Five Tips For OverComing Negative Thoughts

Sunshine field

Hello Followers!  Did you start following my Happy Health Coach blog because you needed some inspiration!? Or something to counteract those negative feelings and thoughts that are swimming around in your head?  Well, if you did, here is your…shot of sunshine for the day! Five Tips for Overcoming Negative Thoughts:

1. Surround Yourself with Positive People It’s true!  We do adopt the characteristics, thoughts and feelings of those who we are in contact with on a regular basis.  Do you have toxic friends or co-workers?  Maybe a toxic family member? Find some new friends and peers to hang out around who live life the way you want to live it!  Healthy, happy friends are an important part of a healthy, happy lifestyle.

2. Help Someone Assisting others with their needs will help you get the focus off of little distractions and thoughts that consume your mind and lead to depression, anxiety and stress.  Helping others boosts one’s confidence, creates feelings of compassion and nurtures your spirit.

3. Write a Gratitude List Start a gratitude journal that you write in daily before bed or as soon as you wake up in the morning.  Write down anything and everything you are grateful for– even if those things feel insignificant!  Try it out for a week to start–I know you will see a difference in your life!

4. Sing to Upbeat Music Crank up your stereo, radio or boom box!  Music has a way of speaking to our soul and our hearts like nothing else in this world can.  You become what you consume. Listen to happy music and your negative thoughts will internally start to change.

5. Give Yourself Permission to Turn Your Day Around at any Given Moment Did your day start out sour?  Who says it has to stay that way?  We often judge our days by the way our morning started out.  Our thinking process goes something like this, “Good morning=good day and bad morning=bad day.”  I’m telling you–it doesn’t have to be that way!  What if you decided that Mondays were now the best day of the week instead of the worst?  How would that change your life?

Happy thoughts!

Health Coach Autumn

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Amidst the devastation in Washington State, we are grateful for…

grateful

It has been a devastating last year for Washington State; the place I call home. 

Last year, the I-5 Bridge over the Skagit River collapsed suddenly, sending drivers and their vehicles into the cold river water below.  I actually had driven over the bridge a little while before it went down.

This March, in the small town of Oso, Washington, an unstable hill caved in, triggering a mudslide and engulfing a rural neighborhood.  It wiped out a 1 square mile area and many lives, homes and livelihoods were lost.

This July, we set the record for the largest wildfire ever in Washington state, covering 237,000 acres of land and wiping out over 300 homes and businesses. This fire is still burning this very second.

This past weekend I decided it was time to spread some positive energy around my community, amidst the devastation.

At my Health and Lifestyle Coaching booth, I simply asked:  “What are you Grateful for?”  and had attendees of the festival write their answers on index cards and hang them up on string.

The response was overwhelming.  Here is what everyone shared:

I am grateful for my husband.

I am grateful for resilience.    -Karen L.

I am grateful for a stranger’s smile, chocolate, peanut butter ice cream, chemo, dusk, coffee beans, and the next friend I will meet.

I am grateful for my good health (almost 75 years!)

I am grateful for my amazing family and friends. -Janie O.

I am grateful for my wonderful sister.

I am grateful for my mom, dad and sisters!  -Elaina

I am grateful for having a roof over my head and food to eat, and a loving family.

I am grateful for another day.

I am grateful for my wonderful life, my wonderful wife, family and friends.

I am grateful for the blessings in my life.

I am grateful to be able to think correctly and not get nervous anymore.

I am grateful for my dear girlfriends!

I am grateful for my son.  He is the light of my life.  -Louise

I am grateful for my house and my family.

I am grateful to be 85, still going and having fun!

SO NOW I ASK YOU:  What are you grateful for?

To your happiness!!

Health Coach Autumn

 

 

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Your Happiness

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by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”       

Perhaps no statement in American history is better known or has been more powerful and iconic than this one issued by Congress in the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. Not only does this proclamation entitle us, as Americans to powers that cannot be given away nor should be questioned; equality, life, freedom, but it also allows us the right to pursue our happiness. As Americans, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” has become our birthright; our motto; our creed.

