Tag Archives: happiness

5 Ways to Deal with Holiday Stress

By: Gloria Marie

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This is an easy time of year to overburden ourselves.  I was thinking about all the additional things I was putting in my schedule: holiday parties, baking, decorating, gift purchases and holiday dinners.  This list, of course, is in addition to my everyday obligations with work and my home life. I decided in order to really enjoy the holidays and spend time with my family, I would only schedule things that really mattered to me and I would not worry if the holidays weren’t perfect.  When my holiday decorations came down from the attic, I looked at all the boxes and decided that is was not important to put out every decoration and that it was ok that my outside bushes did not have lights. I decided to take some time for myself with the 5 ways to deal with holiday stress listed below.

5 Ways to Deal with Holiday Stress

  1.  Breathe. Does this sound too simple? It is simple, but, it works.  Stand up with your feet flat on the floor.  Place you hand on your stomach, take 5 deep breaths, and feel your stomach go in and out while you breathe.
  2. Develop a spiritual practice. Throughout the holiday season, try to spend at least 5 minutes every day in a spiritual practice. Try meditation, prayer, inspirational reading, or some time in silence. The important point it to practice it consistently.
  3. Humor. A good laugh does our soul good.  Watch a funny movie, read cartoons or read a humorous book.
  4. Exercise. There are many studies that show that exercise reduces stress and helps you sleep better.  At the very least, go for a walk.
  5. Gratitude is very powerful. Make a list of 10 things you are grateful for. Try to stop and do this whenever you feel stressful.

Which of these did you try?

6 Ways to Stay Joyful

By: Gloria Marie

worry box, stress free, release anxiety, gloria pierson.


What was the first thing you did when you woke up this morning? Maybe said a prayer for having another day on this magnificent earth? Did you feel joyful and excited about your day? Finding joy and living a joy-filled life allows you to shine.  Joy is a true internal feeling that is not affected by life’s up and downs.  It differs from happiness which is more external.  You won the lottery, you feel happiness. This is not to say that you will always be joyful, but, by cultivating joy, you will be joyful more frequently. Here are my six ways to stay joyful.

I practice these steps, not every day, but, most days.  If I am going through a more challenging period in my life, I make it a habit to integrate these actions in my life.  Let your soul shine through with joy, it will help everyone around you feel better.

6 Ways to Stay Joyful

  1. Be grateful. A practice that includes gratitude allows you to dwell on the positive aspects in your life. No matter how difficult a period you are going through, there is always something to be grateful for.  Do you say a silent prayer before a meal? Or maybe start a Gratitude journal.
  2. Do something creative. Learn something new. When you are doing a creative project, you unblock energy and that energy can now flow in better ways. When you are doing the creative project; pay attention to the process. Immerse yourself in it.
  3. Find your passion. Pursue something that you care deeply about. Even taking small steps toward your passion will bring you joy.  What does your ideal day look like?  Read my blog on 10 Questions to Find Your Passion.
  4. Be of service to others. Take the focus off your ego-centered self and bring happiness to another person. Think of the countless ways you can be of service.
  5.  Exercise. The Mayo Clinic says, “Exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost your feel good endorphins and distract you from daily worries”. You do not have to train for a marathon.  Just do some exercise that you enjoy.
  6. Listen to your intuition. In silence, you deep gut feelings are very reliable. Learn to be aware of them.

What do you do to bring more joy into your life?

Key to Happiness

By: Gloria Marie


Forgiveness is the key to happiness. Resentment, anger, and grief over past relationships hold a tremendous amount of energy. It is important to release the negative energy in order for more positive relationships to flow into your life. It is almost like creating a “space” for something or someone new to enter. Below I describe one technique I use to forgive and move on. This exercise can work not only for romantic relationships, it can work for any relationship that needs healing and closure.

There was one man I dated for several months. I felt the relationship was a convenience instead of a priority. The relationship did not progress. Every date was like the “first” date, no more no less. I used this exercise to get the courage to end the relationship and to move on.

