Sleep and Happiness: The Connection

Sleep and Happiness: The Connection

I don’t know about you, but my life gets pretty busy sometimes. I’m not complaining, mind you, but I’ve got three beautiful kids, a wonderful husband, a career, a cat…a home…extended family…friends…well, we all play plenty of roles in life.

Since I find myself so busy sometimes, I don’t get a lot of “quiet time,” as I’m sure you might imagine. And since I’m the sort of person who kind of needs a little quiet time each day, I often find that time by staying up late into the night, well after the family has gone to bed. Some nights, I’m working. Other nights, I’m watching a favorite show on DVR–just so I can watch from beginning to end without interruption. Sometimes, I just don’t do anything at all. It’s all about having time to just breathe and be quiet.

So, that’s great, right? Yeah, except that, in the process of trying to fulfill my need for quiet time, I’m cheating myself of something else that could potentially have a very serious impact on my happiness. Because, of course, even though I stay up till the wee hours of the morning–I’m also a mom. And moms? They don’t get to sleep in.

So, what’s the big deal about sleep? Well, besides the fact that lack of sleep can have serious consequences on your health–like increasing your risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer–lack of sleep has been proven to have a profoundly negative effect on your mood and overall level of happiness.

Studies suggest that even adding one hour of sleep to your nightly schedule could improve your happiness quotient more significantly than a $60,000 annual raise–and that one of the top two reasons people find themselves in a bad mood at work was a poor night’s sleep.

And, according to the National Sleep Foundation, companies lose around $35 billion every year in loss of productivity, sick leave, medical expenses and property and environmental damage–all thanks to their employees’ sleep deprivation. And the consequences some people face are even more dire.

So what does all this mean?

Well, for me, it means I’ve got a conundrum here. I need quiet time, and I need sleep. Yet, I have kids and a happily busy schedule during my waking hours. So this means that I need to figure out a way to get more sleep and still find time for myself.

This, of course, gives me all sorts of new ideas for blog posts. So, next up:


Tomorrow: 5 ways to get more sleep
The Next Day: 5 ways to find more time for yourself (without losing sleep)

This post was originally published on InPursuitofFulfillment.com. If found anywhere else, this content is illegally copied and should be reported.
Sleep and Happiness: The Connection

Five Ways to Be Happy Right Now!

1.  Move your butt. Get up, right now, and move your body for fifteen minutes. Do anything at all–walk, dance, do jumping jacks–clean the house–whatever. Just MOVE. Research shows that as little as 15 minutes of intentional exercise each day can significantly improve your mood.

2. Get out! Of the house, that is. You can even combine this one with exercise and just go for a walk. Or, make a coffee date with a friend. Or go get a pedicure. Just leave the house. Often, a change in environment is the perfect way to change your perspective for the better.

3. Clean something. If you’re feeling stressed and flustered and can’t figure out why, take a look around you. Is your desk cluttered and messy? Your kitchen full of dirty dishes? As your space goes, so goes your Self. Clean up your environment a little, and you’ll find your perspective positively changed. Clearing out the physical clutter helps to clear out the mental clutter.

4. Do something nice for someone. You don’t have to give up your kidney (though that would be honorable), but do something to make someone’s day (or life) a little better, every day. Even if you just let a lady with an antsy two year old in front of you in line at the grocery store (even though she’s got a cart full and you’ve just got a couple of things), you will have done your good deed for the day. You’ll make her day a little easier, and there’s just something about being nice to people that makes you feel good. And since the law of attraction is always at work, putting your energy into doing good things will attract more good things into your life.

5. Smile. Even if you don’t feel like it, even if you have to fake it–put a smile on your face. Research indicates that even a forced smile can positively affect your emotions. Going through the motions of being happy, researchers say, “fools” you into actually feeling happy. (Sound familiar? Those who study the law of attraction say that going through the motions–feeling the feelings of having what you want–is a powerful tool for manifesting your desires.)

So what about you? 

What are your best tips for changing a bad mood to a good one?

This post was originally published on InPursuitofFulfillment.com. If found anywhere else, this content is illegally copied and should be reported.
Five Ways to Be Happy Right Now!

Five Ways to Be Happy Right Now!

1.  Move your butt. Get up, right now, and move your body for fifteen minutes. Do anything at all–walk, dance, do jumping jacks–clean the house–whatever. Just MOVE. Research shows that as little as 15 minutes of intentional exercise each day can significantly improve your mood.

