Certified So: Redefining Happiness

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Whether you have five people who need to upgrade their health or an audience of five million, I can make an impact. Want to dive deep into my story and explore my work on your own time? Follow us on Instagram christine. No menu assigned! Want to live healthy on your own terms? Sign up here to find out how.

She immediately started pawing at my left breast and I felt a lump. A few weeks later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. How can a health coach wind up with breast cancer? I was shocked. Now, this same body was going to go through cancer.

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Ready to redefine health on your own terms? Click here to sign up. Who I Am Healthy living advocate, momma, wife, proud cancer survivor, leader of the Redefining Healthy Movement, author, speaker and certified health coach. I went from busy advertising account manager to CEO of my body and my home. If I can do it, anyone can. It consists in being aware that we are dreaming while we are dreaming, and thus taking control of our dreams. It requires a high level of self-consciousness, self-knowledge and self-control, which are all attributes inherent in introversion.

In the online community of lucid dreamers that I have led for over 10 years I have been able to verify that the people who show a higher degree of introspection are the ones that have more creative, lasting and controlled oneiric experiences. Additionally, they are the ones who frequently remember more details about their dreams and have more in-depth reflections about them.

This makes sense, as extraverts usually do not take the time to look inside and analyze their dreams. Extraverts do not give dreams importance as they are something so particular of the inner world that they would not be relevant in their eyes as a source of energy and happiness. For introverts, on the other hand, dreams can be an endless source of amazing experiences.

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This is because -obviously- not all introverts are the same. Introversion is only one factor of our personality, among many others. An important one, because it affects most of the other aspects, but it is certainly not the only one, and there can be introverts who are very different in personality to other introverts. According to 16personalities. INTJs form just two percent of the population, and women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.

People with the INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.

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But for all of these cases, introversion —and its specific trait of consciously looking inside ourselves- acts as a magnifier of the scope of these qualities. Includes traits like sympathetic, kind, and affectionate. Includes traits like organized, thorough, and planful. Includes traits like tense, moody, and anxious. Includes traits like having wide interests, and being imaginative and insightful.

Source: University of Oregon Putting it all together, we can identify five big differentiated profiles of introverts.

Notes from ongoing research by Francesco Garutti. Photographs by Jussi Puikkonen

You will probably feel that you have at least a little of two or three of these. These are curious and gifted introverts, who usually care a lot about their grades, and can be very successful on the science and technology fields. This is usually accompanied by some degree of social weakness, but that can be overcome with the aid of their intelligence, if correctly applied. They can see art even in little things, as the way they layout the food on their plate. Reading a good book can be one of their favorite activities. Social anxiety and shyness can come in different levels and forms, but it is always something that make people suffer.

These introverts usually come from environments which did not accept and nurture their introverted nature as kids, and therefore they grew up trying to be extraverts, constantly failing at it. They usually find it difficult to embrace and develop their introverted advantages, and if asked, they say they would prefer to be extraverted. When seen from outside, they can even pass as extraverts. But they know they are not. Deep inside their true interests are mostly intellectual or reflective.

They love to be alone and feel energized after some alone time. They are sociable, and try not to show people when they are feeling bored, or would like to retreat and devote for a while to quieter activities. But they feel more at ease when alone or in small groups.

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They commit their time and energy to their inner, spiritual life. They meditate, contemplate nature, and love to be in silence and unperturbed by interruptions. They can be fans of outdoors and nature, or maybe they just like to stay home, relaxing at their little apartments, playing music or watching TV, and talking as little as possible. A rich inner life can be very attractive, and when contrasted with poor social experiences, it can lead to this kind of life choices. But as a huge body of studies have demonstrated, social capital is important.

People need other people to survive. Even the most introverted ones do! So we should avoid falling into extremes. Linda Silverman described the differences between introverts and extraverts in the following table: Essential Differences between Introverts and Extraverts Source: Silverman She basically states what you have probably heard many times over: that the main difference between introverts and extraverts is the source of their energy.

That while extraverts get energy from people and objects outside themselves, introverts gain energy from within themselves.

Similarly, she maintains that while extraverts get drained from their energy when they are left alone with their inner world for a long time, we get our energy drained by being exposed for too long to crowds, social interactions, and noisy spaces. But what kind of energy is she really talking about? There are several types of energy heat, light, electromagnetic, kinetic, potential energy which behave in different ways yet receive the same name. It is not clear what it makes reference to; certain meanings are used erroneously leading to fallacies or misinterpretations.

Precisely because of this, I am going to attempt a more accurate explanation about the type of energy we refer to when making a distinction between introverts and extraverts. This is also the kind of energy I will be alluding to throughout the article. Specifically, this is human mental energy.

This energy is not typified nor can it be currently measured like light or electricity, although the methods to do it will surely be developed soon. This energy could be related to physical energy, but it is important to understand that it is not the same. Physical energy is very much linked to what we eat, how much we exercise, the vitamins we have in our bodies, our red cell counts, etc. Mental energy, however, is not directly linked to these ideas. Naturally, there is a relationship between mental and physical energy, but it may very well be that we feel physically exhausted and still have plenty of mental energy or, on the contrary, that we are very fit but still lack mental energy.

We feel good emotionally when we are charged with this energy, while this energy is almost completely absent when we are depressed. That is why being acquainted with and knowing how to manage this energy is so important for our lives. It has been shown that an optimistic patient who is willing to get better and sets their mind to it has a better chance to recover than another patient with the same condition but who is depressed or demotivated.

That difference is precisely the mental energy I am discussing. This energy is also closely related to faith. I believe that when someone prays, they are in fact directing their energy to the intended purpose; they channel their energy through their prayers. Since the earliest of times humanity has sought symbolism to direct energy. Religion, superstition, spells and magic potions. It is not so much the means that is important but the end, as well as the energy that is truly applied to that end.

I believe that each person can choose any path to do this. The method that has proven more useful, the one that was taught to them in their childhood, or any method they prefer. Provided it is not harmful, ridiculous or complicated, anything goes. It is important to do it, with as much focus and trust as possible. We need to believe we can do more than what is clearly evident to get what we want and do it without restraints to our fullest potential. Introverted ways to gain energy We all have a basic energy level, which can be noticeably increased in times of euphoria and happiness.

At those times we feel eager to do good things, inspired and capable of giving lots of love. When we do so, the energy comes back to us exponentially increased because positive deeds bring about more positive energy, and thus, we enter a virtuous circle from which we will never want to come out. It would be fantastic to be able to maintain those energy levels almost permanently! The good thing is that we know them, and it has happened to all of us.

When we do not feel like doing anything or when our self-esteem is low we should recall those moments and hope to get close to them, if not reach them, and attain a basic energy level that is increasingly higher. This will be of help when we are sick or when we go through bad times. The increased energy level we can get during good times is going to help us during bad times.

But how do we obtain energy? As we have seen, extraverted people gain energy from social exchanges and stimulation from the outside world, including material things, parties and entertainment. But this is not the case for introverts.