Happiness Tip: Limit TV time

I should start by mentioning that I love TV. To watch a bit of TV in the evening is a great pleasure for me. But that said, we all feel better and happier when we limit our TV time. That’s because watching TV is incredibly draining and dulling.

To fact check this for yourself, sit down and watch TV when you are feeling really upbeat and full of things you want to do. After you have been watching for an hour, check your state of mind and see if you still feel that energy of potential. For most people, after they’ve been watching TV they feel really dull. Not bad, just uninspired and flat. This is not a happy feeling.

So it’s helpful to be aware of TV’s effect, so you can properly manage your consumption by 1) limiting the amount you watch and 2) properly timing when you do watch. You shouldn’t watch TV before you need to do activities that require inspired energy like school work, art work, writing, etc. Get the work of the day done first, then watch TV once no more “brain power” is required for the day.

© 2013-2021 Sara Weston. Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UK,  CAFR , ITES and DEA FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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When people are rude or mean to you, it’s usually not personal, but instead a reflection of their own mind state

7Core PageWhen the cashier at the grocery store is rude to you or someone at work tries to belittle your work, most times their behavior has nothing to do with you, but instead is a reflection of their own state of mind. That cashier is rude to everyone and that coworker tries to make everyone feel small. It helps to know this so we don’t take it personally and let it affect our mood.

© 2013-2021 Sara Weston. Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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Crying other people’s tears (If you’re an empath, read this)

When I moved from my sleepy little cottage in southern Connecticut to New York City, I was filled with excitement! A few weeks earlier, when my spiritual teacher had mentioned that some of us should consider moving into the City, I felt a huge rush of kundalini, and knew it would be a good move for me. I’d never considered moving to the City, with its noise and grime, and enormous population, but inwardly I knew it was right when I felt every one of my cells stand up at the suggestion, and say, “Yes!” 

So, in short order, I found an apartment in Manhattan and packed up my little cottage. As my landlady and I wrapped up the final walk-through, she reached over and hugged me goodbye. She was sad for me to leave, as I was a breath of fresh air from suburban Connecticut life—we were, after all, just a few miles from the town that inspired The Stepford Wives. She was more drawn to the conversations we had about spiritual books and meditation than to the Martha Stewart competitions some of the neighbors engaged in. As she hugged me goodbye, I could literally feel her sadness seep into me, and tears sprouted from my eyes and I began to cry. What was funny is I wasn’t sad to go (at all!), but was crying, while she was sad for me to leave, but was dry-eyed. As soon as I got in my car and turned out of the driveway, I could feel her sadness leave my body, and was again all brightness for the new chapter. I’d been crying her tears.

You might be thinking, well, you can be both sad about leaving a place and happy about a new adventure simultaneously, and that’s true. But that isn’t what happened here. I wasn’t sad at all. It was only when I was in the landlady’s bubble of sadness that I began to feel sad. And then when I left the bubble, I no longer felt sad.

If you’re an empath, you recognize this story. You’ve cried other people’s tears, eaten what others are hungry for, basically lived other people’s emotions a million times, and then, when you get some distance from those people, you watch those feelings disappear. 

Does it need to be said that not all tears arise from feeling other people’s emotions? I, of course, cry when something is sad, and like other seekers, cry at things that are high or are true.

Sara is the author of How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UK,  CAFR , ITES and DE© 2013 Sara Weston. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

When you move into a house, push the previous occupants’ energy out

When people live in a house their mind states and patterns get embedded in the house. Since you don’t want to take on other people’s thoughts and patterns (especially if they’re negative, angry, alcoholic, overly hungry, etc.), you need to push the previous occupants’ energy out. To do this, clean the house thoroughly, paint the walls, and either replace or steam clean the carpets. This initial investment of time when you first move in really pays off. You’ll feel better the entire time you live there.

© 2013-2019 Sara Weston. Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UK,  CAFR , ITES and DEA FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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(Some) Dreams are Real

It’s said in some spiritual communities and books that dreams are real, but I’d never believe something just because I was told it’s true. Instead, here’s how I knew.

I spent the summer before my last semester of college in Baltimore with my boyfriend, who had moved out there for grad school. At the end of the summer, I returned to Austin, ready to finish my degree, when I had a very surprising dream. In the dream I was walking down a sidewalk outside my house, and my boyfriend was in front of me, facing me, and skipping backwards to keep pace. He was distraught and told me he’d slept with his friend Susan, but that it didn’t mean anything. He said they were only friends, that she has a boyfriend, and that neither of them knows why they did it. When I woke up, I had the most alarming feeling that it was really him in the dream and what he said was real. Not one bit of the dream felt surreal or “dreamlike.” 

