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Bullet Journaling: A Beginners Guide: Getting Motivated with Your Inner Creativity & Artistic SideπŸ“’πŸ“”πŸ–Šβœ‚οΈπŸ–Œβœ’οΈπŸŽ¨

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Hello Everyone,

I just started bullet journaling not too long ago and my first bullet journal project was created for my very good friend. Then some time passed and I put it on hold. However, watching YouTube videos on journaling, bullet journaling, seeing the many different options there are when it comes to the layout, content, creative touches and so forth (on Pinterest too) motivated me to start again. This time I’ve decided to make one for myself! πŸ˜€ I’m a beginner at Bullet Journaling and it is still something fairly new to me. However, I think it is a great hobby and way to motivate yourself, write down your goals, dreams, and aspirations for 2019, content that is meaningful to you and so forth. The fact that you make it yourself is something quite special and motivation in itself to write down things in your homemade journal that you want to accomplish.Β 

There are many suggestions out there when it comes to following certain rules and guidelines as to how a bullet journal looks, layout, content format and organization. However, I believe you can pretty much bring your own approach, creativity and uniqueness to your bullet journal and organize it to your particular liking and preference. For example, it is perfectly fine to create a diary out of your bullet journal and write your daily reflections, thoughts and feelings of the day as daily entries. I’ve decided to create a series on my blog in which in each post I bring you all along with me (because I’m learning about the bullet journaling process too!) on the different steps of bullet journaling. I hope all of you will find something helpful from this blog series!

Post # 1: Bullet Journal / Journaling Supplies

The first post for this series will be on the supplies required for bullet journaling or journaling to help you get started. This is probably my most favourite part! It is always fun to get supplies. I will share photos of what I use and have gotten recently too. I’ve researched online to see what type of different supplies are needed and I will provide some helpful links in this post too. However, some of the materials, supplies and stationary shared below is from my own thinking, selection and preference. I truly believe that bullet journaling or journaling in general is flexible and open when it comes to what you want to use when creating and designing it. I like to use these ready to use planning supplies in combination with my own writing, written content, doodling and so forth.

Journal I am using for designing & Journaling:

I know that for journaling and bullet journaling in particular that the notebook usually used is a Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook. However, I believe any notebook you like will work too. I saw and liked this notebook below because of its simply and pretty cover and that it still left me room to design the cover further. Also it has many pages for creating different spreads and they are blank so this leaves it open to how I want to layout the pages.Β 

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Elastic Book Band & Page Flag Stickers

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As you can see the above flag stickers are great for adding visual, colourful and beautiful reminders to your journal that stand out and remind you of important tasks and dates (for example, on a weekly to do spread or calendar) like when a bill is due, an important appointment with the doctor or just to add artistic and pretty touches to the title of your spreads. Flag stickers or banners also work great as borders around a page. The elastic book band is also great for adding a nice look to the front cover of your planner as a side border or where the book bind is. It can also serve the same purpose for the pages inside of your planner as a artistic border on the side of the page.
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These magnetic bookmarks were a recent find and purchase and seem pretty unique. Of course these can be used for a book you are reading but I think it also works great for marking an important page in your bullet journal too πŸ‘ I also love the motivational sayings on them!
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I believe fine tip black markers are a must for making the written content in your journal, whether it is the titles, captions, messages and so forth, stand out. These sharpie markers, particularly the ones at the top (the ones that won’t bleed through the paper) really provide a bold, clean and neat finish πŸ‘
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These are my recent purchases as well. I also just wanted to mention that you can find similar items like the ones I’ve shared in this post from your local craft store or the craft and stationary section in a store. I am really loving the beautiful stickers that have a 3D dimension look and are so beautifully designed, some having inspirational and beautiful sayings on them. I have found and used similar stickers to these ones in the past and they really add a special element to my journal, whether it is the front cover and inside spreads. I have also bought the flag and banner stickers before and got them again because I love using them around and under my titles and as borders or pretty embellishments to the different pages or spreads in my journal. The bubble letter stickers are new and I will be using them for the first time but I’m excited to use them as they are great for titles or messages on a page. The self-adhesive blue stencil is also a first time purchase but I think they can be great for a background to put on a page. The floral flower post its are also a first time purchase but I have used other types of post its Β in the past like a coffee and donut one which I will share below. I will use this as pretty embellishments on my page and might write some inspirational sayings on them. I will definitely update you about the use of this item soon!
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This is probably the one marker I use the most to go over my writing in pencil, drawings, decorations and doodles!

