Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Unhappy in Marriage is Bad for Your Heart!

A new study suggests that an unhappy marriage could wreak havoc on your cardiovascular health.

Researchers examined five years of data from married men and women, ages 57 to 85. People with spouses who were negative or critical were more likely to have heart health issues – women suffered more than men – than those supportive partners. This effect worsened with age.

REL-UnhappyMarriageThey then compared heart health to how these adults said they felt about their marriages. Wives and husbands (who were not married to each other) answered questions about how close they felt to their spouses, how happy their marriages were, and how demanding and critical they felt their spouses were.

Theory: Relationship stress intensifies over time, and heart disease is harder to overcome in those who are older and more frail.

It’s one of the first to take a nationally-representative sample of adults and examine the impact of marriage quality on heart health over time.

This from a study of nearly 1,200 married American men and women by researchers at Michigan State University, East Lansing, published in Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Being in an unhappy marriage can cause stress, which has a direct link with cardiovascular health. And those effects accumulate. “It’s not like you have contact with your spouse and the next day you have heart disease,” Hui Liu, a Michigan State University sociologist, said. “It really takes time. That may explain why it’s stronger for older people. Your body will remember the effect.”

Such marriages can also push you toward unhealthy and harmful habits, like drinking a lot or smoking.

But why is it that women were hurt even more by unhappiness in a marriage? Liu said it’s possible that women are more likely to internalize their feelings, feel depressed and be more sensitive than the men in their relationships. They also found that when women were sick with heart disease, it lowered the quality of a marriage, but not when men were sick. Liu said women are more likely to serve in a caregiver role for their sick husbands and be more sensitive to not exacerbating stress, but husbands may not be as sensitive about the relationship when their wives are sick.

While a lot of marriage counseling may focus on younger couples, the study authors emphasize that older couples would be wise to pay attention to the qualities of their marriages, too. Their hearts may very well depend upon doing so. “But these results show that marital quality is just as important at older ages, even when the couple has been married 40 or 50 years,” Liu said.

A happy marriage, of course, isn’t the only way to a healthy heart. Cardiovascular health begins with your diet. Start by cutting back on your salt-intake. Consuming too much can lead to high blood pressure, which is the leading cause of risk of death for women in the U.S. Most Americans should eat fewer than 2,300 milligrams of salt, which means almost all of us should cut back on sodium, according to the CDC.

You can also change your diet to include more heart-friendly foods like oatmeal, salmon, avocado, and berries. Beefing up your green veggie intake with more spinach and soy beans can help as well. And go ahead and indulge in a glass of wine every now and then. Research suggests the tannins in red wine might help reduce the risk of heart disease and moderate drinkers are less likely to suffer a heart attack.

Another key to a healthy heart is exercise. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week. Alternatively, 25 minutes of high-intensity exercise three days per week, in addition to muscle strengthening exercises two days each week can also help to prevent heart disease. So get out there and swim, run, bike, jog, whatever it takes to get your heart healthy and pumping.

Copyright © 2015 – Hui Liu, a Michigan State University sociologist. You can contact her at: http://Sociology.MSU.edu/faculty/profile/liu-hui/.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Go Forth and Be Happy!

Filed under: Happiness,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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As a man part of what I am about is doing things (being the cause) that cause other people to accept the effect – that is to be happy; to smile in acknowledgement and then go about doing the same for someone else. It’s another way to pay it forward.

Emoticon being happyI love to surprise someone I know with something that they least expect – like cutting out a story about them from the paper, writing a letter (with a stamp), saying, “It’s always great to see good friends in the news!” and sending it to them. Or to send flowers for no particular reason other than that I care.

