How to Find Happiness

How to Find Happiness

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Could you use more happiness? Is there actually a way to be happier? 

In Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, she challenges us to look at happiness and see what we can do to boost it. Gretchen engages her readers in different concepts each month to build a stronger foundation of happiness.

In her first chapter, she focuses on how to find happiness. Her happiness project is fun and helps us explore the idea of happiness and how to increase it. 

Happiness is the state of being happy, a feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. Do you know that 1.2 billion people are looking up happiness on the internet? This tells me that lots of people are trying to find more happiness.

Not sure how happy you really are? One way to determine your happiness is to take the Subjective Happiness Scale (Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H).

Subjective Happiness Scale

For each of the following statements and/or questions, please circle the point on the scale that you feel is most appropriate in describing you. 

  1. In general, I consider myself: 

1     2     3     4     5     6    

Not very happy                 very happy  

  1. Compared to most of my peers, I consider myself: 

1     2     3     4     5     6    

Less happy                     more happy 

  1. Some people are generally very happy. They enjoy life regardless of what is going on, getting the most out of everything. To what extent does this characterization describe you? 

1     2    3     4     5     6    

Not happy at all                 Very happy 

  1. Some people are generally not very happy. Although they are not depressed, they never seem as happy as they might be. To what extent does this characterization describe you? 

1     2     3     4     5     6    

Not at all                     a great deal.

*Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: Preliminary reliability and construct validationSocial Indicators Research, 46, 137-155. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com.

Taking that quiz can be an eye opener to how happy you are. How did you score? Did you notice in some ways you are not happy or not as happy as you want to be?

Gretchen Rubin spends time in each of her chapters looking at how to increase happiness. I think you will find the ideas presented are helpful to boost happiness.

One way to increase happiness is to boost your energy, which entails increasing some basic shifts in your life.

First, go to sleep earlier.

Focus on getting 8 hours of sleep. Truthfully, many of us are sleep deprived. Here are some ways to get better sleep:

  1. Turn off electronics.
  2. Make the room dark.
  3. Keep the room cold. 

Second, exercise better (this is a term Gretchen uses)

She talks about being more efficient in your exercise/movement. I am really a just do it kind of girl. There are many hacks I try to use: 

  1. First, I call it movement. I find many people are turned off to “exercising” because they have felt so much shame over their lives about their weight and body image. 
  2. Second, I put it in my calendar. I actually have my gym time in my schedule. I find it is hard skipping a day when it is in my calendar.
  3. Third, my movement is fun. Yes, it is fun. I make it a goal to find movement that is enjoyable. We are physical beings in a physical body that does require us to have some form of movement. Do what is fun!

Third, get rid of the clutter: toss, restore, organize:

Look around and see what type of clutter you have. 

  1. Nostalgic clutter 
  2. Conservation clutter 
  3. Nostalgic clutter
  4. Bargain clutter
  5. Freebie clutter
  6. Crutch clutter 
  7. Aspirational clutter
  8. Outgrown clutter
  9. Buyer’s remorse clutter

This clutter can make you feel energetically stuck. See where your clutter is and find a way to either toss, restore or organize. You will feel more energy from it.

Fourth, tackle a nagging project.

What is an unfinished task that is nagging at you? We all have them and they help us to remain energetically stuck. I have some craft project that I either need to finish or get rid of. What about you?

Fifth, just act more energetic.

Putting out energy or effort does increase energy. I find action creates more action. It is a physical phenomenon. 

Lastly, listen to the Feed Your Soul with Kim podcast focused on Finding Happiness

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1056343/3583681-36-finding-happiness

Getting happier is a goal I can get behind. It makes me feel good. What can you do today to get happier? 

Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor, Speaker, Podcaster and Inspirational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She is the author of the book Feed Your Soul Nourish Your Life! A Six Step System to Peace with Food and the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Discovery Your Inspiration

You can find Kim on her podcast Feed Your Soul with Kim and you can find it on all podcast platforms. 

