7 Hacks to Maintain a Happy State of Mind

I am often asked, “How do you stay so happy all the time?” Well the short answer is, “I don’t.” We all have times that involve “unhappy” emotions including sadness, despair, frustration or anger just to name a few. Life is full of cycles. Feeling the full range of emotions as you go through life is part of being human. No one is happy ALL of the time. The difference between “happy” people and people who are not happy is that “happy” people recognize that happiness is a choice. While we may feel sad or depressed, happy people choose not to set up camp and put down roots in that unhappy state, marinating in those unhappy emotions. It is not always easy but it is possible to move through tough times with a smile on your face.

When feeling unhappy emotions acknowledge them and even embrace these emotions, but set a limit. It is not going to help to ignore or deny how you are feeling. We must acknowledge the emotion and experience the related feelings that go with it in order to move through that emotion. However, also set a limit for yourself. Be it 10 minutes or an evening depending on the magnitude of the upset, only allow yourself to wallow in unhappiness for a set period. This does require you to exercise your willpower and to recognize that you are in charge of your emotions, not the other way around. When it is time to take control and move out of an unhappy state try the following hacks to shift back into a happy state of mind and allow the unhappy emotion to pass...Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/galleries/7-hacks-to-maintain-a-happy-state-of-mind.aspx#R3YhJjhSVBrRJ6Dx.99

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7 Differences Between Spirituality and Religion

Spiritual but not religious (SBNR) is a new buzz phrase often thrown around within new age circles. What exactly does that mean? How are spirituality and religion different and how are they the same?

A religion can be defined as an institution with a set of organized beliefs and practices shared by a community or group. The social network of a religion can provide structure and peer support in following prescribed codes of conduct for daily living. For the most part a religion is a public entity and the general premise of the religion’s doctrine including creed, code and ethics is documented, tangible and openly shared.

Spirituality on the other hand is a personal and uniquely individualized discovery and set of beliefs and practices that evolves over time. Through study, experience and self-reflection beliefs and practices evolve that support an individual in their unique connection to something outside of themselves. Spirituality is deeply personal and while some practices like yoga may be performed alongside others the actual belief structures and connection is unique to the individual and often completely known only to themselves.

The following 7 differences between religion and spirituality will help you to distinguish between the two... Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/wellness/personal-growth/7-differences-between-spirituality-and-religion.aspx#gR8OIUIxTX3IS9Xh.99

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5 Breathing Exercises to Boost Your Energy

Breathing is one of our most critical bodily functions. While we can live for months or weeks without food or water but a fresh supply of oxygen is required every few minutes for us to survive. Breathing is not only important physiologically but also has great power spiritually. The bible speaks of how God breathed the breath of life into Adam in the story of creation in Genesis. Some translations of the bible state that it is from the breath of God that we receive life. In Hebrew the word for breath also means life. The Greek language also has a word for breath that is analogous to spirit. In the book of John, Jesus draws an analogy between the breeze and the Holy Spirit blessing an individual. The power of breath has been known and respected in many cultures and belief systems for thousands of years.

The act of breathing has an impact on both our emotional and physiological states. Conscious breathing can help to rebalance our mind and body, reconnecting us to Spirit. When we consciously practice breathing we are able to relax and sent larger amounts of oxygen to every cell in the body, especially the brain. At the same time the act of breathing includes exhaling poisonous carbon dioxide from our systems thereby cleansing our system as we also nourish it with oxygen. Practicing any of the following conscious breathing exercises even for just 1 minute will re-energize, re-focus, and reconnect you to your purpose, allowing you to proceed with our day refreshed and with a clearer mind.

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/wellness/galleries/5-breathing-exercises-to-boost-your-energy.aspx#pFWYVXJhoGrWZ5UW.99

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Who is My Guardian Angel?

Have you ever wondered, “Who is my guardian angel?” Psalm 91:10-12 speaks of a heavenly spirit assigned by God to watch over us. We all have at least one guardian angel; some may have more than one guardian angel assigned to us in our lifetime. Our guardian angels seek to guide and protect us as we go through our lives. The concept of guardian angels dates back thousands of years across many faiths. In the Bible we find many stories where angels act as guides or intercessors. Angels are spiritual beings who do not incarnate in human form. They are not deceased relatives but powerful spiritual beings assigned by God to help us along our journey. Thomas Aquinas said, “ On this road man is threatened by many dangers both from within and without, and therefore as guardians are appointed for men who have to pass by an unsafe road, so an angel is assigned to each man as long as he is a wayfarer.”

And yet the question still remains “Who is my guardian angel?” Is it someone I know or have a connection with? Does everyone have one? Does my guardian angel have a name? How do I communicate with my guardian angel? You are on the right track. Building your connection with your guardian angel can also help you to strengthen your relationship with God. Your guardian angel loves you and is interested helping you to get answers to your questions. Guardian angels love to support you by providing guidance, wisdom and encouragement. Here is how to connect with your guardian angel and answers to some of your important questions... Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/angels/galleries/who-is-my-guardian-angel.aspx#oZMYU4igGqVgmo7G.99

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7 Signs the Angels Are Guiding You

An angel is a spiritual being who serves as a messenger of God. Angels deliver messages of wisdom, inspiration and support to each of us at different times in our lives. Often angels communicate by sending signs to guide and encourage us along our paths. These signs may or may not be recognizable to us at the time. Angelic messages are perfectly timed coming to us at just the right moment. The messages can be hints, nudges, provide specific answers, messages of support and encouragement or warnings. The messages are sometimes repetitive and delivered over a period of time. Signs of angelic guidance appear out of the ordinary often with a unique personal meaning. The key to receiving angelic guidance is to notice the signs that are being sent to us so that we can interpret the meaning of each sign for ourselves and apply the angelic guidance to our lives.