2. Get out! Of the house, that is. You can even combine this one with exercise and just go for a walk. Or, make a coffee date with a friend. Or go get a pedicure. Just leave the house. Often, a change in environment is the perfect way to change your perspective for the better.

3. Clean something. If you’re feeling stressed and flustered and can’t figure out why, take a look around you. Is your desk cluttered and messy? Your kitchen full of dirty dishes? As your space goes, so goes your Self. Clean up your environment a little, and you’ll find your perspective positively changed. Clearing out the physical clutter helps to clear out the mental clutter.

4. Do something nice for someone. You don’t have to give up your kidney (though that would be honorable), but do something to make someone’s day (or life) a little better, every day. Even if you just let a lady with an antsy two year old in front of you in line at the grocery store (even though she’s got a cart full and you’ve just got a couple of things), you will have done your good deed for the day. You’ll make her day a little easier, and there’s just something about being nice to people that makes you feel good. And since the law of attraction is always at work, putting your energy into doing good things will attract more good things into your life.

5. Smile. Even if you don’t feel like it, even if you have to fake it–put a smile on your face. Research indicates that even a forced smile can positively affect your emotions. Going through the motions of being happy, researchers say, “fools” you into actually feeling happy. (Sound familiar? Those who study the law of attraction say that going through the motions–feeling the feelings of having what you want–is a powerful tool for manifesting your desires.)

So what about you? 

What are your best tips for changing a bad mood to a good one?

Sleep and Happiness: The Connection

Balancing the Roles You Play: Maggie’s Story

We all have different roles in our daily lives. Personally, I’m a mother, a wife, a daughter…a writer, an editor, the co-founder of a blogging network, a lover, a healer, a friend…the list goes on and on. I’m not alone with my mile-long list. Everyone has their own, and most everyone has, at one time or another, found themselves struggling to effectively fulfill all of the roles on their lists.

Maggie’s Story

Maggie, a 29 year old mom of two and midwife, says that her relationship with her husband suffers because she’s too exhausted to spend quality time with her husband after taking care of the kids all day. Plus, she says, she’s lost touch with all but one or two of her friends and can’t even find the time to slap on make up in the morning. She has essentially lost her mojo.

Maggie’s Problem

Maggie loves her kids dearly, and that’s important and admirable–but she’s put herself (and her relationships with her husband and friends) on the back burner. She hasn’t seen her friends in person in months and she’s no longer enjoying her work. She finds herself snapping at the kids more often, and she’s slipping into a bit of a depression, though she’s not sure why. She argues with her husband on a regular basis and feels a general sense of boredom and dissatisfaction.

Maggie is struggling to balance the roles in her life. When she became a mother, her kids became her first and most important priority. While that’s a normal and healthy perspective for any parent, Maggie made the same mistake many dedicated parents make–she focused so much on her role as Mother that she forgot about the pre-parent roles of daughter, friend, wife, lover…woman. As a result, she has not only neglected her friendships and her marriage, she’s also neglected herself.

Maggie has become frustrated with her life because she has neglected some pretty important components–her friends, her marriage and herself. Even though she’s not fully aware of it yet, her quest to become The Perfect Mother has had quite the opposite effect. She is ineffectively dealing with the things that matter in her life–including her ability to be the kind of mom she wants to be.

How can this be?

Think about it. Since her children were born, Maggie has allowed parts of her personality and her life to slip away. She has focused all of her attention on her children, neglecting other important relationships in her life. She has become a faded version of her former self–she doesn’t laugh much, she no longer sings in the shower and these days, she only wears makeup on special occasions (and those aren’t often.) As her depression and frustration grow, it spills over into her relationship with the kids.

She’s no longer so tolerant of the little things that she used to let slide. She finds herself directing the kids around like a drill sergeant, and even though she feels terrible about it, can’t seem to stop. And, she says, she has even worried that she might physically discipline the kids–even though she and her husband decided against corporate punishment when they first found out they were pregnant.

So, in her effort to become The Perfect Mother, Maggie has become the mother that she never wanted to be–and she has lost so many important parts of herself.

Maggie’s Solution

Maggie needs to re-evaluate her situation. She needs to make a list of top priorities–and she needs to put herself on it. She needs to decide what’s really important to her, and to restructure her time to accommodate the things and people that matter in her life.