Determine if you are an Emotional Eater by signing up for the free Am I an Emotional Eater Quiz at https://kimmclaughlin.influencersoft.com/FYSU-EE

I have the tool for you.

I have the tool for you.

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I have been focused on wellness A LOT lately. I have found that 1 year into the pandemic, I have felt worn out. It feels like all the difficulty of the year has caught up with me. Many of you have told me the same thing. 

One of my favorite wellness tools is writing and journaling. I use a couple of different techniques for my journaling. Years ago, I came upon an extraordinary book, The Artist Way by Julia Cameron. 

This week’s Feed Your Soul with Kim Podcast is called: 

Wellness Tool #1: Journaling

In this episode we are looking at the value of journaling and we will:

  • Identify 5 key components to a productive journaling practice.
  • Explore 5 barriers to journaling. 
  • Learn the 4 (and more) benefits to journaling and how you can get started.

Have a listen to the program and please leave a comment, it helps our podcast get found by others. 

Here’s to using our tools.

Peace,

Kim

P.S. Have you checked out Emotional Eating Solutions Self Study? It is an affordable way to get a handle on overeating to have peace with food. 

Check it out: https://feedyoursoulunlimited.com/emotional-eating-solutions-self-study/

Good Morning Starshine- Morning Routine

Good Morning Starshine- Morning Routine

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This week I am considering how we start our day. 

As I reflected on my morning routine, I realized there are some basics to the routine that are important to me. The days I accomplish this morning routine, I feel energized. There are ways I can start my day that leads me to feel sluggish.

First, I am not a purist with how I start my day. I have heard experts and “high achievers” talk about how they start their day, and it sounds so great to me, but I am not able to achieve that mark daily. 

I have heard about meditating for an hour, getting up earlier, exercising first thing in the morning or drinking a concoction of warm water and hot spices. I have tried all of these and I do them for a while and do not stick with them. This had made me feel defeated that I could not have this pure morning routine.

What I have learned is there are some key ingredients to the morning that do make me feel good and get me started in the right way.

  1.  Wake up around the same time every day. This also means I need to go to bed around the same time every night. I have tried to wake up much earlier because I heard it was a great way to start the day. That does not work long term for me. I love my sleep. I have learned that allowing myself to sleep too late is a sign that I am off track and I need to look at rebalancing my life.
  2. I like coffee it the morning. I love the smell, taste, the warm mug. I do not require caffeine, so generally it is decaf. I find that a lot of caffeine through the day does not make me feel good. I do drink more than one cup of coffee!
  3. I have a comfy spot you will find me sitting in most mornings.
  4. I do look at my emails first thing in the morning. I have heard guru after guru state not to look at your phone until work or after breakfast. I like to see what messages are coming in and respond to anything urgent. This works for me, consider what works for you.
  5. I also check the news and see what has happened while I was asleep.
  6. I read the Daily Word, which is a small daily devotional book that inspires me. The Daily Word also gives me a point to close my eye and meditate. I take some moments to consider what is written and how it relates to me. Some days I add in longer meditation when the house is quiet. I either use the quote from the Daily Word and contemplate it or I use Insight Timer app and chose a meditation that matches my needs and time available.
  7. I often have more than one inspirational book that I look at in the morning. Right now, I include Codependent No More daily affirmations. It is a great book to look at codependency in a different way. 
  8. Lastly, I get out my journal and I write. I like writing about 3 pages using the Morning Pages format, which is 3 pages long hand without stopping.
  9. In addition, have breakfast. I find I am generally not hungry first thing in the morning, so the coffee works. I find breakfast is crucial to helping me get off to a good start to the day.

Now what do you do? Is your morning working for you or not? Consider reimagine your morning and determine what are the components that work for you.

Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor, Speaker, Podcaster and Inspirational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She is the author of the book Feed Your Soul Nourish Your Life! A Six Step System to Peace with Food and the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Discovery Your Inspiration

You can find Kim on her podcast Feed Your Soul with Kim and you can find it on all podcast platforms. 

Determine if you are an Emotional Eater by signing up for the free quiz on her website at www.FeedYourSoulUnlimited.com.

