Your Happiness Factor

Celebrating happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing); the alternative to that extra cup of coffee!

Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing); the alternative to that extra cup of coffee!

Nadi Shodhana is a powerful breathing practice you can use to refresh or simply to settle your mind.

Nadi is a Sanskrit word meaning 'channel' or 'flow' and shodhana means 'purification.' The technique is said to bring calm and balance. It can certainly help you feel more awake. It takes a lot less toll on your body than caffeine!

Alternate nostril breathingis particularly helpful when you need to ease racing thoughts if you are experiencing anxiety or stress.

You can use it whenever you need to focus or energize. Please don't use it just before bed time!

There is a video below explaining the technique but here is a simple guide.

  1. Start by sitting in a comfortable upright position.
  2. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
  3. Hold your right thumb over your right nostril to close it and inhale deeply and slowly through your left nostril.
  4. At the peak of inhalation, close off your left nostril with your ring finger, then exhale deeply and slowly through the right nostril.
  5. This completes one cycle
  6. Continue the pattern repeating the whole cycle 5 to 10 times.

You will be surprised how refreshed you feel.

The practice can be a great preparation for meditation. But you could use it to help prepare for that challenging conversation at home or at work.

Here is a video demonstration by  Art of Living Productions

Wendy Smith is a Life Coach with Career and Business Coaching skills. She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at

Monday, 27 June 2016

Endorphins - Chilli and Chocolate Can Make You Feel Good!

The body has it's own way of soothing us when we are in pain. Endorphins are "neurotransmitters" produced naturally in the body response to pain.

In the early 1970s, researchers were studying how the brain is affected by things like heroin or morphine. They found they reacted with receptor cells mainly in the the brain and spinal cord to block pain signals. The scientists wondered why such cells existed and it was then that they realised that the body produced its own opium like substances; the endorphins. 

Endorphins are produced as a response to various stimuli like stress and fear as well as pain. But they can give us a sense of restful bliss. They are often triggered when we have a good cry - that is why sometimes crying feels so comforting! The good news is that endorphins are also released by having a good laugh.

Here are some great ideas to help you release your own endorphins

  • Have a good giggle - spend time with people who make you laugh. Watch funny TV programs and films or visit your local comedy club.
  • Let your emotions go and have a good cry - it can be for joy as well as sadness
  • If you are fit, push your exercise regime a little - how about going dancing? (Don't exercise too aggressively just for the buzz - you will pay too dearly for the temporary high.)
  • Indulge in a little chocolate (it releases serotonin as well an endorphins) or eat some chilli - the body reacts to capsaicin by releasing endorphins) Here is a link to an intriguing  chilli and chocolate cupcake recipe;

Wendy Smith is a Life Coach with Career and Business Coaching skills. She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at

Sunday, 26 June 2016

The Divine Mantra of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara - Divine Compassion

Listen to the Divine Mantra of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, known as Kuan Yin to the Japanese and Chinese, can be depicted as male or female. Kuan Yin, "Regarder of the Cries of the World", is sometimes thought of in the West as a Goddess of Mercy. Her compassion for all beings is vast and inconceivable. Her body and garments are of brilliant, translucent white light. She carries a white vase of compassionate water in her left hand and the sacred willow branch in her right hand.

Enlightened through infinite acts of compassion, in countless lifetimes, her feet rest upon a fragrant red lotus flower above a vast ocean. Her brows are curved and radiant like the crescent of an autumn moon. With the sweet dew drops she sprinkles from her vase she relieves the suffering of beings everywhere and always - for countless autumns.

Kuan Yin appears in different forms in religions around the world. What she embodies is the power of compassion that rests in the heart of each one of us.

If you have never listened before to Imee Ooi please try it now - it is special!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Sitting Quietly With Zen

Sitting Quietly With Zen

A new version of an older post.

Find a quiet place to sit. This can be outside or in. 

Take some gentle breaths to calm your mind.

Don't look for meaning; just sit, just accept.

Remember that from a withered tree, a flower blooms.

Simple living is consolation.

Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.

The tighter you squeeze, the less you have.

No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.

Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong.

Knock on the sky and listen to the sound.

When you try to stay on the surface of the water, you sink; but when you try to sink, you float.

Sit, walk, or run, but don't wobble.

Live your life.

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.

The Heart Sutra - A musical rendition by Imee Ooi with words in Sanskrit

Wendy Mason is a life and career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at and find out more at
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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Looking for work? Some things to consider!

If you are looking for work, you need to be sure about the kind of job you want. This is key to success. The clearer you are about what you really want; the more chance you have of making a good decision.  Follow the link for ideas to help you make the right choice