The link between our health and our tweets!

I just came across Michelle Gielan’s book “Broadcasting Happiness” and was really interested to read the following:

“And as you’ve seen throughout this book, our communication patterns are predictive of a range of business, educational, and health outcomes. In a recent study conducted by my brilliant friends at the University of Pennsylvania, they have been able to predict levels of heart disease in a community based upon the tweets coming from people living there. By assessing language patterns that reflected strained relationships and negative emotions (especially anger) coming from local Twitter users, the team was able to predict levels of heart disease better than an existing ten-point model that used information such as demographics and health risk factors, including diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Language expression on Twitter might be a better predictive medical tool than questionnaires given to people at the doctor’s office!
Let’s get really practical. Here are several examples of shifting-the-focus questions that you can use to greatly improve your broadcast and its ripple effects at home and at work.”

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Do you realize what she is saying! What we broadcast on Twitter is a better predictor of our risk for heart disease than the traditional medical exam. If what we say and the conversations that we feed are a better indicator of the health of our heart than our body weight or blood pressure… then we better start a complaint-free diet!

YES, the words that come out of our mouth and the ones that we broadcast on social media (or around the coffee machine at work) have an impact on our health. They also have a huge impact on how we navigate our lives! If we broadcast lack, fear, and limitation then we experience what we express – lack, fear and limitation – and days after days we go to bed at night feeling empty and powerless.

The good news is that we can totally change this habit we have of complaining all the time. Hundreds of people have done it and they shared with me how amazing their lives are now. By learning to cultivate another conversation with our life we start to see our resources and all the possibilities that it is offering us. We get out of our draining victim position and we start to fuel our lives.

When we learn to broadcast a “higher” conversation with our life, we can experience a “higher” life.

You can join the  “I quit complaining” Facebook group anytime. It’s free and it’s fun!

©2016

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to helping people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE “I quit complaining” starter kit on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com and visit her Facebook page for inspirational articles and quotes to reveal the best version of yourself each day!

 

The surprising science of happiness!

This interactive video is at once intellectually stimulating and funny.

What makes us happy? Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert, whose book “Stumbling on Happiness” is a bestseller says that our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong

 

Definitely some compelling information on the subject, some of which may challenge your beliefs!

Winning or losing, finding a life partner, getting or not getting a promotion, even winning the lottery… all these factors have far less impact on our happiness than we think.

Happiness is synthesized, it is not something to be found… We are the only human species with a well-developed frontal lobe – the prefrontal cortex – which allows us to orchestrate thoughts and actions with our internal goals. In simpler terms this part of our brains allows us to act in accordance with our intentions. We can’t control our thoughts but we can control our actions.

 We can train our brain to find happiness within each and every one of our days and the 21 days challenge to quit complaining is an amazing game to play with yourself!

Gilbert talks about unbounded fears and ambitions. The prefrontal cortex gives us the capacity to inhibit these elements in our lives and to accept and make the most of the things that are ultimately out of our control. He even claims that freedom to choose is the enemy of synthetic happiness!

This reminds me of the sentence “please grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change” which stems from the well-known prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr used in twelve steps programs.  Most of our happiness comes from making the best of our situations in life. Abraham Lincoln famously wrote: “We are as happy as we make up our minds to be”!

Can we believe that not getting what we want can make us as happy as getting it? Gilbert gives some great examples of people who in hindsight found that they were happier than if they had gotten what they thought they wanted.

What do you think?

©2016

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to helping people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE “I quit complaining” starter kit on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com and visit her Facebook page for inspirational articles and quotes to reveal the best version of yourself each day!

 

 

 

Give yourself permission to recharge your batteries!

Summer or not, many of us don’t get to go on a long vacation… but we can take time for a getaway and even make a habit of it!

Brownies

In his book, The Charge,* Brendon Burchard talks about, among other things, the importance of seeking challenges that will help you live life to its fullest.

It will come as no surprise that I am an advocate of many topics in his book. Following my 21 days “I Quit Complaining Challenge” (in French “J’arrête de râler”), I decided to undertake other challenges, such as 21 days of drinking vegetable juice for breakfast, 21 days in dresses, 21 days to celebrate, 21 days without media, 21 days of sit-ups…

One of the challenges in Burchard’s book that grabbed my attention is the  “90 days getaway challenge”. This challenge consists of planning a getaway alone, or as a couple, every 90 days to recharge our batteries and reconnect with ourselves. There’s no need anymore to wait for official “vacation”! Whoohoo!

When I read about this idea my heart started to sing!!! Take a getaway every 90 days to recharge your batteries. (Your cousin’s wedding across the country doesn’t count as a getaway.) A getaway for a day, a weekend, or a week (without the kids), to disconnect from daily life, without any phone or emails… just taking a little time for ourselves!

