Archive for January, 2009

squirrel-funSummer Fun by kthypryn

Having Fun. Sounds good doesn’t it?  Well, it does to most people, anyway.  Yet, when it comes right down to it, it’s not a priority for many people.  Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking “But you don’t understand, I have bills to pay and work to do.  It’s tough in these economic times.”

It’s true that the world can be harsh.  Trouble can crash down overhead unexpectedly and hammer you into submission.  But that’s exactly why we should put fun at the top of our to-do list.  Now don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not suggesting we all frolic around like hyper-active fairies, flittering here and there, oblivious to the world.  Perhaps our definitions of fun are different.  My definition of fun is taking a light-hearted, open-minded approach to life and working and living with enthusiasm and zeal.

For me, this means fun is about music, dancing, cartoons, belly rubs with the dogs, walks in the park, bargain-shopping, going to the movies, etc and so on. I freely admit, my fun is juvenile and over-the-top.  That’s why I’m usually alone when I do it.  Most of the people I know are so fearful of looking foolish and getting laughed at.  Guess what – so am I!  I’ve just learned that waiting for the permission of others to do what you want is fruitless.  You may as well enjoy yourself now – you never know what hardships tomorrow might bring.

Having fun is also a positive form of therapy. Group therapy, self therapy, it all depends on whether you have fun alone or with others, but therapy all the same.  All those happy memories you create are going to be the foundation of love and joy that see you through the tough times.  When troubles arrive at your door, the friendships and love you’ve built with all those family barbeques, Disney trips, and days at the beach form the support to hold you up and keep you going.

Fun is the ingredient that adds variety and excitement to our life. Fun is the rush of adrenaline, the tingle in your belly as you explore the unknown.  It doesn’t matter if your fun is touring a museum, reading a book, flying a plane, or football.  It’s all about doing things that make you feel enthusiastic and energized about life.

Fun is all about the joy of it all. Listening to music while you clean, or decorating your cubicle with cartoons and fun quotes.  Taking a walk in the sun at lunch time, reading a humor book, having Saturday night cocktails with friends. These things give you something to look forward to before, during and after your work – bringing fun into otherwise dull and boring tasks.  Be creative and you’re sure to find opportunities to add more interest and smiles to your day.

Having fun is lonely because too many people put it at the bottom of their list.  They think they’re noble and selfless for doing this, but instead they are just missing opportunities for enjoyment.  Laughter, delight, and amusement make time fly by. You find yourself more engaged with the people are places around you.  It brings more satisfaction and pleasure into your life, and to those around you.

If you have fun at work and love going in each day – great! If not, think about ways to add interest and enjoyment to your day.  Can you take the scenic route to work?  Listen to a comedy tape as your drive?  Start a movie review group at work and talk about your favorite flicks.  Join a gardening club that meets once a week, or go online and talk Star Wars with other Clone freaks.  What your passion is, pursue it, and you and those around you will be happier for it.


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boat-sunsetLoneliness by Wolfgang Staudt

Loneliness is paralyzing, because of the fear it produces. You start to believe the hallucinations your brain is showing you; of friends laughing and partying without you, or family members having a barbeque feast and ignoring you.  These images are usually false fear signals generated by the brain.  Simply by reaching out to others you will see them for the deception they are.

Loneliness is powerful because it builds upon itself. Last week I suffered a bout of this myself.  Every day that a friend didn’t call, or someone didn’t say hello, I felt more ignored, left out and alone.  But by simply being the first one to call, speak or wave hello I received friendly and often enthusiastic responses.  My own fear lead me to believe the worst, when it was simply the hurried pace that most people live in that caused the conflict – not a lack of caring.

Loneliness and sadness go together hand in hand. That’s because when you feel like people are ignoring you or leaving you behind, you feel unloved and hopeless.  If people aren’t making an effort to get together with you, they obviously must not value your relationship very much.

But fear is the trap. Once your mind begins a cycle of fear and sadness, it’s very hard to snap out of it. Your usual activities are not fulfilling and you feel listless and bored.  This is not the time to ignore your feelings.  Feelings of pain and sadness are just as important as happiness and joy.  They are there to tell you something.  One of the most effective techniques for getting over pain is to merely admit to yourself you have the pain.  Saying to yourself “I am lonely,” is very liberating and powerful.  By admitting to your seeming flaw and naming it, you take away the power of the unknown.

Even if you are unlucky enough to find out that people actually dislike you, it is always better to deal with the truth.  If they consider you unworthy or not enough, you must decide if they are right and you need to make changes, or if you have simply outgrown your relationship with this person.  It is healthier to move on from a poor relationship, than to struggle on together, growing more and more resentful and frustrated.

Here are a few ideas to help you deal with your loneliness:

1.  Call a friend. It’s highly likely that your friends are not ignoring you, but rather simply got caught up in the drama of their own lives.  Most of forget that each individual is the center of his or her own universe.  Make the call and get the understanding and face time you need.  (If you’re going to blame your friends for your loneliness, the least you can do is make sure they really are ignoring you.)

2.  Watch a movie. I don’t know why it works, but if you put on your favorite movie, the one you know line for line and have seen a thousand times, it has a miraculous power to heal your fear.  Perhaps just remembering how many of your family and friends love the same thing will remind of happy memories and help you pick up the phone or make a quick personal visit.

