Simple Steps to Supporting Happiness

I regularly talk on my blog about finding ways to work towards happiness and to sustain it once you have arrived at this beautiful destination. As well as meditation, exercise and all of the other wonderful techniques that I recommend, there are also much simpler things that you can do to promote your own sense of well-being.

The following suggestions are practically effortless concepts that you can make a note to embrace in all aspects of your life! In doing so, not only will you soon see the positivity in those around you, but you will also boost feelings of self-love, self-worth and happiness in yourself.

Reach Out

Knowing when to ask for help is one of the best ways to avoid letting stress take over as you can more easily share your concerns. People often shy away from asking for help as they see it as a sign of weakness in themselves. However, the truth is that we all need help sometimes, be it for small tasks or larger responsibilities. When you go to your friends or family for help you are actually also telling them that you trust them and that you value their input! This helps to firm the bonds of friendship and encourage honest communication. 

Own Your Independence

Being happy without a partner is where some people struggle. However, it is essential to remember that you do not need another person to be complete. If you are unhappy on your own then the presence of another person is only going to mask this unhappiness, not remedy it. For this reason (and more!) it is important to work on your own happiness as an individual before becoming part of a pair.

Seek Out Positivity

Seeing the good in other people can often be difficult, especially if the person in question has wronged you in some way. In some circumstances it can be easy to write certain people off as not having any good in them at all, but this is almost always never true! So, in instances where you are having negative feelings towards someone, make a mental note of their good qualities or fond memories you have of them. This will help you to process the situation with less sadness and hostility, giving you much more of a chance to preserve your own happiness.

These three simple concepts are often overlooked when people are contemplating their own happiness. Making an effort to reach out, own your independence and to seek out positivity in those around you will go a long way to improving your happiness.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and self-care is a HUGE part of this!

From December 3rd you can join us on a FREE 21 Day Happiness Challenge! This will take just ten minutes of your time each day and will help you to find the happiness you are seeking. Click here to register and get started!

Selflessness and Self-Care

There are many different ways to practice self-care and it is something that I advocate we should all include in our daily routines. When you make the time to allow self-care into your life, you are choosing to love yourself, meet your own needs and put your health and happiness first – as you should!

There are several self-care acts that you are probably already familiar with, such as meditating, giving yourself a compliment or spending some time in the sun. However, there are also much more radical acts of self-care that not everyone will think to try!

Acts of selflessness are actually acts of self-care and I’m going to explain why this is!

When you act in a selfless way you are choosing to put someone else’s needs over your own, even if just for a short period of time. You are showing kindness, compassion and a willingness to reach out to someone else. This can really help you to appreciate all that you already have in life and encourage you to be more appreciative of your own blessings.

Getting involved in the various community projects that undoubtedly exist where you live is a great way to start to practice this selflessness. This is also an easy way to meet new and interesting people who will surely bring even more positivity into your life. Getting involved in community projects is also a good way to have fun and to engage in new experiences – both of which are certainly acts of self-care as they contribute to your confidence and sense of self-worth.

Expressing selflessness through random acts of kindness to strangers is another great way to care for others as well as yourself! Buy some lunch for a homeless person, give some money to a charity collector on the street or compliment a stranger. However you choose to demonstrate this kindness, the only thing that is important is that it is a genuine act of selflessness for no other reason.

When you begin to make it a habit to act in this way, you will find that kindness finds its way into your life in abundance. This will encourage greater feelings of self-love in yourself and will motivate you to continue with your routine of self-care.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and self-care is a HUGE part of this!

From December 3rd you can join us on a FREE 21 Day Happiness Challenge! This will take just ten minutes of your time each day and will help you to find the happiness you are seeking. Click here to register and get started!

How to be Happy

Happiness may often seem like a set destination that is far out of reach. However, it is possible for each of us to overcome our demons, outshine the sadness and find ways to become happier versions of ourselves.

There are many myths surrounding the concept of happiness that can be hard to shake. For example, many people believe that a large amount of money might make them happy, or that a life of leisure is the key to a lasting positive mood. Although these things may provide temporary feelings of pleasure, they are certainly unlikely to provide real and lasting happiness.

In order to truly bring happiness into our lives we must work to nourish our bodies and minds through moments of self-care. We must also make a commitment to be kind to ourselves and to forgive our past mistakes. Negativity weighing on the mind is a very real barrier to true happiness, and once you find ways to work through this negativity you can alter your mood in incredible ways!

When it comes to self-forgiveness, the key is to evaluate why you made these mistakes, or why you behaved in the way that you did, and then try to understand your reasoning for it. It is then important to think how you have changed since this time and how you would treat the situation differently if you were able to re-live it. Meditation is a very powerful tool for this and can really assist you in the process of letting go.

When it comes to self-care, the act of simply putting yourself first – even for just a few moments each day, can really help to boost your self-esteem and self-worth. Having time to yourself is incredibly useful when it comes to self-care and finding moments just for yourself throughout your day can help you on your journey to happiness. During these moments you can enjoy some quiet self-reflection, you can repeat a positive affirmation to yourself or you can take part in a larger self-care act, such as exercise or a massage – it’s entirely up to you as to what makes you feel good!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier!

From December 3rd you can join us on a FREE 21 Day Happiness Challenge! This will take just ten minutes of your time each day and will help you to find the happiness you are seeking. Click here to register and get started!

How to Deal with Stress

Stress is often an unavoidable part of life. It is something that strikes during particularly trying times and helps us to recognise that something is difficult. Although the existence of stress is something that we can’t deny or avoid, there are ways that we can productively deal with stress to ensure that the impact it has on our lives is minimal.

