness is hiding, we need to do the following things to find it…..  [watche the video]
Wach: http://youtu.be/JHfWMvZ1ONU
  1. Draw a map. Where was your happiness the last time you saw it? Where has it been in the past? At different stages of your life?
  2. Make a to do list based on the activities you were doing when you’ve been happier in the past. 
  3. Be aware! How are you acting during the day? What’s your mood like? How are you interacting with others? All of these things impact our happiness, and you will need to be aware of what you’re doing now if you’re going to change it.
  4. Give a damn! If you want to be happier, then you’re going to have to make an effort, engage, and care about YOU!
When has this worked for you? When have you been happier in your life? What's something you already know helps you feel happier? I CHALLENGE you to write one thing in the comments section that you will change TODAY to make room for more happiness!

I want to hear from YOU! Send me your questions, suggestions, and comments on what you want to see and hear from me on videos, blogs, and newsletters! I want to give you exactly what you need to be your best self!

Who's On Your List?

I usually like to keep these emails fun, upbeat, and positive. But sometimes you just have to keep it real, and today is one of those days.

On a very real note, I would like to recognize the life and recent passing of comedian and actor Robin Williams. It's important to recognize that Robin Williams had been reportedly suffering from major despression and bipolar disorder.

We hear about these disorders in the media and from friends and family. Who hasn't made a joke about someone you know being "bipolar"? But these disorders are very real, have major impact, and can afflict anyone. So please take it more seriously.

Have you, or someone you know, struggled with depression or bipolar disorder?

 My guess is that you have.

What did you do? What helped you break through your deepe

st bouts of depression? What helped you turn it around to be in a happier place?

What or who was your motivation?

 What was your vision for yourself? When did you decide that this current state wasn't going to be good enough?

Sometimes in life we feel that we're very alone. That no one else is truly there for us. But every one of us needs supports. 

We need people on 

our sides, on our team, in our black book that we can call when life is overwhelming.

Write those people's names down. Make a list o

f the people who are your best supports. Remind yourself of who really is there for you.

Give them a call today.

 Let them know they're on you list of best supporters. People like knowing that they can be helpful for others.

Who's list do you think you're on? Give that peroson a call today, just to let them know you're there.

Life is hard enough. The best thing we can give to each other is our presence, our love, and our support. So please give this to someone today. 

Expanding Happiness

Join myself and our followers in a 

21-day at home mediation series

. Exapnding Happiness is a free series that promises to increase your happiness, share your true self, and foster greater connection with others. Join so you can share in the discussion to come.

You Vs. Summer - Will you lose?

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discipline1

Picture this: You’ve worked really hard since January to work out regularly, cut out sugar and carbs, and make your needs a priority to get healthy and improve your life.

Fast forward to July: You’re at happy hour on a Tuesday drinking beer and sharing nachos with friends. You’ll end up staying out late and feeling terrible for work tomorrow. You’ll soon forget the pain and repeat the cycle on Thursday, Saturday, and so on.

What happened???!! You were doing so well with your health and goals!

Even those with the best of habits and intentions succumb to the stronghold of summer. Its long, warm nights, laughter, and relaxation… Wait, what am I saying?! You’ve worked so hard to get this healthy. Are you really going to let it all go now?

You wouldn’t be reading RI Fit Magazine if you weren’t interested in your health and wellness. Summer can sneak up on you and attack your wellness goals and all the progress you’ve made without much notice. Before you know it, you could be back where you started – at your old weight, with your poor diet, and inconsistent exercise.

Avoid this regression by making a plan for summer success! Know your obstacles and determine action steps to overcome them ahead of time.

Here are some common obstacles that you’ll encounter this summer, and ways to overcome them in order to maintain your health and wellness:

You vs. time with friends

Who wouldn’t want to see more of their friends and family this time of year, whether it’s at a BBQ, the beach, or doing something active? The key here is quality over quantity. If you say yes to everything, you will end up exhausted and overwhelmed. Ask yourself, “How does this outing serve me? Is this something that makes me happy?”

You vs. the gym

Not getting to the gym because you’re spending too much time hanging out with friends? Get a sweat buddy! Tell someone your fitness goals for the summer and make a commitment to keep each other accountable. Find a time to exercise together, because you’re more likely to keep that appointment with them.

