Laughter Is the Best Medicine

 Wonder what a big belly laugh can do for you?

Laughter can enhance your mood, your health, and your happiness.  Everything from a slight giggle to huge laughter feeds your spirit and also builds connections and friendships.

You may have heard of the book Anatomy of an Illness by Dr. Norman Cousins published a few decades ago.   Dr. Cousins was almost on his death bed, when he took up watching funny comedies and shows all day long for pain control.  He wound up reversing his illness.    Dr. Cousins later won numerous honorary degrees for writing his book, including the UN Peace Medal.

Laughter Yoga is based on this concept of healthy laughter that can be fun to do in group.  Start laughing and see how contagious it can be.  Keep the laughter going for 15 to 20 minutes.  I have a few exercises to try in a group later in this article.

A daily 15-to-20 minutes of laughter can do wonders for your health.  Researchers Dr. Lee Berk and Dr. Stanley Tan at Loma Linda University in California studied the benefits of laughter and found these results. Start watching comedy shows or cartoons to begin reaping benefits.

 

Blood Pressure Drops

They found laughter lowers blood pressure.  People who lower their blood pressure also reduce their risk of stroke and heart attack.

Reduces Stress Hormones

Researchers found it lowers stress hormones, like cortisol.  By reducing the level of stress hormones, you’re cutting anxiety that impacts your body. Also, it helps build a higher immune system. Laughter, even in the midst of difficult times, releases pressure and helps you cope.

Build Strong Abs

One of the benefits of laughter is that it can help you tone your ab muscles. When you’re laughing, your stomach expands and contracts.  It’s like exercising your abs, but so much more fun.

Improves Your Cardio

Get a great cardio workout with laughter.   Even those who are incapable of doing other physical activity due to injury or illness, may benefit.  Researchers claim laughter burns a similar amount of calories per hour as walking at a slow to moderate pace.  So, laugh more, stress less.

Boosts Your Immunity

When you laugh, you activate T-cells that immediately begin to help you fight off sickness. Next time you feel a cold coming on, add some laughter to make it go away.

Releases Feel Good Hormones

Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers. By laughing, you can release endorphins, which can help ease chronic pain and make you feel good all over.

Helps WellBeing

Laughter can increase your overall sense of well-being. People who have a positive outlook on life tend to fight diseases better than people who tend to be more negative.  Doctor’s order—smile, laugh, and live longer!

LAUGHTER YOGA

I have presented these exercises in my teacher trainings on mindfulness and they’ve been a hit!  You may feel silly at first, but try these exercises in a group of people, as laughter is contagious. Make sure participants can look around the room and see others laughing.  This is important and adds to the fun!

Exercise 1: You may stand or sit.  As you take a big breath, bring your arms over head arching back a little.  Then bring your arms down with laughter (Ha-ha-ha), having others join in and do the same. Keep doing this for several minutes.  Bringing your arms up overhead, and then down with laughter (Ha-Ha-Ha.)

Exercise 2:  Clap your hands in front of you 3 times, as you say:  “Very good, Very good,”  after the last “Very good,” lift your arms overhead, like the exercised before, and come down laughing.  (Ha-ha-ha.). Keep doing this same exercise for several minutes.

Have a good laugh and pass it on!

Vicki Atlas Israel is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about helping you feel less stressed, more calm, and happier  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com. You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram or email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com.

How’s Your New Year’s Resolutions Going?

It’s nearly three weeks into the New Year.  How’s your New Year’s resolutions going?  One study reports that only one in three of us who make New Year’s resolutions is successful.  Here’s a best mindset tip for success.  Maybe work on just one at a time.  Here’s how to increase your chances of success in whatever new habits you want to achieve.  Turn your New Year’s resolutions into goals.

What’s the difference between a resolution and a goal?

  1. New Year’s Resolution:“I’m want to lose weight in the new year.”
  2. New Year’s Goal:“I will release 15 pounds by March 30th, and I will do so by working out three days a week while also cutting out junk food, adding more veggies, and reducing my food to three meals a day and nothing in between.