Although stress is most likely something that you would rather live without, it is one of several negative emotions that give contrast to the positivity in our lives. Negative feelings, such as stress and fear, help us to understand how we feel about things, and they often also serve as warnings that we are not entirely comfortable with a situation or happy with ourselves.

Although I often advocate ways to deal with negative emotions and feelings, I would never advise someone to repress them entirely. This is because I believe it is important to embrace this side of yourself.

Stress can manifest in several different ways that can be quite individual to a person. You may find that for you it starts with a mild feeling of anxiety about a certain situation or person. This can then quickly develop into a larger concern that leaves you feeling depressed and reluctant to deal with the situation in question. The additional consequences of this could be that your sleep pattern is affected, your appetite changes and that your mood is prone to inconsistency as irritability sets in.

It can be difficult to manage stress because often it is connected to a potential future concern that you currently have no control over. It can also often just generally be connected to things outside of your control, and therefore there is little that you can do to mitigate this stress. If this is the case then the most effective thing that you can do is check in with yourself in regards to your feelings, and then try as best as you can to restore calm and a more usual frame of mind.

So, when you begin to feel stress take over, ask yourself the following questions:

“What is the absolute worst outcome of this situation?”

“Is there anything I can do in this moment to lessen the severity of the situation?”

“Why has this situation left me feeling like this?”

Once you know the answers to these questions, then you can begin to find a remedy to your predicament and alleviate the stress you are feeling. Often a fear of confrontation will prevent us from addressing our problems head on, leading us to unintentionally exaggerate the seriousness of an issue. When this is the case, simply being upfront and talking things out can bring some relief or allow a solution to present itself.

Some time spent in deep meditation is a great way to truly understand your feelings about your stress, and can also guide you towards resolution.

On my wellness for women website – Truly Julie – I share resources, advice and support that can help you deal with stress head on, as well as helping you to mentally prepare yourself for other sources of negativity!

Strawberry Cacao Ice Cream

This ice cream recipe is incredibly simple to make and will literally take you five minutes from start to finish (excluding the freezing of the bananas obviously)! I always like to have a stash of frozen bananas in my freezer so whenever the mood strikes – or one of my children asks – I can quickly whip up a batch of healthy ice cream.

Using raw cacao in ice cream is such an amazing way to make your dessert super healthy. Cacao beans come from the cacao tree, which is native to Mexico and Central America. Raw cacao generally has a nutty taste but can be quite bitter. Cacao beans are absolutely bursting with antioxidants, which as we know are essential in the fight against free radicals in the body. Cacao beans also contain a happy dose of iron, calcium and magnesium. The health benefits of consuming raw cacao regularly range from alleviating depression, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation.

Including a cup of strawberries in your ice cream recipe not only gives this dish a beautiful colour and luxurious flavour, but it also brings a wealth of nutrients to the dish. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, as well as folate and fibre. Similarly to raw cacao, strawberries are bursting with antioxidants. Strawberries also contain an abundance of potassium. Potassium is essential for many functions in the body, not least of all balancing your electrolytes. Potassium also helps the muscles to function properly and works to keep your blood pressure at an optimum level by combatting the presence of sodium in the body. Just one serving of strawberries is enough to provide a daily dose of potassium – so my ice cream is the perfect answer!

To make enough for two people to pile their bowls high you will need the following ingredients:

2 frozen bananas (remove the peel, chop and then freeze overnight)
1 Tbsp. of raw cacao
1 tsp. of vanilla essence
1 cup of strawberries
200ml of almond milk
A squeeze of honey (or any other natural sweetener)

All you have to do is place the frozen bananas in your blender with the almond milk and then blitz until creamy. You can then add in the rest of the ingredients and blitz again for a few moments. Serve into two bowls and enjoy!

You can find a raspberry variation of this delicious recipe on my soon to be released second course on The Flexi Foodie Academy!

How to Cope with Loneliness

Loneliness is a common human emotion that can strike even when you are surrounded by friends and family. This feeling can quickly become a serious barrier to self-love and can demotivate you from caring for yourself in the way that you know you should.

The emotion of loneliness is characterised by an empty feeling, or a longing to connect with another person when this seems presently unobtainable. This can leave you feeling depressed, lost and even quite anxious if you feel like the state of loneliness isn’t going to pass.

When you feel like this it is important to remember that your self-care should not be compromised, and that you can actually nurture yourself through this period of loneliness.

Although loneliness can often be caused by a lack of human interaction, it can also be something that is born within you. If you have lost your connection with yourself, or if you have begun to lose sight of your goals and your ambitions, then it can become easy to slip into a place of loneliness.

In these moments, one of the most important things that you can do for yourself is to make an extra effort to love yourself. On my new wellness for women website – Truly Julie – we talk a lot about self-love and the different ways that you can effortlessly make self-love practices a regular part of your routine. For example, in just a short period of time spent meditating, practicing yoga, repeating positive affirmations to yourself or simply checking in with your own emotions, you can help to re-route negative thought processes to positive ones.

When you don’t make a consistent effort to understand your emotions and deal with any negativity that is arising, then you run the risk of letting this negativity take over. This is often because the voice of your inner critic starts to sound out any positivity – leaving you feel as though you are not good enough.

As well as working to care for yourself when feelings of loneliness start to take hold, it is also incredibly helpful to reach out to others for support. This doesn’t have to be as drastic as telling everyone that you are struggling and asking for help. It can simply be making a phone call to a friend and making plans for the near future. Alternatively, you could arrange to take yourself to a new activity class, or some other group session, with the intention of making new connections with people you haven’t met yet!

However you choose to cope with your loneliness, the key is to make sure that you are doing something pro-active to deal with it! Leaving these feelings to slowly simmer and grow will always ensure that they just get stronger and harder to deal with further down the line.

You can head to the Truly Julie website now to get the support and advice you need to keep your health, happiness and positivity on track!