In order to release myself and my energy from a relationship, I would write a letter to them. Sometimes it was just one letter other times six or seven. No one would ever see the letters. When I felt I wrote all I need to, I would follow the steps I list below. It provided closure and healing.

This is a powerful exercise.
1. Get a piece of paper and a pen. Sit in a comfortable chair in a quiet space. Take a few deep breaths. Write a letter to the person you need to forgive or the person you need to let go of. Take your time. Write your feelings about them; how they hurt you, how that felt, how you may have done things differently. There is no rule as to how long the letter has to be, keep writing until you have nothing else to say to them. When you feel you have written enough, at the bottom of the letter wish them well and sign your name.

2. Tear the letter up into small pieces and then do one of the following: a) Put them in a pan and burn them. Obviously, be very careful with this step. As you watch them burn say a prayer for the person the letter is addressed or at least wish them happiness b) Bury the pieces of paper in the ground. As you cover them with dirt, say a prayer for the person the letter is addressed to.

3. Repeat this as often as needed, until you feel you have forgiven and released the person. You know you have released this person’s energy when you no longer feel any strong emotion when you think of them.

How many letters did your forgiveness take?

4 Steps to Create Your Vision

By: Gloria Marie

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We all want to have happy, successful lives. But, what does your happy, successful life look like? A large step to create the life you want is to clearly identify what that looks like.  We need to create a vision and a strong personal foundation in order to move toward our ideal life. While defining the vision, it is essential to eliminate thoughts of insecurity and inadequacy.  Strong faith in ourselves goes a long way to help build an ideal life.  This blog will suggest 4 steps to create your vision.

Whenever I would change careers, which over the course of my life happened many times, I would sit down and clearly identify the steps necessary for a change.  Sometimes, it was rather daunting and almost overwhelming.  That is when feelings of fear instead of faith would enter my mind.  But, I found with clearly a defined vision and concrete steps to accomplish the career change, faith in myself would eliminate the fear. I would read over my vision and this would help prevent obstacles from forming in my mind.  My focus would be on moving forward with confidence.

4 Steps to Create your Strong Personal Foundation

  1. Ask yourself the following questions:
    1. What does your ideal day consist of?
    2. What does you ideal income provide you with?
    3. In 5 years, what will you have accomplished?
  2. Write a clear and concise paragraph of your ideal life based on the answers to the above questions. Every sentence should be phrased in the present tense and contain only positive words.
  3. Review it and read it out loud 3 times a day for the next 30 days.
  4. Have a mental picture of yourself in your happy, successful life. Whenever fear sets in, create this picture in your mind and do not let it fade!

What does your happy, successful life look like?



Kind Meditation

By: Gloria Marie

Some days, I find it a little more difficult to meditate. On those days, I prefer to use a guided meditation. One of my favorite mediation apps is Buddify2.  It is easy to navigate and has a wonderful variety of meditations to choose from.  They have meditations for feeling stressed, going to sleep, in nature and many, many more.  They meditations also vary in length.  I love the “Kind” meditation.

Today there was a lunar eclipse.  As a cancer, lunar phases seem to affect me. This lunar eclipse made me feel anxious, so, I thought I needed to take the emphasis off of “me” and put my energy into others. I needed to get out of my own head and connect with others.  So, I chose the Buddify 2 “Kind” meditation.  This is my version of the “Kind” Meditation.

The steps for the Meditation:

  1. Take a few minutes to sit still and take a few deep breaths.
  2. Think about someone you love or have affection for. The first person that comes to mind, is probably the one you want to direct your energy to. Silently repeat the following phrase while visualizing this person in your mind. “I wish you love and happiness”. Repeat this phrase silently for a few minutes.  Then, picture your heart surrounded by beautiful pink light. Visualize this light growing and growing. Surround the person you are thinking about with this beautiful pink light, from your heart to theirs.
  3. Choose a second person that you love or have affection for. Repeat the above. Silently repeating,” I wish you love and happiness”.  Then visualize the beautiful pink light from your heart to theirs.
  4. Now repeat the above on yourself. Silently repeat, “I wish you love and happiness”. Then visualize your entire body surrounded with pink light.
  5. Take a few deep breaths and slowly open your eyes.

