Life Tools is Here!

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Hey guys!

This isn’t a typical article here on the blog today because…

My company called Life Tools is launching today!!

This is something that I have been working on for about 7 months now, and it is finally ready to launch! We are just starting with a single product, and then gradually we will be adding more soon.

After I got out of depression I became passionate about helping others do the same and ultimately live a life of happiness, inner peace, and success in all areas of life. One way I decided to do this is through writing books, but the most current way I have been working on is through a company I’m starting, called Life Tools.

So what exactly does Life Tools do, and what is the first product?

Through our products, Life Tools helps people free themselves from daily stress and anxiety, and promotes complete relaxation.

Our store is completely online and our first product is called Peace of Mind Proprietary Blend, and it helps people do just that! 🙂 It is a natural, herbal supplement that helps people relax and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

I am really excited about this because I really think that this business will truly help people. I really want to help people have better lives through my company, while also following my own dream of owning a business.

Another thing I am excited about is that I am donating 10% of all profits to charity and research organizations to help people live better lives. Once the business gets up and running, we will be able to do things like go on a mission trip somewhere in the world to help others and invite a few customers along too. Or donate money to research on anxiety, stress, depression, etc. The more we understand it, the better and faster we can overcome it. Or start a non-profit to help people better their lives. The options are limitless, but I plan to make this business into something amazing. This 10% is not just a money donation, but also effective & active participation to help make this world a better place. 🙂

If you would like to check it out or support the launch, you can go to www.lifetoolsofficial.com

Or you can go straight to our first product: Peace of Mind Proprietary Blend.

If you want to get involved or learn more, you can email the company, or you can connect with the Instagram account @lifetools_official 🙂

 

To living a life of happiness and inner peace,

-Alex

 

PS- Go after your dreams even if they are scary! 🙂

Get Happy With …Stretching!

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Welcome to another edition of the “Get Happy” series!

Just as a reminder, the point of the articles in this series is to try different ideas and methods to bring you to a higher baseline happiness level. These “baseline happiness boosters” have cumulative effects, meaning that if done only once, you probably won’t get much benefit out of it. What we really want is the lasting effect of doing it so often that it is engrained into your brain, and it is part of who you are. If you do it on a regular basis to the point where you do it without even thinking, then you will see a huge overall positive surge of benefits!

In this post, we are talking about Stretching! 🙂

Did you know that when your muscles are stretched or exercised they send signals to the brain which help keep your body and mind from degenerating (damage and aging in the body)? That’s right! Even just 15 minutes of stretching every day will allow you to enjoy the benefits of a healthier mind and body as you continue to grow older.

Aside from just the long-term effects, the act of stretching literally loosens your muscles by creating a mild stress response in the body. When you do this, you are bringing oxygen into the muscles which in turn puts you into a better mood due to the increased oxygen and blood flow in your body. You feel better physically and mentally. While you are loosening and relaxing all of your muscles, you are literally eradicating your stress. All day long you have little things that cause you to feel slightly pressured, annoyed, stressed, anxious, etc. The amount and intensity of these emotions you feel vary from day to day, but we all feel them. When you are stressed, your body responds to how you feel by tensing up and tightening its muscles. By stretching, you are reversing this stress process and renewing your body for a more relaxed state of being. When done daily, stretching can really help eliminate stress while increasing your mood and health. It’s completely a win-win!

If you want to take stretching to the next level, you can also activate your spiritual and emotional side of stretching. To do this all you need to do is turn on some relaxing music and take some deep breaths while doing different stretching exercises. You will be surprised how great it feels, and how different it is from stretching without it. And by the way when I say relaxing music, I mean that it has no words. It is just calming music. You are trying to breathe and relax. If you don’t know what kind of music to listen to, then you can always put on some meditation music from YouTube. Just type in music for meditation, or for studying, or relaxing, etc. Usually hours of nice, soothing music shows up. You can also do Yoga. This has long been known for its mind body spirit connection. If you don’t want to sign up for a class, Yoga with Adrian is a YouTube channel and you can learn Yoga from your home if you have never done it before.

Most people say that your muscles and bones and everything else just gets weaker as you age, but research hasn’t actually proven that to be completely true. Yes, as you age, you do begin to degenerate from damage in the body and brain (that’s what aging is, damage. There are no aging genes). But that doesn’t explain how 80-year-old men are able to become just as fit and muscular as people in their 20’s. There have been a few studies based solely on these facts, asking how this is possible for some people at 80 while others are struggling mentally and physically at 50.