This goal is different than the resolution because it is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-limited (S.M.A.R.T.) When it comes to results, you’re far more likely to lose 15 pounds with this kind of goal than a New Year’s resolution.

S.M.A.R.T. Goal

A good goal is one that spells out who is responsible for a desired outcome, and how to meet that outcome.

  1. Specific. A good goal is specific like who, what, when, where, and why. It tells you not only what you eventually hope to accomplish, but also the steps you must take to get there.
  2. Measurable. What will you measure to see success?  In the example above, success means releasing 15 pounds. Being specific is much more effective than the hope or wish of losing some weight.
  3. Attainable. Giving yourself the ability to meet your goals in a reasonable manner helps you avoid discouragement along the way.
  4. Realistic. Realistic goals mean you’re willing to attain the goal. If you are not “willing” to do the work, then don’t set the goal. It will only lead to disappointment. You can pick up the goal when you’re ready.
  5. Timely. Also, make sure that you put a date on the goal. It can be for a special event, or it can just be a date that is about three months away. Giving yourself a time frame will boost motivation.

Now that you know how to make S.M.A.R.T goals, take one of your New Year’s Resolutions and make it happen with these vital steps as outlined above.  Consider who you want to be in the future, and then employ S.M.A.R.T. goals to help you create the life you want.

One more tip, visualize daily how great you’ll look and feel having reached your goal.  Bring in all the positive feelings and emotion.  This will supercharge your efforts.

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about helping you feel less stressed, more calm, and happier  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com. You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram or email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com.

What’s Your Vision in the New Year?

As we embrace the New Year, do you have a clear vision of your future?  There’s a visioning process that may help you make the most of your best intentions.  It’s inspired by the Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith, bestselling Author featured in the movie “The Secret” about the Law of Attraction.  He’s also written books and has audio programs on the Life Visioning Process.

You may do this alone or in a group.  It can be quite powerful when you gather in a group and hold good intentions for yourself and others.

Visioning Process Guided Imagery

Have a journal or paper with you for this Guided Imagery.

Close your eyes, and take a couple of deep breaths in and out.  Release all negativity, stress and tension in your body, as you breath in peace and release your breath, saying “free.” (Pause for 20 seconds.) Sense and imagine the love that is all around you and invite this loving presence into your heart. (Pause for 20 seconds.) Find this inner light within that wants to feel joy.

This loving light wants to express through your body to create and expand.  Take a few moments to sense this energy inside your body now.  In your mind’s eye, take a minute to notice its size, shape and color.  Whether it’s huge or very small, this does not matter.

Next, move your awareness into this energy.  Welcome this part of you that wants to feel joy, creativity, love, and peace. Spend at least 15 to 20 minutes on this journaling and visioning process.

Ask Your Inner Coach Questions:

  1. “What is the divine vision for myself in the New Year?  What does it look and feel like?    Allow all sensations, images, messages to appearTake some time to freely receive whatever thoughts, feelings, images etc. that come.  Then record them on paper allowing several minutes.
  2. How does my life look as this divine vision for 2019 manifests? Consider your relationships, health,  success and prosperity.  What is wanting to come through as your higher self? How are you acting and flowing as this future self? (Pause and receive whatever thoughts, feelings, images etc. that come. This may take a few minutes.)  Then, record them on paper.
  3. What needs to be released for this vision to manifest?  Pause and receive whatever thoughts, feelings, images that may come. (This may take a few minutes.  Then, record them on paper.
  4. What else wants to be known?
    (freely receive whatever thoughts, feelings, images etc. that come…
    record them on paper allowing several minutes)

After you’ve completed the visioning, spend time talking or writing about the meaning of these images, thoughts & feelings.

Allow them to formulate into a sense of direction for the coming year.

Wishing you the best in 2019!

Vicki

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about helping children and parents feel less stressed, more calm, and happier  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com. You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram or email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com.

