Tips for a Healthy Happy Mind.

debraHi, are you happy, truly happy? This morning when I woke up I was very happy. Reflecting now I wanted to share with you what I do to make myself feel happier; when I am stressed and depressed, my Crohn’s flairs. Crohn’s seems to benefit more when I am happy. It’s not just one thing or action that makes me happy; it’s a combination of many actions. Yes, it’s actions that I make myself do that creates the happy feeling.

First, it’s how I think. It’s a choice that I make in the mornings when I get up. I can either be grumpy or choose to be happy. People are funny creatures. Creatures of habit. When I had worked in the video department in my younger life, I would ring up the video rentals for customers. If a customer kept a movie past the due date, they could simply pay the late fee the next time a movie was rented. During checkout if I said- “You have late fees”, the customer would complain and argue that the movie was not late; resulting with me waiving the fee. What I learned was to say to the customer, “Looks like you kept ‘title of movie’ an extra day; did you enjoy it and would you recommend it?” Of course they’d tell me all about the movie as I was ringing up the current videos. After ringing up the video’s and putting them into a bag, I’d say- “Your movie total with the additional day fee is $x.xx.” Customer would pay the said amount (not protesting the late fees) and be on their way. This was a powerful learning curve for me in the public relations environment while at work.

Second, like myself. As strange as this my seem, when I like myself, I feel better which makes me happy. This ties in with the thinking part. Again, I have a choice. It’s spring and wonderful weather certainly helps with the positive thinking. The key for me is, positive thinking. I am my own worst critic. A few months ago I noticed my thoughts were all negative and I didn’t like the way I looked, wasn’t happy at all. I knew it was time to ask the doctor to refill my “happy” pills (Lexapro).

For me what makes me happy is several things that all work together. Like this morning for example. Yesterday I went to my local Bath and Body Works. I bought some lotions, some of the same I already have and a few new scents. Store wide sale, buy 3 get 3. Perfume is something I enjoy and the lotions provide scent at very cost friendly prices. Last evening I had laid out the clothes I wanted to wear for Friday. So that morning when I got out of bed, I was excited to shower and rub my whole body with my new lotion! After getting dressed (not stressing on what to wear), fixing my hair, putting on make-up and smelling wonderful, I felt pretty….and that made me happy!

When those negative thoughts begin to enter my mind, I have to keep reminding myself with positive thinking. I must not compare myself today with the person I was in the past. Take for example my weight. When I look at myself in the mirror or in pictures, I get discouraged. Going through chemo and menopause I have certainly gained weight. Personally this bothers me. Again, I am my own worst critic. One thing I know for a fact, everyone cleans up beautifully. I photograph high school seniors. Each senior is a different size and shape. Not a single one has shown up to a photo session looking bad, but just the opposite, beautiful and lovely. I have to keep reminding myself the first time someone sees me, I am beautiful and lovely (just like the people I photograph).

Today I have explained my thoughts for feeling happier. Next month I will go into more details of simple things I do or will do to make me happy. Doing just one action can create a chain of actions that all together makes it even more easy to be happy. Be looking for Tips for a Healthy Happy Mind part 2 on my next Crohn’s posting.

What have you done to make yourself happy? Sharing is caring….comment below.

Take care and best wishes.


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Creating Fotofusion Default Settings

Hi, I’ve been using Fotofusion for awhile now and still haven’t quite figured out the programs potential. It was just this past week I discovered how to create my own default settings for the empty frames. I can even save presets for different styles. So excited! Here’s what I did.

• Begin new project.
• Select new.
• Choose blank.
• Select your project size. OR, you could simply go to the create tab at the top.
• Fill in the canvas settings.
• Click the create button at the bottom.

first step

• Create empty frame.
• Select image frame from dropdown.

empty frame default

• I first made changes to the shadow effect.
• Then I went to the border.
• Made the changes for the border.
• Once finished with the changes, click the >> symbol.

empty frame default settings

• A new dropdown menu appears.
• Select save setting as default for new frames.
• Now when a new empty frame is added to your project, it will have the newly created settings applied to it.

fourth default

Notice at the bottom of the dropdown menu there are two lines 125 and 125b. These are presets that I have created for commonly used frames as well. My Fotofusion life has just gotten a tad bit easier!

That’s it for this tutorial. Have fun creating!

Take care and best wishes.


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Hi, I would like for you to meet my mom. I love her so much. And this is a post about me, my mom and depression. Loving her is not easy. The Serenity pray is always & forever in my mind.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Reflecting I have come to realize I began experiencing depression since 8th/9th grade. The depression was at different levels during my life- the worst being after the delivery of my son. Yes, weather and sunshine plays a role, but there are those times when I need the medication to get me over the hump. As an adult I have realized that my mom is suffering from depression as well. Does she realize this, I have wondered and have concluded she must be in denial. Now as this is said out loud, my next thought is if she even has the capability to even think/understand this possibility.

Back in January I knew my depression was returning. I was crying over the drop of a hat. My thoughts were rolling. I was dwelling on events and or feelings. It was time to start taking my meds and I called my doctor. It just amazes me on how this medicine works, Lexapro. Rolling thoughts, I had them. Dwelling on a subject. If you were to ask me for an example right now, I couldn’t recite a single rolling thought. The medicine is working! Anonymous says it well here.

Mom is in her early 70’s. Still young in my opinion. She’s the youngest of my elderly family members, yet she acts the oldest. She refuses to take any meds. I’m wondering if this is the denial I spoke of earlier. She even has made negative references to the guardianship of our son. Her fear is that we (me and my dad) might try to do this with her. My dad loves to travel on his motorcycle. Mom used to ride with him. Now she stays home. Her excuse is the dogs have to stay on a routine (for their medicines and eating schedule). When she first got her dog, it was wonderful. Mom was happy again. But now, time later, she’s back to not laughing much and always the victim- always about her.

Yesterday was the straw for me. My daughter graduated with her masters degree in nursing. She had invited family to the ceremony with dinner following at Red Robin- invites went out about a month ago on Facebook. I will point out that my dad does not do FB- mom does. After this weekend, I will now not just ask my mom. Going forward, I will make one phone call to mom and a second to my dad. Of all the family that went, my parents were the only ones that did not attend. Really disappointing.

Dad wasn’t aware of the graduation- mom didn’t tell him. He was on a motorcycle trip and wasn’t due home until that evening. I had asked mom if she would like to ride with us. No, she didn’t want to go to dinner; needed to be home in time to feed the dog. She said she would drive herself. She didn’t call and say she wouldn’t be there; we saved her a seat. My writing here is choppy I know and am sorry. It’s probably time for me to end this post. Still trying to figure out how I want to approach my mom; wondering if I even should. Of the prayer, is this a time I need to except or have the courage to try asking her to seek the medical advice of her doctor?


Take care and best wishes.


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