7 Principles of the Happiness Advantage

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Category: Self Compassion, The Best You, Spread the Movement

i knew i  was running away from it all. never in my life had i felt so helpless, lost… and the worst feeling of all, so miserably alone. the easiest way for me to cope with it all was to throw it into this mountainous, ever-growing pile of crap and essentially neglect my problems. i thought hey, ‘out of sight, out of mind right?’

surely that wasn’t the case.

after so many months of being sad and upset at life i decided it was time i needed to make a perspective change and opened up The Happiness Advantage written by John Achor.

here are his Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that he discusses in the book.

 

  1.  meditate – neuroscientists found that monks who spend years meditating actually grow their prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain most responsible for feeling happy.

 

  1. find something to look forward to – anticipating future rewards can actually light up the pleasure centers in your brain much as the actual reward will.

 

  1. commit conscious acts of kindnessa long line of empirical research, including one study of over 2,000 people has shown that acts of altruism decrease stress and strongly contribute to mental health.

 

  1. infuse positivity into your surroundings – decorate your office, make time to go outside on a nice day, or clean your room or your house

 

  1. exercise – release those endorphins, that’s obvious.

 

  1. spend money – spend money on experiences or other people. one experiment found that students who were given money to spend on other people such as buying a friend lunch or coffee reported more positive emotions than a control group who was given money to spend on anything they wanted.

 

  1. exercise a signature strength – find a character strength of yours and practice it daily. (find yours at www.viasurvey.org) one of mine is kindness so what i’m thinking is doing one random act of kindness a day and writing it down.

 

John says that we obviously can’t focus on all 7 points of his book so prioritize one, own it and see what happens. so what are you going to work on to help you feel more beYOUtiful?

 

 

love simply, love beyoutifully,

anh thu

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if you must settle, settle for EXTRAordinary

 

Category: Authenticity, The Best You, Spread the Movement

sometimes, hitting rock bottom can be a blessing in disguise because there’s no where else to go but up. i’ve done just that in these last few months and at this point in my life, i can say i’ve reached a level of self contentment that i have yet to experience in quite some time. i really can’t express to you how grateful i am to finally have reached this state of mind because it took a great deal of time, prayer and perseverance.

however, as i sit here basking in the contentment at a higher baseline than i was just months before, i find myself asking: what’s next?

i can feel myself settling into the comfort zone that is this state but what good has ever come from that? nothing but ordinary days and ordinary people and i have never been one to settle for plateaus so why do it now?

therefore remember, keep striving for that extraordinary life you’ve always wanted.

go, do, see.

in no particular order.   

 

love simply, love beyoutifully

anh thu le

p.s. happy new year!

7 Thoughts to Reflect upon as the New Year rolls around!

Category: Self Acceptance, Self Compassion, The Best You

hope you had a beautiful Christmas but now that Christmas is almost over, my favorite holiday is just around the corner… did you guess it? it’s New Year’s!

there are so many reasons why i love this holiday. it’s a time to review the last year’s gains and pains, an opportunity to create and strive towards new goals and not to mention it’s Hoan and I’s anniversary hehe 🙂

as the year comes to a close i do my best to carve out time to think back on this last year. sometimes it’s painful and other times it’s heart lifting but regardless of the emotions, i think it’s necessary. I wanted to share with you guys 7 things I always try to reflect upon before the new year starts because it helps me to start the new year with a clearer mind and a more loving heart and i hope it helps you in some sort of way.

1. What was the biggest heartache I faced this year? And what did I gain from that experience?

2. What is something that happened this year that I need to let go?

3. What was my favorite magical moment from this last year?

4. What is something I’m most proud of myself from this last year?

5. Who were my secret forces to help me achieve one of my goals?

6. What am I most excited for this coming year?

7. If I could achieve anything this year what would it be?

happy reflecting and i’d love to hear about what you guys come up with! hope you all have a fabulous rest of the year and can’t wait to ring in the new year with you all!

 

love simply, love beyoutifully,

Anh Thu

what i’ve learned about TRUE happiness

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Category: Authenticity, Personal, Spread the Movement

as young adults, i think many of us oftentimes get sidetracked and want nothing more than a successful career. i’ve seen countless numbers of college grads throw away romantic relationships to up and leave for an opportunity in career advancement miles away from home but more importantly their loved ones. and let’s be honest, it is one of the best times of our lives to do so because most of us don’t have commitments or obligations holding us back… so why not, right?

but as exhilarating as that may sound, i have become challenged by this very concept. if we remind ourselves that life is only but a balancing act then we must take into account what else we need in our lives such as personal fulfillment but more importantly intimate connections.

the critics are beginning to voice their concerns and some are even becoming radical as to say find love first because your career can wait. which let me say, is a new school of thought but i think it emphasizes what this next generation is lacking; romantic intimacy.

so quit with the excuses; we need those relationships for a wholesome, elated life.

as christopher mccandless realized, [the man who walked into the wild looking for happiness in solidarity]: happiness is only real when shared.