I have a question

I have a question

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I have been setting up my personal and business goals for 2021. I have talked before about visioning and making goals as a fun and productive way to enter into the new year. Last week, I talked about not making resolutions, but I am all in for goals and intentions for the year. 

My word for 2021 is Plenty and it sure is showing up in my goals. One of my goals for 2021 is to increase the downloads of my podcast by 100%. Whew… That is a huge goal and I am committed to reaching out to more people to help them feel peace with food. 

I have a question.

Really I have 10 questions in a super short (should take you no more than 2 minutes to complete) questionnaire about what you would like me to talk about on the Feed Your Soul with Kim Podcast. 

I am really interested in hearing what you think and what you want to hear on the podcast. Just click the button below to be taken to the questionnaire. 

I am getting ready to get back into the recording studio after being off for the holiday and I am interested in what YOU want to know and hear. 

Please take a few minutes to help me out. Click on the URL to get taken to the survey page: 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DFGJKRS

Don’t want to take the questionnaire? Simply reply to this email with your ideas.

I appreciate your help. 

 

Peace,

Kim

P.S. Want to listen to a timely Feed Your Soul with Kim Podcast?

Join us on the Feed Your Soul with Kim Podcast as we discuss New Year New Mindset.

I resolve to not have a resolution

I resolve to not have a resolution

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I love the start of the New Year, for me, it is a time to reflect and map out what I want in the New Year. I used to think I had to have all of my reflection and planning done by January 1 every year. I now know that there is time to reflect as January moves in and then time to focus on the year ahead. In other words, if you have not done any reflection on the old year by now, it is not too late!

I learn so much when I reflect on the year prior and plan my goals for the New Year. Please note, this does not include “resolutions” which are often not accomplished and abandoned by mid- February (see my podcast below). 

Each New Year, I love creating Vision Boards. It gives me a visual picture and key words to guide me throughout the year.

My friend Erin Summ is offering a virtual Vision Board Workshop called Confident Visionary Event on January 29 and 30. It is from 10-5 Pacific. I have been to her workshops before and you will not be disappointed. Please check out her workshop in the link below to see if this is a fit for you.

https://www.erinsumm.com/confidentvisionary/

FYI- I get no monetary benefit by introducing you to Erin, I just love what she does and want to amplify her message. 

Join us on the Feed Your Soul with Kim Podcast where I discuss why dieting is a horrible New Years resolution.

You might have already started one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions: lose weight and start exercising. We know that by mid-February 80% of people who made a New Year’s Resolution lose their resolve.

Join us on the Feed Your Soul with Kim Podcast as we discuss:

  • Who led you to believe that dieting was a good idea at the New Year?
  • The four feelings that accompany your dieting New Year’s Resolution.
  • Five steps you can take now to have a different outcome.

Peace,

Kim

Holiday Hungers 2020

Holiday Hungers 2020

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We are deep in this very unusual holiday season. I find that so often over the holidays we are feeding a lot of things other than ourselves. We are trying to feed our soul and our inner knowing, but we are not doing it in the correct way. 

Why is it hard to manage our hunger over the holiday? 

I have consistently heard people talk about feeling scared, confused, and upset about food over this time of year. I call the time between Halloween and New Years as the Holiday Trifecta. It is the time where we are focused on food and often it is food we do not have (or allow ourselves at other times of the year).

We have a lot that comes at us and a lot of expectations this time of year. Expectations that can get to be a little too much for us. It is interesting that food often shows up as difficult over the holidays. We think we are supposed to be a happy time and not experience any “negative emotions.” We wonder why we are upset when it is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” as the song says. In truth, it is not always that wonderful time of the year for lots of different reasons. 

If we tend to emotionally overeat, well now there is even MORE food. And it is a lot of food that we only see once a year. There is often that special food to you (pumpkin spice latte anyone?). You know all those items; I could name a bunch of them. We tend to want it now and often, which makes it hard to check in with our hunger and be mindful about what we eat. 

