I wrote this list over four years ago. At the time, I found myself in a very negative place.
Constantly in bad moods and blaming everything and everyone but myself for my unhappiness, I was unpleasant to be around.
Then one day I realized I possessed the power to change my situation.
Until then I acted like a passive player in my own life.
So I sat down and wrote this list at once, and began implementing it right away. In very little time I began to notice the changes in my attitude and outlook on life.
Happiness is our choice, and these small daily habits allow us to discover the happiness we possess within.
Tap Into the Happiness Within: A how to
Start each day in prayer or meditation
Focus your intentions for the day. Spend time first thing in the morning getting out of your own head and connecting to something higher than yourself.
Exercise on a regular basis
According to the wise words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.”
Miss Woods could not be more correct. According to Dr. Michael Greger at nutritionfacts.org
“Aerobic exercise interventions found comparable to antidepressant medication in the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder.”
You don’t need to start training for marathons. Just get up and get your heart pumping.
Just go to sleep
Never underestimate what sleep does for your mood and health.
According to this article from American Psychology Association an extra 60-90 minutes of sleep each night improves memory and concentration and reduces stress.
Set a bed time and stick to it. And go to sleep! Set the phone down.
Lying in bed and scrolling through your phone is not sleeping.
Embrace where you are in life
Concentrating on the would’ves, could’ves, and should’ves will not change your current situation. It will only upset you more.
Make the best of the situation you are currently in, and work hard daily to better your self.
Wallowing in self-pity will only continue to bring you down.
Scientifically proven, consciously placing a smile on your face, even when you don’t feel like it, makes you happier.
So, “faking it till you make it” could not be more accurate.
If you are doubtful about the correlation between our diet and happiness, I have some reading for you!
Check out the book The Happiness Diet. It does a great job of explaining how the food we eat reacts with our brain.
For example, processed foods contain a lot of sugar. Too much sugar contributes to the shrinkage of the part of our brain that regulates mood.
Ready to start juicing?
Stop reading trash magazines
This includes People, US Weekly, and the like. During the time of my life when I was really unhappy, I constantly read these magazines.
I worked as a Flight Attendant for a major US airline, and passengers constantly left these behind. So, I would sit down on the jumpseat and thumb through them.
Believe me when I say these magazines provide nothing but self-doubt and negativity.
Stop watching trash TV
Same as the magazines, shows on channels like E! and Bravo are superficial and will do nothing to bring you up.
Amazingly, I felt so much better after shutting off “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”
Like Kourtney pointed out to Kim when she cried over her $75,000 diamond earrings she lost in the ocean, “People are dying.”
Lesson learned: Bigger things in life deserve our energy.
What you put in is what you get out. So, if you are continually putting in trash to your brain, than your brain is going to produce trash.
This is huge!
Did you know we spend about 90% of our day indoors?
You may be sad just because you’re inside. As my good friend Danielle once said, “I never realize how unhappy I am until I walk outside.”
One simple act we can do to improve our mood is to step outside. If you work indoors, take your breaks outside. Go for a walk.
I have a loop I like to do at work a few times a day.
If you are able, sit next to a window when you have to be inside. Consistent exposure to natural sunlight impacts the production of serotonin, the happy hormone, in your brain.
Go out of your way once a day to do something nice for someone.
Simple acts of kindness do wonders for the people who receive them, and even more so for the ones who give them.
Think something nice about everyone you come into contact with throughout the day.
Speak positively about yourself
Words carry a heavy punch.
For some reason, we love to put ourselves down when speaking with others as a way of bonding. Stop!
It’s okay to love yourself. You do not need to cut-down yourself or actions to make others like you.
When others put themselves down don’t engage.
Ignore negative people
We all have those people in our lives that never have anything positive to say. The people who leave us emotionally drained after an encounter with them.
You do not have to be around these people. I repeat. You do not have to be around these people.
I find a way to politely excuse myself when these people begin their negative rambles.
It works wonders!
Put down your phone
Enjoy life right here, right now. Concentrate on the moment in which you are living.
Put down the phone. Stop checking Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for likes.
Do things for the experience and not for the cool post.
Disconnect. Engage with the people around you.
Play a physical board game. Go for a walk with your friend, and leave your phone behind.
Talk face-to-face with your neighbor.
I know it’s been a good day when I can’t find my phone and it’s been hours since the last time I had it.
Compare yourself to yourself
The only person you should try to be better than is yourself.
Comparison is the thief of all joy.
Focus on yourself. How can you make yourself better? Not, how can you make yourself better than someone else.
You will realize it’s exhilarating when you no longer care how you compare to others. Just be yourself.
Pray or meditate about everything
Stressed about something? Give it up.
Holding in the stress and worrying does not solve the problem. It only weighs you down and ruins good days.
Turn it over, and have faith it will work out.
Reading regularly produces tremendous benefits.
Reading puts our brains into trance-like states, similar to meditation. It also produces the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm. See this article for more information.
Plus, reading allows you to undergo countless different life-experiences. Having multiple life-experiences leads us to understand others better.
Understanding others leads us to accept others for who they are. Accepting others for who they are makes the world a better place. A happier place.
Say thank you
Practicing gratitude is the easiest way to train your brain to be happy.
We often negatively focus on the aspects of our lives that we wish to change. However, if we change that focus to one of gratitude wonderful things begin to emerge.
For example, husband and I lived in an apartment for the first three years of marriage. Towards the end I was fed up with apartment life. I wanted a house.
I would walk around my apartment in the morning as I got ready for work with a sour face and pick out everything I hated about it. It was dingy, too small, no counter space…
I would arrive to work in a negative mind-set, and then wonder why work would go so poorly.
So, one day I decided to be thankful for my place of living.
As I dressed for the day, I thought things of gratitude towards our apartment.
“I’m thankful for a place to live. Thankful for a kitchen to cook in. Thankful for a hot shower every morning.”
Soon, I realized I would arrive to work in a wonderful mood, which would impact my work positively, and continue to have a domino effect on my day.
For more information about the relationship between gratitude and happiness check out this article from Harvard Health.
As I mentioned, I found myself in a very negative state-of-mind a few years back. Realizing I didn’t want to live my life in such a negative space, I sat down and wrote this list as a daily guide.
Happiness is not a gift for only a lucky few. We possess the power to happy.
Once you realize the power to be happy lies solely in yourself, your life will never be the same.
So, thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to read.
And in case you haven’t told yourself today, you are beautiful, you are strong, you are talented, and your life is special.
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