Take a little time to try something new and different. For instance, discover a new city, dive into a new book, start a new activity, participate in a program to reconnect with yourself (a spiritual retreat, some coaching, or the  Wake Up! seminar!)

It’s your turn:

  • What would you do if you could take off for a day, or a few days alone or with your spouse, to recharge your batteries? Make a list of all the things that would do you good, bring you serenity and help your growth. (Be careful not to censure yourself, make a list of everything that makes YOUR heart sing!)
  • Take a look at your calendar and schedule dates for your 4 upcoming getaways in the next 12 months (one every 3 months). Have fun with it! Dream!
  • Take time to plan with your spouse the logistics of your getaway (budget, childcare) to make this project a reality. If need be, start a special “getaway piggy bank” to help finance your projects.

Happy getaways!

Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

©2016

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to helping people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE “I quit complaining” starter kit on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com and visit her Facebook page for inspirational articles and quotes to reveal the best version of yourself each day!

The power of Habit!

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“Hundreds of habits influence our days—they guide how we get dressed in the morning, talk to our kids, and fall asleep at night; they impact what we eat for lunch, how we do business, and whether we exercise or have a beer after work. Each of them has a different cue and offers a unique reward. Some are simple and others are complex, drawing upon emotional triggers and offering subtle neurochemical prizes. But every habit, no matter its complexity, is malleable. The most severely addicted alcoholics can become sober. The most dysfunctional companies can transform themselves. A high school dropout can become a successful manager. However, to modify a habit, you must decide to change it. You must consciously accept the hard work of identifying the cues and rewards that drive the habit’s routines, then find alternatives and support. You must know you have control and be self-conscious enough to use it—and every chapter in this book is devoted to illustrating a different aspect of why that control is real.”

—Charles Duhigg from The Power of Habit

When I decided to start my 21 Day Challenge to Quit Complaining I did it because I realized that I was constantly “resisting” my days.  I was not conscious of this dynamic because the resistance was mild but it was always there and it showed up in those complaints. I would come home and complain about the mess in my house, the dirty dishes in the sink, about other cars on the road (bad driving is like bad breath, you notice it only when it is someone else’s!) I was complaining about my emails or about my Internet provider – all day long without being aware of it, I was resisting. It was a habit!

I did not want to realize on my deathbed that I had spent my entire life resisting it. I wanted to savor this life – with the messy house, with the demanding kids, with the emails… I wanted to create a new relationship with my (not always very sexy) life.

I undertook a challenge because I wanted to set myself free from this habit.  I knew that having the “intention” to embrace my everyday frustrations with a positive attitude was not going to be enough; I knew that the next day I was going to get caught up in the spiral of daily routines and that I was simply going to forget my good intention.

I wanted to train my brain and create new habits, habits that would set me free from falling into “victim mode,” habits that would allow me to be more present and more responsible in my life.

Can you identify negative habits that get in the way of fully enjoying your life?

If complaining is one of them, I invite you to start the challenge today!

You can read in more detail about the beginning of my journey with the challenge here. The challenge may take you 21 days or even a year, but I guarantee it will change your life!

©2016

Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to helping people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE “I quit complaining” starter kit on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com . visit her Instagram page and  her Facebook page for inspirational articles and quotes to reveal the best version of yourself each day!

 

6 steps to communicate so that you can be heard

A few months ago I wrote an article titled: Learning to express our needs and frustrations differently.part 1 and part 2

Today I want to share with you a visual that I have created to remind myself of this process. I printed it, taped it to my fridge and I am using it every day.

Because sometimes we do have something to say to the people around us. We do need them to help us meet our needs. But it’s not always easy to communicate. The more important the need is, the more chances we have to slip into our blaming and complaining habit and let’s face it it’s exhausting to complain and not feel heard.

6 steps canva

©2016

Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to helping people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE “I quit complaining” starter kit on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com and visit her Facebook page for inspirational articles and quotes to reveal the best version of yourself each day!

Today is not just another day !

Today is not just another day… This day has been given to you. It’s a gift!

Open your eyes and look at the sky, at the face of people around you. Open your heart and see the beauty that is surrounding you.

Gratitude: The Short Film by Louie Schwartzberg from ecodads on Vimeo.

We are so good at complaining about all those times when life (and others) don’t meet our expectations. As 2016 is just starting, how about letting go of our resistance to enjoy our “not always very sexy lives”?

How about learning to embrace this life as it is. Simply beautiful and perfect (despite all its imperfections!).

©2016

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to helping people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE “I quit complaining” starter kit on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com and visit her Facebook page for inspirational articles and quotes to reveal the best version of yourself each day!

 

 

The tragedies of our lives!