I remember when I used to work in an office job and there would be food all over starting in October. People bringing in all these items starting with all of Halloween candy and ending with all of the Christmas foods. I remember the lunch break room was filled with holiday food. It was tough to walk by and not eat, all day long. I would walk past it, but for me it was tough because I was thinking about it all day long. 

Now, during the Coronavirus Pandemic, many of us are working from home AND there is a struggle having food in the house. My clients are consistently finding it hard to eating intuitively while working from home. 

Once again there is a lot of this special food around that we only have that once a year and it makes us want to have a lot of it. 

 

Why is it hard to not overeat at the holidays? 

Each holiday has special foods that we, often, do not allow ourselves the rest of the year. From this perspective we can look at the dieting mindset/diet cycle: 

  • Starting with dieting and that means restricting and then when we restrict, we don’t have what we really want. 
  • We, then, overeat because we want it, we do not want to restrict. 
  • That leads us to feel guilty and feeling upset with ourselves that we’ve done.
  • this which then loses back up to want to restrict. 

This cycle can happen with that holiday special food, because if we say to ourselves, I’m not going to get this again for another 12 or 11 months then we’re going to have it. AND we’re going to have a lot of it because we only get it once a year. 

Pumpkin Spice Latte anyone? 

Starbucks has brilliant marketing; they have special drinks that only come out at the holiday time. There is a whole countdown to the special drink and tempt you by saying it is in short supply, so get it now. It can make you worry that you will miss out and not get it. The temptation is to get the most of it that you can. Noticing this as a sales tactic can help you notice how they are influencing your eating.  

What are the Holiday Hungers? 

The Holiday Hungers (you can hear all about this in my Feed Your Soul with Kim Podcast) are related to the “four hungers” that lead us to eat and overeat. Note, as I prepared to write about the four hungers, I realized there is a fifth hunger that is showing up bigger than ever during this year of the Covid19 Pandemic.  

The Four Hungers are:

  • Head Hunger- that sense of not being able to not think about food.
  • Mouth Hunger- that sensation of your mouth watering wanting the taste.
  • Heart Hunger- the feeling that you really desire the food.
  • Stomach Hunger- the true hunger of your body.

I noticed this year there is another hunger and that is Spiritual Hunger which is the hunger for something bigger than ourselves. 

What hunger have you been responding to?  

The first type of hunger is Head Hunger. Head hunger reminds me when I used to work in an office, and I could not stop thinking about the food in the break room. I was pretty much obsessed with the food and felt compelled to eat it. 

The second type of hunger is Heart Hunger, which is emotional hunger. This type of hunger comes into play with emotional triggers. If you have heart hunger, what is that hunger telling you? Maybe you need to take care of your heart and take care of the emotions. 

The third type of hunger is Mouth Hunger, which is when a food item sounds good. It is that sense that you just want to eat for the taste. Salivating and yearning for the item. It is not connected to physical hunger and it’s possibly connected to more emotions or more of the thought of being hungry but it’s really not hunger.

The fourth type of hunger is tummy or Stomach Hunger. This type of hunger is telling you, I’m physically hungry. It can be confusing when we are not experiencing physical hunger and we are at an event where there are items we don’t usually have, and we want them. Have them. It is ok. I find we can tend to not eat and go to event overly hungry, so we feel ok to eat everything we want. I wonder how that is working for you. You can then go to the edges of being overly hungry which leads us to binge and get overly full. 

Lastly, let’s look at Spiritual Hunger. This is the hunger for something that is bigger than you. It is a hunger for meaning and purpose. 

If you’re hungry eat till your satisfied, it doesn’t have to be too full but eat. You do not want to go to restrict, binge, guilt cycle which can happen this time of year. 

Now we can identify the hunger and then decide what/if we want to eat. There can be the feeling of powerlessness around food this time of year and you might think I am just going to go all in and overeat and I’ll deal with it the first of January (diet!). Pay attention to the thought that you will just overeat and diet at the New Year. That does not work and there is a better way to deal with food. Whenever you put yourself in a position to feel guilty about what you eat, your tendency will be to restrict later. 

