When we find ourselves feeling like our hearts have become a desolate ghost town, it’s time to muster up some courage and motivation to clean out the stink'n think'n, polish our hearts up with some positive words and inspiration, and eventually invite some friends over.
If you are struggling to experience feelings of love and happiness in your life right now, or you desire to increase these levels...today's message is for you!
Sometimes it feels like your brain doesn’t want you to be happy. You may feel guilty or shameful. Why?
Believe it or not, guilt and shame activate the brain’s reward center.
WOW… it's better to feel something rather than nothing at all! Or is it?
And worry helps a lot too. Why?
In the short term, worrying makes your brain feel a little bit better — at least you’re doing something about your upsets and problems.
But guilt, shame and worry are horrible long-term solutions and skills to count on when navigating your life and relationships. And may we add: they will absolutely create ghost towns in your hearts and lives.
Regardless of what might be going on for you right now, we have a bit of neuroscience to share. If you embrace it, it is sure to help you feel more of the good stuff life has to offer us. Funny thing is, these are all tenants we teach and mentor here at Lease on Love. Thanks, Alex, for letting us know we are up to great things!
UCLA neuroscientist Alex Korb has 4 rituals that create feelings of happiness and connection, if we will but work with them:
1. Ask this important Question: What am I grateful for?
Yeah, gratitude is awesome...but does it really affect your brain at the biological level? Yup.
You know what the antidepressant Wellbutrin does? Boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine.
So does gratitude.
I know, sometimes life can deliver up a really mean punch in the gut and it feels like there’s nothing to be grateful for.
Doesn’t matter. You don’t have to find anything. It’s the searching for something that counts!
But what happens when bad feelings completely overtake you? That takes us to number two.
2. Label Your Feelings
In Lease On Love Terms…get in touch with, and express your feelings to gain peace and clarity with them.
You feel awful. Okay, give that awfulness a name. Sad? Anxious? Angry?
Boom. Its that simple.
Sound stupid? Your noggin disagrees.
Consciously recognizing your emotions reduces their impact and makes a big difference when it comes to managing them, and suppressing them doesn’t work. It leads to another ghost town. Once you gain some understanding and clarity about how you feel, take some action!
3. Make Some Decisions
Brain science shows that making decisions reduces worry and anxiety, as well as helps you solve problems.
Making decisions also includes creating intentions, and setting goals which all lead to a sense of feeling better.
Do your best to not hang out in the land of maybe. It’s a painful place to be. Indecision is where you can find HELL on earth. Get out as soon as possible by making some decisions.
But let’s face it...deciding can be hard. We agree.
So what kind of decisions should you make?
Make a good enough decision. Don’t sweat making the absolute 100% best decision.
We all know being a perfectionist is stressful and doesn't get us very far in the long run.
Just aim for the best decision you can make right now, and Look to take your next best step.
4. Touch People (not inappropriately of course!)
Physical touch for us humans is a need. We need to feel love and acceptance from others.
When we don’t it is painful.
And I don’t mean awkward or disappointing...I mean actually painful!
Relationships are very important to your brain’s feeling of happiness. Touching someone—whether it be a touch on the arm, a pat on the back, or a warm embrace—reduces feelings of loneliness and pain.
And guess what? None of us get enough of it in our day to day lives.
So hug someone today. And do not accept a little quick hug, no, no, no!
Tell them neuroscientists, psychologists, and Lease On Love recommend lots of long hugs!
Don’t have anyone to hug right now? Get a massage, hug a pet, hug a tree until you can create more hugs in your life. It will give you the necessary brain chemicals you need to begin feeling good now.
In a nutshell...when your heart is a ghost town….
- Ask the important question…”what do I have to be grateful for?”
- Get familiar with how you are feeling
- Make some decisions
- Get and receive plenty of hugs
Wow, you gotta admit, you're feeling better already aren't you?
On Monday, November 6th, we’ll be starting our November Challenge Experience: 5 Days to Connection! Some of you may have joined us through a past challenge. We have completely revamped our approach to these, and this is our inaugural event!
We’ll spend November 6-10 exploring the many ways we connect with the world and others around us, and we’ll challenge you to do some exploring of your own each day for five consecutive days. If you haven’t decided to join us yet, there’s still time!
There are three ways you can participate in the challenge:
- Follow along with us across our social media platforms:
- Join our Facebook group, the Daily Dose of Love Community to participate in the challenge AND receive unique supports for the theme of CONNECTION throughout the month of November.
- Make sure you don’t miss a thing and stay connected with us via email here.
Things We Love: Crazy Twisty And Candles that make us hungry!
First The Twisty:
We know, Halloween is over, officially. But we couldn’t resist this video from Ellen on Twitter:
Those Delectable Candles:
Somehow, one of our team members stumbled across this roundup of Yankee Candle’s best fall scents, and we are drooling. Wait. Are candles supposed to make you drool? Anyway, see which ones make the cut here:
And by the way, we can think of about a million reasons we need all of those candles… holiday get-togethers, Netflix and chill nights, the office, the bedroom, the living room, the bathroom, the guest room, the hallway? Just don’t actually eat them, no matter how amazing they smell.