You vs. the food

Make a list of the foods you can have all the time, for example fruits and vegetables; food you can have once daily, such a dairy or breads; and foods that you never want to be eating, like super sugary foods or bagels. Make these three lists based on your diet and goals ahead of time to in order to avoid nutrition sabotage on a weekend getaway.

You vs. the beer

Who doesn’t like a Summer Shandy when the sun is out on a Sunday afternoon? The key to this one is moderation. When we tell ourselves “no” to something, it can make us want it more. Figure out the number of drinks you want to have based on your wellness goals and set that limit before you start drinking. Always make sure you have a designated driver too!

You vs. Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important wellness indicators that everyone forgets about. If you’re not getting good sleep, then your work, relationships, and fitness will likely suffer too. Set a curfew for yourself! Determine an amount of time that you require for adequate rest – aim for at least 7 hours. Starting from the time you need to be at work the following day, count backwards to the time that you’d need to be in bed to get your adequate sleep. This is your curfew time!

Share your summer tips and success stories in the comments sections below!

Seminar Countdown!

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With only 7 days until the start of the Build Your Best Self seminar, I wanted to do a 12-days of Christmas-isque countdown. See 6 and 7 below:

Day 7

There are 7 days in a week. Each day provides us with a new opportunity to focus our intention, find clarity in action, and pursue our greatest desires. What did you do in your last 7 days? Come join us to find your focus!

6 Days until the Build Your Best Self seminar:

Experts say we are all connected by 6 degrees of separation. But even with the people we already know, doesn't it feel like we're separated by even more? It can be really difficult to open up to the ones we love and speak our truth. We have fears of rejection, seeming needy, and feeling vulnerable. In order to Build Your Best Self, you need to rally the support of those in your life. You need to learn to communicate effectively, ask for what you need, and speak from the heart. Have trouble doing that? See you May 1st then.

Find out more information about the seminar on my vlog and email me at brittany.drozd@gmail.com!

Super Saturday

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This Saturday did not turn out like I wanted it to- and I mean that in a good way!

Ever have those days when you prepare the night beforehand to wake up early, be super productive, eat cleanly, and put some check marks on that to-do list?

Yup, that was my Friday night. Everything was going to go smoothly on Saturday.

Yeah right! Fast forward to this morning- Slept in, casually made breakfast, went shopping, cooked a big lunch.

At 4pm I looked at my to-do list, disappointed that I had failed at my "productive day".

This was my window of opportunity- either see today as a failure or enjoy all the down time I had in the morning and make the most of the evening ahead.

Right away I grabbed my yoga mat and headed out the door. At the front of the yoga class sat Ganesha- remover of obstacles (see pic above). I had been to this class several times, and never really noticed it before. But today, I kept Ganesha in my mind and intentions throughout the class.

I thought about this: so often we are our own worst enemies- our own obstacles to happiness and success. We're overwhelmed by to-do lists, distracted by all of our demands, and find ourselves spinning in a world we don't recognize. This definitely does not lead to feelings of success and happiness at the end of the day.

When we slow down and ask ourselves what we really want or need, the next step often presents itself. For me, it was yoga. Allowing myself to forsake my to-do list and indulge in some self care brought me greater happiness immediately!

And from there, my indulgences just flowed...and eventually led to baking cookies!

At the end of the day, my to-do list has no check marks, I didn't eat kale, and I wasn't too productive. So what?! Sometimes you need to feed the soul and re-evaluate what a successful and productive day really means. Choosing happiness and rejecting negativity can make all the difference- no matter what you did today!

What window of opportunity did you have to choose the outcome of your day? What would you do differently next time? Share below!

The Ultimate Success Strategy

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“Be a little selfish and do something for yourself every day, something different once a month and something spectacular every year.” -anonymous

Caretaker Syndrome

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Ever feel that some of your relationships resemble the picture above? You- taking care of a person who is supposed to be your spouse, partner, equal, peer?

Do you have days when talking with this person is more of a chore than an asset to your day?

Ever feel so exhausted by all the giving, listening, and care-taking you do for others that you don't have time to take care of yourself?

Want this to be different? Want to be taken care of too?

You first have to ask yourself 'How is this relationship serving you?'

There's a good chance that you're getting something out of serving others. Maybe it's a way to be close to the people we're taking care of, giving your life more purpose, or giving you something to complain about with others (this can be valid too!).

