The previous Great NEWS post on The Paleo Craze (Part 2) was quite long so this week we share some simple steps to Stop Stressing and Start Smiling. This week is Happy Thanksgiving in the US and a great time to remind ourselves of what is really most important in life. It is very easy to get caught up in the holiday hassles, maddening moods, shopping sales and super stress that goes into full swing with Thanksgiving and Black Friday. This post will share some simple suggestions to Stop Stressing and Start Smiling.

Looking at the faces of drivers, shoppers and workers you might think it is Unhappy Thanksgiving this week. Is it realizing that another year is almost over, the troubling global economic conditions or the pressure to shop and spend for Christmas that causes the stress and strain? Whatever the root cause the effect has dire consequences for our happiness and health during the holiday season and long term.

Even before Halloween you probably noticed the sales flyers, stores and showrooms started promoting the happy holiday themes. It is amazing how they crank out so much marketing propaganda for the last 90 days of the year to influence your eating and shopping habits. Come to think of it they do it all year long so the stress is not just seasonal but continual all year long.

Do you notice how they tie in the holiday theme with eating more fake foods, fast foods and junk foods which are responsible for major diseases and the obesity epidemic? It is normal in the fall for our eating patterns to shift to more nutrient dense foods in preparation for winter. Unfortunately the food companies and media know exactly how to push your buttons and kick your cravings into overdrive with lots of fatty foods and sugary sweets which will directly affect your blood sugar, energy, mood swings and weight.

Early humans needed the extra calories in the Fall to prepare for the cooler weather, shortage of foods and stressful demands of winter for survival. Most of us no longer live in that type of situation yet we are conditioned to act, eat and think as if we did. People scurry about eating all the time and hoarding foods as if we were soon facing a severe long freezing winter. As if they would need to hunt, gather firewood and walk 10 miles in the snow uphill each day to survive.

Instead it is life in the man made concrete jungle that creates the majority of our stress and strain today. Most people are spoiled and barely need to raise a finger to roll down the window after driving to a fast food joint for an unhappy meal with double cheese burger, super size fries and mega sugary soda. Moms car pool kids to school even though it may be a short walk and let them watch hours of TV each week. Parents say they are too busy to exercise, prepare healthy meals or shop for nutrient dense whole foods so they order burgers and fries or pizza and sodas as a special treat. Most parents do not even read the labels of the foods they feed their kids or themselves and then wonder at the battle of the bulge.

Burger fries and a soda

Eating fast foods like burger fries and sodas cause stress to the body and mind

This sad shift in behavior and the Standard American Diet (SAD) is creating more sad, sick, sleepy and stressed people who are struggling with a lack of energy, endurance, fitness and health. Kids cannot do well in school and parents cannot perform when they are lacking adequate high quality fuels. This can cause a downward spiral in every area of your life over time. The previous blog posts on the Paleo Craze shares some great nutrition guidelines, key distinctions and proven principles to help you stop stressing and start smiling.

Most people are over eating too many fatty foods, processed foods and sugary sweets for their daily needs and long term health. We no longer need to travel long distances on foot carrying water, gathering foods and hunting wild game. With buses, cars, trains and subways to take us to work and modern buildings providing a moderate climate for sitting at a computer, desk or work station all day we do not utilize as many calories as we consume.

People complain they are starving when they have not eaten something in 3 or 4 hours while our ancestors may have gone for days and even weeks with minimal food on occasion. You would believe people are preparing for an ice age by the amount of fat stored up on their bodies. We have so much abundance and things to be thankful for yet people get stuck in their stressed states and forget to be happy and smile.

Sun's reflection on the water in the shape of a heart.

Remember the sun reflecting on the water in the shape of a heart is a sign of the power of infinite love.

Simple Steps to Stop Stressing:

Don’t worry…Be happy. Your life is a reflection of the way you feel, look and think.

Stop being  critical and hard on yourself. Stop blaming others for your situation.

Stop procrastinating and making excuses. Take responsibility.

Avoid being a victim and choose being the victor

Stop listening to gossip.  Stop telling gossip.  Stop negative stories. If you cannot say something good than keep quiet.

Be honest about your current finances, habits, health, lifestyle, and relationships. If you are not happy with things then change them.

You are the master of your fate and you are the captain of your soul.

Learning life lesson and changing your behaviors allow you to align with your higher morals, purpose and values. Update and upgrade your mental software.

Do a check up from the neck up and implement mastery action plans to improve and transform your lifestyle.

Avoiding Chemicals, Concentrated Animal Feed Operations (CAFO) and GMO Frankenfoods. You are what you eat. Eat happy and healthy foods.

Communicate with family, friends and co workers about how you feel in an honest, open and warm way. Allow them to do the same.

Learning Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) tapping helps release negative emotions.

Avoid the negative Neal’s and Nellie’s

People jumping for joy at the beach

Stop stressing and start smiling. A smiley face is a happy face.

Stop stressing and start smiling. A smiley face is a happy face.

Simple Steps to Start Smiling:

Eating healthy foods and being happy you have them

Brisk walking each day is a great way to connect with nature and release your worries.

Doing yoga helps integrate your body, mind and spirit

Drinking warm water

Give praise and thanks. Say it out loud. Adopt an attitude of gratitude.

Practice deep diaphragm breathing each day to energize your cells.

Listen to children telling jokes and watching humorous movies are great ways to make you smile.

Laugh out loud. Have you seen Grumpy Old Men, Hitch or Michael?

Observe people that smile a lot and ask them how they do it.

Find a buddy, friend or role model that is great at being happy and smiling and ask for some coaching.

Be around toddlers and young children having fun and copy them.

Chanting, meditation and prayer are great for connecting with the energy, information and life force of the universe

Look at yourself in the mirror several times a day to see what your face is telling the world about you and your state of being.

Dance, sing and smile knowing you are love, loved and loving

Woman walking at the beach

Walking anywhere and especially at the beach is a great way to be happy and healthy

In previous posts I referenced a trip to Uganda were young children 6 to 16 were walking to school as much as two miles and many of the young children were bare foot yet they sang songs and smiled all day long. They work long days with hard chores in addition to attending school yet they feel happy, healthy and holy with a deep connection to their creator and the earth. They feel and express love each day

Today’s citizens in developed countries are spoiled with buses, cars, phones, sweets, video games and TV. With all the abundance and blessings we enjoy what is keeping us from being happy?

Remember that gratitude, laughter and smiling are essential for being happy, healthy and in harmony. Ask people if they think you look happy and give them permission to gracefully give you little reminders. It is imperative to set a goal to act, be, look and think happy thoughts during the day to keep your body, mind and spirit in a happy state. Your health, longevity and vitality depend on it.

This Great NEWS post was written to help you Stop Stressing and Start Smiling. We can all benefit from being even more happy, healthy and grateful for all the many blessings we enjoy. We have such great abundance, convenience and wealth in the US compared to most of the world. Following these simple suggestions can help you stop stressing and start smiling when you apply them to your life each day.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving and remember to stop stressing and start smiling as if your life depended on it because maybe it does.

What is your current Gap?

What is your level of stress on a scale of 0 (none) to 10 (Super stressed)? How often to you and others catch you smiling. Where does the stress show up in your body?

Mastery Action Plan (MAP)

Ask people to tell you their funniest jokes. Laugh and enjoy. Watch a funny movie and laugh out loud. Create a plan to laugh and smile frequently.

Call to Action

What comments, commitments or questions do you have regarding ways to stop stressing and start smiling?

Next week the Great NEWS blog will share:  Stop That and Start This