If you are reading this, chances are you are asking yourself, “How can I be happier?”
Focus On You
This is arguably the most important of any tip that I can give you and can really help you open up and incorporate all of the other tips below, into your life. Self care and focusing on your well being is not selfish. When you take care of your mental, physical, emotional needs, you set yourself up to bring the best version of you to the table for relationships, work and so much more. So mentally, think of how you can start putting self care as a main priority more and more each day.
Listen To Your Body
I had been steadily gaining weight over the last 10 years after having my first born. Hunger cues no longer happened because I was always full. Caffeinating myself to stay awake and angry with the world, I vowed to start this year with a focus on health. Mental, physical, emotional, etc and the moment I started listening to my body’s needs, I started connecting with what I actually needed to thrive on a whole new level. Taking time to recognize the difference between hunger and thirst, hunger and boredom along with learning about what portion control is and how to feed your body vs. fill it up. While I used to fill myself with caffeine when tired, I now adjust my sleep schedule and try to eat higher quality foods. When I feel angry, instead of lashing out immediately, I try to think if there is a deeper frustration or emotional need/want that hasn’t been met and how I can support my mental health or ask for others to help fill my buckets. This is a journey and something that isn’t fixable overnight, but really understanding what your body and mind need to thrive can be so impactful on the quality of your life.
Reevaluate Your Life
Taking stock of where your stressors stem from, where your passions and purpose lie, and understanding your overall wellness within the “7 Dimensions of Wellness” can bring you major clarity on a lot of aspects of your life.
I recommend writing down all of the nuances bringing you stress and pinpointing what you can change and what you can’t. Then, try making a realistic plan with steps to change the things you can. As for what you can’t control or change, you can relieve the impact of these stressors in many ways, such as- talking about it with someone you trust, creating healthy coping mechanisms like going for a walk, taking a bath, writing out your feelings about it (and if you’re REALLY angry, taking that paper to a fire pit and watching it burn), or practicing contentment and making peace with it.
Tackling your stress and other negative areas of your life will free up your valuable brain space for items that are truly important: passion and purpose. Your values shape the things you’re passionate about and your passions generate your purpose. Recognizing your core values will lead you to pursue hobbies that bring you absolute joy, spending meaningful time with people you care about, it may lead you into advocate or activist roles, or it could even bring you to fulfilling a need by stepping into a business venture.
When we dissect the 7 dimensions of our wellness, we’re evaluating the entirety of our wellbeing. Using the wellness wheel below, I challenge you to list three positive changes/aspects/tools you could implement into each dimension of your wellness. Choose things that will really honor the dimensions that you tend to neglect or that you find difficult to fulfill on a daily basis. Learn where you need to place more of your focus and in what ways that shift in focus will affect your own wellness, along with the wellness of those around you.
It’s no secret that leaving normal behind for a little while can recharge your mind, body, and soul. Experiencing a new place with new food, new life, and new energy provides all of the happy hormones your mind needs to regenerate your creativity. When we compare and contrast our everyday life with the sparkle and shine of travel, it is easy to find gratitude in the little things. Traveling gives us the opportunity to expand our knowledge and appreciation of nature, society, culture, spirituality, traditions, new ways of thinking- the list could go on forever.
Plan Your Future
If you are living each day without a thrilling and passionate vision for your life a year from now, 10 years from now, or 30 years from now… you’re living with a blindfold. Oh, and you’re also standing in wet concrete that is solidifying as each second passes. It can be so easy to get stuck in the routine- it’s stable and it keeps the anxiety away as you expect the same old-same old every day, every week, every month of every year. While it is good to adopt a healthy routine that works for you, part of that routine needs to include a little spice, some surprise, and goals that spark a fire inside of you. Think of things that make you excited to hear your alarm in the morning. Now, center your daily life around those things. Next, make commitments to events or plan fun outings with loved ones a couple months out and plan them as often as you’d like. The stress of going out of town, cleaning the house or the car, getting organized, etc. completely subsides if you’re doing it for the sake of a good time. Plan for happiness and you’ll find that daily life feels a little more worth your while.
Clear Your Thoughts
Living in the crazy & unpredictable world that we do, it is extremely important to have grounding techniques in our toolbox to use when we’re feeling paralyzed by overwhelming stress. There are various routes you can take to declutter your mind such as:
- Deep breathing
- Meditation or guided meditation
- Writing your thoughts down
- Going for a walk
- Performing your favorite exercise
- Unplug from screens & social media
- Getting creative through art, writing, dance, etc.
- Focus on your vision and purpose
- Talking about it with a friend
Developing your thought-cleansing routine is an individualized process that only you can create. Finding what works for you is the key to setting yourself up for success.
Distance Yourself From People Who Make You Unhappy
I know that this one is scary. I understand how difficult it is to set boundaries not only for yourself, but for others in your life. However, I can guarantee you that it is 10x more draining to entertain someone else’s idea of who you are and who you need to be to them than it is to simply leave necessary space between them and you. Your happiness is valuable and worth any and all means of protection. If your BFF or significant other was letting someone negatively affect their mental wellbeing, would you sit there and let it happen? Hell no! You would absolutely never let that fly. Why would you sacrifice your joy for the sake of keeping others comfortable?
Do you ever improve one area of your life just to find that it has a domino impact, positively affecting every other aspect? This shift in energy creates a myriad of change- especially when it has you feeling more energized, less stressed, and gives you a clear-mind. Ever since I began sticking to an exercise routine, I felt those endorphins raise me up to new heights in my business, in my relationships, and obviously, my health.
Curate Your Social Media
Think about how much time you spend scrolling through social media. Now, I’m not even going to begin to lecture you on screen time, my entire business is built around social media! But what has been the biggest relief has been taking the time to curate who I follow and really thinking about what I want to see when I do spend my precious free time online. If you are seeing things that make you feel negative, irritated or unhappy – unfollow or hide that content/person! Your social media experience should be a place that inspires you, motivates you or even relaxes you.
Talk About Your Feelings
Do you ever feel so burdened by the weight of your own emotions and thoughts that you’re way too close to losing your cool at any moment? Don’t worry, a lot of us are. However, it is so important that we don’t get comfortable internalizing these feelings as it can lead to even more stress, anxiety, and resentment. Learning to communicate your thoughts to others in a calm, direct, and solution-based manner is one of the best things you can do to ensure healthy relationships and productive conversations. Not only does this skill open up doors for you to be vulnerable with others- it creates confidence in your ability to create meaningful, thoughtful dialogue with those in your circle. Furthermore, you’re practicing the art of emotional regulation and organization. Talk about a win-win situation.
Finally, prioritize your sleep. Regulate your sleep. Embrace your sleep. Research is showing us more and more of the healing benefits that sleep provides to our brains and bodies. I understand that the kids finally went to sleep at 10:30 pm and yes, I know you tried to put them to bed 3 ½ hours ago and all you want to do is catch up on the last three weeks of the Bachelor that you’ve missed (thanks to life being a non-stop rollercoaster) in peace. But… I need you to know that 7-8 hours of adequate, restful sleep is no longer negotiable. When we sleep, our body is regenerating all of it’s vital systems. I don’t mean to scare you into sleeping more with fear-mongering, however, sleeping less than 7–8 hours per night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Sleep affects our metabolism, our ability to regulate emotions, the functioning of our immune system, and it affects our hormones.
When you provide your body with a healthy sleep routine, you improve your quality of life through increased energy, enhanced productivity & focus, a refined digestive system, and more… all leading to a healthier, happier you living a fulfilling dream of a life.