No, I'm not talking about taking care of Great Aunt Margaret. I'm talking about the relationships in your life that seem like you're the one doing all the giving, and when the tables are turned, this person is not there to listen, support, and validate your needs as well.

Get what you want out of the relationship by making the following changes:

Take inventory- notice the times when you feel drained after being with this person. What was talked about? What happened? How do you feel after leaving that situation?

Ask for what you want- These people aren't mind readers! Tell them what you need and see what happens. PS- this will be a pivotal point in the relationship!

Learn from a taker- Make sure you're not draining others with your emotional needs. Ask yourself 'Is the conversation balanced? Am I listening? When do I give back to them?'

Ever been in a relationship or friendship like this? Share your story below! How did it change? Or did it have to end?

Happiness is a State of Mind

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I don't get outside often enough in the winter. But when I do, I'm very grateful for the experience. During winter, I hear people complaining all the time about the weather, the snow, how terrible it is to live in a cold climate, etc. Yes, I'm guilty of some of these statements too. But you know what? They are just excuses! Excuses not to be happy. Excuses not to enjoy our day. Excuses not to appreciate the beauty of winter and snow. Excuses not to take responsibility for the choice we made to live where we do.

No, I don't expect you to wake up everyday feeling full of gratitude for every single thing in your life. But this is what I expect of you:

Take responsibility for your own happiness.

Choose to appreciate versus disregard the beauty in your life.

Recognize your life's abundance.

Here's how I met my own expectations today! How did you meet yours? Leave a comment below!

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be your best self,

Brittany

Good News: You can buy happiness!

http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_norton_how_to_buy_happiness.html We've all heard that money can't buy happiness - so Michael Norton tested this. And it turns out you can buy happiness! But it all depends on how you spend it. The Harvard professor found that when we spend money on other people, it makes us happier than if we had spent it on ourselves. He also found this carried over into work life and with sports teams.

So who will you spend your money on this Black Friday?

Shorten Your To-Do List Right Now!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmRAX6Gkg-4&feature=c4-overview&list=UUAFP2bl9nnwzZaillDMCd4Q

Happy Friday! Are you getting ready to enjoy your weekend? Or are you dreading it knowing all the stuff you have to get done?

Sometimes we feel so bogged down by our to-do list, it's impossible to be present and enjoy the time really do have for ourselves. What if we could reframe this to our "Want to-do list" versus our "Have to-do list"? What if we owned the fact that we are indeed choosing to do the things on that list, and no one is actually forcing us? Our thoughts >motivations > and actions would definitely change!

John Morgan is an inspiring, thinker, coach, and motivational speaker whose video is challenging us to see it differently. Learn more about John and Hero Club at http://herojourneys.com/hero-club/

Now check out his video about to shorten your To-Do list!

"Breathe in the...

"Breathe in the future, breathe out the past"

This quote reminds me to be present. In the moment. To let go of the worry and regret that often plague us as we consider our future and lament our past. I've read (from many sources) that anxiety is thought to be the result of a conflict when thinking about your future; and depression is the result of conflict when thinking about your past.

As a psychotherapist, I don't believe that the manifestation of anxiety and depression are so simply. And I don't believe that just being present will completely resolve those conflicts for people. However, our lack of presence as a society many be correlated to the higher incidences of anxiety and depression than seen in other countries.

So what can we do about it? Everyone experiences thousands of thoughts running through minds daily. Some thoughts come and go quickly. Others stay with us a little bit longer. Others elicit an emotional response which may make us angry, anxious, or sad. What if we were just an observer to our thoughts? All of thoughts. Whether happy or sad. What if we breathed our thought in, paused, and breathed it right out? How might that change our thought trajectories throughout the day. How might it impact the emotions or reactions we would have had? How might it make more room for the present if we were to let go of the anxiety and depression we held on to from the past and the future?

Mediation is an admittedly difficult practice. I struggle every time! It only takes a matter of seconds before I start dreaming of cupcakes and my to-do list. But we can simply remind ourselves to be and observer of our thoughts and push 'reset'. And then do that again. And again. Until we can gradually lengthen the time in between our 'resets'. Below is a link to more helpful tips on starting your meditation practice. Tell us how you did in our comments sections below!

http://www.artofliving.org/us-en/meditation/meditation-for-you/get-started-with-meditation

Sending presence your way,

Brittany

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