The secret has to do with physiology, or how people move their bodies on a daily basis. The reason most people’s muscles begin degenerating in their 40’s is not necessarily because they are aging. If that was the case then everyone at 40 would have this problem, and we all know that not everyone does. So what is it? The answer lies within the most basic concept. Move your body every day. Most people in their 40’s and up have set their habits and sit at a job all day to come home and sit around some more. Where’s the exercise?! Nowhere to be seen.

The people who have the least amount of problems with their bodies and minds as they grow older are usually the people who live more active lifestyles. It doesn’t matter whether that is walking, running, lifting weights, stretching, yoga, biking, whatever. As long as you are moving your body daily for at least 15 minutes, you are setting your present moment and your future up for lasting success, happiness, and health.

SO, by stretching for just 15 minutes every day your body, mind, and spirit will all be much happier and healthier. Try it out yourself! Just remember to not over-stretch. If it starts to actually hurt, then you have overstretched. That is an injury. Don’t stretch more than your body is comfortable with. Flexibility comes with time and consistency.

Here are some other benefits I noticed from daily stretching (which I have done for about 3 months now):

  • Greatly reduces the risk of injuries as long as you go at your own pace when you stretch to avoid over-stretching.
  • For women around their menstrual cycle, no back pain anymore and reduced cramps by 80% with the remaining cramps at only 60% of the usual intensity.
  • Puts you into peak state. In other words, it relaxes you and puts you into a centered state of being.
  • Increases flexibility a lot
  • Puts you in tune with your body, so that when you stretch every day you notice every little difference in your muscles or whatever else each day.

If you want to create a better life for yourself, start with your physiology. In other words, start with moving your body every day. I recommend starting with stretching because it is one of the easiest ways to move your body (compared to other exercise). Many health problems are created by people to themselves because they don’t take care of their own selves. One particular area where people are pretty bad at taking care of themselves is exercise. But it is one of the most important. Moving your body and eating Happy Food is key to an extraordinary life and a higher baseline happiness level.

 

To your utmost happiness and health,

-Alex 🙂

ps: One of my favorite ways to stretch is to use the Yokebar. I can usually get a deeper stretch and feel better in 15 minutes using the Yokebar than if I did 30 minutes of floor stretching. The Yokebar is used and known best for its intense workouts and exercises you can do to train like a pro, in fact it is even in olympic and military gyms. But honestly, I have used it for more than three years to work out and I still like it best for stretching.

 

Feelings in a Bottle

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Hey!

It has been a while since I have written anything and I have to apologize for that. Lately, I just haven’t been able to write anything worth sharing. I would rather write nothing for months than just post anything here on the blog. I prefer to provide value instead of just lots of words and content. So anyways, that’s that.

The reason I have been feeling such a block is because I believe that I was blocked by my own self. I have been working through some of my own inner things lately and I believe that I needed to go through them before I could write again.

I’m sure that many can relate to what I am working through right now: A total process of detoxification and healing from bottled up feelings and emotions that have never been let out to see the light of day… until now! Ahhh!

Yes be afraid! But let those feelings out. Feel the fear and do it anyway! Everyone bottles up their feelings and emotions to some degree. And the truth is that if these are never released then you continue to carry their weight around with you forever… until you identify them and let them go.

You aren’t weak for showing feelings and emotion! You aren’t weak for letting yourself feel. Everyone has feelings and emotions. It takes a strong person to face up to their true feelings and sort through the hidden ones.

For those of you who can relate, here are some ways to begin ridding yourself of all the extra emotional weight you are carrying around!

  1. Talk about it! Find that one person who is always there for you, who is a good listener, and who is non-judgemental. It could be your spouse, a counselor, your sister, cousin, neighbor, parent, etc. Now that you know who that person is, talk to them about it! Just have them listen as you work through it. It is hard at first, but it gets easier with time and practice. If you are having trouble with this, then maybe my post about Big Talk will help you. 🙂
  2. Meditate with the intention to work through your pent-up emotions and feelings that you hold within your shadow self. This won’t be an easy meditation, and you will probably have to do multiple. But to really be able to understand it all within will be a huge step in the healing process. Understanding your feelings means that they don’t have power over you anymore.
  3. Write about it. Get it all out on paper. Write with the intention that no one will ever read it. These words are for your eyes only. That way you feel free to write whatever you need to get out. You can even use this when you have a hard time talking about your feelings to that someone in #1 above. You can write with the intention of nobody reading it and get it all out. Then you can decide that you want to share it with that person. It is an easier way to start talking about your feelings. But you have to write like no one will read it or you won’t work through it.
  4. Every time something happens that triggers something from your bottled up emotions, write down what was said/done and why it bothered you. Not the immediate reason that comes to your head, but the thought-out, real, deeper reason. This will lead you to your hidden feelings and emotions.

