September is Self-Improvement Month

What do you know about endorphins?

Spike is happy with a full belly laught

Have a good belly laugh and feel the release of endorphins, your body’s own opiates. These are a group of hormones (neurotransmitters) secreted by the pituitary gland and the central nervous system that increase feelings of pleasure and well-being and reduce pain and discomfort. Endorphins provide an analgesic effect similar to morphine.

Here is a list of endorphin igniters:

  • Smiling and laughing
  • Exercising
  • Eating dark chocolate
  • Positive thinking especially about yourself
  • Connecting with family and friends
  • Celebrating with those you love to be around
  • Receiving recognition — a hearty pat on the back
  • Giving a thoughtful compliment
  • Enjoying nature’s beauty

Ten wise choices for a better life

1. Be yourself.  Are you spending way too much time, money and energy living up to someone else’s idea of how you should live? Are you building your life on expectations from parents, teachers, peers, colleagues, spouse, children, the community and a host of others along the way? Relax, take a deep breath and choose your own path. Just be yourself!

2. Identify your purpose in life. Stop filling your days with busyness, running on a treadmill and getting nowhere. Participate in activities that support your core values and goals. Write out a personal mission statement. Fill in the end of this sentence: I believe ____________________ .

3. Declutter. Are your possessions possessing you? The more you have, the more you have to maintain, clean, insure, store and work to pay for it all. While you begin to declutter your possessions, spend a bit of time reflecting on what emotional or mental clutter you need to discard as well.

4. Relinquish emotional attachment to stuff. Are you harboring possessions because of emotions? Are these items displayed on crowded shelves or hidden behind closed doors? Take some time to examine each one and decide just how important is it to your life right now. If something is really important to you, then display it is a loving manner where it is kept safe and clean. If you truly want to keep the item, place in a shadow box to hang on the wall or set up a memory shrine with treasured belongings. Or, take a picture of it, then pass it along to someone who needs it or will continue to treasure the item. Maybe it is time to ‘let it go!’

5. Count your credit cards. If you cannot live with only one credit card and if you do not pay off the balance every month, then chances are your debt is out of control. The claws of financial clutter have you trapped. Seek some advice from a reputable financial planner and get out of debt just as soon as possible. It will be a huge burden taken off your shoulders.

6. Schedule fun into your calendar. Connecting with activities that you love increases your energy level and passion for life.

7. Take very good care of yourself. No one else will do it for you. Eat right, get plenty of sleep and exercise. Regular exercise increases heart and lung capacity, accelerates energy levels and enhances self-image. You are what you eat, so choose wisely! You are what you do, so get off the couch!

8. Get off the roller coaster. Life is made up of daily choices. You choose to live life speeding in the fast lane, or you choose to stop and smell the roses. Taking a shower is an efficient use of time; however, a relaxing bath may be a worthy choice. Creating a peaceful living and working space is a choice. Healthy meals do not necessarily mean long hours in the kitchen. It is the simple ingredients of red, yellow and green fruits and vegetables that add the most health benefit in terms of antioxidants. The roller coaster ride can be over if you so choose.

9. Breathe. Learn simple breathing techniques to stimulate relaxation. Press your tongue onto the roof of your mouth, and slowly breath in through your nose continuing until you are fully inflated. Hold for a couple of seconds and notice how much oxygen you bring into your starving tissues when you learn deep breathing techniques. Release your breath slowly by exhaling through your mouth while contracting your abdominal muscles. It really is quiet simple and effective.

10. Be thankful. Each day establish a time for mental gratitude. Think about those people you love to be around. Write down everything for which you are thankful. Stop complaining. Stop making excuses. Instead of waiting for things to get better, be grateful for what you have. Sustain an attitude of gratefulness each and every day. Start building a life rather than pursuing a lifestyle.

Two footprints symbolizing Next Step

CLICK HERE to communicate with me. As a Life Management Coach, I would love to help you achieve success in reaching your goals. Taking control is the first step and developing daily habits will ensure peace of mind and keep you on track. Are you ready? One step at a time!

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