The Power of Visualization and Meditation

This story will make you a true believer in the power of visualization, meditation, and setting intentions.  Believe in miracles and this may happen to you, too.  I’ve had amazing things come true in the last few months that I have to share.   

Last year, I had attended a Breakthrough to Success Training with Jack Canfield, New York Times Bestselling Author and Co-Creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul Series® and The Success Principles®. Jack overheard me talking about a book that I was writing.  The book Inner Power NOW is to help strengthen families, parents and children, with soothing breathing techniques, guided imagery, and meditation.  It’s intended to relieve stress and embrace healing at home, in pediatric hospitals, and at school.

Following my brief talk, Jack went on stage and asked if he could endorse my book once it’s done.  He said he believed this is really needed and could benefit parents and children.  To me, that was a Divine moment because earlier in the week I had been asking for clarity before my meditation—”please give me a sign.”  I was questioning whether I was on the right path wanting to teach these skills and techniques to both parents and kids.  Now, I had received a clear sign—Jack’s promised endorsement!  But that’s not all.

In the past few months, Jack not only came through with an endorsement, but he wrote a fabulous foreword to my book which will be published in February 2019.  Then, because I had asked about a possible video testimonial, he also sent a beautiful video message that I may use to help promote Inner Power NOW and audio series.  He is also allowing me to use this message in our possible research at a pediatric hospital in St. Louis and in schools.  This beautiful amazing gift keeps on giving.  Even in my visualizations, I had not even imagined all of this.

What’s the message and lesson?  Keep doing guided imagery and visualize what you most want in your life before you meditate. The key is to have a strong intention and gratitude. Then, surrender it to a power greater than you.  That can be your wiser self, the Divine, or the power of the universe.  Your visualization eventually will come true in some future time.  And remember to ask for a sign, as you let it go.

Click here to get a free guided imagery on how to create your day and become a part of my Inner Power Circle.  You’ll receive updates on the book, bonuses, and newsletter.

Learn to meditate and visualize to help live your dreams.  Turn down the noise, turn off your screens, and embrace calm as a Superpower.  Take advantage of my Holiday Half-Price Sale on all my guided imagery in my store.  

Wishing you peace,

Vicki

 

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about helping children and parents feel less stressed, more calm, and happier  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com. You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram or email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com.

Kindness Matters: Pass it On

Today is International Kindness Day.  In a day and age where civility seems to have gone by the wayside, what can we do to create more kindness? Do you know that there’s a direct correlation between showing kindness and receiving kindness? The two acts feed off one another and lead to a perpetual cycle of giving. Your kindness does matter as it ripples out into the world.

Scientists have also discovered a certain hormone called oxytocin which increases when we are empathic or generous. When the level of oxytocin increases, the circuit in the brain that controls fear, anxiety and rage shuts down. That is why practicing kindness leads to greater empathy and morality. It is also difficult to hold a grudge.

It is important to teach children about kindness—what it is, how to identify it, and how to practice it. We develop empathy following rules for expected behavior in the classroom, preventing bullying and developing compassion. Children learn by playing. When children are role-playing, they are also learning about perspectives and skills to stand in another’s shoes. We learn about our differences and similarities.

If we have not learned basic kindness skills by the time we are around 8 years old, it is very difficult to teach. This lack of empathy leads to anti-social behavior.

Without empathy, we have no chance at civility. We need that connection to feel human. We also need to be connected to a purpose greater than our own. Our inner power helps to create the best mindset through meditation and connecting to our heart.

Model civility, practice kindness every day, whether opening a car door, helping a lost puppy find its home, or helping a senior citizen cross the road safely. The very act of kindness creates more kindness, more empathy, and self-respect, and more “feel-good” hormones.

Engaging in kindness and compassion is what makes for a grateful society. And who doesn’t need a little more gratitude in our world? Here’s a way to begin your day in kindness and gratitude with this morning six-minute meditation. Click here to download for FREE this meditation and join my Inner Power Circle!

As Comedian and Talk Show Host Ellen DeGeneres always says, “Be kind to one another!”

