Noelle Reno's reasons to be cheerful...
Two years ago, Noelle Reno, now 32, woke up one morning and said to herself, ‘Enough!' As she recalls, 'I was in a toxic relationship taking care of a bipolar man who was much older than me [bankrupt tycoon Scot Young, who was found dead last July]; my professional life was nowhere near where I wanted it to be and I was neither healthy nor happy.’ Noelle decided that if her life was to change, she had to be the one to change it. ‘So I grabbed hold of my life and have never looked back.’ Noelle knew that, firstly, she had to change her patterns of thinking so she studied mindfulness meditation, a way of thinking about your daily life based on Buddhist practice and now widely adopted in the West. ‘I believe we live in a universe of energy where everything is connected. Alter your energy and you will alter your reality.’
Today, Noelle’s life is ‘unrecognisable’, she says. ‘Everything I dreamt of is becoming my reality and I know at a deep level that this will continue. I am working on a major project [a digital shopping channel due to launch this spring], but much more importantly, I have pervading peace and joy that penetrate every area of my life.
HOW NOELLE LEARNED TO BE HAPPY
1 Never check social media first or last thing in the day. Massive points if you leave it until you arrive at work, and stop before you go to bed.
2 Find e-content that in some way deepens your sense of awareness and wonder. I love Deepak Chopra’s Spotify playlist.
3 Do something new or different every day, such as going home a different way, swapping olive oil for coconut, or saying ‘Hello’ not ‘Hi’.
4 Be playful. Instil a sense of fun in one thing you do and see how it can change the mood of your whole day.
5 Be kind. Easy to say and sometimes hard to do. Be super-thankful to the checkout assistant, buy a sandwich for a homeless person, drop your mum a message. You will get more out of it than they do.
6 Be kind to yourself, too. Beating yourself up tells the world it can beat you up. Give yourself a break.
7 And give everyone else a break. They are trying to do the best they can with whatever skills and mindset they currently hold.
8 Sleep an average of seven hours a night. Your mind, body and spirit cannot work if they don’t have time to recalibrate.
9 Buy yourself a little treat. A good cappuccino, a bunch of flowers or your favourite soap.
10 Rethink your diet. I used to live on meat, cigarettes, coffee and alcohol. I’m no saint but I know I think faster, feel stronger and run harder when I’m light on meat and alcohol, abstain from cigarettes, and go heavy on green tea, fish, fruit, veg – and love.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS
It is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. By being fully present in this way – not forcing things or hiding from them, but actually being with them – we create space to respond in new ways to situations and make wise choices. We may not always have full control over our lives, but with mindfulness we can work with our minds and bodies, learning how to live with more appreciation and less anxiety. For more information, visit the Mental Health Foundation website for mindfulness at www.bemindful.co.uk
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