 

If you are honest with yourself and admit to yourself what you are truly feeling, then you are able to be light and free compared to the person who bottles it all up inside. Let me know if you want me to write more articles about these bottled up feelings and the healing process. 🙂

To becoming your best self,

-Alex 🙂

ps- another reason I haven’t been posting as frequently is because I am launching Life Tools with my team in a few short weeks! Life Tools helps people relax, unwind, and enjoy life through its “tools” (read: products), hence the name Life Tools. 🙂 Feel free to check it out if you want to. We are only launching one product right now, but there will be more soon! It’s going to be so awesome!

Get Happy With…Happy Food!

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Welcome to the first edition of the new “Get Happy With…” series!

In these articles, we’ll analyze a bunch of ideas, both new and old, to see what kind of positive impact they can have on your life. Each of these happiness ideas and methods have cumulative effects, meaning that if done only once, you probably won’t get much benefit out of it. BUT if you do it on a regular basis and get into the habit of doing it, then you will see a huge overall positive surge of benefits! By putting these articles into action, you will see a large cumulative increase in your baseline happiness level (explained below). In this post, we are talking about Happy Food! Enjoy 🙂

What is this ‘Happy Food’ I keep mentioning?

Happy food is food that you can eat to help you have a higher baseline happiness level every day. Your baseline happiness level is determined by your typical daily mood. Answer this:

How happy do you usually feel from day to day on a scale of 1-10 (ten being the highest mood)?

Whatever number you chose, that is your baseline happiness level – the mood that you operate in most of the time. Now, it may not be where you want it to be and I’m sure that everybody would like it to be higher :). But how? This is where Happy Food comes in! When you eat Happy Food, each ingredient works hard to promote physical and mental health in your body, which in turn boosts your mood. When this type of food is eaten on a daily basis, your mood is also boosted daily, raising your baseline happiness level to new heights!

Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming book, The Truth About High School, about Happy Food:

 You’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” According to Deadly Vibe (issue 205), “Every day an average adult loses – wait for it – 300 billion cells and the body has to replace them from the nutrients we receive. So, yes, in a sense, we are quite literally what we eat”. By eating better, you can live better.

It turns out that the food you put into your body directly affects your mood. This is big. It is such a simple fact that everyone seems to overlook because of all the hype with diets. What people should really be doing is eating for happiness and overall health. The next time you are trying to decide what to eat, rather than ask yourself, “What do I feel like eating?”, instead ask, “how do I want to feel after this meal?”.  This is a much better and easier way to go about eating food that is good for you and that you will also enjoy. Life is too short to be on awful diets and to eat awful-tasting ‘health’ foods… but it is also too short to always be eating junk food too. Eating junk food is exactly that: putting junk into your body. If you put junk into your body, do you think that you are going to feel great after eating it? Probably not. Why? Because you can’t get quality out of something that is junk. Eating tons of junk food all the time will literally shorten your life and you will very likely become sick in your (somewhat) old age because your body needs real, quality, and healthy food to function at its best. If the body can’t be at its best, then you can’t either and as a result, you will have more health and happiness problems. So eat happy food and ask yourself the right question before eating: “How do I want to feel after this meal?”. Of course, the food you eat isn’t the only thing that affects your mood, but it is a big one and it is constantly overlooked.

So all of this lofty non-actionable stuff I’ve written so far is nice, but I’m sure you’re wondering what the actual food behind this ‘Happy Food’ phenomenon is. Well, you have come to the right place! While I am not going to go into detail YET about why these foods are considered ‘happy food’ (these explanations will come in future posts), I will name some. Ok here it goes: Meat and fish, vegetables and legumes, and fruits and nuts/seeds. BUT The meat must be quality, organic, grass-fed, and local (I’ll explain why in another post soon but this is really important!). The vegetables, nuts, and fruit must be organic as well or from your own garden. The fish is best if it was wild, or caught by you. Why do I say all this? Am I some kind of health freak?

Nope!

But I have done my research. I could care less about organic except that in general, in non-organic meat and other produce, there are a lot of bad things done to the food to make it grow faster, bigger, and cheaper (understandably for higher profit margins). In organic produce, they do this as well, but they do it more naturally and they use healthier products to achieve these results. It is pretty obvious that pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones are not good for you to consume on a regular basis like this, even though many people do. Even though we eat small amounts of them, eating these damaging things does add up and it ultimately has a negative cumulative effect on the body and mind.