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about helping children and parents feel less stressed, more calm, and happier  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.comfor kids. You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram or email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com.

Practice Attitude of Gratitude

As the saying goes “practice makes perfect.”  Having an attitude of gratitude remains one of the best ways to boost health and happiness. This notion of gratitude is something we need to nourish to feel the benefits.  According to Dr. Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!, he cites recent studies on how a gratitude practice has a physical effect on the body:

  • A gratitude practice reduces perceived stress by 28% and depression by 16%
  • Gratitude is related to 23% lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol
  • Writing a letter of gratitude reduces feelings of hopelessness by 88% of suicidal inpatients and increases levels of optimism in 94% of them
  • Gratitude is related to a 10% improvement in sleep quality in patients with chronic pain.

An increase in well-being happens as you make a regular practice of gratitude.  Simply believing you are grateful for all of your blessings does not bring more happiness.  The beautiful thing about  practicing gratitude, it’s a reminder of what’s going right in your life.  When you focus more on what’s going well, you will notice and attract more good in your life.   As bestselling Author Deepak Chopra says, “Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude.”  — Deepak Chopra

Try one of these three ways to practice gratitude.

Gratitude Meditation –Settle into a quiet place and get comfortable and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and begin to release any tension in your body.  Now place your attention on your heart. Breathe in and out a golden light in your heart. Be thankful for your heart center.  Keep breathing in love and breathing out gratitude. Feel your heart expand to someone you love or loves you unconditionally.  Stay here for a few moments. Now feel in your heart some of the things you are grateful for:  like the abundance of nature, the beauty of life, so many blessings. Just breathe in love and breathe out gratitude. While in this stillness, spread gratitude to your loved ones… then expand out into the community.  Continue to sit in stillness for a little while, saying “thank you.” After several minutes gently bring your body back to the room where you began.  Remember to carry this gratitude for yourself and to all you meet throughout your day.

Gratitude Journal –I remember how Oprah Winfrey had shared this practice on her popular TV show and how this one thing shifted how she viewed herself and the world.  Keep a special journal of gratitude.  Write down three things you are grateful for every day.  You may include a loved one, a beautiful sunrise or sunset, appreciation for material possessions, opportunities that came to you, gratitude for yourself and others. Include things that may have touched your soul or made you smile and appreciate.  Some believe you should write down new things each day, but others say that’s not necessary to reap benefits.

Gratitude Jar– Liz Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love has written about her personal practice of gratitude. For years she has kept a jar where she would jot down on scraps of paper things that made her happy that day and put them in a jar. This could be a fun practice that you could do with your children for feeling happier.  Another bonus is that the jar can serve as inspiration when you want to feel more alive and connected.

Please try these and let me know how it goes or share what ways you have found to practice gratitude.   I am so grateful to you who continue to read my blog posts!  In fact, as my thank you click here to join my Inner Power Circle and receive a FREE Guided Meditation.

Wishing you peace,

Vicki

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to parents and children.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.comfor kids. You can connect with her on Facebook and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com.

Challenge: Would You Go Over the Edge?

What challenge have you faced lately?  I have just returned from an Advanced Meditation Conference in Toronto with Bestselling Author Dr. Joe Dispenza of “You Are the Placebo.” As an international speaker, author, researcher, and educator, Dispenza is passionate about helping people reach their potential.  Upon arrival, we are told that our group will be the first to take on a challenge. I say to myself, “What challenge? I don’t remember reading about any challenge. What does that have to do with meditating?”   So, there we are, one-thousand participants from over 20 different countries being tested to face our fears.

Then our team leader says that we are going to repel down a 33-story building tomorrow.  What did she say?  Repel down a skyscraper?  All the fear begins. I’m not doing that! Are they crazy? I’m not in the greatest physical shape.  When I think of mountain climbers, they train for this!

At this point, I am quite upset. What a way to begin the conference! So that evening, I decide not to sign the release but to think about it overnight. After talking with my husband, who is also concerned, I look up the company on the Internet.  Over the Edge has a good reputation for team-building and fundraising. My team leader had said that over 78,000 people have gone over the edge, without injuries.

