OK In Health - A Mindful Connection

Achieving Happinesss in Five Steps - December 2011

“Happiness is a by-product of living a good life.”

By Carole Fawcett, Vernon, BC

senior laughingWe all enjoy life so much more when we are feeling happy and fulfilled.  I believe that we will live longer and stronger if our personal purpose is joy. Happiness is not bought nor is it given.  It is something we must reach out for and create in our own lives.  It has no monetary value, but the value it does have is priceless.

The road to happiness can be taken by starting with the following 5 things:

 

1. Do not take anything personally.

Remember that everyone walks around with emotional baggage of some sort.  Their response to you is coloured by this baggage and has nothing whatsoever to do with you.  Their frustration or anger is something that is unfinished within them.  Their impatience is frequently impatience with themselves.  Their inability to love is likely an inability to love themselves.

 

2. Deal with the things that bother you.

Do not hold on to grudges or bad feelings about anyone.  It only poisons your own soul and your own body.  So, if it means speaking to someone and trying to work things out, do so.  If you are in a job that you dislike, start to look for ways to find another job that you do like.  Do not stay in unhealthy relationships.  Walk away from anything that creates angst or pain.  Work toward getting rid of all the stressful and negative situations in your life.

 

3. Practice gratitude and forgiveness daily. 

Get up in the morning being mindful of what it is you are grateful for.  State it out loud.  Forgive yourself and others for both your own and their imperfections.  Our world is not perfect and will never be until we, as individuals, achieve our own state of personal happiness.  This will then radiate and spread to the rest of the world. 

 

4. Help others whenever the opportunity arises.  Love humankind.

Helping others takes the focus off our own challenges.  We seem to spend a lot of time in our society focused on our own wants and needs.  If we learn how to reach out to others, it will help to put our own issues into perspective. 

 

5. Laugh as often as possible.

Laughter is one of the best things you can do for yourself.  Laughter sets of chemical process in your body that is beneficial to your well being.  These chemicals immediately start to diffuse the stress your body may be feeling.  Laughter is contagious and spreads feelings of happiness.  Laughter begets laughter.

 

Remember, don’t take anything personally, get rid of your baggage, be grateful and forgive others, help others and laugh as much as possible each day. 

So, start with those five things and be conscious of them daily.  I am almost certain that you will notice a big change in your life within a short period of time.

 

As a dear friend of mine says “happiness is a by-product of living a good life.” 

 




Carole FawcettCarole's Bio: Carole Fawcett is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Registered Professional Counsellor who believes that we all have the ability to self-heal the hurts of our life journey. Carole comes from a place of empowerment and gently assists her clients to find themselves through the power of their minds. Carole is a seasoned professional speaker and offers workshops on stress, laughter and life management. Carole is a member of several professional counselling and hypnotherapy organizations as well as the Professional Writers Association of Canada. 250-558-0688 - Carole Fawcett Website - Email


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Recipe
Tuscan Leek & Bean Soup
Category: Soup
Description: Welcome those crisp winter days with a pot of hearty Tuscan bean soup. Leeks are a unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, the allium vegetables belong in your diet on a regular basis. Like their allium cousins, onions and garlic, let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking to enhance their health-promoting qualities.
A good source of dietary fiber, leeks also contain goodly amounts of folic acid, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Easier to digest than standard onions, leeks have laxative, antiseptic, diuretic, and anti-arthritic properties.
Leeks contain many noteworthy flavonoid anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have proven health benefits.
Leeks are low in calories. 100 g fresh stalks contain 61 calories. Further, their elongated stalks provide good amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase enzyme in the liver cells. Further, it also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activities.
Allicin also decreases blood vessel stiffness by release of nitric oxide (NO); thereby bring reduction in the total blood pressure. It also blocks platelet clot formation and has fibrinolytic action in the blood vessels, which helps decrease overall risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), and stroke.
Leeks are great source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Their leafy stems indeed contain several vital vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin in healthy proportions. 100 g fresh stalks provide 64 µg of folates. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division. Their adequate levels in the diet during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
In addition, leeks are one of the good source of vitamin A (1667 IU or 55% of RDA per 100 g) and other flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants such as carotenes, xanthin, and lutein. They also have some other essential vitamins such as vitamin C, K, and vitamin E. Vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Further, its stalks have small amounts of minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
Often overlooked in leeks is their important concentration of the B vitamin folate. Folate is present in leeks in one of its bioactive forms (5-methyltetrahydrofolate, or 5MTHF) and it is present throughout the plant (including the full leaf portion, not only the lower leaf and bulb).
Fresh leeks should be stored unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator, where they will keep fresh for between one and two weeks. Wrapping them loosely in a plastic bag will help them to retain moisture.
Tips for Preparing Leeks - Cut off green tops of leeks and remove outer tough leaves. Cut off root and cut leeks in half lengthwise. Fan out the leeks and rinse well under running water, leaving them intact. Cut leeks into 2-inch lengths. Holding the leek sections cut side up, cut lengthwise so that you end up with thin strips, known as the chiffonade cut, slicing until you reach the green portion. Make sure slices are cut very thin to shorten cooking time. Let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes before cooking.
With a more delicate and sweeter flavor than onions, leeks add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present. Although leeks are available throughout the year they are in season from the fall through the early part of spring when they are at their best.
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