But just because a lot of people do it doesn’t mean that it is right, healthy, or the best for you personally. Do you remember being a kid trying to use the ‘but everyone else is doing/did it’ and your parents responding to you with, “Well, if everyone else jumped off a bridge would you do it too?”. Same thing here. Of course the correct response is, “Well how high is the bridge?” :). And that is something you have to ask yourself here as well. How high are the stakes I’m up against? How much risk is involved if I continue to do what everyone else is doing? What evidence do I have to change my ways and is the alternative worth it to me?

These answers only come with careful consideration and research. Your own research. It all really just comes down to your own values. Just because something is right for someone else doesn’t mean it is right for you. Happy Food is right for me and so I like to promote it because I think that it can help others as well… especially because many people don’t really know what is going on behind the scenes in much of the food industry, or they intentionally ignore it because they would just rather not know and continue eating the same things. The problem is that there are bad consequences for people who aren’t careful, such as inflammation in the body, health problems later on in life, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, etc. Many health problems are linked directly to diet – so the type of food and the quality of the food you are consuming is of utmost importance. Your first wealth is health.

I’ll be posting more detailed articles in the future about specific foods and why they are considered ‘Happy Food’, along with information about the food industry that they don’t want us to know. It is time to get healthy! It is time to face what we all have been ignoring to some degree as a society… real, quality, healthy, food. By eating Happy Food, we can not only ignite our passion for optimal lifestyle health, but we will also find ourselves at a higher baseline happiness level as well. It really is a win-win! Stay tuned for future info…

🙂

To living your healthiest life,

-Alex

ps: If you liked this post, share it with someone who would find value in it! Let’s help each other become our happiest, healthiest, and wealthiest. 🙂

pps: If you want to learn more about real, healthy, and quality food, then here are some options:

  • Read Real Food by Nina Planck – She talks all about the benefits of real food and the dangers of industrial foods, all of which she backs by valid scientific research, history, and and experience.
  • Watch Food Inc. – This is a great documentary about the food industry and a little peak into what is really going on behind the grocery shelves.
  • Research on Google Scholar – Google Scholar is a place to find scientific studies and research done for any topic. Just type “google scholar” into Google and then search for what you want. BUT A WARNING: Be careful to check who sponsors each study. Many large organizations, such as big companies, the government, political parties, etc. sponsor studies and make sure that the studies get specific results in their favor. Yep, that’s a thing.
  • Follow @lifetools_official on Instagram – I post a lot of information about healthy food on there and it is another resource that I know you will find value in.

:) How to Literally Smile Your Way Out of Negative Feelings & The Art of Body Language (w/ Pictures & Examples)

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Smile! It’s Friday 🙂

How often do you find yourself smiling? Next time you feel grumpy, stressed, or down, try forcing yourself to smile for 3 minutes. Doing this will noticeably increase your mood and your happiness.

On a more scientific level, what happens is this: When you smile, you are changing your physiology by partaking in positive body language. It turns out that your physiology directly affects your psychology (brain, thoughts, mood, etc.) and therefore, the positive body language of smiling sends messages to your brain that are in direct contradiction to your unhappy feelings. The reason to smile for a consecutive 3 minutes is to continue to strengthen this process happening in your brain until your negativity is overridden. 🙂

To double the strength of this exercise, smile for 3 minutes in front of a mirror. By doing this, we are activating one of our powerful senses: sight. When others smile at you, it brings on feelings of openness, warmth, and a greater sense of happiness. It is also very easy to smile back. By using a mirror, you are recieving all of these benefits from yourself while compounding your own efforts to efficiently boost your mood. So smile more, and enjoy a higher quality & more relaxing life! Oh and remember to spread the love and smile at other people too!!

To triple the strength of this exercise, practice more forms of positive body language while smiling. The more the merrier. Here are some examples of positive body language (these are all just free stock photos I found on the internet for examples):

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The boy in this photo has excellent positive body language going on. This particular pose (with both hands up in a “victory” type of stance) is scientifically proclaimed to be embedded in our subconscious brain as an action we do when we succeed at something great, or just feel really good.

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Great one to do while smiling at yourself in the mirror for 3 minutes straight like a crazy person. Might as well look even crazier, right? 🙂 This one will make you feel more important and more self-confident, but it only works in front of the mirror or if someone else is doing this action to you. 

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Hands on the hips helps you keep a good overall posture, regardless of whether you are standing or sitting during this exercise. Good posture is also good body language and therefore it will help you feel happier as well. 

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Arms outstretched and open to the world. Opens up your body and lungs to take deeper breaths (which is good for you, and is a topic for another post someday) and this pose helps you feel more relaxed thankful. 