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I got this pretty box with the cute bird on it to store some of my crafting supplies in like stickers.Β 
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The dividing tray on the left, as you can see, has been very helpful in organizing and keeping my different supplies intact and not scattered all over the place! ☺️🧐
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This is also great to put inside your journal to store login information that you might forget and you can refer to this part in your journal right away. Just be sure to secure your journal in a safe place!
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I discovered this interesting workout game but instead of playing it I decided to use it on a fitness idea spread that I will share with you all very soon πŸ˜‰
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It’s glitter, what else can I say? I’m hopelessly attracted to it and have really enjoyed using it on some of my spreads in my journal πŸ˜πŸ˜„

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Sorry for the blurry picture but this stationary set was a great find. As you can see by the title, it is comprised of monthly planning sheets and you can put in your own dates which is great. In the next picture below you will be able to see how these planning sheets look. I kid the colour theme on these sheets and I love the inspirational quote!Β 
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As you can see one side of the page has a top section for making notes and a bottom section for writing thoughts that can motivate you to get things done for example πŸ™‚ Also another idea to consider is using this as a guideline for how you might want to do layout a particular spread if you choose to draw it out yourself πŸ’‘Β πŸ‘ There is also a goal calendar spread in this set too. The picture of how this looks like is below πŸ‘‡Β 

 

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This is a set of weekly to do sheets I got and it is also not dated so you can put the date and month and the is plenty of space to write each task. I also love the pretty checkered border on the side of the page. Β I think this is a great layout to put in a journal or to use as a guide to draw your own one.Β 

Fotor_154751952907986This is a packet of two pocket dividers. This can be used as dividers, to separate different sections of your bullet journal. Also can be used at the beginning of your journal, on the inside of the cover. Alternatively, it can be used at the end of your journal. Since it has a pocket too this can be used to store important papers or loose notes in a more secure manner.

***Next Upcoming Post: Ideas for Different Spreads & Themes in Your Journal: Coming Soon!! πŸ˜€πŸ‘

Fun & Helpful Links Below:

Fun Stationary Finds! @Β 

https://easysimpleandhappy.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/bullet-journaling-a-beginners-guide-getting-motivated-with-your-inner-creativity-artistic-sideπŸ“’πŸ“”πŸ–Šβœ‚οΈπŸ–Œβœ’οΈπŸŽ¨/

Bullet Journal Supply Guide Link:

http://adailymiscellany.com/39-recommended-bullet-journal-supplies/

Featured Book of the Day πŸ“š: Meaningful Conversations, Good Books & The Simple Little Things that Contribute to Happiness

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Dear Readers,

It is truly amazing how the simple everyday things in life can bring meaningful and beneficial positivity and happiness in one’s life. I recently finished reading a book, not too long ago, called The Positive Shift by Catherine A. Sanderson, PhD,Β that reminded me of the importance of this. The author discusses different aspects of life (that can often be overlooked) yet play such a significant role in how happy, content and satisfied we are with our lives. Some of my favourite chapters that stood out and I related to were: reading, disconnecting from technology and connecting with nature and meaningful conversations.Β 

Reading:

blur-book-close-up-coffee-459265

This particular chapter really appealed to me because I love books and from childhood, up till now one of the best hobbies and ways to relax for me is to read a good book whether it is fiction or non-fiction. Reading always makes me happy, puts me in a good mood and stimulates my mind in a healthy and positive way versus social media, where I am scrolling and staring at a screen (yes it is entertaining but no real sense of meaningful or beneficial fulfillment to be honest). I especially enjoy fiction books because I am a visual reader and I always recreate the scene, landscape or description in a book of a certain situation in my mind and I am immediately taken to another place and time. Even with non-fiction, I am learning knowledge and information, especially self-help, that can impact me in a beneficial way. I remember when I was in high school and my history teacher said to me that the best way to strengthen one’s writing skills was to read, to read as much as one could. She said that just by reading more one’s grammar skills, punctuation, vocabulary, the flow of writing (smooth, clear), analytical skills developed improved and developed with time. I always remember this valuable and helpful words of advice from her because they hold much truth in them.Β 