Have you ever noticed how sometimes we can transform a simple frustration into a gigantic tragedy?

Something doesn’t happen as planned:

# Our train is late and we are going to miss an important appointment

# We have to pay more taxes than we thought

# Our employer is reorganizing the company and our responsibilities or schedule have to change

# We already have a million things to do and another task falls on our desk at work.

We constantly have to change our plans, to adapt, to make efforts and to not resist what is happening to us. Our frustration transforms itself in worldwide tragedy. The problem gets so big that we feel threatened.

I remember this happened to me. I had a big day of work ahead of me, multiple phone appointments with my clients. My coaching work happens on the phone 98% and my clients are in the United States, in Canada, Europe, Asia; they can be anywhere in the world. That being said, I use an Internet system to communicate to avoid massive bills. This morning, as I was turning on my computer at 8:40 am, I noticed that my Internet connection wasn’t working properly and kept going offline…and my first phone appointment was already 20 minutes late! I started to panic and I heard myself say: “They are going to kill my business if it keeps going this way if my connection doesn’t work it’ll cost me a fortune.” My words were clearly exaggerated.
This tendency to overreact happens to all of us, sometimes, and too often to some of us. We find ourselves saying things like “ This is killing me”,“They are so damn stupid”, “They can’t do anything right”, “What a bunch of incompetent”, “This is a disaster”.

Love and Respect,

christine-signature

Christine Lewicki

© 2015

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to helping people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE “I quit complaining” starter kit on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com and visit her Facebook page for inspirational articles and quotes to reveal the best version of yourself each day!

Am I complaining here? (video)

I did this video to answer one of the main question that people ask me when they start their 21 days challenge to quit complaining:

Am I complaining here? or Am I simply trying to set a limit or express a frustration (in a healthy way… of course) so that people stop stepping on my toes?

This question is important because embarking on this challenge does NOT mean that you can’t tell people what is not working for you (there is no way you will last 21 days otherwise!). So what are the criteria to identify a complaint ?  and how can you use them to embrace a new way of communicating with the people around you (at home or at work!)

Love and Respect,

christine-signature

Christine Lewicki

© 2015

Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE “I quit complaining” starter kit on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com and visit her Facebook page for inspirational articles and quotes to reveal the best version of yourself each day!

Learning to Express Our Needs and Frustrations Differently – Part 2

Learning to Express Our Needs and Frustrations Differently  – Part 2

IQC communication

We all have deep-rooted needs for safety, respect, order, comfort, rest, freedom, integrity, belonging…And when these needs aren’t satisfied, we go through different emotions. If you try this challenge, you will also have to find what’s at the center of your emotions and which need isn’t being fulfilled. The situation that seemingly pushes you to complain is only a revelation that a need isn’t being met. Take this opportunity to identify this deep-rooted need and to  respond  efficiently.

One very important thing taught by Marshall B. Rosenberg is that an emotion isn’t good or bad. It just is. There is no shame in being disgusted, overwhelmed, bothered, discouraged, embarrassed, horrified. It is essential however to take the time to name our frustration . The important thing is our reaction when faced by frustration. We can either complain and accuse someone,  try to force others to do something, or take the matter into our own hands; express it healthily and move forward while respecting everyone. The challenge of “quitting complaining and {Bitching}” invites us to deeply realize that complaining will not help us to satisfy our need or suppress our frustration. It’ll actually feed your frustration.

Marshall B. Rosenberg, psychologist and founder of Nonviolent Communication, explains in his book “Nonviolent communication, a language of life” explains  that if we want to communicate without violence and be heard, we have to follow the four steps below:

  • describe the situation that contributes or not to my well-being: When I see the little bits of papers on the floor in the living room”. Note that when I describe, I talk about myself, about what I see, what I experience. I’m not talking about others and I don’t judge anyone. I’m not saying: “When you leave your mess on the floor”;
  • express what you feel towards the situation: “I feel discouraged because I cleaned up the living room this morning.” Again, I’m speaking as “I” and not “you” and I stay away from judgment. I’m not saying “I feel like you’re laughing at me” or “You’re always making a mess, you never clean up your stuff”;
  • express the needs that are the cause of your feelings: “I need a minimum of order in my home to function, to feel happy and available for my family”;
  • clearly express a request (without expectation) of what could contribute to my well-being. Be specific in actions that could help the present situation (this step is often forgotten) and with positive language: “Could you sweep the floor before dinner?” (say when we’d like for it to be done increases the chance of it being done, because the individual will have a clear image of what’s expected).

And to this I’d like to add a last step, which is somewhat of a “negotiation”. Since our demand is not an order, the other person can very well answer “no”. So, we then have to extend the process and come up with an agreement.

