It’s National Hug Day!

happy hugStart Hugging Now: Celebrate National Hug Day

Hugging is an essential key to health and well-being.

“We need 4 hugs a day for survival.
We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.
We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” Virginia Satir

We all need to be touched.  Babies who are not held and touched die. Since it's national hug day, I thought I would share a few benefits of hugging:

• it lowers stress levels
• it improves sleep
• it strengthens internal body systems like digestive tracks
• it boost seratonin, the feel-good hormone
• it builds trust
• it promoted feelings of well-being and safety

Nick Ortner has a new book on hugs for children that you may want to check out: www.barkleythebear.com/hugs

So spend some time today hugging others and see what magic results!

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©2015, Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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Heroes Among Us…

There are Good People Everywhere

You may have read about her or seen her on Ellen®. The story of the the young waitress in Concord, NH who paid the bill for two furloughed women from the National Guard. That meant she made only $8 in tips that day, which did not cover the struggling single mother's gas.

The soldiers posted the kind note Sarah had written them on Facebook® and Sarah ended up on Ellen, where she received an amazing surprise.  Ellen gave her a $10,000 reward for her kindness.

Or maybe you read about Adam Warwick, a biologist with the Wildlife Commission, who saved the life of a black bear in Florida, who had been shot with a tranquilizer and almost drowned in the water.  Adam fearlessly jumped in and saved the bear, without regard to his personal safety.

There are stories like this everyday, but you probably don't hear them much because the news focuses on the bad and sensationalist stories.  There are real heroes among us.  If you don't think so, check out this video on youtube about 5 heroic kids. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QrT5Iizviw

Acts of kindness give your life meaning and bring incredible joy to your life. Focus on the good you are doing, others are doing and celebrate that.

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©2014 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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Your Life is a Choice

Choose Wisely

 
Jack WhitingLRNot long ago, we celebrated my father-in- law's 80th birthday in Boston.  A successful businessman who's mostly retired, he's a vital, vibrant man who has chosen to live life on his terms.  He plays tennis several times a week, square dances regularly and participates fully in the lives of his children and grandchildren. He has a keen mind, a loving heart, a positive attitude and is an inspiration to me and so many others. 
 
In contrast, I recently met a woman who has chosen to be miserable.  She focuses on the negative, consistently.  As we discussed families and I shared that my father had passed away a few years ago, she declared vehemently that whatever I had gone through, her experience was 10 times worse.  I wasn't aware that is was a competition. How sad.  My heart went out to her, because she was so attached to her drama and negativity.
 
We can all get caught up in our drama and problems.  But is that truly where you want to put your focus?  What you focus on, you create more of.  I would rather create more joy, success, love and peace.  How about you?
 
“To win or lose,
To love or hate,
To try or quit,
To risk or withdraw,
To accelerate or hesitate,
To dream or stagnate,
To open or close,
To succeed or fail,
To live or die.
Everyone of these starts with a CHOICE.”

Snowden McFall

 

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Aromatherapy: How Scent Can Help

lemon & sliceLRBelieve it or not, the scent of lemon in the workplace cuts keyboard
mistakes by 50%! And while keyboard mistakes are not a huge source
of stress, they can lead to major problems when the wrong data is
put into a contract, or the wrong digit is typed into a mortgage agreement.

Fragrance is powerful. It can make a huge difference in
how you deal with 
stress.

Peppermint, cinnamon, orange or rose  fragrance revitalize you while lavender, marjoram and sandalwood relax you.
Peppermint extract on your forehead or temples can help relieve pain immediately.  It’s  also great for concentration. A University of Cincinnati study found that people who breathe in peppermint oil are immediatelymore alert and better able to focus. Children who eat a peppermint before tests score better. Athletes who inhale peppermint scent
have more energy. Try it the next time you work out.

Vanilla oil is a refreshing way to soothe restless children. It has a positive impact on the limbic center of the brain, which controls emotion, according to a study done at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY. A few drops on the wrists of a child can transform a cranky, whiny child into one who is happy and laughing. Try this on your next road trip.