3.  Help someone. The best way to make yourself feel better is to help someone else.  You can send someone an uplifting email, write a heartfelt letter, pet-sit, baby-sit, run an errand or whatever other little task keeps you busy and makes you feel useful and good.

4.  Use your alone time. Instead of feeling lonely, choose to make the best of your time alone.  What do you love to do by yourself that you can’t do with others around?  Do you love to dance to loud music for 2 hours?  Or stay up late watching a horror-movie marathon?  How about eating pizza at 6am, or vacuuming the house at 10pm?  Do those quirky things you love while you have the chance.  It will cheer you up and put a positive spin on being by yourself.

5.  Do something you’re good at. Can you paint, or sew, or grow prize-winning bougainvillea?  If so, take on a new project.  Using your strengths will help you regain your confidence and maybe even meet new friends.  It will give you a much-needed boost to your self-esteem.  You can even combine it with #3 and paint a mural for a nursing home or hammer a home for a poor resident.  Your feel-good receptors will skyrocket!

6. Confide in your Teddy Bear. Whether it be of the stuffed variety or the cuddly pooch you nicknamed “Teddy,” sometimes just talking about your loneliness helps get it out of your system.  A lack of response can even be helpful by allowing you insight into your pain or fear without any possibility of a real person saying the wrong thing while trying to help.

7.  Admit your fear. Name your emotions and they loose their power over you.  Say aloud “I feel sad and lonely.  I think nobody cares about me.”  This can instantly reveal that your fear is false.  You may still be sad, but you will probably realize that people do care about you.  Once you recognize that, perhaps you can pick a person to call and open your heart to.

8.  Prayer and meditation. Sometimes when you find a soothing, safe, quiet place for reflection and open your heart, you can let your feelings out in a secure environment.  Soon you’ll feel a release of the pain you’ve been holding inside.  Without fear and pain blocking your path you can find the strength to reach out to others again.

What are some of the tips you have for coping with loneliness and sadness? What fun, unusual or useful ideas worked for you in the past?  Please feel free to share them here.  And for all of you still feeling lonely – there are people who care about you.  One of them is right here.

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Happy New Year! by tanakawho

The beauty of New Year’s Day is the chance to start again. As a holiday it is a vivid reminder, on this one day of the year, to sit back and mull over your life and happiness.  Discover what was good, what was bad, and what could be improved.  Find what makes you happy, what you enjoy doing, and plan to do more of the same.  Look at events and circumstances that didn’t turn out as you expected to see what you could do differently in the future.

There are so many opportunities for making our lives happier and more fulfilling, we may not know where to start. How about more relaxation and quiet time for ourselves?  What about our desire for more time to spend with family and friends?  Or maybe a chance for a little more adventure, a class to learn to cook or paint, or starting a plan to improve our health?  The problem is that we believe tomorrow will always be there, that we will always have more time.

Luckily for all of us, every day is a new day, and every day is a chance to change what we don’t like or what doesn’t work for us. All we have to do is take the time to look at our life, at both the good and the bad.  Once we decide what we want to work on, we just need to take action and get started.  We don’t have to be perfect at first; we just need to get started.

New Year’s is our chance to begin anew. It’s time to write fresh, inspiring new goals.  Time to brainstorm fantastic new ideas and try out new habits and lifestyle changes.  It’s “do-over” day.  This is our opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past, and make better choices each day.

Most of us simply procrastinate from not knowing how to begin. What should we work on first?  How do you we get become more patient, or stop being late?  How can we replace our bad habits and negative behavior with new options?  Where do we go for help?

Don’t let the busyness of life keep you from your goals.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Visit the library. Read a self-help book, thumb through a magazine or get a how-to video or audio tape on the subject.
  • Join a cooking club, a weight-loss group, or volunteer to learn a new skill.
  • Keep a written list of your goals in a notebook or on your computer.  Set dates to check your progress.
  • Schedule 30 minutes, 3 times a week to work on your goals.
  • Ask a friend, coworker or someone you admire to be a mentor.
  • Volunteer. It will give you a feeling of satisfaction to help others and you can learn a new skill at the same time.
  • Cancel an obligation you don’t want, so you have room for one you do.
  • Reward yourself. After doing the dishes, walking the dog, exercising and picking up the bedroom, watch your favorite TV program for an hour or have a slice of chocolate cake for dessert.
  • Make an unpleasant task pleasant. Listen to music, wear a comfy shirt or your favorite blue sweater, pretend to be Sherlock Holmes solving a mystery while picking up the house, or take a 10 minute stretch break for every hour of chores.
  • Internet. Use the web to find other people who have accomplished what you want to do.  Learn their secrets.  Join a group with the same goals.
  • Find a “Good” buddy. Get a friend to help you gauge your progress and have a weekly call-in to make sure you stick to your rules.
  • Focus on what you want, not what you don’t. Instead of worrying about not getting enough exercise, turn off the TV for an hour each night – after work or after dinner, and walk the dog, take the kids to the park or have a basketball game with the guys.
  • Ask for help. From your spouse, your friend, your mother, your preist, or whoever you trust.

Also see my other post at Fun Spirit:  New Year Do-Over.

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