12009814_10207700300565997_1199080402780933001_nAlways remember… happiness is a choice! Happiness is defined by you! Yes, I know. Sometimes people say hurtful things intentionally, that’s when you can take a stand for happiness in spite of what may have been said. You get to choose. Often my first reaction is to temporarily slip away from remembering that I have a choice about how I feel. That’s usually when I bounce back quickly and put on a happy face. It’s not always easy, but it is always a better option. So, I say to you when someone tries to rain on your parade… choose to be happy. It may not come easy and you can do it. Your experiences of being happy improve over time. Hang around happy people. Don’t hang around unhappy people. You can’t make them happy… so stop trying. Make happiness a habit.

“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

You can pursue happiness. You can do this by thwarting negative emotions such as pessimism, resentment, and anger. And you can foster positive emotions, such as empathy, serenity, and especially gratitude. Once you’ve decided to be happier, you can choose strategies for achieving happiness. Psychologists who study happiness tend to agree. Being happy often means feeling contented, feeling joyful, and having the sense that your life is meaningful.

Holding a grudge and nursing grievances can affect physical as well as mental health, according to a rapidly growing body of research. It’s time we all need to pay attention to our mind manners. Forgiveness is the key. Be good to yourself and to others.

GoForthSMILEIn his book, Five Steps to Forgiveness, clinical psychologist Everett Worthington Jr. offers a 5-step process he calls REACH. First, recall the hurt. Then empathize and try to understand the act from the perpetrator’s point of view. Be altruistic by recalling a time in your life when you were forgiven. Commit to putting your forgiveness into words. You can do this either in a letter to the person you’re forgiving or in your journal. Finally, try to hold on to the forgiveness. Don’t dwell on your anger, hurt, and desire for vengeance.

Jot down on paper some of your happiest memories. Remember the situations that lifted your mood. Share them with friends. Speak happiness to others. Celebrate happiness. Listen to upbeat songs. Make a “Happiness Playlist.” Jamming out can help reduce stress – which leads to greater happiness in general.

Right now… pause and… If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! Now then, doesn’t that feel good?

BONUS Articles: Who Holds the Key to Your Happiness?
Happiness is Your Own Fault!
Happy Couples Accentuate the Positive

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2015 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Who Gave You Your First Smile Today?

Who gave you your first smile today?

Didn’t notice?

How sad.

REL-FirstSmileIt was slow day. Nothing much going on. Watched the Arizona Diamondbacks win a game. Pretty much stayed in all day. However, I never let a day go by without some kind of human interaction. It was almost dark and I was hungry. A restaurant just around the corner was having a special on their 3-course meal.

The hostess who seated me was friendly and helpful. If she smiled at me, I apparently didn’t notice. Richard, the server, took my order and was helpful as well.

I was sitting there enjoying my meal when an attractive woman (I did notice that) took her little boy by the hand and said, “Come on, son. Let’s go potty.” I smiled inwardly as they passed by.

Several minutes later they were returning from their potty break and the mother and I made eye contact. She smiled. A beautiful smile. I gave her one too.

Smile1And then I began thinking and realized that that smile was the first smile I had seen today. I don’t know about you, but ordinarily I wouldn’t count the smiles because I’m usually busy giving out some of my own. I’m grateful I didn’t take that smile for granted.

I’m sure she had no idea what an impact her smile had upon me at that moment, much less, be the inspiration for an article that would encourage people to smile more often and return the favor when someone smiles at them… maybe even be the catalyst for others to begin noticing more smiles.

I was a radio disc jockey many years ago and every time I would close my show, everyone listening would hear me say, “Keep smilin’ – makes everybody wonder what you’ve been up to!”

So… Who gave you your first smile today?

The more smiles that go around tend to be the breeding ground for more smiles, and on it goes. We should take time to notice things like that. Pay a smile forward to someone – anyone – the next time you are out and about. When eye contact is made, you usually get another one back really quick. If it doesn’t happen right then, they probably needed to see someone smile.

If, by chance, you don’t have the opportunity for human interaction today, simply walk up to your bathroom mirror and give yourself a smile. Bet you get that one back for sure. 😉

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2015 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Give Up Living Your Life to Other People’s Expectations

Filed under: Guest Authors,Happiness — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Dana Saviuc, Guest Author

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them.