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Hands on the head is a good one to feel more relaxed as well, along with more confident. 

 

 

Hre Are some examples of body language that leads to unhappy feelings (and what NOT to do during the smiling exercise):

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Curled up and closed off. This will make you feel worse than you already do if you are in a state of negativity. Bad.

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Bad posture, hunched over, looking down, not smiling, and looking small in the way that he is sitting – which in turn, of course, makes you feel smaller as well. Also bad.

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Better, as she is smiling, but crossed arms is a sign of defensive behavior and closing off from interaction. Unless you are cold, doing this pose is just going to make you feel more insecure and defensive toward others instead of open and relaxed. 

As you can see, smiling and positive body language is really important to your general happiness. Notice yourself slumping in your chair, or looking down a lot? Those types of body language poses will not help you feel better. Luckily, the body language you use everyday can be changed. It is just a bad habit, so all you need to do is change your habits and replace your bad body language habit with a good one! My Article on changing habits can help you with this.

So smile more and share this article with anyone you think would find value in it! The more we can get people to smile, the happier this world will be as a whole 🙂

 

To your highest quality life,

– Alex

How Are You Really Doing? A Personal Check In:

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Today’s blog post is a little different. I want to know how you are doing. And the usual “I’m good” isn’t going to cut it this time! I want to know how you are really doing. Do you know how you are really doing?

The best way to find out is with a personal check-in. It is a list of simple questions that will give you a general idea of how you are doing. When done monthly, you will notice patterns, your baseline happiness level, and you will learn a lot about yourself. If you write down your answers to these questions each month, you will have some great data about yourself that you can then analyze to help you live your best life and become your best self. Just ten minutes each month can tell you so much! Let’s do this!

During the past month, (on a scale of 1-10) how often did you feel…

Happy

Interested in life

Satisfied

That you had something important to contribute to society

That you belong to a community

That our society is becoming a better place for people?

That people are generally good

That the way our society works makes sense to you

That you liked most parts of your personality

Good at managing the responsibilities of daily life

That you had warm and trusting relationships with others

That you have experiences that challenge you to grow and become a better person

Confident to think of or express your own ideas and opinions

That your life has a sense of direction or meaning to it?

Two More questions:

When was the last time you felt really alive, and what were you doing?

What are 5 activities, pleasures, or events that will make you feel even more alive- right now this month?

That’s it. Great job! Return to these questions monthly for the best results. You might find that it has been a while since you felt really good. If that is the case then it is time to revisit happiness! Or maybe you realize that you are happier than ever right now. That’s awesome :)! Feel free to leave your answers in the comments if you would like. Just like I said in my Big Talk post, I would love to hear how you are really doing. The more we care about others, the better this world will be.

 

To living your best life,

– Alex 🙂

What is happiness? Are You Happy?

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Here is a picture of me looking happy. Truth is that when this photo was taken, I had been fighting depression for about 7 months. I was feeling particularly down that day because I felt like I was making little progress toward defeating depression. It took me a while, but I did end up getting out of depression for good (and 100% naturally) by mid 2013. I can confidently say that I will never fall back into depression again. 🙂

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, The Truth About High School. Although I wrote this book for people in high school, there is a lot of valuable information in the book for anyone of any age. So without further ado, let’s get into it! 🙂


…What is happiness and are you happy?

Happiness is an “inside job” many people say. Which is true, of course. You don’t find lasting happiness in objects, places, or tons of friends. It all must start with you. Happiness is the end result of having positive emotions like inner peace, love, compassion, joy, etc. You come to these emotions by doing what fulfills you, what excites you, and what you are passionate about. You also can get these emotions from spending time with the people who are closest to you and who you really care about. These are the ones who will always be there for you no matter what. Who are these people in your life?

If you are unhappy or constantly negative it is time to reconnect with your happy and positive side. The happy life is one where positive emotions dominate. So by simply enhancing positive emotions, or experiencing them more frequently, you can become a happier person. BUT you need to get these frequent positive emotions through the things and people that fulfill you, or your happiness will be short lived and inauthentic.

Even life circumstances only contribute about 10% to your life’s happiness. This includes getting what you want in life, such as becoming a billionaire or getting married. So if getting what you want doesn’t give you that much lasting happiness, then what does? The answer: appreciating what you really have and being happy within yourself. If you want to be truly happy, a major part of happiness is gratitude and positivity. The happiest people:

  • feel and express gratitude even during tough times in life
  • stay in the moment as much as possible
  • enjoy the simple pleasures of life
  • don’t let unavoidable ups and downs disturb their inner peace

How happy are you? Stop right now and seriously ask yourself this question. If you aren’t sure how happy you are, don’t worry. Happiness is pretty tough to measure. It may help to rate your happiness level on a scale of 1 to 10. Try out this set of questions that can also help you determine how happy you are.

