National Coffee Day

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Today is national coffee day, and a great time to get in touch with the things you love.

A warm cup of cappuccino with any kind of delicate design gracing its surface is one of my most delectable delights, especially when enjoyed in a quiet cafe with Autumn colored walls and a painted cement floor.

Call me crazy, but cappuccino in a round, thick, ceramic cup lights up my day, relaxes my mind and fills my heart.  I love that it stimulates so many of my senses: sight, taste, touch – the warmth of the cup, and smell – that strong dusky scent. (Studies show that even sniffing coffee can awaken our senses and reduce stress!)

What treat, item, or setting, washes away the worries of the world, and makes even the greyest day shine for you?

Research shows that enjoying and savoring our personal pleasures is a great way to re-set and redirect our gloomy feelings and thoughts. The more descriptive and detailed your description of your pleasure the more likely you will be able to recreate its effect in your mind, long after you’ve enjoyed it.

I hope today you treat yourself to your favorite special moment or food, and then take time in the days ahead to replay the joy it brought you. I’m heading to a old-fashioned New York Italian bakery a perfect half-mile walk away for a steamy cup and and a crunchy, walnut, shortbread cookie, and I plan to savor the memory when I am back in Florida, 1200 miles my favorite cup of that delicious brew!

 

 

 

 

If truth be told

I met with some amazing women last night and we were talking about truth.

Many of us have buried our truths so deeply within ourselves, we don’t even know where they are anymore and often deny their existence.

What do you really want? What do you really love? Where do you hurt? What makes you smile? What do you want more or less of?

Don’t be afraid of the truth. Telling yourself the truth is never a bad thing. It will change things, that is true, but it is the best way to really understand yourself and to recognize your dreams.

candle-1240376__340When you start telling yourself the truth, you will have this overwhelming urge to tell others, please don’t, not yet. Let your truths see the light of day and adjust to it. Let them enjoy being with just you until you become comfortable telling yourself the truth and can treat your truths with tender, loving care. Then you can begin telling others – if you still feel the need.

You see, a miraculous thing happens when you start living with your truths. You open yourself to a world of new ideas and options, a world where vulnerability, humility, confidence and creativity combine to create new ways of living and acting. Doors appear. Pathways emerge. Satisfaction and happiness grow and flourish.

Treat your truths with the love and respect they deserve. Truth be told, they are a part of you – the rich, wonderful, creative, talented, intelligent, beautiful person you truly are.

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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What lens will you use to view the world in 2016?

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How do you want to see the world in 2016?

How do you picture yourself?

Our view of the world, shapes how we react to it – and may shape how the world responds to us. This wonderful 3 minute video helps illustrates that.

How you picture yourself can influence almost every aspect of your life.

Visit Wishful Thinking Works often in the days and weeks ahead as we help you focus on creating the life you really want through articles and posts, free resources, workshops and much more.

 

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Communicating with heart

heart-968777_640At one of my Wishful Thinking Women gatherings this weekend we talked about a wonderful way to improve communication with those you love, care about or work with. I first shared this post in 2011, and after talking about it on Saturday, I thought now would be a great time to re-post it. Enjoy!

Would you like to improve your relationships with your kids, your spouse, significant other, friends, extended family and co-workers?

If so, try the method Dr. Martin Seligman describes in his latest book, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being. Seligman is the father of positive psychology and in Flourish he discusses PERMA, the 5 pillars of well-being:

P – Positive emotion (happiness, fun, gratitude);

E – Engagement (flow – loosing ourselves or becoming completely absorbed in our work, our hobbies, or the moment);

R – Relationships (those that touch our hearts, our souls and our minds);

M – Meaning (a sense of purpose and fulfillment in our lives) and

A – Accomplishment (learning and moving forward with endeavors big and small and knowing and using your strengths).

Today, I’m focusing on only one aspect of PERMA – Relationships, and how to create better connections.

Dr. Shelly Gable, a researcher and professor of social psychology at UCSB, took a positive psychology approach to love and marriage research and discovered that how couples celebrate the good times, is a stronger indicator of the strength and resiliency of relationships than how they fight or deal with negative situations. This might not seem like a big deal, but for decades psychologists have been researching and trying to fix conflict or breaks in relationships rather than focusing on what make them stronger.

“Shelly Gable turns all this on its head. She is one of the few who work on what makes a marriage great, and her work holds a crucial lesson for all of us who want to transform a good relationship—marriage, parent, or friendship—into an excellent one.”

Gable developed the chart below to show and categorize how people communicate in response to good news. Read the chart and decide where the majority of your responses fall. (Be honest – awareness is the first step of change!)

Next, observe yourself in action this week to see if your reactions fall squarely where you think they do. If you discover that your actions are not speaking as constructively as you would like, follow these steps and in no time you will be seeing positive results.

  1. Pay attention. Let the person who is talking to you “see” that you are listening. Look them in the eye, turn your body toward them. Smile, laugh, touch them.
  2. Say something positive: “Oh, Susan, that is wonderful.” “I’m so excited for you.” or whatever words work for you. Let your choice of words and the way you say them show your excitement.
  3. Ask questions: “When did you get the good news?” “How did you find out?” And, then follow-up with a sincere “Tell me all the details.” or “You must have been so excited, tell me all about it.” Any words that show your honest interest are the perfect words. You don’t need to overdo it, just ask and then listen – actively. Stay involved in the conversation so the person you care about, can share and savor the good news with you. Let the conversation be all about them.
  4. Suggest a way to celebrate. “Let’s go out to dinner to celebrate.” “Let’s open a bottle of wine.” Let’s go to the movies.” “Let’s . . . ” simply fill in whatever you know the person or child would really enjoy.