I would like to share some passages from the chapter of the benefits of reading that the author discusses in her book:

Quote # 1:

“Scientific research suggests reading helps us feel connected to other people – even feeling a connection to characters in a book creates a sense of belonging, an important component of happiness. Reading can increase positive feelings, especially if the book inspires you to think about your own life in a new way or to take action toward reaching your own goals” (Positive Shift by Catherine A. Sanderson, pg. 158).

Quote # 2:

“Reading, especially fiction, can improve our ability to empathize with someone else and thus improve our own social skills. When we become absorbed in a novel, we imagine the world through the characters’ eyes, which increases our ability to take on someone else’s perspective in the real world” (Positive Shift by Catherine A. Sanderson, pg. 158).

Disconnecting from Technology & Connecting with Nature:

macbook-pro-iphone-cup-desk-7974daylight-environment-forest-idyllic-459225

When it comes to the topic of nature, the benefits are truly amazing for one’s mood, health and overall well being, especially when dealing and alleviating stress and anxiety too. Being in the beauty and calmness of nature brings inner peace, relaxation, fresh air and happiness. Nature motivates one to get out more and adopt a more active lifestyle and incorporating more exercise in one’s daily routine. I agree with the author when she writes how nature cures the negative effects of technology. She couldn’t be more right! Anderson discusses the necessity of taking a technology break.

The negative effects of technology discussed in this book are important and I thought they were well worth sharing below:

Quote # 1:

“Technology is supposed to make our lives easier. But the reality is that technology actually creates considerable stress. As described in chapter 6, Comparison is the Thief of Joy: Environment Matters, technology also takes away time from other things that we know bring us happiness – reading a book, spending time with friends, getting enough sleep” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 174).

Quote # 2:

“But perhaps most important, the mere presence of technology creates an expectation that we are always available to friends, colleagues, family members and so on. This means that we never really get a break away from the ongoing demands of daily life which leads to considerable stress” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 174).

Quote # 3:

“Here’s a simple way to increase your happiness: turn off your phone, set clear and specific rules about the use of technology – no phone use after 9 PM, or during meals, or for blocks of time on the weekend, when you really should be spending time interacting with people and relaxing, not checking emails and texts. Limiting your use of technology will decrease your stress and increase the quality of your relationships” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 175).

Quote # 4: I really like the title of this chapter from where I will share some passages regarding the benefits of nature: “Give Your Brain A Break: Take A Walk Outside”:

“So, what is it about spending time in nature that leads to such dramatic benefits? Our daily life is filled with constant stimulation from phones, traffic, television, and so on. All these events grab our attention. But our brain’s ability to stay focused over time is limited. Eventually, we can become overwhelmed and feel mentally drained; scientists informally call this brain fatigue. In other words, our brains need a break” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 183).

Quote # 5:Β 

“According to attention restoration theory, spending time in nature provides a cognitive break from all the external distractions we face in our daily lives. Nature settings allow the brain to relax and thereby serve a really important function in helping restore our cognitive capacities. In fact, people show improvements in memory and attention after walking down a noisy urban street. Remarkably. such benefits are seen among those with clinical depression (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 184).

Meaningful Conversations:

two-woman-chatting-1311518

This section of the book got to me the most because no matter how busy we become in our lives, making time for something like meaningful conversations really counts and matters. Meaningful conversations allow us to really communicate and stay in touch with each other versus being disconnected and distanced from one another. What the author has to say here regarding lost connections and the problem we have with communication, nowadays, is really important so I would like to share some of the points she makes from her book below:

Quote # 1:

“This finding that the happiest people engaged more often in meaningful conversations is an especially important one in today’s world, given the heavy reliance on technology as a form of communication. Many people communicate only in brief snippets via texts and tweets. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is simultaneously sending a text or checking an email? This type of conversation is not a meaningful one” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 234)

Quote # 2:

“Why do meaningful conversations feel so good? They provide social approval – it feels good when we believe someone likes and respects us. They also allow us to be our real selves, to be authentic. As I described in Chapter 6, Comparison is the Thief of Joy: Environment Matters, many more casual interactions feel less authentic, as we often present an idealized version of ourselves, sharing only the positive things in our lives. But interacting with close people, who approve of us and allow us to be who we really are, feels especially good” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 234)

Summary:

No matter how advanced society becomes, especially technologically wise, never underestimate and overlook the significant, beneficial and powerful effects the small everyday things like nature, books, meaningful conversations and more, can have on one’s life because it does, in a positive and healthier way.Β 

Stay Blessed,

SophieΒ 

 

Happiness Starts from You: Believing in & Feeling Good About Yourself πŸ’•πŸŒΈ

pexels-photo-22221

Dear Readers,

Often we think that happiness is obtained from other people when in fact happiness starts from ourselves. I am sure you have heard that saying or quote, “Never put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket.” This is very true. There is no harm in making other people happy. Likewise, there is nothing wrong in people making you happy. It is nice to bring a smile to someone’s face and vice versa. However, when we base the majority of our source of happiness and how we feel about ourselves based on how others treat us is when we should be concerned.

Happiness starts from you, from your mindset and from your heart. You know that little inner voice inside you and your mind? What it tells you and what you tell yourself is very important. Feed it with positive and loving thoughts. For example:

🌺I feel good about myself

🌺 I am going to be the best version of myself

🌺 I am going to eat healthy

🌺 I am going to exercise to look after my health and stay active

🌺 I matter

🌺 I am going to make the time for my favourite hobbies or pursue new and interesting ones

🌺 I will do something fun over the weekend and meet with friends

🌺 I am capable of great things and if I work hard I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to.

However, what is it that holds us back from these positive thoughts? The reality is that we live in a society that conditions and expects us to look a certain way, be a certain way, live up to certain ideals and so forth.

What also happens is that we seek acceptance and approval from others. We determine our self-worth and value based on how others treat and perceive us. When we don’t get the approval, acceptance and appreciation from others we feel bad about ourselves and feel down. We should never allow others to make us feel this way. A strong sense of self-esteem, self-confidence and self- improvement for one’s own sake is the most important factor here. Recognizing our good qualities, accomplishments and improving ourselves in a healthy and positive way is the direction we should take. For example, eating healthy to feel good and improve one’s health, taking a course or workshop for professional development, doing yoga or meditation to relax and reduce stress and so forth.

It is okay to make time for yourself too sometimes and enjoy your own company. This time allows you to relax, meditate and take care of yourself. Basically you are taking the time to make yourself a priority once in awhile and this is completely fine.

You need to take a step back and take care of yourself too. Take the time to do those things which bring you contentment and enjoyment whether it is going out for a walk, listening to some music to relax, spending time with family and those that truly appreciate your company.

Below you will find some quotes that will make you feel good about yourself, lift your spirits and make you happy πŸ˜€

I hope you make time for activities and things that bring you happiness and make you feel good.

Take Care,

Sophie πŸ’

Happiness Starts from You: Believing in & Feeling Good About Yourself πŸ’•πŸŒΈ

pexels-photo-22221

Dear Readers,

Often we think that happiness is obtained from other people when in fact happiness starts from ourselves. I am sure you have heard that saying or quote, “Never put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket.” This is very true. There is no harm in making other people happy. Likewise, there is nothing wrong in people making you happy. It is nice to bring a smile to someone’s face and vice versa. However, when we base the majority of our source of happiness and how we feel about ourselves based on how others treat us is when we should be concerned.

Happiness starts from you, from your mindset and from your heart. You know that little inner voice inside you and your mind? What it tells you and what you tell yourself is very important. Feed it with positive and loving thoughts. For example:

🌺I feel good about myself

🌺 I am going to be the best version of myself

🌺 I am going to eat healthy

🌺 I am going to exercise to look after my health and stay active

🌺 I matter

🌺 I am going to make the time for my favourite hobbies or pursue new and interesting ones

🌺 I will do something fun over the weekend and meet with friends

🌺 I am capable of great things and if I work hard I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to.

However, what is it that holds us back from these positive thoughts? The reality is that we live in a society that conditions and expects us to look a certain way, be a certain way, live up to certain ideals and so forth.

What also happens is that we seek acceptance and approval from others. We determine our self-worth and value based on how others treat and perceive us. When we don’t get the approval, acceptance and appreciation from others we feel bad about ourselves and feel down. We should never allow others to make us feel this way. A strong sense of self-esteem, self-confidence and self- improvement for one’s own sake is the most important factor here. Recognizing our good qualities, accomplishments and improving ourselves in a healthy and positive way is the direction we should take. For example, eating healthy to feel good and improve one’s health, taking a course or workshop for professional development, doing yoga or meditation to relax and reduce stress and so forth.

It is okay to make time for yourself too sometimes and enjoy your own company. This time allows you to relax, meditate and take care of yourself. Basically you are taking the time to make yourself a priority once in awhile and this is completely fine.

You need to take a step back and take care of yourself too. Take the time to do those things which bring you contentment and enjoyment whether it is going out for a walk, listening to some music to relax, spending time with family and those that truly appreciate your company.

Below you will find some quotes that will make you feel good about yourself, lift your spirits and make you happy πŸ˜€

I hope you make time for activities and things that bring you happiness and make you feel good.

Take Care,

Sophie πŸ’

A Bit of Wisdom for the End of the WeekπŸŒΉπŸ“œ

Dear Readers,

Hope you all had a good week. Wishing you a blessed and happy Friday. I thought it would be nice to mark this Friday and end of the week with a beautiful quote from Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Instagram page. Check it out when you get the chance. I loved the visual and insightful words of wisdom. For as long as I can remember, I have always loved reading the Chicken Soup for the Soul series books. I hope you all enjoy reading this lovely quote below:

Screenshot_2020-02-19-14-10-58~2

Take Care,

Sophie 🌸

A Bit of Wisdom for the End of the WeekπŸŒΉπŸ“œ

Dear Readers,

Hope you all had a good week. Wishing you a blessed and happy Friday. I thought it would be nice to mark this Friday and end of the week with a beautiful quote from Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Instagram page. Check it out when you get the chance. I loved the visual and insightful words of wisdom. For as long as I can remember, I have always loved reading the Chicken Soup for the Soul series books. I hope you all enjoy reading this lovely quote below:

Screenshot_2020-02-19-14-10-58~2

Take Care,

Sophie 🌸

Featured Book of the Day πŸ“š: Meaningful Conversations, Good Books & The Simple Little Things that Contribute to Happiness

40054612._UY500_SS500_

 

Dear Readers,

It is truly amazing how the simple everyday things in life can bring meaningful and beneficial positivity and happiness in one’s life. I recently finished reading a book, not too long ago, called The Positive Shift by Catherine A. Sanderson, PhD,Β that reminded me of the importance of this. The author discusses different aspects of life (that can often be overlooked) yet play such a significant role in how happy, content and satisfied we are with our lives. Some of my favourite chapters that stood out and I related to were: reading, disconnecting from technology and connecting with nature and meaningful conversations.Β 

Reading:

blur-book-close-up-coffee-459265

This particular chapter really appealed to me because I love books and from childhood, up till now one of the best hobbies and ways to relax for me is to read a good book whether it is fiction or non-fiction. Reading always makes me happy, puts me in a good mood and stimulates my mind in a healthy and positive way versus social media, where I am scrolling and staring at a screen (yes it is entertaining but no real sense of meaningful or beneficial fulfillment to be honest). I especially enjoy fiction books because I am a visual reader and I always recreate the scene, landscape or description in a book of a certain situation in my mind and I am immediately taken to another place and time. Even with non-fiction, I am learning knowledge and information, especially self-help, that can impact me in a beneficial way. I remember when I was in high school and my history teacher said to me that the best way to strengthen one’s writing skills was to read, to read as much as one could. She said that just by reading more one’s grammar skills, punctuation, vocabulary, the flow of writing (smooth, clear), analytical skills developed improved and developed with time. I always remember this valuable and helpful words of advice from her because they hold much truth in them.Β 

I would like to share some passages from the chapter of the benefits of reading that the author discusses in her book:

Quote # 1:

“Scientific research suggests reading helps us feel connected to other people – even feeling a connection to characters in a book creates a sense of belonging, an important component of happiness. Reading can increase positive feelings, especially if the book inspires you to think about your own life in a new way or to take action toward reaching your own goals” (Positive Shift by Catherine A. Sanderson, pg. 158).

Quote # 2:

“Reading, especially fiction, can improve our ability to empathize with someone else and thus improve our own social skills. When we become absorbed in a novel, we imagine the world through the characters’ eyes, which increases our ability to take on someone else’s perspective in the real world” (Positive Shift by Catherine A. Sanderson, pg. 158).

Disconnecting from Technology & Connecting with Nature:

macbook-pro-iphone-cup-desk-7974daylight-environment-forest-idyllic-459225

When it comes to the topic of nature, the benefits are truly amazing for one’s mood, health and overall well being, especially when dealing and alleviating stress and anxiety too. Being in the beauty and calmness of nature brings inner peace, relaxation, fresh air and happiness. Nature motivates one to get out more and adopt a more active lifestyle and incorporating more exercise in one’s daily routine. I agree with the author when she writes how nature cures the negative effects of technology. She couldn’t be more right! Anderson discusses the necessity of taking a technology break.

The negative effects of technology discussed in this book are important and I thought they were well worth sharing below:

Quote # 1:

“Technology is supposed to make our lives easier. But the reality is that technology actually creates considerable stress. As described in chapter 6, Comparison is the Thief of Joy: Environment Matters, technology also takes away time from other things that we know bring us happiness – reading a book, spending time with friends, getting enough sleep” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 174).

Quote # 2:

“But perhaps most important, the mere presence of technology creates an expectation that we are always available to friends, colleagues, family members and so on. This means that we never really get a break away from the ongoing demands of daily life which leads to considerable stress” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 174).

Quote # 3:

“Here’s a simple way to increase your happiness: turn off your phone, set clear and specific rules about the use of technology – no phone use after 9 PM, or during meals, or for blocks of time on the weekend, when you really should be spending time interacting with people and relaxing, not checking emails and texts. Limiting your use of technology will decrease your stress and increase the quality of your relationships” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 175).

Quote # 4: I really like the title of this chapter from where I will share some passages regarding the benefits of nature: “Give Your Brain A Break: Take A Walk Outside”:

“So, what is it about spending time in nature that leads to such dramatic benefits? Our daily life is filled with constant stimulation from phones, traffic, television, and so on. All these events grab our attention. But our brain’s ability to stay focused over time is limited. Eventually, we can become overwhelmed and feel mentally drained; scientists informally call this brain fatigue. In other words, our brains need a break” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 183).

Quote # 5:Β 

“According to attention restoration theory, spending time in nature provides a cognitive break from all the external distractions we face in our daily lives. Nature settings allow the brain to relax and thereby serve a really important function in helping restore our cognitive capacities. In fact, people show improvements in memory and attention after walking down a noisy urban street. Remarkably. such benefits are seen among those with clinical depression (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 184).

Meaningful Conversations:

two-woman-chatting-1311518

This section of the book got to me the most because no matter how busy we become in our lives, making time for something like meaningful conversations really counts and matters. Meaningful conversations allow us to really communicate and stay in touch with each other versus being disconnected and distanced from one another. What the author has to say here regarding lost connections and the problem we have with communication, nowadays, is really important so I would like to share some of the points she makes from her book below:

Quote # 1:

“This finding that the happiest people engaged more often in meaningful conversations is an especially important one in today’s world, given the heavy reliance on technology as a form of communication. Many people communicate only in brief snippets via texts and tweets. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is simultaneously sending a text or checking an email? This type of conversation is not a meaningful one” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 234)

Quote # 2:

“Why do meaningful conversations feel so good? They provide social approval – it feels good when we believe someone likes and respects us. They also allow us to be our real selves, to be authentic. As I described in Chapter 6, Comparison is the Thief of Joy: Environment Matters, many more casual interactions feel less authentic, as we often present an idealized version of ourselves, sharing only the positive things in our lives. But interacting with close people, who approve of us and allow us to be who we really are, feels especially good” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 234)