There are many different ways that angels may communicate with each of us including visions, dreams, hearing a voice, and through signs. Receiving angelic guidance through signs that have a symbolic significance to the receiver is the most common form of angelic communication. The following are 7 of the most common signs of angelic guidance and what they mean.

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/angels/galleries/7-signs-the-angels-are-guiding-you.aspx#DwqqTWmrWYcPT8v5.99

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5 Steps for Trusting in God’s Plan During Difficult Times

We all face hardships in life, but we never have to walk through them alone.

When navigating through some of life’s darkest moments often all that we can hold onto is our faith in God. Our faith is what sustains us, what gets us through challenging times when we, ourselves, cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is in those times that through our faith we trust that God must have a plan, that there must be a greater purpose to our suffering. Without that belief, without that faith, we would have nothing to hold onto, nothing to get us through the dark night of the soul.

Faith and trusting in God means believing in God’s divine timing and believing that God has the interest of our greater good at heart, even when we cannot see it in the moment. There is always a reason. It just may not be a reason that we can comprehend with our current level of understanding.

As we move through any struggle however, there are certain steps we can take to align with our faith to support us in navigating the storm as efficiently and smoothly as possible.

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/galleries/5-steps-for-trusting-in-gods-plan-during-difficult-times.aspx#pVUKu51Q7Yzvw3Sw.99

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6 Essential Steps to Becoming a Happier Person

If you want true happiness, follow these tips.

Happiness sometimes can seem elusive and yet it is the greatest quest in our life’s journey. We all can use more happiness in our lives. Often life’s lessons can seem to deplete our happiness at times, especially when we are facing challenges. Life is a series of cycles, ups and downs. None of us are “up” all of the time.

That said increasing happiness is a worthy pursuit. Happiness does not mean the absence of negative emotions. Happy people still experience the full spectrum of emotions but the frequency of negative emotions is less and they process those negative emotions differently by finding meaning and an alternate perspective that others many not.

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/galleries/6-essential-steps-to-becoming-a-happier-person.aspx#c8dLyTHE0X6BgRjG.99

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7 Life Changing Ancient Mantras

A mantra is a word or a phrase that can be repeated over and over again allowing the vibration of the sound and its meaning to sink into our subconscious. The use of mantras goes back to ancient times. Mantras have existed for thousands of years tracing back to the Vedic period in India as well as in Japan, China, and other countries across the world.

Repetitive chanting of a mantra allows the mantra’s vibrations to deeply penetrate the subconscious and bring about transformation. How many times you chant a mantra varies based on tradition. In India, mantras are often chanted 108 times counting the repetitions with the help of mala beads, which have 108 beads on the string. The chanting and the ritual of holding the beads in your hand help in setting intentions and maintaining focus.

Over the centuries miraculous reports of the use of mantra rituals to eliminate disease, obstacles, remedy disasters, neutralize karma and bring blessings and love are plentiful. Many believe that the proper use of mantras can make the impossible possible.

Here are 5 powerful Sanskrit mantras, with their ancient meanings.

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/galleries/7-life-changing-ancient-mantras.aspx#oFWyoGD6ytMUYvdr.99

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5 Tips for Effectively Managing Temptation

Everyone experiences temptation in life. Commercials, advertisements and marketing campaigns tempt us every day. Temptation is defined as a strong urge or desire to have or do something. Some temptations may be small in the grand scheme of life and others so big that they can be literally life changing if we give in to them. Anything that dangles the carrot of a more pleasurable experience can create the feeling of temptation. No matter the life area: career, finances, relationships, health or lifestyle, there will be temptations from time to time.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/wellness/galleries/5-tips-for-effectively-managing-temptation.aspx#Z4JPB5XULhdjZ8OZ.99

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Managing Mind and Body through Meditation

Ways to Manage Your Symptoms

Scientific studies show that meditation restructures the brain providing many neurological benefits. These exciting benefits can be seen in a few short weeks and can have a dramatic impact in your life. For people with challenging symptoms of illness or aging, the benefits of meditation can negate or lessen the need for medication and make the symptoms more manageable. Documented physical changes in the brain include: changes in the volume of grey matter; regulation of emotions and cognitive ability; decreased activity in parts of the brain that increase anxiety and cause our thoughts to wander; enhanced synapses or connections within the brain. These enhanced synapses improve memory, spatial reasoning, problem solving and the ability to juggle multiple tasks. The changes in the brain improve overall function and how you respond to stimuli. Through meditation we can train our brain to better manage symptoms of illness and aging. Here are 6 areas where meditation techniques are proven to improve the quality of your life. http://www.beliefnet.com/Wellness/Meditation/Managing-Mind-and-Body-through-Meditation.aspx

Developing the Habit of Honesty

No matter what, developing a habit of honesty is important for us to grow. Honesty is one of the great virtues. Living an honest life often takes effort. Honesty is not only demonstrated by our words, honesty is all so exemplified in our thoughts and actions. Not only must we not lie to others with our words, but we also must be honest in our actions by doing what we say we are going to do. With the many demands on our time, the desire to please others it is easy to say yes when we should have said no. To agree to things, we do not truly agree with. Making sure that our words, actions and thoughts are aligned is not as simple as it may at first seem... Click here to read more: Developing the Habit of Honesty