If you’re involved in a conversation and you realize that you aren’t responding as you would like, no problem. Simply stop and ask for a do-over. Say something like “You know what, I don’t think I’m being as positive as I can be about your good news, can we start over?” And then, do it. Your listener may be surprised, but will appreciate it.

Active/Constructive communication works so well, you may notice immediate results. Seligman shares a wonderful story in his book about an Army sergeant, who began actively and constructively responding to his young son and reported “about halfway through the conversation, my son interrupted me and said, “Dad, is this really you?” The sergeant’s new approach made his son uneasy at first, but within a few minutes the happiness in the boy’s voice shared just how much his Dad’s attention and approval meant to him. (Seligman has designed and iimplemented a very successful resiliency program for all Army personal, which includes the concept of PERMA.)

Give active/constructive communication a try, and let us know how it works.

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Time to celebrate with your personal “Ta Da” list

It’s time to begin celebrating your triumphs. This is the fourth year I’ve posted about this timely topic; I love creating blog traditions!  Today is the 183rd day of 2015, which is the halfway point.  It is the perfect time to celebrate you and your life by creating your very own “Ta Da” list.  The Wishful Thinking Works “Ta Da List is much more fun than a “To Do” List, because it’s for all the wonderful things you’ve already accomplished!

What have you accomplished this year that just six months ago seemed impossible or a distant possibility? (Feel free to include anything you have ever accomplished – this is the time to toot your horn.)

What new trails have you blazed?

What have you found the strength to face?

What promises have you kept?

What chances did you take?

What teeny, tiny or wondrously huge steps have you taken in the direction of your dreams?

I think that since folks will soon be celebrating with parties, picnics and pyrotechnics for the Fourth of July, it’s a fantastic time to combine our patriotic triumphs with our personal ones – and celebrate them all!

Start now to make this Fourth of July your personal Independence Day. Complete your “Ta Da” list to light-up your life by counting your successes.

Most of us spend way more time thinking about what we haven’t done, than what we have done. It’s time to change all that and make 2015 your year of the have’s not the have not’s

Celebrating success builds confidence, which moves us forward faster and makes us happier along the way!

fireworks-180553__180Don’t be shy – this is the season for aiming high and lighting up the sky. List everything you have accomplished, big and small, and then, when you are watching “the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air” congratulate yourself on your 2015 accomplishments thus far, and all the exciting ones that lay ahead. Let those bright lights and loud booms ignite a sense of personal pride just for you.

To get started, click here for your free Wishful Thinking Works downloadable Ta Da List .  Don’t forget to share with family and friends so they can begin celebrating, too. 

Have fun, and here’s to a perfectly positive Independence Day in 2015!

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The magic of mindful eating

MP900177759Easter is just days way, and for many of us Easter baskets are wells of temptation. Instead on mindlessly chomping on handfuls of jelly beans or quickly biting off the head of a milk chocolate bunny, why not savor and enjoy each bite?

Studies show that paying attention to what we eat, how a food tastes and feels in our mouth and how we feel when eating it is not only is an effective weight loss tool, it is a great way to increase our happiness, especially if we consider the food we are eating a treat.

peeps1So, before you dive into that bowl of jelly beans or rip open a package of Peeps – take your time to pick out a few, put them on a special plate and then savor their color, aroma, texture and taste. Roll those babies around on your tongue and let your senses engage. Give those delectable delights your full attention, release those endorphins and enjoy every single second of  the experience.

Mindful eating can not only bring you sweet and satisfying moments, it can increase your happiness and your productivity.  It will raise your mood, and possibly interrupt the urge to eat more than you really want, which can reduce all those guilty feelings you might experience afterward.

It’ a win, win, win – enjoy!

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Capture happy!

Capture  Happy Patrice Koerper Wishful Thinking Works

Today is International Day of Happiness!

Take some time to capture happy and enrich your life in the process.

Positive thoughts and feelings are like hi-test fuel for your brain.

Capturing – labeling, wallowing, and replaying – positive thoughts and feelings will spark the release of even more positive-producing hormones, chemicals, and connecting agents in your brain.

It’s science, not hocus-pocus or feel good mumbo-jumbo.

Positive thoughts and emotions light-up our brains in all the right places, giving us the fuel we need to move forward in a positive direction.

The next time you are feeling particularly perky and positive, warm and fuzzy, or cozy and comfy – capture the moment.

1. Label it.

“Hey, this feels good.”  “I feel great.”  “I like this.”  “I’m happy!” “This feels wonderful.”

2. Wallow in it.

Take time to let the feeling soak into your entire body, let it flow throughout your body.

3. Replay it.

Hours, days and weeks later, take a moment to relive an earlier moment that have made you happy. If you took Step 2 seriously, you will be able to bring back the same feelings you had when the moment occurred with almost the same intensity. A totally sweet deal – that is available to you for free, 24/7!

The goal is to capture yourself feeling good and give equal time and effort to imprinting those memories. You will build-up a reservoir of good feelings to relive, which will eventually spill over onto your attitude and outlook. And, with time and you will catch yourself feeling happier and happier.

You can choose what you record and replay. What better way to celebrate International Happy Day then by capturing happy?

PS I know you can do this, because we do it all the time with negative thoughts. We rehash and relive each and every second of our drama/trauma moments – blow-by-blow, insult and injury. You see, those moments were highly charged, we allowed them to make an impression and they are easier to remember, but with practice you can do the same thing with everyday positive moments and memories, and then use them to recharge yourself. (This post has been revamped from a 2012 Wishful Thinking Works post)

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