The next morning, I sign the release–off to face my biggest fears.

As we wait for our turn on top of the Westin Hotel in Toronto, we encourage each other. I keep doing my mindful breathing, barely looking over the edge at the 33 stories below. Then it’s finally my turn for the challenge. My stomach churns.  I say a prayer, and keep doing my breath work.

At first when I go over the edge in my harness, it’s quite scary.  This is the hardest part. I go sideways, then had my knees dangling against the building. But soon I have enough rope to stretch out my legs.  Soon I get into a rhythm, releasing more rope, jumping to the next level.  At one point, I feel like Spiderman scaling down the building.   In the end, I successfully go “over the edge” and make it down the building safely.  I credit my mindfulness training and breathing with helping me surpass my edge.

The majority of attendees did repel down the Westin. Some did not, for a variety of reasons, but all learned from this experience.  The company said we may have broken a world record for the most people to repel down a building in such a short time. I am so grateful to have overcome my fear, with the help of my Over the Edge crew member who was part trainer and part life coach.

This conference was an amazing experience and I will be sharing more in later blog posts.  You never know what edge may come up in the future—but because of overcoming this challenge, I’ll be more confident  that I’ll be successful with my next life challenge.

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to parents and children.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.com, for kids. You can connect with her on Facebook and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com.

Feeling Stressed and Overwhelmed? Try A Few Joy Boosters

We all need a few ways to release stress, add some joy, and re-energize ourselves.  Here are some of my favorites:

Add joyful movement:  When you get up in the morning, thank your body.  Sometimes that’s not easy when you feel a few aches and pains.  Still, appreciate your body because it’s continually regenerating billions of cells at any moment.  So, stretch your body and release endorphins–those feel good chemicals! Daily exercise will increase the quality of your life and your feeling of wellbeing. Include movement that you enjoy like walking, running, Zumba, Yoga, or NIA, which is like dancing Yoga.

Create a Zen Den:  Find a place where you can hide out when stressed. Disappear there for a few minutes to chill out with a cozy chair.   Surround yourself with whatever you love. These can be beautiful objects, music, and maybe add aroma therapy with a diffuser.  Even in your office at work, add a soft lamp and other things that bring calm.  Remember to walk away from your desk and stretch out the stress and add some deep breathing for calm.

Have some Fun!  Laughter is one of the best remedies to stress.   A burst of laughter can get the blood flowing and boost your immune system.  Laughter releases endorphins that help you to feel better and have a positive attitude. Believe it or not, there’s a practice called “Laughing Yoga,” that is meant to boost joy and healing.  I teach this in my workshops and groups.  Click here to learn more about How to Ignite A Success Mindset.

Eat healthier:  Ever notice how you feel, when you eat too much junk food?  The next day you feel sluggish and not very energetic.  When you eat healthier, the opposite is true.  Feeding your body lots of fresh veggies and fruit, protein smoothies and wholesome foods, helps you feel more energized.

Enjoy sipping green tea:  Green tea is a source of L-Theanine, a chemical that is great at relieving stress and anger.  Some studies say it can also boost your metabolism.

Treat yourself to a mini-massage. Rub some lotion on your hands and start massaging the muscles in your hands using your thumbs to help get rid of stress. You may also include your shoulders, neck and scalp.  This will get your energy flowing with a sense of well-being.

Talk to a friend: Create a support system.  When something is bothering you, share your feelings with a friend. Vent to a close family member or call a close friend.  In person or over the phone is so much better than venting and texting.  You will feel so much better afterwards.

Daydream and visualize:  Let go of your stress by imagining something that makes you happy or something that you want to create in your life. Use your imagination and travel anywhere that makes you feel peaceful and serene.  Or imagine your life a year from now, and what you want to create.  Visualizing will boost your mood and lower blood pressure.  It will also help bring more of what you want in your life.

Remember these joy boosters to create the best mindset! If you like this blog post, please share it with your friends.  And let me know in the comments below some of your favorite joy boosters!