1. In general, I am:

Not happy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very Happy

2. Compared to others, I am:

Less happy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 More Happy

3. Some people are generally happy regardless of what’s happening in life. To what extent does this describe you?   

Not at all 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Totally

4. Some people are generally not very happy. Although they aren’t depressed, they never seem to be as happy as they could be. To what extent does this describe you?

Not at all 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Totally

5. I smile:

Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very often

If you look at the numbers you circled, it will give you a very broad understanding of your happiness level. You could always average these numbers too if you want another way to look at it.

If you got a low score on these questions, then you may be depressed. Take this quiz to find out. This quiz was created by Carol Landau, who has a Ph.D. in Depression. I don’t know if I would have ever realized that I was depressed or gotten out of depression if I hadn’t stumbled upon this quiz during my sophomore year of high school. I wanted to include it in this book because I hope that it helps you like it helped me. Even if it only helps one person, I’ll be happy. So let’s take the quiz!

To be diagnosed with depression, you have to feel extremely sad or have lost interest in life, and you must experience 4 out of the 7 following symptoms every day and for at least two consecutive weeks:

– Increase or decrease in weight or appetite without conscious dieting

– Insomnia or excessive sleepiness

– Agitation or lethargy and difficulty getting out of bed

– Loss of energy and fatigue nearly every day

– Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt

– Difficulties concentrating, thinking or making decisions

– Recurrent thoughts of suicide.

Scientifically, if your mood is constant and lasts more than two weeks, that’s a sign that you might be slipping into depression.

According to Lifescript, which operates the leading website for healthy living, more warning signs for depression include:

  • Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
  • Sleep problems
  • Appetite changes
  • Lack of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or self blame
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of suicide

Now, there is a difference between grief and depression. Mourning the death of someone close to you is an exception to the two-week rule. For the first month or two, it is typical to have symptoms similar to depression, such as unrelenting sadness, frequent crying, trouble sleeping, poor appetite, and weight loss. But if it continues for longer than this, with no signs of improvement, then the grieving may have turned into depression.

If you are depressed, or if you would like to know more about depression, don’t wait to get help. Your condition will only get worse. But be careful when getting help. It always amazes me how many people think they know what depression is, and that they can solve it for others when they haven’t even been through it themselves! If they haven’t gone through it personally, then they don’t understand. I promise you this. I learned this the hard way when I was getting out of depression myself. If you think you are depressed, even if you aren’t completely sure, please please please do not wait. It is important to take action and start getting out of depression as soon as possible. The sooner you realize it, the sooner you can get out of it!

Trust me, I have been there. It is a dark place, and it is very difficult to see the light. But when you get a glimpse of light, hold onto it and don’t let it go. Build on it until there is no more darkness. You can do it! If I can do it, then you can too. I believe in you. I know that you have what it takes to be happy again and to get out of depression for good. And, strangely enough, once you have completely overcome the challenge of depression for good, never to fall back into it again… your past depression becomes a gift. How? That is a discussion for another book which I am currently writing, so stay tuned. 🙂

If you would like to be happier, you must take time to consistently develop your inner qualities. Every minute you have a choice of where you focus your attention. The more you relax, try your best, and allow life to unfold, the more you will get out of life and the happier you will be. When your mind starts spiraling into negativity, stop yourself. The more you do this, the easier it will be and the more control you will have over your own thoughts. Eventually, you will be able to decide what you want to think about and what thoughts you want to let pass through your mind. Notice the good things in life. Pay attention to the positive things and be an optimist. Understand what makes you happy, and appreciate yourself. Choose to be happy!

“As long as there is a lack of the inner discipline that brings calmness of mind, external facilities or conditions will never give you the feeling of joy and happiness that you are seeking. On the other hand, if you possess this inner quality, a calmness of mind, a degree of stability within, then even if you lack various external facilities that you would normally consider necessary for happiness, it is still possible to live a happy and joyful life. Achieving a genuine sense of happiness may require bringing about a transformation in your outlook, your way of thinking, and this is not a simple matter. In taking care of your physical body, you need a variety of vitamins and nutrients, not just one or two. In the same way, in order to achieve happiness, you need a variety of approaches and methods to deal with and overcome the varied and complex negative mental states… It is not possible to accomplish that simply by adopting a particular thought or practicing a technique once or twice. Change takes time.”

