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Live For Every Day

One woman's journey to take back her life

Weltschmerz – How to remain positive when the world gets you down

In the past few days, the state of the world and the future has been an overwhelming focus for many people. With the recent presidential election in the United States being a major topic of conversation both on- and offline, it can sometimes be difficult to clear the worries from our minds.

No matter which side of the debate you are on, what your personal views are or what your outlook for the future is, we are all innundated with images and stories of uproar, unrest and violence. We are sometimes afraid to share our political views with certain friends, family members, or coworkers as we fear they will not understand. We feel helpless and search for reasons by reading everything we can about the events.

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Choose happiness: how practicing positivity can change your reactions in times of trouble

For years I have had the feeling that I was not living my best life, but I never seemed to be able to break out of my regular routine and actually make any lasting changes. I tried forcing myself to wake up early, exercise, eat right and get things done. I confused productivity with happiness.

Then, about a year ago, I had a major breakthrough. I realized that happiness was not the result of having or doing or procuring or achieving, but was rather a decision that can be made and worked towards. I started reading every book I could on mindfulness and the psychology of happiness.

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Snow White and the Seven Don’ts: 7 things to get rid of in order to simplify your life

Inspired by the degrowth movement (Degrowth – How a global movement can help inspire us to live better), I have been doing a lot of soul searching about what it is I really want and need in life. What is important to me? What do I dream about? If I could design my ideal life, what would my day look like?

Not surprisingly, my ideal day doesn’t contain paperwork and bureaucracy. However, there are these pesky things called nations that exist and each one comes with its own list of rules and regulations which can’t be avoided. Taxes must be paid and health insurance forms must be filled out.

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Degrowth – How a global movement can help inspire us to live better

Currently in the world, there is a growing trend for – ironically – degrowth, which is defined as ‘downscaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions and equity on the planet’ (degrowth.org). This movement deviates from the heretofore cultural norm of economic growth and instead aspires for a lifetime of sustainability, balance, and sharing rather than environmental destruction, inequality, and consumption.

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Why our perception of success makes us feel like failures

One time, at a family gathering, my sister-in-law was talking about two of my younger cousins, both under 20 and both with very different lifestyles. One had recently gotten married and had a young baby. One was just finishing high school and was headed off to university in the fall. One had a very strict religious upbringing and the other had a strict academic upbringing. My sister-in-law noted these differences and stated that it would be interesting to see who would be more successful in the future.

I remember feeling very offended at the thought of this, comparing one cousin to the other based on the level of success they might experience in their lives. Who were we to gauge the success of another person? How does one even measure how successful another person is? Is this based on how much money the person earns, or on how happy they appear to be in their life? Is this based on how impressive their job title sounds or on how long they stay with their spouse? What is success and how is it measured?

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How smart phones and social media make you hate your life

You are relaxing on the balcony on a sunny Sunday afternoon in early Spring. You dip an Oreo into your steaming cup of coffee and manage to pop it into your mouth before it disintegrates. The leaves have just started to sprout out of the branches and the once barren trees begin to show life again. You take a deep breath, breathing in the fresh spring air and without thinking grab your telephone. The previously peaceful setting is now tarnished.

The act of grabbing our phone when the moment goes silent has become a habit for so many of us. We look at our phones as a way of taking a break from whatever we are doing, sometimes even using our phones as a break from using our computers!

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Be happy by forgetting that you were ever sad

One method for avoiding or getting out of depression that I’ve come across in Ted Talks, blogs and conversation is about doing rather than just thinking about doing. Dwelling seems to be a common setback of mine. I contemplate, analyze, ruminate, agonize. I think so much about why I am feeling sad and what I am doing wrong. I can pinpoint all of the things I would like to change about my mood and my behaviour. The problem is, I don’t do anything about it.

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What it’s like to be a Lazy Perfectionist

I have a way of falling repeatedly into the same traps. I overanalyze, I aim for perfection, and I expect too much of myself -inevitably setting myself up for failure. Sometimes I am far too conscious of the the fact that I’m trying to ‘do better’ or ‘be better’ that I forget to just ‘do’ and ‘be’.

I sometimes refer to myself as a Lazy Perfectionist. I want everything to be perfect, but don’t seem to have the energy or motivation to get things done the way I’d like to. I see nothing but errors and mistakes all around me and feel as if I’m living in one giant, never-ending ball of tasks. Instead of working at these tasks one by one, I become paralyzed by the mountain of chores in front of me. I become so easily overwhelmed by just the thought of everything that must be done that I give up before I even begin. I stay in bed. I turn on the tv. I pretend the tasks don’t exist. I allow myself to fail.

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Book Review: Jeremy Dean “Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick”

In the search for peace and balance in my life, I have been looking for insight in a variety of sources. A little over a year ago, a friend posted this article from MacLean’s magazine on Facebook, and it immediately hit a nerve. I could never figure out why I had trouble reaching my goals and sticking to my resolutions. The problem, rather than being attributed solely to low willpower, is that I was trying to achieve too much, too quickly. I was trying to move too far out of my comfort zone and work in opposition to all of my deeply ingrained habits.

Continue reading “Book Review: Jeremy Dean “Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick””

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