What does it truly mean to pursue happiness? In modern society, many of us have come to believe that the “pursuit” of happiness is the journey we take in order to achieve our desires. If we follow the pursuit, eventually we will get a bigger house, our ideal career, become more popular, choose the right mate, have the perfect family—and then we will be happy. But happiness is fleeting. Satisfaction never lasts long, and soon we are hungry for more. How can we stop this endless cycle?

First, learn to be present in the moment. Unhappiness often comes from dwelling on the past and feeling anxiety about the future. All we truly have is now. Meditation, mindfulness and breathing exercises are great tools to help you stay present in the moment. Next, be of service. Giving selflessly not only builds self-esteem, and brings meaning and connectedness to one’s life, but also enriches the lives of others. Lastly, be grateful, and share your gratitude with others. Gratitude takes merely seconds, can lift our spirits and make our hearts soar.

Happiness is a choice. It lives inside of us always; we just must learn how to tap into it. This fourth, while you sit under firework-filled skies, surrounded by your communities, families and friends; I hope you feel inspired to breathe in the moment, to extend your hand to be of service to another and lastly, that you have things in your heart to be grateful for.

Happy 4th of July!

Health Coach Autumn

 

Five Tips for Overcoming Negative Thoughts

Sunshine field

Hello Followers!  Did you start following my Happy Health Coach blog because you needed some inspiration!? Or something to counteract those negative feelings and thoughts that are swimming around in your head?  Well, if you did, here is your…shot of sunshine for the day!

Five Tips for Overcoming Negative Thoughts:

1. Surround Yourself with Positive People

It’s true!  We do adopt the characteristics, thoughts and feelings of those who we are in contact with on a regular basis.  Do you have toxic friends or co-workers?  Maybe a toxic family member? Find some new friends and peers to hang out around who live life the way you want to live it!  Healthy, happy friends are an important part of a healthy, happy lifestyle.

2. Help Someone

Assisting others with their needs will help you get the focus off of little distractions and thoughts that consume your mind and lead to depression, anxiety and stress.  Helping others boosts one’s confidence, creates feelings of compassion and nurtures your spirit.

3. Write a Gratitude List

Start a gratitude journal that you write in daily before bed or as soon as you wake up in the morning.  Write down anything and everything you are grateful for– even if those things feel insignificant!  Try it out for a week to start–I know you will see a difference in your life!

4. Sing to Upbeat Music

Crank up your stereo, radio or boom box!  Music has a way of speaking to our soul and our hearts like nothing else in this world can.  You become what you consume. Listen to happy music and your negative thoughts will internally start to change.

5. Give Yourself Permission to Turn Your Day Around at any Given Moment

Did your day start out sour?  Who says it has to stay that way?  We often judge our days by the way our morning started out.  Our thinking process goes something like this, “Good morning=good day and bad morning=bad day.”  I’m telling you–it doesn’t have to be that way!  What if you decided that Mondays were now the best day of the week instead of the worst?  How would that change your life?

Happy thoughts!

Health Coach Autumn

Want to Beat The Winter Blues?

 winter oak tree

By Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

Do you find yourself feeling a little low in the winter time? Maybe it’s the weather, or maybe it’s the shorter days—but somehow you just can’t seem to get out of a funk. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a form of depression that affects 25 million Americans each year. Symptoms include loss of interest in activities, oversleeping, irritability, sadness, poor sleep, low self-esteem and anxiety. Whether you suffer from SAD or not, here are some great tips on how to beat the cold weather blues and start looking on the bright side of things.

Exercise. Exercise is a natural stimulator of serotonin and dopamine, two very important mood boosting hormones. Serotonin also regulates hunger. Physical movement increases metabolism, and stimulates the digestive tract which can help prevent bloating, constipation and indigestion.  Not in the mood to exercise? Find an exercise buddy this winter and hold each other accountable. Start a new exercise class, dance around to some holiday music, or take a brisk thirty minute walk. This will get your heart rate up and help trim your waist line at the same time.  Don’t wait until January to set some fitness goals.