So the next time you're stressed out, try reaching for a fragrant oil and see what a difference it makes.

For a free report on how to get and stay Fired Up!, go here http://firedupnow.com/top20tips/

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Get Happy in the Dirt

Gardening Increases Your Happiness

purpleplantWe've long known that being outside in nature lifts your spirits. But a study from the University of Bristol, England, shows that actually getting your hands in the soil, gardening and breathing the dirt may be another way to lift your spirits. A bacteria commonly found in soil produces effects similar to antidepressant drugs.

The harmless bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, helps release serotonin in the brain. Serotonin deficiencies cause depression.

Gardeners Are Among the Happiest with their Work

Interestingly, in a related study, more than 80% of florists and gardeners feel their work is useful and worthwhile, and they feel appreciated for what they do.  They are among those happiest with their careers, according to a survey by City and Guilds.

So plant some bulbs, remove some weeds, and spend a little time in your garden, and you feel happier.  Who knew?

If you would like to learn more ways to be happy, check out my free webinar Sept 24
Find Your Happiness and Grow Your Profits http://firedupnow.com/happyclass/

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Savor the Present Moment

 Increase Your Happiness with this Technique

tropicalbrookLR

After battling pneumonia, I was recently on vacation in the islands.  I had one focus: to enjoy the present moment.

That's not quite as easy as it sounds. Our brains are wired to continually think, and many of us project about the future (work, money, family, commitments, etc.)

But I tried hard to silence my brain and just be.  Looking at the exquisite turquoise water, I absorbed the beauty.  Walking past a brilliantly hued hibiscus, I appreciated the vibrant color.  Listening to chattering  parrots, I enjoyed their unique way of communicating.  And a funny thing happened.  I became more peaceful inside.  I truly relaxed and felt the simple joy of the moment.

 

A new study featured in this month's Prevention magazine explains it: Savoring the moment rather than analyzing or critiquing it gives you a huge boost in happiness.  So what does savoring look like?  Part childlike exuberance with whooping or whee kind of glee, and part adult wisdom of "enjoy life while you can."  This meant all the more to me since I had just been so gravely ill, but it worked.  For the most part, I spent all vacation in the present moment and it brought me such joy and peace.  So yes - your life can be better right now: just savor the present moment.

 

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©2013 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Add “New” to Fire Up! Your Life

Keep Your Life Fresh by Trying New Things

Brendon Burchard in his new book The Charge has some great suggestions about staying Fired Up!  Something you may not have thought of is trying new things.  The brain is hardwired for novelty and challenge and needs to be engaged to keep thriving.  Here are a few ways to incorporate new into your life:
 
• 90 day getaway - every 90 days go away and explore someplace you have not been, doing new activities. It does not have to be expensive- it just needs to be different.
 
• Restaurant tour; explore restaurants you have never visited, try different kinds of food

• Spend time with new people - go to different networking or social events and broaden your circle. 
 
• Develop new skillsets - my husband and I just installed a new glass tile backsplash in our kitchen.  It was challenging but fun, and we love the results.
 

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

Your Favorite Activities Are Clues About Your Dreams

What Do You Do For Fun?

One of the best ways to learn about your dreams is to consider what you love doing. It’s amazing the kind of information you can discover about yourself when you take a few minutes to list your favorite activities and how often you do them . If you want to have some fun and learn more about yourself, take ten minutes now to do  complete the list called “My Favorite Activities.”

Make a list from 1-5 . On the left put down your favorite activities and on the right put down how long it's been since you did it, the cost of it.

Ex:
1. go to beach                          yesterday                 free
2. comedy club                       2 months                 $20
3. girlfriend time                   2 weeks                    free 

Most people discover that what they love to do is free, and can be scheduled at the last minute.  Good to know, hum?