–Dalai Lama

So, what about you…

How happy are you?

Did you just find out that you are depressed?

Do you have a success story?

Feel free to share in the comments. We are a community here and we support each other. 🙂

To your greatest happiness,

-Alex 🙂


Odds & Ends:

  • There is now an Instagram page for this blog’s lifestyle! If you would like to  surround yourself with happy, healthy, and wealthy aspects of your dream life then don’t hesitate to follow @lifetools_official  I promise it will be worth it! 🙂
  • If any of you would like to contact me directly there are two ways:
    • One: Leave a comment on this blog. I will see it 🙂
    • Two: Contact me via Instagram: @lifetools_official . 

I Did.

Think about it.

In the moment of your death, your life will flash before your eyes. Looking back through your life, will you say, “I wish I had…” or will you say, “I did!”?

I imagine that you want to be able to look back and feel a sense of wholeness when you reflect. You want to know that you lived your life to the fullest and you did the things you wanted to do in life, and you impacted the world and others in a positive way.

Working backward from your last day on Earth is a great way to realize what is important to you in life, and what you should focus your time and energy on. Your life is whatever you want it to be. It is an interesting story. When it starts to feel boring and dull, it means that you are not living your dreams. You are living according to someone else, not yourself. When life gets complicated, it is simply because you haven’t taken enough time to thoroughly look at your life, your current situation, your past habits and beliefs, and your inner self. When you live according to anyone but yourself, be it society’s whims, another person, and institute, etc. you are not living your true life of passion.

So how do you get back to living your dream life? How do you stop living a boring, monotonous life? How do you free yourself from the habits of the past and begin on your path toward personal freedom? It’s quite simple, actually. You just have to put your dreams first. Don’t let your other obligations get in the way all the time. Put aside some time every day to work on your dreams, and guard this time relentlessly. This is your time to get you where you want to be in life, whether that is spending more time each day with your kids, becoming financially free, going on a vacation to Thailand each year, having a better sex life and relationship with your spouse, meditating for 20 minutes each day, etc. Don’t let yourself become distracted with other things during this amount of time that you set aside for dreams. Take this time to grow and work on creating your dream life until it is a reality.

Living how you are ‘supposed to’ according to everyone else is not necessarily the way that you want to live. We are individuals. We are not ‘one size fits all’. We are unique and what is right for one person is not right for another. This is why your dreams have to come first. If you don’t make them top priority, then society and others will continue to dictate how you live your life. If you let anyone else other than your inner self rule your life, then you will most likely never do the things you have always wanted to. You will never get to feel that major sense of inner peace and freedom you have when living your best life. You are the only one who can make your dream life come true. You must take your dreams by the hand and make sure that you are truly giving all you can to make them a reality.

You will reach all you want if you can just simply put your dreams first, be patient as you work on them, and know that they will all come to you just the way they are supposed to. You may not end up exactly where you imagined you would be, and you will take some interesting turns and detours to get there, but you will eventually reach your best life. It will be your amazing life; no one else’s. Simply your life, your freedom, your lifestyle, and your true happiness.

Instead of always wishing to do something, cut out the excuses – make it happen and be able to say, “I did!”

To living your best life,

-Alex

Three Little Questions

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Today is a short post. It is just a simple exercise created by the Dalai Lama that can be done in less than five minutes, but the results are big. The beauty is in the simplicity of this exercise. Try it out for yourself 🙂 :

Dalai Lama’s simple exercise for happiness:

Answer for yourself these three questions:

  • Are you having a good day?
  •  Why?
  • Tomorrow, would you rather have a good day or a bad day?

That’s all!

The simplicity of this exercise is deceiving. It is so simple that most people will not even try it, and they will miss the benefits of the results. The most powerful part of this exercise is asking the question, ‘why?’. By asking yourself why you are having a good or bad day, you can objectively look at what you are doing to bring yourself happiness and peace, or unhappiness and stress. This exercise can be used as a guide to help you determine what you need for a happy, healthy, and wealthy life. It will help you understand what you need in your life, and also show you where your life is out of balance.

Living your dreams really can be as simple as asking the right questions, and then following through with your answers through your actions. If you would like to stop living a mediocre life, then this is another step toward a better tomorrow, or even a better rest of the day.

Imagine if you did this exercise once per week and wrote down your answers each time. You would learn so much about yourself and what happiness is to you. After a year, you would have 52 answers about why you were happy or unhappy on one particular day each week for the entire year! That’s some good data on yourself that could be used to find patterns and bad habits causing unhappiness. At the same time, you will be able to see patterns and habits that bring more personal happiness into your life.