Did you feel more relaxed?

Time for New Beginnings!

By: Gloria Marie


During my divorce, I went from a home with a husband, 2 sons and a dog to being all myself. The weekend would come and I would have the pain of being all alone. I knew it was time to start over. A time for new beginnings! The big question was: “Now what am I going to do?” This could be true for the ending of a relationship as well.

I approached it as starting over, with a clean slate. My outlook remained positive and I began to focus on all the things I did not make time for while I was married and raising my children. At night and on the weekends there were no more soccer game to attend or school projects that needed completion. Grocery shopping and dinner time were also streamlined.

In order to get started, I asked myself the following questions:
1. If you could do anything today, what would it be?
2. What sparks your creativity?
3. What do you like to read about?
4. What activities engage your whole heart?
5. What thrills or excites you?

Gradually, I had a blueprint for my new life. It included getting a job, taking tennis lessons, learning to knit, and doing volunteer work. I also made an effort to be out and about to meet more single friends and of course, did online dating. There are some weekends I am still alone and wish I had a partner to share the time with, but, my life is now enriched and happy.

Some suggestions for new opportunities:
1. Start a business
2. Go back to school
3. Take art classes
4. Join a gym
5. Do crafts on your dining room table
6. Read all those books you never had time for
7. Take cooking classes
8. Take dancing lessons
9. Do a Netflix marathon

The most important thing, is to stay positive and try something.

What worked for you?

3 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

By: Gloria Marie

Women need a more holistic approach to wellness and self-esteem. We often need to learn how to forgive ourselves for our short comings or faults. We need to learn to love our bodies, have faith in our abilities and feel secure. Today I will give you 3 ways to boost your self-esteem.

  1. Word Wall Sunday

Listed below are adjectives that you can use to describe yourself.  Today, I want you to pick 3 adjectives that you feel describe yourself today and pick another 3 adjectives that you would like to become. The list below are just suggestions, feel free to add others.

For example: I feel I am kind, reliable and spiritual.  I would like to become more fun, romantic, and creative.  We are our thoughts, so, by consciously deciding what you would like, subtle shifts will begin.

Get a blank sheet of paper. At the top of the page, write your name, Word Wall and the date.  On this paper, write all 6 adjectives that you have chosen.  Have fun with it: color it, put borders, and make some drawings.  Then put it where you can see it every day for the next week.  Maybe put it by your computer, where you prepare dinner, or on your bathroom mirror.  Every time you see it, read the words and feel them in your heart.  You are taking charge of your life.


Kind                             Bright                          Passionate                   Fun

Generous                     Happy                          Beautiful                     Trustworthy

Patient                         Faithful                        Cheerful                      Reliable

Humorous                   Truthful                       Positive                        Creative

Peaceful                      Forgiving                     Prosperous                  Romantic

Grateful                       Compassionate           Athletics                      Content

Spiritual                       Religious                     Loving                          Healthy

Joyful                           Dependable                 Generous                     Artistic

Blessed                        Confident                    Carefree                      Focused


  1. Now take this a step further. – Show your friends or co-workers this list.  Ask them to pick out 3 adjectives that describe you.  Were you surprised by their choices?  Did they pick out qualities that you thought you did not have?
  1. Take an action toward the 3 adjectives that you would like to become. If you want to become more athletic: join a gym. If you want to be more prosperous: think of ways to cut your budget and also ways to generate more income. If you want to be more creative: publish an article, learn to paint.  You get the idea?

What action step did you take?





Values Discovery

By: Gloria Marie

Sensational Sunday – Values Discovery


Every Sunday the Single, Happy, and Strong Blog will have an exercise for you to do.  This is a wonderful way to start a new week; to reflect, grow, and begin a shift in your life.  This week for Sensational Sunday we discuss values and complete an exercise to help you define your values.  This is a powerful tool to help you get in touch with who you are.