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to parents and children.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.comfor kids. You can connect with her on Facebook and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com.

Mindfulness Comes to St. Louis Schools

Before school begins this fall, teachers at McKinley Classical Leadership Academy in St. Louis will learn mindfulness and meditation.  They will be trained on how to relieve stress and tension so they may pass this on to their students.  All will be learning tools and breathing techniques for calm and focus.   As a Best Mindset Coach, and Certified in Guided Imagery, I’m excited to be collaborating with McKinley in St. Louis to train their teachers.  We will be helping their team and students build emotional resilience to be more successful in learning and life.

As you may know, many of these students may come from poorer neighborhoods, where they witness more crime, violence, and trauma.  From new research, we’re learning that a traumatized brain makes learning more difficult.  Studies show when we calm the mind and body through yoga, meditation, and other mind-body practices, the brain develops new neural pathways that enhances the creative areas, and shuts down the Reptilian “fight or flight” that’s stuck in fear.   Other schools leaders throughout the country have discovered that mindfulness and meditation may be a better way to handle detention and conflict.

It’s obvious students need new tools to help with stress and anxiety.  New research published by the American Psychological Association shows teens may experience higher levels of stress than adults (during the school year.)  Yet, teens don’t have great ways to relieve stress. Most popular are video games or surfing the internet. While these may be stress reducing, they may not be building resilience to help teens cope better with difficulties in life.

This is where meditation, guided imagery, and mindfulness can help. Research shows that when teens practice meditation and guided imagery, it can lower rates of anxiety and depression, and may help with sleep. It can also help with schoolwork and focus, as well as build stronger relationships.

Help our children succeed in life and build emotional resilience! If you’re a teacher or parent and want your schools to build Inner Power Learning and use these breathing and mindful techniques, let your school leadership know about our services.  Contact us at Heart Talk Now for a free 30-minute Strategy Session

Wishing you peace!

Vicki

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to parents and families.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

 

5 Tips for More Happiness

Where Are You on the Happiness Scale?

Can you choose to be happier?  Psychology professor David T. Lykken believes we each have a “happiness set point.”  Yet, other Psychologists who study happiness believe we can improve our state of emotions.  Try focusing on gratitude and appreciation and creating the intention to be happier.  Here are a few Best Mindset tips to help you expand your happiness.

Tip # 1: Choose Happier Thoughts

Choose to make happiness a top goal.  Author of The Happiness Hypothesis Jon Haidt teaches positive psychology and for homework, he assigns his students to make themselves happier during the semester.   Some of these include: being more forgiving or more grateful. They also learn to challenge negative thoughts.

Tip #2: Make a Gratitude List

In his book, Authentic Happiness, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman encourages readers to perform a daily “gratitude exercise.” It involves listing a few things that make them grateful. This shifts people away from bitterness and despair, he says, and promotes happiness.  I also keep a gratitude rock by my nightstand and before bed, I remind myself of 3 to 5 things that I’m grateful for.

Tip #3: Continue to Forgive

Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons, researchers who edited The Psychology of Happiness claim holding a grudge can affect your health.  One way to curtail these kinds of feelings is to practice forgiveness. This reduces the power of bad events to create bitterness and resentment, and add stress to your body.

Tip #4: Build Friendships

There’s nothing like a good laugh with dear friends, and this also promotes happiness. Author of The Pursuit of Happiness David G. Myers found one Australian study that showed people over 70, who had the strongest network of friends, lived the longest. Myers claims the “social ties that bind also provide support in difficult times.”

Tip #5: Find Meaningful Activities

People are seldom happier than when they’re in the “flow.” This is a state in which your mind becomes thoroughly absorbed in a meaningful task that challenges your abilities. Psychology research has found watching TV ­­produces some of the lowest levels of happiness. It turns out that to get more out of life, we need to put more into leisure time.  Choose activities that you most enjoy doing.  They’re good for your mental health and your happiness.

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to parents and families.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.comfor kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

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