We can move into a place of empowerment in our lives and with food. That feeling of empowered is one of the ways that we must heal that heart hunger. Looking at what are those emotional triggers that is leading us to overeat this is the time of year. 

I encourage you to at least recognize the feelings, to notice them and to see what emotions are showing up for you. 

Emotional eating is showing up often during this Coronavirus Pandemic

Emotional triggers can be things like: 

  1. Living in the time of the Coronavirus Pandemic. 
  2. Not being able to see your family.  
  3. Feeling stressed, lonely, and isolated. 
  4. Feeling bored because we cannot go out.  
  5. Feeling we must give up our needs to meet other’s needs. 
  6. Fear of getting sick or others getting sick. 
  7. Being unemployed and concerned about whether we can get another job. 
  8. Fear of not having enough money to buy presents. 

When we have a history of using to satisfy our feelings food becomes our go to when these uncomfortable situations occur.  

What can you do? 

Start recognizing and noticing these feelings. For me, when I notice I want to overeat or I am overeating, as I notice it, I talk to myself and ask myself questions: 

  • What is going on? 
  • What is making me feel uncomfortable? 
  • What would I like to do about it? 

When I feel the worst is when I don’t have a plan to deal with feeling powerless in situations whether it is with food, other people or situations. When I didn’t know how to deal with my emotional triggers then I felt powerless. 

Loneliness can be an emotional trigger. 

For many people feeling lonely leads to overeating. We are faced with unprecedented times, right now and feeling isolated and lonely are increased. 

Sadness can be an emotional trigger. 

We talked about Holiday Blues on the Feed Your Soul with Kim podcast recently. This season brings up memories or thoughts of what we don’t have and that can bring sadness. Many of us are not with the people we want to be with, or this holiday does not look like the way we want it to or the way it should be. Possibly you are not in a relationship and that brings on its own set of lonely and sad feelings. 

What can you do to lessen the Holiday Hungers?

I find insight is good, but we also must have coping skills to help us. I encourage you to find new activities to try out this year. I love to find ones that don’t involve food or money. I love seeing the creativity that arises. 

  1. Be physically active. If you generally go to the gym- do that. I can tend to not go to the gym over the holidays (I am a regular) because I am too busy, but now it is in my schedule as a must do. I know it makes me feel good and it makes me feel good to be active in the way that that that moves my body. The movement is not about working off the calories or the “bad” food. It is about keeping my body in action and move in a way that works for me. 
  2. Put something fun on your calendar. I usually have list of holiday gatherings and events I and my family want to go to. This year those events are cancelled. I generally crave down time at the holidays to have time to reflect on the spiritual ideas that come out this time of year. In other years, I have felt stretched too thin. Well, this year, I get to have that down time and I plan to take advantage of it!
  3. Get a routine together. You need a routine even when we are in a Pandemic! Go to bed on time, eat your regular foods on your regular schedule. The routine can be lost, and we then feel disconnect from ourselves. When I have my routine, I know my needs are being met. This also sets me up for realistic expectations.
  4. Stick to your budget and be realistic about what you can and cannot afford. Spend the amount of money you planned to spend without going into debt. Do you really want a huge credit card bill in January? Really my presence is my present. Meaning being fully conscious and focusing on your time with people can be more valuable than anything else.

Determining your hunger is the first way to determine what you really need. When we eat due to a non-physical hunger, we are not addressing the true meaning of the hunger. I encourage you to take a moment take a deep breath and notice the hunger and ask it what it must tell you or teach you. If it is true physical hunger (stomach hunger) then EAT. If it is one of the other hungers wonder how you might feed it. Engaging with hunger in this way will lead to greater satisfaction. 

Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor, Speaker, Podcaster and Inspirational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She is the author of the book Feed Your Soul Nourish Your Life! A Six Step System to Peace with Food and the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Discovery Your Inspiration

You can find Kim on her podcast Feed Your Soul with Kim and you can find it on all podcast platforms. 

Determine if you are an Emotional Eater by signing up for the free quiz on her website at www.FeedYourSoulUnlimited.com.

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