“All human beings should try to learn before they die

 what they are running from, and to, and why.”

-James Thurber

Values define what is important to us and they help us make decisions in life.  We may be very clear about our values in some areas of our lives and more confused about them in other parts. Below are eight life areas. When doing the exercise take note, without judgment, which areas the words flow easily and which areas are more difficult to identify.

Discovery questions:

What are some of your core values?

What, if taken away, would make your life unbearable?

What are the things in your life that you are most passionate about?


Values Tools: The Eight Categories – Part 1

 The biggest challenge with values is that getting hold of them can be daunting and confusing. One way to make the process easier to grasp is to use a framework like the Eight Life Areas:

  • Work
  • Money
  • Living Environment
  • Personal Growth
  • Health and Recreation
  • Community
  • Family
  • God/Spiritual Life

 Do a values list of words and phrases that describe what you care most about in each category. The key to the list is to resist trying to organize or evaluate your thoughts-just start writing what comes to mind for five minutes or so in each area.

What did you discover about yourself?






Create a Personal Foundation

By: Gloria Marie

Sensational Sunday

Create a Personal Foundation


Every Sunday the Single, Happy, and Strong Blog will have an exercise for you to do.  This is a wonderful way to start a new week; to reflect, grow, and begin a shift in your life.  This week for Sensational Sunday we will create a strong personal foundation.  We will identify “life’s drainers”.

Have you ever spent time with someone and afterwards you feel tired? Have you ever been to a place and when you left you felt drained?  Have you been in group settings and afterwards you felt lethargic?   We are all made of energy and we are all connected.  What you may have felt, is what I call an “energy vampire”.  These are people, groups or places that drain our positive energy both emotionally and spiritually.  Do not judge or interpret that these situations or people are bad; they just drain your energy.

Start to become aware of when you are feeling this way.  It may be very subtle or it may be very strong.  Also, be aware of what part of your body is feeling tired.  Mine is usually in the solar plexus area. It is important to create a strong personal foundation and identify your “life drainers”.   The exercise below will help you identify people and situations that zap your energy. Sometimes you may be able to take a physical action: limiting you time spent, removing someone from your life, go for a walk.  Other times you may be unable to do a physical action. In that case, visualize yourself surrounded with white light as a shield of protection around your entire body and say a prayer for protection.  It works, try it. But, first it is important to identify the energy vampires and then decide on an action.

  List the people, places, events and tasks that drain you emotionally and spiritually.

Then, decide on proactive steps to stop the “Life Drainers”.


                   Home Drainers        Action                                    Work Drainer’s           Action


Coping with Change

By: Gloria Marie

Coping with Change

Calm waters

Most of us fear change and have difficulty coping with change. We get comfortable in our daily routines: work, our home, and even our eating habits. There is a certain security in the sameness of our lives. When I was training my lab, the breeder said to me, “Dogs like the same things every day, they do not like change”. We are not much different. So today we are going to discuss doing a week of firsts!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw of the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover”

-Mark Twain

How many times has someone asked you to do something different and your first answer was “no”.  The “no” probably came out before you even gave yourself time for a proper answer. For example, a friend asks you to go kayaking.  You think: what will the weather be like, I do not know how to do that, and I won’t have time to clean my house if I go.  Sound familiar.  This week try to say “Yes” when you ordinarily would say no.

By saying yes more often, you break from routine patterns.  Trying to say yes to small changes will prepare you for big changes in your life.  And, you will have big changes in your life that is just the way it is.

This week try to do a “first” everyday. Of course, you cannot quit your job, leave your home or escape your responsibilities, but, you can incorporate some small “firsts” this week.  Look at some examples below.


1. Say “yes” to a new experience instead of “no”

2. Try a different method of exercise.  If you go to a gym, take a new class.

3. For lunch, try a new restaurant. If you bring your lunch to work, bring a salad instead of a sandwich.

  1. Reading – if you read fiction, try a non-fiction book.

5. Music – change channels to a different type of music.

6. Take a different route to work.


Now, these are just suggestions, experiment and have fun!