So what about the answers you came up with today? What are they telling you about your current lifestyle? Habits? Yourself? Based on your answers from the exercise, what can you change, add, or subtract to bring more happiness into your life?

 

To living your best life and being your best self,

-Alex 🙂

Completely Change Your Life With 4 Books

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Reading these four books and implementing each into your life will completely change your life, your future, and even your values. It did for me and I hope it will for you too. These books will help guide you on your journey to become your best self and live your best life. But! They can’t change your life for you. Notice that I didn’t title this post “4 books that will change your life”. Why? Because you are the only one who can change your own life! A book can show you a new perspective, and spark new thoughts and ideas within you, but you are the ultimate decision maker and you run the show. A book doesn’t change your life. You change your life.

Here is the short version:

If you are struggling Financially, then I suggest reading Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. If you are going through a difficult time in your personal life, then read The Way of the Wizard by Deepak Chopra. If you want a top quality life and to achieve your dreams (no matter what they are), read The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. If you want to be physically healthier, more energetic, mentally sharp, and have  dramatically fewer health problems as you age, read Real Food by Nina Planck. If you want to be happy, healthy, and wealthy in all aspects of your life, read all four of these books and you will be well on your way!

Here is the long version: Completely Change Your Life With 4 Books: 🙂 

Raising Your Child’s Financial IQ by Robert Kiyosaki

Robert’s book Rich Dad Poor Dad would have also changed my life had I read it before this one. I actually picked this book up during spring break back in 8th grade. Reading this little book completely changed my entire perspective and direction of life in a matter of three days. All of Robert Kiyosaki’s books are awesome and I have read nearly all of them. I suggest you do the same. The life changing lessons I learned from his book:

  • I realized that I don’t have to live the traditional story. There are thousands and thousands of different options. I didn’t have to go to school and get really good grades so that I can get into a good college and get a degree so that I can get a good, secure, high-paying job, and work really really hard and save a lot so that I can retire at 65 or maybe even a few years early.  That’s what everyone else seems to do, so what makes them different? Nothing! There are much, much faster, easier, and in my opinion, better ways to make money than a 9-5 for the rest of your years.
  • I realized that I didn’t even want to go the traditional route. I had never really given it much thought, but I didn’t want to work at a job for  pretty much the rest of my waking life. I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted more out of my life.
  • Question the “truth”. Question what society says is right. Question the things that you think you have to do, Question what society says is the only real truth; the only way. Often, society’s “right” and “wrong” are driven by ulterior motives. The only truth is the truth you decide for yourself.

The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Another life-changer in matter of just a few weeks! Wealth is only partly about money. It is actually more about lifestyle. Tim Ferriss shows you how to live the lifestyle of a multi-millionaire without being a multi-millionaire, or even without having any money at all. It is not only possible, it is ridiculous that more people don’t live this way! This is by far my favorite book and I have read it at least 5 times. I learn new things with every new read and I have used tons of information within the book to implement changes into my own life.

The Way of the Wizard by Deepak Chopra

Spiritual development! This book helped me stay strong during a difficult period in my life, and it will help you develop yourself spiritually. But not religiously- there is a difference. Great book! It will get you to really think about yourself and your connection with your inner self. This book will help you change a lot of inner beliefs you have within you that aren’t serving you.

Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck

You truly are what you eat! This book changed the way I eat, think about, and buy food. It helped me make better eating decisions to take care of my body. Her book alone literally helped me become a better and healthier eater. If you are trying to eat healthier, then this is your book! Also, on the same note, watch the documentary called Food Inc. It will probably change your life or disturb you so much that you won’t want to acknowledge the truth that goes on behind the scenes in the food industry of mass production. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there!

Bonus Books: 

Here are some books I recommend that have changed some aspect of my life in one way or another:

  • Any book by Deepak Chopra, Tim Ferriss, or Robert Kiyosaki.
  • The Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker
  • Who Moved My Cheese? by Spenser Johnson
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
  • How to be Rich by J. Paul Getty
  • The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
  • Follow Your Passion, Find Your Power by Bob Doyle
  • Shel Silverstein poems. They are children’s poems, but similar to Dr. Seuss, there are deeper underlying messages to realize.
  • The Truth About High School by yours truly 🙂 I had to sneak one of my own books in here because it just finished going through the editing process, and will be out soon! I am excited since through this book I will be able to help teens go through a really difficult period of life. The book will get them to really think about their lives, and change their lives for the better!

What about You?

What book(s) have you read that changed your life?

To living your best life and becoming your best self,

-Alex 🙂