Of course, her kids will be on the list. But so should her husband, her friends, her passions and her self.

She doesn’t have to make big changes right away–but even small steps, like setting up a (kid free) date with her husband and lunch with a friend, can have a big effect on Maggie’s perspective. (And hey–if she’s going on a date and to lunch, there are two more occasions she’ll find to put on a little makeup!)

By giving herself time to be Maggie (instead of Mom), she will actually be giving a gift to her children: a happier, more relaxed and generally more pleasant Mommy. And, I have no doubt, her husband and friends will be grateful to have Maggie back.

So What About You?

Do you find yourself struggling to balance the roles in your life? How do you put things back into perspective?

This post was originally published on InPursuitofFulfillment.com. If found anywhere else, this content is illegally copied and should be reported.
Balancing the Roles You Play: Maggie’s Story

Balancing the Roles You Play: Maggie’s Story

We all have different roles in our daily lives. Personally, I’m a mother, a wife, a daughter…a writer, an editor, the co-founder of a blogging network, a lover, a healer, a friend…the list goes on and on. I’m not alone with my mile-long list. Everyone has their own, and most everyone has, at one time or another, found themselves struggling to effectively fulfill all of the roles on their lists.

Maggie’s Story

Maggie, a 29 year old mom of two and midwife, says that her relationship with her husband suffers because she’s too exhausted to spend quality time with her husband after taking care of the kids all day. Plus, she says, she’s lost touch with all but one or two of her friends and can’t even find the time to slap on make up in the morning. She has essentially lost her mojo.

Maggie’s Problem

Maggie loves her kids dearly, and that’s important and admirable–but she’s put herself (and her relationships with her husband and friends) on the back burner. She hasn’t seen her friends in person in months and she’s no longer enjoying her work. She finds herself snapping at the kids more often, and she’s slipping into a bit of a depression, though she’s not sure why. She argues with her husband on a regular basis and feels a general sense of boredom and dissatisfaction.

Maggie is struggling to balance the roles in her life. When she became a mother, her kids became her first and most important priority. While that’s a normal and healthy perspective for any parent, Maggie made the same mistake many dedicated parents make–she focused so much on her role as Mother that she forgot about the pre-parent roles of daughter, friend, wife, lover…woman. As a result, she has not only neglected her friendships and her marriage, she’s also neglected herself.

Maggie has become frustrated with her life because she has neglected some pretty important components–her friends, her marriage and herself. Even though she’s not fully aware of it yet, her quest to become The Perfect Mother has had quite the opposite effect. She is ineffectively dealing with the things that matter in her life–including her ability to be the kind of mom she wants to be.

How can this be?

Think about it. Since her children were born, Maggie has allowed parts of her personality and her life to slip away. She has focused all of her attention on her children, neglecting other important relationships in her life. She has become a faded version of her former self–she doesn’t laugh much, she no longer sings in the shower and these days, she only wears makeup on special occasions (and those aren’t often.) As her depression and frustration grow, it spills over into her relationship with the kids.

She’s no longer so tolerant of the little things that she used to let slide. She finds herself directing the kids around like a drill sergeant, and even though she feels terrible about it, can’t seem to stop. And, she says, she has even worried that she might physically discipline the kids–even though she and her husband decided against corporate punishment when they first found out they were pregnant.

So, in her effort to become The Perfect Mother, Maggie has become the mother that she never wanted to be–and she has lost so many important parts of herself.

Maggie’s Solution

Maggie needs to re-evaluate her situation. She needs to make a list of top priorities–and she needs to put herself on it. She needs to decide what’s really important to her, and to restructure her time to accommodate the things and people that matter in her life.

Of course, her kids will be on the list. But so should her husband, her friends, her passions and her self.

She doesn’t have to make big changes right away–but even small steps, like setting up a (kid free) date with her husband and lunch with a friend, can have a big effect on Maggie’s perspective. (And hey–if she’s going on a date and to lunch, there are two more occasions she’ll find to put on a little makeup!)

By giving herself time to be Maggie (instead of Mom), she will actually be giving a gift to her children: a happier, more relaxed and generally more pleasant Mommy. And, I have no doubt, her husband and friends will be grateful to have Maggie back.

So What About You?

Do you find yourself struggling to balance the roles in your life? How do you put things back into perspective?

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