Summary:

No matter how advanced society becomes, especially technologically wise, never underestimate and overlook the significant, beneficial and powerful effects the small everyday things like nature, books, meaningful conversations and more, can have on one’s life because it does, in a positive and healthier way.Β 

Stay Blessed,

SophieΒ 

 

Special Valentine’s Day Post for the End of the Week: The Importance of Self-Love β€πŸ™†

Dear Readers,

Happy Valentines Day! I hope you all had a great week and I also want to wish you all a happy Friday and weekend too! I wanted to create and share this special post to remind everyone of the importance of showing yourself more love or self-love. I found some beautiful online quotes that emphasise the importance and necessity of practicing more self-love. Hope you all enjoy reading them ☺.

Take Care, Sophie 🌹

001-self-love-quotes

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My Reflections on Life: Meaningful Conversations, Good Books & The Simple Little Things that Contribute to Happiness

Dear Readers,

It is truly amazing how the simple everyday things in life can bring meaningful and beneficial positivity and happiness in one’s life. I recently finished reading a book, not too long ago, called The Positive Shift by Catherine A. Sanderson, PhD,Β that reminded me of the importance of this. The author discusses different aspects of life (that can often be overlooked) yet play such a significant role in how happy, content and satisfied we are with our lives. Some of my favourite chapters that stood out and I related to were: reading, disconnecting from technology and connecting with nature and meaningful conversations.Β 

Reading:

blur-book-close-up-coffee-459265

This particular chapter really appealed to me because I love books and from childhood, up till now one of the best hobbies and ways to relax for me is to read a good book whether it is fiction or non-fiction. Reading always makes me happy, puts me in a good mood and stimulates my mind in a healthy and positive way versus social media, where I am scrolling and staring at a screen (yes it is entertaining but no real sense of meaningful or beneficial fulfillment to be honest). I especially enjoy fiction books because I am a visual reader and I always recreate the scene, landscape or description in a book of a certain situation in my mind and I am immediately taken to another place and time. Even with non-fiction, I am learning knowledge and information, especially self-help, that can impact me in a beneficial way. I remember when I was in high school and my history teacher said to me that the best way to strengthen one’s writing skills was to read, to read as much as one could. She said that just by reading more one’s grammar skills, punctuation, vocabulary, the flow of writing (smooth, clear), analytical skills developed improved and developed with time. I always remember this valuable and helpful words of advice from her because they hold much truth in them.Β 

I would like to share some passages from the chapter of the benefits of reading that the author discusses in her book:

Quote # 1:

“Scientific research suggests reading helps us feel connected to other people – even feeling a connection to characters in a book creates a sense of belonging, an important component of happiness. Reading can increase positive feelings, especially if the book inspires you to think about your own life in a new way or to take action toward reaching your own goals” (Positive Shift by Catherine A. Sanderson, pg. 158).

Quote # 2:

“Reading, especially fiction, can improve our ability to empathize with someone else and thus improve our own social skills. When we become absorbed in a novel, we imagine the world through the characters’ eyes, which increases our ability to take on someone else’s perspective in the real world” (Positive Shift by Catherine A. Sanderson, pg. 158).

Disconnecting from Technology & Connecting with Nature:

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When it comes to the topic of nature, the benefits are truly amazing for one’s mood, health and overall well being, especially when dealing and alleviating stress and anxiety too. Being in the beauty and calmness of nature brings inner peace, relaxation, fresh air and happiness. Nature motivates one to get out more and adopt a more active lifestyle and incorporating more exercise in one’s daily routine. I agree with the author when she writes how nature cures the negative effects of technology. She couldn’t be more right! Anderson discusses the necessity of taking a technology break.

The negative effects of technology discussed in this book are important and I thought they were well worth sharing below:

Quote # 1:

“Technology is supposed to make our lives easier. But the reality is that technology actually creates considerable stress. As described in chapter 6, Comparison is the Thief of Joy: Environment Matters, technology also takes away time from other things that we know bring us happiness – reading a book, spending time with friends, getting enough sleep” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 174).

Quote # 2:

“But perhaps most important, the mere presence of technology creates an expectation that we are always available to friends, colleagues, family members and so on. This means that we never really get a break away from the ongoing demands of daily life which leads to considerable stress” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 174).

