Good Choices Make a Good Life

Today is my birthday so I’m giving you a gift.

It’s part of my recipe for a good birthday that I have been doing for 25 years. 1) Invite God to spend the day with you (He’s great at celebrating.) 2) Do something to make other people glad you were born. 3) Do something you’ve been putting off 4) Do something you like–something that makes you happy.

After 30 years of working in mental health I should have some wisdom to pass on, right?  So here’s my alphabet for making a good life. Here are some good choices:

 

A  Awe. Nothing captures attention, stretches, inspires us like awe. Spend time contemplating big things. like God or the universe.

B  Be. Just Be.  Be yourself, live in the moment. Breathing purposely for 20 minutes every day helps hugely.

C  Commit to the good, and stop putting yourself down.

D  Vitamin D is very important to feeling good and good metabolism. The sun is your best source. If you can’t get that take a good D3.

E  Eliminate criticism. Take the 14 day challenge to say nothing critical. It will teach you a lot about yourself. More next week.

F  Fun — especially if it’s active — is necessary and bonding. Laughter cancels pain and fear. Let yourself laugh.

G  God is good, delights in you, and wants you to be your true self–delighted–that’s why He calls obedience delight! He’s for us.

H  Health is happiness because when your body is happy, you are.

I   Interrupt negative habits and thought patterns. That is how you stop them.

J  Joy has been found to be the single best healer for trauma. What is it? Mostly it comes from God–knowing you are loved. Help someone feel loved.

K  Kindness makes you feel better. Especially if you give it, and then you are more likely to get it also.

L  Learn/Love is of course one of the happy-makers.  Focus on all the forms of love that are available to you. Don’t settle for counterfeits.

M  Meditation can be time with God just breathing, it calms and soothes, and the busier you are, the more you need it. Start with 10 min.

N  New–try new things, especially if they don’t cost money. (My daughter didn’t know she was artistic until she started painting. Now it’s a business.)

O  Openness–share, let people know who you are, and how you feel.

P  Play/Pray both are important activities for happiness.

Q  Quit things that hurt you and make your body feel bad. Or things that make it feel good but hurt it.

R  Rest! Be sure you get at LEAST 6 hours of sleep at night, 7.5 is better :).  And take one day/week as rest/sacred too. Another R–Refuse to be a victim.

S  Smile because it makes you feel better, and everyone around you, too. It communicates love and acceptance.

T  Trust people who are trustworthy. Take time to know them. And trust God until you can find some. Find your trust issues and heal them.

U  Use what you have. Learn to look at things with new perspective. (I just found a new outfit in my closet from putting old clothes together.)

V  Velcro your brain to hold good. It takes 10-30 seconds to anchor a thought. Bad gets more. So savor the good in your life–breezes, flavors, beauty, smells…

W  Welcome God’s Spirit into your life every morning, or every night, or every noon.

X  is for canceling negative thoughts.  One negative thought activates CRH which then activates ACTH. The first causes worry, the last causes fear.

Y  Yell on paper instead of at your kids or spouse etc.

Z  Zip your mouth shut when you want to be negative or criticize.

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