People who are the happiest and most at peace in their lives regularly schedule what they enjoy doing. They spend more of their time being “Fired Up!” and that joy shines through all areas of their lives. They have acknowledged their goals and dreams and are doing whatever it takes to accomplish them.

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

Celebrating Small Successes for Stress Relief & Happiness

At the end of each day, record 10 small successes you’ve had that day. Anything you intended to do and did is a success. Catch yourself in the act of doing things right and see how much
happier and more fulfilled you are.

My birthday is in July and it was a joy to celebrate twice, once with women friends at lunch and then at a party my husband threw for me.  Celebrating life's little moments of success and joy is so important to our stress levels, happiness and overall performance at work.  It's rare that the huge successes happen; what matters is to acknowledge all the small achievements you have every day.

Cheering women
I love this quote from Norman Lear:

“Success is how you collect your minutes.
You spend millions of minutes to reach one triumph,
one moment,
then you spend maybe a thousand minutes
enjoying it.
If you are unhappy through those millions of minutes,
what good are the thousands of minutes of triumph?
It doesn’t equate.
Life is made up of small pleasures,
Happiness is made up of those tiny successes.
The big ones come too infrequently.
If you don’t have  all those
zillions of tiny successes,
the big ones don’t mean anything.”
Norman Lear
Here's a tip: at the end of each day, record 10 small successes you've had that day. Anything you intended to do and did is a success.  Catch yourself in the act of doing things right and see how much
happier and more fulfilled you are.

How Happy Are You? Greater Joy Starts With YOU!

You may think that when you get to a certain level of income, or find the right life partner, that you will be truly happy. But the research shows just the opposite is true. You need to be happy first, and then the success, relationships and accomplishment will come.

You may think that when you get to a certain level of income, or find the right life partner, that you will be truly happy.  But the research shows just the opposite is true.  You need to be happy first, and then the success, relationships and accomplishment will come.

The latest research out of Harvard on happiness is that the most successful business people, entrepreneurs, doctors and workers are happy first.  Our brains are actually wired to work at maximum creativity, resilience and effectiveness when we are in a state of relaxation and joy.  Consider this:

Doctors put in a positive state before diagnosing show 3x more intelligence and creativity & make diagnoses 19% faster than doctors in a neutral state.

Optimistic salespeople sell 56% more than pessimists. (Are your salespeople optimists?)

Happy students far outperform their peers on tests.1

 

So how can you get happier?

The old maxim “what you put your focus on manifests” is entirely true.   When I was researching and writing my book on stress, I was very attuned to stress; it was my focus.  And so, I attracted more of it into my life (subconsciously, of course.)  During the year preceding my stress book being published, my  sister–in-law died of melanoma, three girlfriends battled cancer and I faced some significant dental issues.

The contrary is also true.  Since I have been researching happiness, the quality of my life is significantly better.   My husband  got a great new job 7 months ago, my friends are coping well with their illnesses.  I still have some dental issues but they are being handled easily and effectively.  I am the one who made the switch  to be happier, and you can, too.

 

 

If you’ve been worrying about  paying your bills,  getting more business, or your health, a much better use of your time and energy would be to focus on getting happy.

Your health and cash flow will improve in direct proportion to your genuinely positive attitude and optimistic perspective.

 

Here are 3 quick ways to increase your happiness

1. Celebrate your successes- large and small. Create a victory wall at work Cheering women where you post achievements of any level- articles that have been published about you, your people or your company,  progress on work goals.  Praise others publicly and specifically, and encourage them to do the same.

2. Find something to look forward to.  In one study, people who just thought about watching their favorite movie had an increase of 27% in endorphins- just from thinking about it. Every time something stressful occurs, think about what you are looking forward to and shift your state of mind.

 

3. Do something you love to do for fun at least 3 times a week. Schedule in your favorite activities and don’t give them up- they will make a huge difference in how you joyful you are and how successful you are at work.

Your life  can thrive in all areas, but you need to thrive first.  Take the time to really focus on your own happiness and see how it impacts everything!

1. (Data from the book The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor)