Motivation and Inspiration Articles

The Psychology of Journaling

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The Psychology of JournalingI would hazard a guess that the majority of writers keep a journal and that they have kept a journal from the moment they could write. If writing is in your soul, there is a fundamental need: to express, to expose, to exorcise — freely and often, across all forms.

Throughout my writing life — which started when I got my first pencil and learned (painfully) how to trace; and has since religiously continued — I have kept a journal, putting pen to paper as often or as rarely as circumstances, events, situations and emotions dictated.

Want to Break that Good Habit Just Once? 5 Tips to Avoid Backsliding

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

pieslicesI’m working on Better Than Before, a book about how we can change our habits. The most fascinating subject ever.

In it, one thorny question that I tackle is: How can we make an exception to a good habit, without disrupting that good habit altogether? After all, sometimes we do want to break a habit — to take advantage of a rare opportunity, say, or to celebrate.

The Heartbreak of Mental Illness

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Heartbreak of Mental IllnessI was talking to a friend the other day who is a clinician at a home for people with mental illness, and I told her I know what it’s like to suffer. She said something that struck a chord, though: she said she thought it was more a case of heartbreak than anything else.

I had never heard it described that way before, but I knew exactly what she meant.

I can remember when I was first diagnosed. I was so crushed by the label of schizophrenia that I could hardly will myself to do anything. I was in fact, heartbroken.

30 Journaling Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Discovery

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

30 Journaling Prompts for Self-Reflection And Self-Discovery I often include different journal prompts on Weightless because I think it’s key to continually maintain a dialogue with ourselves. It’s part of building a healthy relationship, or rather a friendship, with yourself.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”

Powerful Questions to Inspire Positive Change

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Powerful Questions to Inspire Positive ChangeGood questions can be powerful in life-changing ways. They can spark exciting ideas and inventions. They can spark personal discoveries, which lead to fulfilling, meaningful lives.

According to historian David Hackett Fischer, questions “are the engines of intellect — cerebral machines that convert curiosity into controlled inquiry.”

Author and journalist Warren Berger includes Fischer’s quote in his fascinating book A More Beautiful Question. In it, he shares inspiring, interesting stories of people who’ve asked powerful questions and created innovative businesses and changed their and others’ lives for the better.

Know What Makes You Happy? 3 Tips to Help You Achieve It!

Monday, September 15th, 2014

finding-happiness-cartwheel

You already know what to do to increase your happiness. Now get unstuck and do it!

You know a zillion things you could do to feel better, to increase your happiness and to get more of what you want, and yet you don’t do them.

You want to lose weight but you don’t change what you’re eating. You want to be creative, but you zombie out in front of a computer screen instead. You want a deeper and more fulfilling relationship with your partner, but you avoid talking about what you’re feeling.

What’s Holding You Back? 5 Ways to Break Free from Mental Barriers

Monday, September 15th, 2014

What’s holding you back? 5 Ways to Break Free from Mental Barriers  The power of fear never ceases to amaze me. It can control people’s entire lives and destiny! 

I was in Orlando, Florida, the day I realized that fear was just a made-up idea — a concept that is both very real for most people, yet not real at all. I was in my car, listening to an audio CD of interviews with self-made millionaires when the interviewee (in response to a question about how he got one particular business started) said: “I figured, if it wasn’t going to kill me or cause permanent bodily harm, what was there to lose really? So, we gave it a shot.”

That was a life-transforming moment for me. If it wasn’t going to kill me or cause permanent bodily damage, why not give it a shot?

How to Love Yourself

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

How to Love YourselfI have a confession to make. I have a reminder on my phone that goes off every morning at 8 o’clock that says simply, “You’re awesome.” This might sound dumb but you’d be surprised how often I forget that fact.

This is just one tool in my arsenal of tricks that I use to combat the depression and paranoia that come with a mental illness.

I’ve been in some pretty dark places and I’ve thought many times about putting an end to things when I’m having a hard time, but then, every day at 8 a.m. my phone vibrates and I’m reminded that I’m awesome.

Strategizing to Break Old Habits and Pick Up Better Ones

Friday, September 12th, 2014

HabitsRepeatFourI’m writing my next book, Better Than Before, about how we make and break habits  an issue very relevant to happiness.

Each week, I post a before-and-after story submitted by a reader, about how he or she successfully changed a habit. This way we can all learn from each other.

How Music Heightens Our Experiences

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

How Music Heightens Our ExperiencesThere’s a whimsical, charming scene in Begin Again, starring Keira Knightly, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine, that showcases two of the characters strolling through the streets of New York City, bonding through music. The gold and silver lights of Times Square shimmer in the dark, and earbuds are plugged in as they absorb favorite songs and guilty pleasures off their playlists.

These snapshots were not only a beautiful love letter and ode to the city, but they paid homage to the power of music as well. Music was a vibrant color to a blank canvas; music lit up the night and made it sparkle; music smacked them awake.

Music has the capacity to heighten our daily experiences — to alter our emotional states, to enhance, transcend and inspire the present moment.

Creativity Can Be a Fearful Flyer’s Best Friend

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Creativity Can Be a Fearful Flyer's Best FriendI’m a recovered fearful flyer who experienced a setback this year, and I have to brush up on my anxiety prevention skills. Of course I knew this could happen. Apparently membership in the Fearful Flyers Club is for life.

I try not to despair. But when it comes down to it I wonder: how much work do I have to do to make something expensive and relatively uncomfortable into something that doesn’t turn my body into a dumping ground of stress hormones?

Putting Off Some Horrible Task? Try These 7 Tips

Monday, September 8th, 2014

ProcrastinationIt’s a Secret of Adulthood: Happiness doesn’t always make me feel happy. Often, I know I’d be happier if I do something I really don’t feel like doing. Making that phone call. Dealing with tech support. Writing that email. Going to the gym.

Those dreaded tasks hang over my head, though; they make me feel drained and uneasy. I’ve learned that I’m much happier, in the long run, if I try to tackle them as soon as possible, rather than allowing myself to push them off.

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