I flew out to visit him several weeks later, and as soon as I saw him, he blurted out that he’d slept with his friend Susan. And as he continued to explain what happened, he used all the same verbiage as in the dream, “It didn’t mean anything. We’re only friends. She has a boyfriend also….neither of us knows why we did it.” It was absolutely stunning. It confirmed that the dream that had felt so real, was real! And, side benefit, I wasn’t even that disturbed by the confession because I’d already heard it in the dream. Even though my logical mind hadn’t initially believed the dream was real, a deeper part of me understood it was and had already begun to deal with it—that relationship had reached its expiration date and inwardly I’d already started to move on.

Sara is the author of How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UK,  CAFR , ITES and DE© 2013 Sara Weston. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

Don’t judge your meditation

Lakshmi-Yantra

It’s important to not judge your meditation. The only bad meditation is the one you don’t do! The truth is even when you have meditations that don’t feel as “good” or “powerful” as others, the light is still transforming you. It’s still working, even if it doesn’t feel like a good meditation to you.

© 2013-2019 Sara Weston. Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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The Bliss of a Vacation from the Internet

MedGalWalkingRecently I was on vacation, and with the exception of a few email checks, I also took a vacation from the Internet. Though I have done this many times before, I was still amazed at the blissfulness of the mind without the energetic push and pull of the Internet. The mind is so much more quiet and unconcerned with the goings-on of the world when released from the tyranny of the Internet :–). I highly recommend you give yourself a vacation from the Internet the next time you go on vacation.

Sara is the author of How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. © 2013 Sara Weston. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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Meditation Tip: Meditate Correctly!

SittingInChair

When you begin meditating, the most important thing is to establish a daily practice—you need to focus on just showing up and doing it! Once you are meditating on a regular basis, then the focus shifts to meditating correctly.

You won’t experience the benefits of meditation if you just space out and let your mind wander. In order to meditate correctly, it’s important to not think about other people or talk to other people in your mind. Don’t work on your to-do list or ruminate on projects at work or school. Instead, when you notice you are thinking, simply bring your focus back to the area of focus (chakra, breath, mantra or yantra). Don’t fight the thought or get frustrated that you are thinking—be patient with yourself and just return your mind to the area of focus.

Also keep in mind that a shorter, completely focused meditation is more effective than a longer, spaced-out one.

© 2013-2019 Sara Weston. Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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Wait—I’m thinking more now that I’m meditating!

Since I started to meditateA concern I hear frequently from folks who’ve recently started meditating is that they feel like they are thinking even more while they’re meditating than they did when they first started.

What’s really going on is that when you begin meditating and practicing mindfulness, you become aware of the quantity and quality of thoughts that flow through your mind. You’re not really thinking more, you’re just more aware now of what is flowing through your mind.

Be patient with yourself. The number of thoughts that go through your mind will slow down the longer you practice meditation. You may always have thoughts flowing through your mind at the beginning of your meditation, but what changes is that they begin to slow down more quickly the longer you practice.

© 2019 Sara Weston. Sara is the author of How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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Mindfulness Tip: Follow the 7-second rule

7 sec stopwatch-polaYou have about 7 – 10 seconds before a thought gets stuck in your mind. When a negative or unhealthy thought arises, redirect your mind immediately before the thought gets stuck in a tape loop in your mind.

If you’re having a difficult time redirecting your thoughts, you can immerse your mind in a magazine, newspaper or book; you can listen to audio books or podcasts, or work on a project or hobby that completely absorbs you—whatever it takes to substitute the negative or stressful thought with something higher. (Music alone is usually not effective as an aid in mindfulness because your mind can still easily wander while listening to music.) For those who have a spiritual teacher they love, the most powerful and effective way to still the mind is to move your mind to an image of him or her.

Using this technique of switching your mind away from a negative or stressful thought before it takes hold isn’t meant to imply that you shouldn’t address the issue that is causing the troublesome thought. Instead the technique is useful when there is no action that can be taken at the time and the best thing to do is push the thought out of your mind. For example, if you are unemployed and looking for a job, you should of course do everything you can to find a job. However, once you’ve done all you can for the day, it doesn’t help your search to worry about it at night since worrying drains your energy. So as worry starts to seep in, employ the 7-second rule to keep it at bay. Another example is, suppose you and your partner broke up after many years together and when you think of him or her, it makes you feel really sad. In this case, employ this technique when you notice the thought of your ex creeping into your mind, so you can prevent the thought of him or her from getting stuck in your mind.

Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com or Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE. © 2013 Sara Weston. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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