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From The Inside Out: The Secrets Of Happiness and Inner Peace

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

My schedule has always been harried and hectic and I’ve ALWAYS worked, and worked hard, so I can’t really say that through the years, except for a few “minor” details, like getting married, my life hasn’t changed much. But, what has changed is my seeming ability to embrace it all.

I can remember working and going to school in the city, sharing responsibilities with mom and a (former) BF, living part-time with each, and still having time not only for plans with family members and friends, but despite the “rush”, actually enjoying the “rat race”.

You see on my trek into and across The City via rail, subway, bus, and foot, I was always able, despite my (many) frustrations (and I get frustrated a lot, and always did) embrace the environment and the day. From breathing in the crisp or “stagnant” City air (depending on the season) to simply hurredly “meandering” while watching the people and activity around me, each day was a wonderful and awe-inspiring adventure that gave me an appreciation for life in general.

Today, it seems that most of us, including myself are too tired and stressed to even take note of ourselves in a mirror. And, you can forget about taking notice of anyone else. In fact, it seems we are on a mission to “burn out” rather than fade away, leading experts to suggest that we may be seriously compromising our inner peace and enjoying each moment for what is has to offer and what it is.

· STOP connecting via the Internet: Sure The Net is a great way to make initial connections and keep in contact with quick quips, but it’s no replacement for the power of person interaction. Experts assert that humans NEED community and authentic, real-life relationships, that allow us to, well, relate.

They suggest trying to get together with friends as frequently as possible instead of simply keeping in touch online. Second best is making a call at least once a week. Other options for expanding your horizons and your social circle include joining a group or organization, primarily with people of similar beliefs, hobbies, or interests. And, if there aren’t any around, consider starting one yourself.

· Cut yourself some slack: It’s likely that whether you’re working on graduating, planning your wedding, establishing yourself as a professional, settling in as a newlywed or tending to your family, you’ve got busy days and busy nights. In fact, your schedule is likely never-ending. Experts suggest taking a break, probably from self-imposed rules that most of us didn’t have when we were kids. In fact, was a lot less busy and schedules a lot less “full” and somehow we all turned out okay. Give yourself and your family permission to “take a break” and just enjoy each other, life, or simple doing “nothing” for a change.

· Make fun part of your “penciled-in” plans: Like most of us it’s likely you consult with your computer calendar or day planner to decide or determine what the day holds in store for you and what you can and can’t or do or don’t have time to do. Try setting aside time for rest, relaxation and fun. Pencil in a visit or dinner with friends, dinner out, or a weekend trip, it will do wonders for your disposition and your health.

· Give big: Most of us get a sense of satisfaction helping or trying to help others. And, most of us enjoy giving a good gift. Experts suggest combining the two, and it won’t cost you a dime. In fact, you’ll be helping yourself and someone else. Host a yard sale or donate unwanted or unused items to your place of worship or local charity. Just make sure items are in good condition and of possible use to someone else.

· Accentuate the positives: Try not to focus on the negatives, it will only help drag you down. Instead, experts suggest trying to find something pleasing and positive to turn your attention toward. Better yet, try to get involved in something “positive” yourself, it’s likely it will help change your perspective both about the world and yourself. In fact, get the whole family involv

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