People around me know very well what I mean when I say that we have to come up with an agreement. They hear my assertiveness and the fact that I’ve taken on responsibility to fulfill my need. I tell them: “I won’t give up on my need, we have to find a solution”, and at the same time “I’m not going to force you, let’s be creative and come up with an agreement.” Sometimes, the individual can refuse my first demand,  then I can suggest something else  they can do, such as “Mom, you sweep the floor and I’ll take care of setting the table.”

As you can see, this requires a bit of distance from our own frustration. We aren’t using brutality, or force. Here, to successfully not complain, we really have to learn to connect with our needs and our emotions in order to give them a name. We have to be able to tell ourselves “In the end, why do I want to complain, what’s bothering me?” And mostly, we can’t forget to enunciate our demand all the while accepting that it might have to be negotiated.

Once you try to put this into practice, you’ll quickly realize that what you’re complaining about is very rarely what’s actually making you complain ! As a matter of fact, you’ll discover that what bothers you is rarely in front of you. The papers on the floor don’t really bother me. I could even pick them up myself, or leave all of it there. I could ignore my frustration and force myself to look through rose-colored glasses. But this would be to ignore what’s really bothering me, which is much deeper: the lack of collaboration in keeping the house clean and my need for order and cleanliness to function. If I can’t fulfill this need, there’s no way I can go on without complaining for 21 days!

If you are considering the challenge to “Quitting complaining ” but are still hesitant, ask yourself these questions.

# What kind of message are you currently sending your kids, your husband or wife, your parents, brothers and sisters, your friends, your colleagues and everybody else around you? How much longer are you prepared to live surrounded by drama, conflict and misunderstanding?

# How much longer are you ready to complain about yourself?

# Are you satisfied with the life you are fostering? Are you happy every day, or suffering and complaining?

# Think about yesterday, or the past week, and decide if you are  satisfied with the space occupied by complaints in your life.

Be conscious of the impact of your words on your own life as well as others’. Maybe before you could say you didn’t know better. But now that you do know, you know to what extent you complain and the power of decision is in your hand. It’s up to you.

Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

© 2015

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit” on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

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If you missed Part 1 of article click here !

Learning to Express Our Needs and Frustrations Differently – Part 1

Learning to Express Our Needs and Frustrations Differently – Part 1

IQC change

“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”  Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics

To quit complaining also means to find the right words to express our frustrations and our needs. The most important, for us, is really to find the words that will “work”, the words that will allow us to be heard and understood.

We complain because our needs aren’t being fulfilled, and even if sometimes it’s possible to consider the positive side of things, often times it is very important to express what we need, to communicate what is not working for us in order to create change. It is our duty to find a way to be heard in order to fulfill our needs.

With the challenge “I Quit Complaining”, many people came up to me to try and convince me that complaining served a purpose! And I told them that I shared their opinion. Complaining has a purpose, I’m sure of it. Complaining is an attempt to fulfill a need:

# to be heard;

# to express frustration;

# for compassion;

# to blow off steam.

The real questions brought up by the challenge are:

  • Does complaining really fulfill my need?
  • Does it work?  
  • Is there another way, a more efficient way, to fulfill my need?

I have learned that it can be very interesting to distinguish between needs that can be fulfilled without a third party, such as the need to rest that can be satisfied by going to bed earlier and only depends on us – complaining doesn’t serve any purpose in this case, we have to choose not to watch that movie so we can go to sleep earlier; the solution is right there in front of us – and needs which require the intervention of other people to be fulfilled. If I don’t want my need to be ignored, I’ll have to communicate and “convince” others to help me.

I realized all this when I finally came to the realization that I needed help at home. I need things to be somewhat in order to live, and between my three young children and my lack of interest for cleaning, I wasn’t able to catch up on everything that needed to be put back in place. I tried complaining, without convincing results, I tried to clean up everything myself but this was a complete failure (I’m not very domestic !), I tried to ignore the mess, but I wasn’t happy…

I had to find a way to communicate this need and to feel heard and supported. For this purpose, I turned to Marshall B. Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication, and I started to express clearly, without judgment or accusations, what was happening within me. One day for example, I entered the living room to find the floor covered with little bits of paper left there after a “crafty cutting frenzy”. I wanted to complain because I had swept the floor that same morning.

Marshall B. Rosenberg, psychologist and founder of Nonviolent Communication, uses the poem by Ruth Bebermeyer Words are Windows, or They’re Walls to make the point that if we want to communicate without violence and be heard, we have to follow the four steps below:

  • describe the situation without judgment
  • express how we feel
  • express the needs that force the frustration
  • clearly express a demand while being ready to negotiate to find an agreement.

Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

© 2015

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit” on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com and join her FREE facebook group

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