Stick to a healthy diet. Sadness can increase food cravings and send you rummaging for sweets.  Caffeine suppresses serotonin and can have the same effect. Stick to serotonin-boosting foods like bananas, flaxseed, wild fish, high quality eggs, buckwheat, and free range turkey so you don’t get caught up in a vicious cycle.

Stay on schedule. It’s hard to stay motivated when the weather is cold and it’s dark outside.  Sticking to a normal schedule will keep you upbeat and focused, as well as keep you from procrastinating. Surprisingly, procrastination in not only linked to stress but depression as well.

Invest in good lighting. Our serotonin levels drop due to the lack of light in the wintertime. Sitting within three feet of a 300 watt bulb for 20 minutes a day can help. You can also purchase a UV lamp or a Happylight. These lights mimic sunlight and encourage the production of Vitamin D. Furthermore, spend time outdoors during the peak hours of daylight.

Increase your Vitamin D intake. Check with your doctor to see if you should up your dosage in the winter. Vitamin D is a key contributor to our overall health. It supports our bones, brain, nervous and immune systems.

Try a new activity this winter. How about a painting class, cooking some new healthy recipes, or volunteering for a local cause?

Lastly, start a gratitude journal. It’s important to notice the beauty of our world, kind gestures and the little things in life. Gratitude can have an immensely positive effect on your self-esteem, health, career and relationships.

To your health!

Autumn (check me out at www.pacificnorthwesthealth.com)

*This  article was written by me, and featured in the December 2013 Issue of the Port Ludlow Voice.

 

 

Don’t throw out your skinny jeans!– Weight loss is possible!

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Are you tired of fad diets?  Are you unhappy with your weight?  Do you wish you still fit in your skinny jeans?

I used to get the same feeling like clockwork every Friday night.  There I would be, staring into my closet in a daze, my bed covered with cute shirts I had tried on that no longer fit.  I would be contemplating if I should still go out, because I simply had, NOTHING to wear.  Maybe I should just stay home, throw on my pajamas and watch old reruns of Sex in The City??

I felt defeated.  I knew the food I had eaten that week and the non-existant exercise had caught up to me.

I almost did stay home, many times.  But I had to go out– it was a necessity.  You see, I was unhappy with my job.  Staying home all weekend, not having any fun, and then going back to work Monday sounded like a death wish.  So I would squeeze into an outfit, put on some clunky cute jewelry and hope I was having a good hair night.

I didn’t have to feel this way and neither do you.

Today,  I have a job I simply love.  I never feel like I’m bulging out of my clothing anymore.  I am happy, healthy and active.

Here are some keys that helped me lose weight and get back to feeling good about myself:

– I ate healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, fish and extra virgin olive oil.  These not only filled me up, but also helped protect me against heart disease, cancer, depression, and Alzheimer’s.  The body uses fat for energy, so why not make sure it’s the good fats?

-I skipped the big meals, and had three small meals with many healthy snacks in between.  This helped me control my portions and made sure I wasn’t overstuffing my stomach with too much food all at one time.  Feeding my body more frequently taught my body that it’s okay not to store food till the next meal, because the next meal would be coming sooner than later.

-I drank more H2O.  Often I thought I was hungry, when I was simply just thirsty.  Drinking more water gave me more energy; so I had less energy slumps.  This is turn meant I ate less sweets.

-I moved more….I spent less time sitting around and more time being active.  I made sure I never sat for more than an hour without getting up to move around for a few minutes.

-I became grateful for everything and anything in my life.  I started a “Gratitude and Motivational” journal and wrote in it frequently.  It helped me focus on what made me happy in life and who I wanted to be.

I hope this will start to help you fight your “battle of the bulge.”  Stay tuned to my future blog posts for more weight loss tips!

To your health!

Autumn (check me out at pacificnorthwesthealth.com)