Ballantyne Magazine

WINTER 2017-2018

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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things they often neglect are re- lationships with friends and fam- ily members. But research points to healthy relationships as one of the biggest factors in a happy life. Additionally, Limbrunner says, "You should engage in something meaning- ful to you." This may be different for every person. For some, it's work. For some, it's volunteering. For others, it's pursuing an engaging hobby. McClure concurs. "Live a life connected to values and meaning," she says. "I usually begin with new clients by doing a values assessment. A client may value creativity but then realize they haven't done anything creative in 20 years. When they take time to do something creative again, they feel happier because their values are aligned to their actions." Cultivate Gratitude, Self-Compassion Gratefulness is also linked to happiness, McClure says. "It's not as mysterious as we thought. When we feel and express gratitude for our lives, our brain actually lights up. Keeping a gratitude journal is an excellent way to increase your daily recognition of gratitude in your life." Another way to incorporate gratitude is to discuss it daily around the dinner table. "Have each family member say something they were grateful for that day, no matter how small," McClure says. "It may sound corny, but re- search shows it works. Grateful people have been shown to be happier." Self-compassion is another trait found in people who are more joyful, say both McClure and Limbrun- ner. "I work with a lot of clients on self-compassion," McClure notes. "Self-criticism mimics the experi- ence of stress on our bodies, leading to our flight or fight response. Cor- tisol rises, which leads to stress and away from a sense of contentment. Learning to be kinder to ourselves is a big factor in our happiness." Observes Limbrunner, "Self-care allows us to rejuvenate, to relax and to reflect. Having time to relax makes "Remember the simple things: eat well, get enough rest and take care of your health." — Dr. Heidi Limbrunner BALLANTYNE WINTER 2017-2018 70 Feature

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