OthersExpectationsThey ignore their inner voice, that inner calling.

They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need… and eventually they forget about themselves.

You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

Larry’s Note: Read, “15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy” by Dana Saviuc, an enthusiastic student of the arts, economics, psychology and spirituality.

danaCopyright © 2014 – Dana Saviuc. When nobody’s watching, I pretend I’m a moon sprite; transcendent, effervescent, ever curious. Yet my birth certificate says I’m a human born in Romania. Oh well. I’m an enthusiastic student of the arts, economics, psychology and spirituality – and I take great pleasure in shining light on life’s hidden truths, the paradoxes that both stare us in the face and hide from us in unison, as they silently shape our every waking moment. Visit Dana’s Blog and her Facebook page.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Sunday, April 6, 2014

You Don’t Get Happy By Accident!

Filed under: Choice,Happiness,Relationships — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Are you tired of waiting around for happiness to find you? …and waiting and waiting and waiting.

Happiness can’t find you and you cannot find happiness. Happiness is not something to be found… it exists whenever you decide you want it to. Notice I said, “You decide!”

MirrorMirrorHappiness is a concisious decision that pushes it to express itself.

Your thoughts become words, words become acts, acts become habits, habits express your character and your character becomes your destiny. Imagine if your thoughts were positive – you would feel happy most of the time. I’m sure you’ve heard that happiness is a choice many times. Why do you suppose that is? Because it’s the truth.

No one can make you happy either. They may do things that cause you to make the choice to be happy, however, it’s always your choice.

It appears that what determines happiness is due to personality and – more importantly – thoughts and behaviors that can be changed. You can learn how to be happy – or at least happier. People who are happy seem to intuitively know that their happiness is the sum of their life choices. Living in the present helps. Look for opportunities to savor the small pleasures of everyday life. Focus on the positives in the present moment, instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Hold on to happiness. Visualize yourself being happy. Imagine it. See it in your mind’s eye. Hold the image of happiness on the canvas of your imagination. Happiness is a decision. Like Aristotle said, “Happiness depends on ourselves.”

Look for something to be happy about. Set a happy scene. Wake up with a smile. Every morning, wake up, look into the mirror and hold a big smile on your face, even if you aren’t feeling particularly cheerful. Believe it or not, just moving your muscles into a smile will increase endorphins and decrease the stress hormone cortisol that the adrenal gland releases in times of stress. Take a “selfie” of yourself making a silly face and pin it up where you will see it when you are not feeling happy. I sometimes will look into the mirror and make faces at myself. Just being silly when you are alone can also help. Sometimes I will laugh out loud. That always gives my smile a quick start.

“We have a lot of control over our moods,” says William Fleeson, associate professor of psychology at Wake Forest University, who has shown in studies that subjects can actually change the expression of basic personality traits on demand and lift their spirits in a matter of minutes. “We’re not slaves to our genes, and we don’t have to wait for someone else to do something good to make us feel better.”

Happiness is only and always a personal choice. Choose happiness!

BONUS Article: 10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gimme Some JOY!

Filed under: Happiness,Joy,Personal Growth,Relationships — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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The next time you see me or any of your friends, imagine that you hear us say, “Gimme some joy!” and so, you do that. You give them some of your joy. You be the bright spot in someone’s day!

Joy2Don’t tell me you don’t have any joy because I know you do. Everyone does. This doesn’t mean that you will go around joyiously all the time. 😉 I doubt seriously if anyone could do that… not all the time. I don’t suggest that you “fake it till you make” it because most people I know can tell you are faking it. We all have our ups and downs. But the point is, when you did dig down deep to find a little joy to share, some more joy came into that space and you now have more joy. You actually gave joy away and you got more of it right back.