Quote # 3:

“Here’s a simple way to increase your happiness: turn off your phone, set clear and specific rules about the use of technology – no phone use after 9 PM, or during meals, or for blocks of time on the weekend, when you really should be spending time interacting with people and relaxing, not checking emails and texts. Limiting your use of technology will decrease your stress and increase the quality of your relationships” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 175).

Quote # 4: I really like the title of this chapter from where I will share some passages regarding the benefits of nature: “Give Your Brain A Break: Take A Walk Outside”:

“So, what is it about spending time in nature that leads to such dramatic benefits? Our daily life is filled with constant stimulation from phones, traffic, television, and so on. All these events grab our attention. But our brain’s ability to stay focused over time is limited. Eventually, we can become overwhelmed and feel mentally drained; scientists informally call this brain fatigue. In other words, our brains need a break” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 183).

Quote # 5:Β 

“According to attention restoration theory, spending time in nature provides a cognitive break from all the external distractions we face in our daily lives. Nature settings allow the brain to relax and thereby serve a really important function in helping restore our cognitive capacities. In fact, people show improvements in memory and attention after walking down a noisy urban street. Remarkably. such benefits are seen among those with clinical depression (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 184).

Meaningful Conversations:

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This section of the book got to me the most because no matter how busy we become in our lives, making time for something like meaningful conversations really counts and matters. Meaningful conversations allow us to really communicate and stay in touch with each other versus being disconnected and distanced from one another. What the author has to say here regarding lost connections and the problem we have with communication, nowadays, is really important so I would like to share some of the points she makes from her book below:

Quote # 1:

“This finding that the happiest people engaged more often in meaningful conversations is an especially important one in today’s world, given the heavy reliance on technology as a form of communication. Many people communicate only in brief snippets via texts and tweets. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is simultaneously sending a text or checking an email? This type of conversation is not a meaningful one” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 234)

Quote # 2:

“Why do meaningful conversations feel so good? They provide social approval – it feels good when we believe someone likes and respects us. They also allow us to be our real selves, to be authentic. As I described in Chapter 6, Comparison is the Thief of Joy: Environment Matters, many more casual interactions feel less authentic, as we often present an idealized version of ourselves, sharing only the positive things in our lives. But interacting with close people, who approve of us and allow us to be who we really are, feels especially good” (Positive Shift by Catherine Anderson, pg. 234)

Summary:

No matter how advanced society becomes, especially technologically wise, never underestimate and overlook the significant, beneficial and powerful effects the small everyday things like nature, books, meaningful conversations and more, can have on one’s life because it does, in a positive and healthier way.Β 

Stay Blessed,

SophieΒ 

 

Special Valentine’s Day Post for the End of the Week: The Importance of Self-Love β€πŸ™†

Dear Readers,

Happy Valentines Day! I hope you all had a great week and I also want to wish you all a happy Friday and weekend too! I wanted to create and share this special post to remind everyone of the importance of showing yourself more love or self-love. I found some beautiful online quotes that emphasise the importance and necessity of practicing more self-love. Hope you all enjoy reading them ☺.

Take Care, Sophie 🌹

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New EasySimpleHappy Blog Podcast Channel & Series! πŸŽ§

 

Dear Readers,

I am very excited to announce and share my new blog podcast channel and series. This is a different way to access and listen to blog posts in audio format. I still love writing posts for my blog and will continue to do so! However, I thought it would be interesting and unique to share my posts in an alternative way and so that is how the EasySimpleHappy podcast channel came about! On days when you just want to close your eyes and relax you can listen to a blog post recording or podcast instead of reading it. If you want to read it then you can come back here and read by all means!πŸ˜πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘ The link for the channel and podcast player is below. If you like what you listen to I would appreciate your support by clicking like and subscribe. Thank you. As mentioned, the link for the channel and podcast player is below:

https://easysimplehappyblog.podbean.com/

Or

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdmc3ydemUkrUp3QRDTQ2Tw

I will try to add new episodes to this channel as regularly and often as I can, whenever possible.Β 

Happy listening or reading πŸ˜‰

Stay Blessed,

Sophie