PANCAKE DAY!

So this post isn’t as thought provoking as my others and doesn’t include tips on leading a happy life (although pancakes alone should bring you happiness today) and this post will help you make the BEST (also healthiest) pancakes! Pancake day is literally one of my favourite days of the year. I ate mine after the gym with butterscotch syrup drizzled on top and they tasted so good. The recipe:

25g whey protein powder (I used myprotein cookies and cream flavour, I like myprotein best because it seems to have less added artificial ingredients as other brands and cookies and cream flavour is delicious!)

10g coconut flour

half a banana (55g)

3 medium egg whites

1/3 of a teaspoon of baking powder

Put all the ingredients together in a blender and blend until it is a liquid. I blend them a little longer then needed as it helps make them fluffier mmm! Put the frying pan on medium heat and let it heat up before pouring in your mix. I grease the pan with fry light coconut oil spray however you can use olive oil or butter after heating the pan for a few minutes pour in your mixture into a small circle, let it cook for a minute and then flip!

The recipe above should give you 8-10 pancakes so you can make a nice stack like mine below 😀 Enjoy!!!

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Gratitude

Gratitude is the act of being thankful and appreciating something or someone. You might read this and think that you are already grateful for everything you have but we often don’t take time to stop and think about what we are truly grateful for. Apart from when we get presents etc. we rarely show how thankful we are for something. We forget to thank our family and friends simply for being there for us, for their support and for the roof that has been put over our head. When we are actively grateful for things makes us remember what is important to us and helps us to forget the little things we’re worrying about. Often we get so caught up in everyday life stresses that we forget what is actually important to us in life. We get so stressed about exams, work, our relationships etc. that we forget how happy we are with other things in life. For example, how great our family or friends are, how lucky we are to be able to indulge in our favourite foods and simply having a roof over our head. Being ‘actively’ grateful means truly acknowledging how grateful we are, this can involve writing it down, taking time to think about these things everyday, or simply telling people how grateful we are to have them in our lives. It makes sense because it makes us focus on the positives in life instead of the negative things that might cause us upset, worry or stress. A positive mind = a positive life. Psychologist Robert Emmons found that writing a gratitude journal can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction. Dr Robert Emmons is one of the leading scholars of positive psychology, something I am really interested in and will do a blog post on soon. If you’re interested in being more grateful have a read of ‘Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier’ by Robert Emmons. The book helps explain the science behind why gratitude can lead to a more satisfying and content life. If you don’t want to go that far simply try taking a few minutes out of the day to think about or write down all the things you are grateful for in your life.

The happiness planner

So, carrying on from my post yesterday about being mindful about our emotions I thought I’d link in my favourite diary/ planner. The happiness planer. This planner is a diary that gives you guidance on what you should be writing. When we write in an empty diary it often feels like a chore so we often give up (anyone else have about 100 diaries all with the first few pages filled in?). We just don’t know what to write. The happiness planner has sentence starters such as ‘what I want to achieve’ and ‘what did I learn’ which gives you a guide to what we should reflect on. Answering questions and filling in sentences is much easier than writing from the top of your head. Not only does it guide you on what to write but it also encourages happy thoughts, positivity and gratitude (which my next blog post will be on). The planner is also filled with motivational quotes which help to inspire you everyday. I will put the link for the planner below! – If the diary is a little out of your price range try making your own by using the tables and questions shown on the website. It will just give you guidance on what you can reflect on each day and will encourage you to be positive and achieve your goals. You can also print out pages from the planner using the link ‘printable’ on their site, for example, their ‘change a habit in 30 days’ encourages you to reach a goal and quit an unhealthy habit in a month.

There is even an app you can download on your phone now called The Happiness Planner which is completely free and well worth the download!

🐝 happy!!

The Happiness Planner (Jan-Dec)

 

Acknowledging your emotions

As well as being mindful about our senses and how our body is feeling I think it is still important to keep in touch with your emotions and be mindful about how we feel psychologically as well as physically. If we feel happy we should focus on these emotions and be mindful about that pleasant feeling. This means truly acknowledging the happy feeling, which usually involves expressing it in some way, telling friends or writing in a diary. Expressing the feeling allows us to confirm it and appreciate it more than if we carry on our life as we would until a negative feeling comes along. It makes sense. Why else has blogging become so popular? It allows people to right down their thoughts and opinions, being mindful of how they each day has made them feel and they also tend to focus on the positives, because lets be honest who wants to read about someone who has had a terrible, miserable day. Even vlogging (video blogs) has become so popular. Even though a lot of vloggers that upload to youtube get paid a lot of money for each view they get, they must have started off somewhere. Many of them were doing it for years before they got acknowledged, became famous and are now paid to film their everyday lives. This indicates that it’s not money driving them to vlog, they get enjoyment out of it. It allows them to acknowledge and take in everything they’re doing during the day. They often stop before they eat their food to vlog it, and then mention how tasty it looks and how good it smells. They’re being mindful all day and also expressing their feelings to the camera. Blogging and vlogging is a way of keeping a diary without it feeling like a chore. We often don’t fill in diaries because it seems pointless, we don’t have time and we feel silly talking to a book. Where as blogging or vlogging gives these people a reason to do it, although they’re not talking specifically to anyone, they feel that people will watch them or read their blogs and so it doesn’t seem so pointless. Obviously the money is an incentive to keep it up too…

🐝 happy!! 

Mindfulness – what is it about?

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Mindfulness is the new big thing in positive psychology (well relatively new). It’s hard to understand the concept, you might be thinking ‘huh, we think everyday.. so aren’t we always being mindful?’. Well, the actual definition of mindfulness is being conscious or aware of something. Again you might think ‘but we’re conscious when we’re awake and aware of our surroundings’ But are we? When you walk through a park there’s probably a lot of things that you miss. The flowers, the smells, the noises. You might be lost in your own thought, deep in conversation or focusing on where your heading next. Focusing your attention on all these little things and making yourself aware of every aspect of your surroundings is what we call being ‘mindful’. It gives us time to free our mind from stress or worries that we ruminate again and again, by thinking about our senses rather than our emotions. When you eat your lunch, take a minute to look at your food, smell your food and taste your food with each mouthful. When you have a shower, stop overthinking and instead focus on the feeling of the warm water on your skin and the comfort of the heat. Being truly aware of what your senses are sensing heightens every smell, taste or feeling. We forget to really appreciate the little things but when we do it can be a form of meditation, it helps us to distress and forget some of our daily worries. To help you be more mindful you can download a free app on your phone to encourage mindfulness everyday. My three top recommendations are ‘Mindfulness App: Meditation for Everyone’, ‘headspace’ and ‘calm’.

🐝 happy!!