Happiness is a choice !
It can be learned and here are some ideas to help you get a jump start on getting out of a rut and seeing the world in a different place. It is far too easy to pop a pill and feel better, but what happens when that pill doesn’t work anymore? Physical and emotional health are combined.
I’d rather look at the causes and find real solutions. We, humans, were not meant to live in the industrial, fast paced world that we have created. Poor countries actually are happier than industrialized ones (aside from basic needs of course). We have far more cases of depression than other developed countries. But what happens when enough is never enough and too much becomes less? Everyone is talking about simplify, but what does that mean in terms of creating happiness?
Here are some ideas starting with basics:
1. Eat foods that are alive, green and colorful, including lots of veggies, fruits and grains. Give your body the best possible fuel. Limit white flour, white rice, white potatoes, milk and meat. Industrial foods are filled with chemicals that are toxic and hard to digest. Eat lots of fresh herbs and garlic. Take Omega 3 Fish oil. Poor diet creates insomnia, low self esteem, poor concentration and feelings of hopelessness.
2. Sleep well. Limit caffeine and alcohol. Stop eating 3 hours before bedtime and don’t fall asleep with the TV on. Prepare a bedtime ritual. A nice hot soak in the tub, gentle reading, great sheets, and spray a soothing fragrance. Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time.
3. Spend time in nature everyday without a phone or IPod. Direct sunlight gives us vitamins D&E. Engage all of your senses. Take your lunch break outside or in a sun drenched place. Open the car windows. Bring fresh flowers to your desk or bedside.
4. Turn off the TV or wean off to only selected or educational shows. Turn on your favorite music. Music naturally makes you feel better! I love Pandora and am transported to a different country every time! I love “French Café” and “Sutra Rhythms.” TV is a downer and lowers your vibration, especially news and other’s drama. Noise has huge effect on our feelings of well being. Become aware of your environment. Choose joy and uplifting.
5. Give a Hug. Get a massage. We are a touch deprived culture. Consider getting a massage on a regular basis. Ask for a lower rate if come in on a regular basis. Steaming, sauna and acupuncture are incorporated in many European lifestyles. These are not luxuries but necessities!
6. We are social creatures and need interaction. Not on the phone or computer, get direct eye contact. Isolation creates depression. Stop by at a little shop you have been meaning to visit and strike up a conversation. You will learn something new and maybe even make a new friend. Smile at everyone. We could all use a little happiness. Do a random act of kindness.
7. Try gardening. There are actually bacteria in the dirt that make us feel good! Plus you are lovingly caring for something outside yourself and breathing all that wonderful “new” air.
8. Get a pet or love on someone else’s. Animals give endless love and never talk back. They appreciate a stroke and are soft and cuddly.
9. BREATH. There are many videos to teach you long deep breathing. Yoga is a great way to incorporate breathing, flexibility and gentle body movements. This can easily been done at home.
10. Use mantras, visualization and mediations to “teach” yourself to think positively. Your self-talk is your best friend or worst enemy. The good news it, you control it! I put sticky notes on mirrors and my computer to help me remember my dreams and my power. I have a vision board or poster filled with pictures and words that help me keep my “dream life” in focus. I am not a good mediator, but I do lye flat on the floor and focus on my breath and appreciating and loving each part of my body starting from my feet to my head. I repeat mantras when I run or power walk outside.