Some of us should begin by looking within to see what is crowding joy out of our lives. I’ll save that topic for another blog post. 😉

Sometimes I see some of my friends and it seems that they are looking more like sourpusses every time I see them. I want to shake them and say, “If you’re happy you should tell your face.” Sometimes – because they are my friends – I cannot resist giving them a verbal shake.

Show your joy!
“I don’t have any joy.”
Yes you do. You may have to look for it but you do have a little joy hidden away just waiting to be expressed. So, “Gimme some joy!”

Close-up of fire and flames on a black background (Huge file)It always gets a smile (which is the beginning of sharing joy) and thus begins the discovery of more joy.

Just because you can force a little joy to share with others, doesn’t mean that you may have genuine concerns about something that is going on in your life. Joy is not happiness that depends on our circumstances and our moods. You can have the same joy in terrible circumstances that you would have when all is well. It’s not about tying to cover up the fact that you may be feeling like crap. It’s about helping others to find their joy. You can do that, can’t you?

Doesn’t it feel great to be someone who understands that you can – for a moment – be side-tracted from your troubles by giving joy? What a concept!

“Gimme some joy!”

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Turn On Your Happy Switch!

Filed under: Choice,Happiness,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

November and December are months that typically bring to mind family and friends. It is often a difficult time for people who have lost a loved one through death, divorce or separation. The following suggestions will help you to focus on giving the gift of happiness, not sadness, first to yourself and to your friends during the final days of this year.

Researchers have determined that the human brain is much better at taking in negative experiences than positive or “happy” ones. But then, I think you already knew that.

happyswitchAre you tired of waiting around for happiness to find you? I’ve got good news! You can rewire your brains to better absorb the good. You can begin by taking greater notice of the happy moments that happen to you all the time. When something happens that causes happiness, take 5 to 10 seconds to allow that positive moment to really sink in. Reflect upon how it makes you feel better. Never allow the unhappy moments to hijack your attention. Stay focused on happy thoughts. All you need to do is to consciously turn on your happy switch! We all have one. We often call it by another name… “Choice!”

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

With all due respect to Henry, that just isn’t so. You can choose to be happy. You can chase down that elusive butterfly and get it to sit on your shoulder. How? In part, by simply making the effort to monitor the workings of your mind.

If you have been looking for happiness, the good news is that your choices, thoughts and actions can influence your level of happiness. It’s may not be as easy as flipping a happy switch, but you can turn up your happiness level.

The first step, is to make a conscious choice to boost your happiness. Choose to be in environments and around people that increase your probability of happiness. Surround yourself with happy people. That really helps!

walkAwayAt one point in my life, I couldn’t believe how important is was to distance myself from people who dragged me down. I stopped calling them and hanging around them and what happened was – to me – a miracle! I began to notice that I didn’t miss their complaints, criticisms, blaming, whining, clinging, nagging, anger, etc.

What a difference! It was hard at first because I actually thought that some of these people were my friends. Little by little my whole attitude changed. When one of my friends complained that we never saw each other anymore, I actually told him that I was getting better. When he asked better from what, I told him that I was only interested in being around happy people. I never saw him again. Good riddance. (Whew! That wasn’t as hard as I though it was going to be)! Truth is… I really don’t miss him.

If you’re not an optimistic person by nature, it may take time for you to change your pessimistic thinking. You can do it. How? Because happiness is always and only a personal choice. Hard to believe? Believe it. It’s true.

Try this on your way to happiness. Dump your negative thoughts into the trash. This is what happens when we treat our thoughts as material objects. If you have pervasive negative or unhappy thoughts, write them down on a piece of paper, and physically throw them away, or burn them! Sound crazy? It is, and it works. This strategy can be employed as a quick way to clear your head of negativity which causes unhappiness. Learn to control your thoughts or they will control your life and steal your happiness.