 

live simply, love beyoutifully,

Anh Thu

5 things i’ve learned and relearned from Failing miserably

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Category: Self Compassion, Self Acceptance, The Best You

I’m just going to go on the record and say I’ve made countless mistakes and while society is trying to change the negative connotation of “failure,” re-wording it to things like: “an opportunity for growth,” “a lesson to be learned,” etc. — it does NOT make committing the mistake any less awful.

I’ve made plenty of dumb decisions; from my personal life all the way to the other end of the spectrum. However, I’m reminded by the fact that I have learned so much, not only about myself but about life in general throughout this process.

Things I am relearning:

  1. Growth is exponential and while you may be great at something, without continual practice the previously acquired skill could dissipate into thin air.
  1. It’s great to feel like you know what you’re doing but when things get hazy, get off your high horse and ask for help.
  1. Remember, it’s okay to SAY NO.
  1. Chasing after perfection is a great mentality to have, in fact I admire people who continually pursue this state of being. However, remember not to escape reality because perfection doesn’t exist.
  1. At the end of the day, as long as you gained something out of said mistake, then well… it was all kinda worth it right? I hope.

With that, while committing mistakes may not be the most pleasant experience, at least there are some positive outcomes that come from them. If we think hard enough, there will always be a lesson to be learned from our mistakes. And hey, it’s okay to make mistakes.. how do you think Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, right? 🙂

simply beYOUtiful,

Anh Thu

12 Good Deeds to do this Christmas!

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Category: Spread the Movement, The Best You, Self Compassion

is it just me or does it not feel like Christmas is right around the corner? as a general rule, most people are more giving around the holiday season and it really warms my heart to know there’s more good going around in the world. i’ve been reflecting on what i’ve given back this year and to be honest, it hasn’t been much since i was so focused on rebuilding myself and transitioning to life in california. despite the lack of giving though… it’s never too late to do good. i’ve decided with only 12 days left of Christmas, i’m going to commit to one good deed a day and YOU CAN TOO!

 

Here are 12 ideas on how to Give Back this holiday season:

  1. Go through a checkout line and pay for the car or person behind you
  1. Send a Christmas card to someone who’s made a difference in your life this year
  1. Next time you’re going through a door, wait to keep the door open for the next person behind you
  1. Give some extra change the next time you see a bell ringer at any storefront
  1. Genuinely compliment someone on something you really find unique about them
  1. Send a text message to a loved one telling them how much you appreciate them
  1. Rummage through your old stuff and donate some of those things you don’t really use anymore that could really be helpful to someone else
  1. Pick up some trash you see laying on the ground and throw it into the nearest trash can
  1. Smile at everyone you encounter in your day
  1. Intentionally pray or keep someone in your thoughts and send them good vibes
  1. Offer your help to someone

    12. Go one day without complaining, negative thoughts and just love on YOU

i’ll keep you all posted on the progress of my good deeds. good luck and let me know how it goes for you! happy holidays.

 

love simply, love beyoutifully,

anh thu

5 Practices I used to FEEL ALIVE again

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Category: The Best You, Self Acceptance, Spread the Movement

I honestly can’t recall the last time I felt so on top of the world and boy, is it exhilarating.

These past few months have been a huge challenge for me because when you numb one aspect of your life, you can’t help but numb everything. Nothing elicited strong negative or even positive emotions within me, and that in itself is frustrating. You feel lifeless, trapped and the worst thing is: you feel as though it is completely out of your control.

Re-sensitizing my life has been a process within itself. We can’t expect to just wake up one morning and start feeling again. What I learned through the process is: it not only takes commitment but conscious effort in wanting to be you again. if you’re struggling, these are a few things I did and am still practicing daily to help me feel truly alive again.

  1. Stop focusing on the Negatives – as humans, we naturally focus on our opportunities for growth but take a moment and forget about that and realize how good you’ve got it despite those disadvantages.
  1. Be grateful – being thankful for all the things in your life really puts life into perspective. moreover it somehow transforms those significant problems into minor issues (for the moment anyway)
  • ie. Write down one thing you are most grateful for that day
  1. Dedicate some Time in your day to Do the things you Love whether it be blogging, reading, working out, etc. carve out a little chunk of your schedule and do just that!
  1. Create Goals and Action Plans we feel better when we are productive and can quantify the results. figure out what you want (specific goal) and ways in which you can achieve them (step by step action plan to achieve it).
  1. Pray when you have faith that God has your back, all of a sudden, you start feeling like David who manages to beat Goliath with his rocks and pebbles. I know not all of us are religious but, have faith that things happen for a reason because everything has a way of working themselves out.

My life is far from perfect but regardless of those minor imperfections, I am so grateful to be alive and I know I am exactly where I need to be. We are all fighting our own battles but I think we need to start caring and supporting one another because we are beYOUtiful sisters.

simply beYOUtiful,

Anh Thu