Being in a state of happiness contributes to the overall quality of your life, relationships, your life’s work and much more. It gives you a sense of control, feeling loved, secure, and good at what we do. So… Turn on YOUR happy switch and watch what happens!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Filed under: Happiness,Letting Go,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Try this: Laugh about anything or nothing for 30 seconds each day.

If you must, force yourself. Don’t be a sourpuss. Drive yourself happy.

LOLIt doesn’t take long for a put-on outburst of laughter to become the real thing – the kind of laughter where your side hurts, your eyes water, you can’t catch your breath and your body’s totally spent. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze.

“I believe that if people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off. They might be healthier too. The effects of laughter and exercise are very similar. Combining laughter and movement, like waving your arms, is a great way to boost your heart rate.” ~ Steve Wilson, MA, CSP, a psychologist and laugh therapist.

Redevelop your sense of humor. Demonstrate an abundance of smiles for your partner. It’s catching. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Feeling stressed… laughter decreases stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. More giggles and guffaws are just what the doctor ordered.

If you think you have nothing to laugh about. . . you’re right. Find something to laugh about. Laughing with others is more powerful than laughing alone. Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”

Hang around happy people! When you surround yourself with people who are always complaining and gossiping, you will find yourself becoming negative and not enjoying life. Shun whiners and complainers. By the way, if it’s your partner you are thinking about right now… just because they are a sourpuss, doesn’t mean that you should allow them to bring you down. Your job is to lift them up with a happy face, a clever remark or a funny joke or video. Send them something funny and add, “I love to see you smile. Let’s rent a funny movie soon, eat popcorn and laugh together! I love you!”

The most effective way to help others become happier very well may be by focusing on becoming happy ourselves. We must realize that everyone is ultimately responsible for their own happiness and simultaneously that everyone exerts a powerful influence on the happiness of those around them. Living with an unhappy person is like living with someone who’s ill: the illness is theirs, but the experience belongs to the caregiver as well. Your partner’s unhappiness is not your own. You may become unhappy in response to their unhappiness, but your unhappiness then becomes your responsibility. Happiness is a choice!

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” ~ Earl Nightingale

A simple way to brighten your day is to surround yourself with happy people. Be happy. People want to be around people that make them feel happy and make them forget about their worries.

What you think about and speak about, you bring about. Force yourself to look at the bright side of things for a change.

Researchers are now saying laughter can do a lot more – it can basically bring balance to all the components of the immune system, which helps us fight off diseases. What may surprise you even more is the fact that researchers estimate that laughing 100 times is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike. Laughing can be like a total body workout!

BONUS Articles: Stress Relief From Laughter? It’s No Joke
When Someone You Love Is Unhappy

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happiness is Your Own Fault!

Filed under: Happiness — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

So is unhappiness and sadness and any other emotion you choose to feel. No one is happy all of the time. However, those people who are happy most of the time know that happiness should be a natural state.

Be responsible for your own happiness. No other person can make you happy. He can’t. She can’t. It’s something you have to do on your own. If you feel it’s your partner’s fault, think again, and look within to find out what piece may be missing for you. Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond your limitations and to be present in the moment and not let those ever present annoyances get you down. It means appreciating what the good that is coming to you.

HappyGirlLie in the grass and look at the clouds. Be a kid again and find shapes in the clouds. BE happy. Happiness should always be a high priority. Smile. Act happy. Feelings follow actions. Research shows that when you smile, whether you feel happy or not, your mood will be elevated. You need to cultivate an intention, desire and a firm commitment to be happy.

Gravitate toward gratitude. Focus on factors that promote happiness. 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. Forgiveness is one of the keys to happiness. If you are angry all the time or if you harbor resentment because of what someone did to you happiness will evade you.

Always remember, you are responsible for your own happiness! If you have a positive outlook on life, you will be able to make the best of anything. You do this by thwarting negative emotions such as pessimism, resentment, and anger. Happiness will not find you. You have to find it. Turn the “bad news” TV off (it produces some of the lowest levels of happiness) and focus on things that inspire happiness. Your choices, thoughts and actions can influence your level of happiness. Think good thoughts. Your feelings are seldom wrong, because you are designed to feel certain ways from an early age.

“Happiness is not, except in very rare cases, something that drops into the mouth, like a ripe fruit. Happiness must be, for most men and women, an achievement rather than a gift of the gods, and in this achievement, effort, both inward and outward, must play a great part.” ~ Bertrand Russell, Philosopher

Stop hanging around people who bring you down. They sap your energy. Look for some new happy friends. Be politely assertive and distance yourself from unhappy people. “But,” you say, “I’m married to him!” Oh, my. You do have some work to do. You will notice if you make the choice to be happy in spite of your partner you may motivate them to do the same. Research indicates that your motivation to be happy has a substantial impact on their state of mind and future happiness.

I am seldom happier than when I am in the “zone” – totally absorbed in something that is meaningful and productive. I love what I do. That, my friend, is something that moves me forward. If you do not truly enjoy what you do… ask yourself, “What else could I do if I were not afraid?” Fear stifles your enthusiasm for happiness. It keeps you stuck. Find something you love and begin to wean yourself away from your boring work by turning your attention toward training so that you can do what you love.

Happiness is a matter of choice. It’s a moment-to-moment choice. It’s a state of mind and not something which can be defined objectively.

chocolateSeek to eliminate stress. If you are uncomfortable, stressful or frightened about a situation, do your best to take yourself to a mentally safe place of peaceful mindfulness which you have previously created in your mind and where you feel relaxed and comfortable. I have great imagination and can close my eyes and visually take me to a quiet, sandy beach – an island where the ocean breeze gently keeps me cool as I totally relax on a beach blanket. It only takes about one minute for my body to “feel” different and then I notice that the stress has dissipated enough for me to get back to work. It helps to just BE in the present!

Sometimes a quiet and quick 15 minute nap can help. Light some sticks of your favorite incense. I used to feel guilty when I did this. No longer. I know that if I take care of me, things always get better. I give a high priority to taking care of me.

If all else fails… eat chocolate!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Friday, February 22, 2013

Who Holds the Key to Your Happiness?

Filed under: Happiness — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

Cheryl Ries, Guest Author

Sometimes we must part from others, or they must part from us. It isn’t that we necessarily wanted to leave them, remove them from our lives or had any knowledge at the beginning that we could foresee that coming, but things change, people change, or sometimes things never were as they seemed.

keytohappinessIn the case of those who walk away, they say that the one who cares less in a relationship has the most power, I would guess that is true, as it seems the one who cares more seems to be the one who is often more wounded, hurt or negatively impacted by the surprise of the relationships demise. So in that regard that is a true statement.

It is important to remember that no one has power over your happiness but you. No one should hold the key to all your happiness but you, and so no one can take your happiness from you when they come or go from you life.

It’s always up to you and you alone to make it a best-case scenario, from the ones who benefit your life and lift you with their presence. With that you learn the greatness of a sweet blessing in which to always be thankful.

From those who treat you poorly, hurt you gravely or in some way just leave you wondering what went wrong, you take the lesson learned of what not to do, what to do better, or what to look for instead of what you accepted. Your choice is always in your own perspective but remember it will happen. People will come and go from your life, so it serves you to learn how to accept that with the least possible suffering and the most wisdom.

When others pass away, it is the hardest thing to endure, but even in that great loss, we must always choose to remember their part in our blessings so that the painful emotions even cannot erode the great memories or our happiness over time.

We must learn how to stand strong through it all, to hold on to our sense of self, our state of happiness and our ability to prosper in this life!

cherylriesCopyright © 2013 – Cheryl Ries. Cheryl Ries is a friend who is in the process of writing her first book. This is a preview of things to come. She likes to take a bite out of life’s big juicy apple… and believes that richness is measured in friendships, family, love and what you give away. Visit Cheryl’s Facebook page.

CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

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