Sunday, March 12, 2017

15 Tips For Feeling Your Happiest!

15 Tips for Feeling Your Happiest!

Every now and then we can find ourselves in a rut. Whether it’s due to a negative life event or just a case of the “blahs,” here are some ideas to get you back on track.

*Please note, consult your doctor before starting any new exercise programs, supplements, or diets. This information is not meant to substitute for a doctor’s advice.  If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or others, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. It is a free, confidential call and available 24 hours per day.

1.      Exercise. More and more evidence points to exercise as being one of the best treatments for anxiety and depression. The Mayo Clinic recommends doing 30 minutes or more per day for three to five days per week, although even 10 to 15 minutes of exercise can help. How does exercise help us to feel better? When we exercise, the brain releases neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids, which are all considered “feel-good” brain chemicals. Exercise also helps to reduce immune system chemicals that can worsen depression and increase body temperature which has a calming effect on the body!

2.      Drink Water and Eat Right!  The recommended amount of fluids is 9 cups or 2.2 liters per day according to the Mayo Clinic, so drink up! Other benefits of drinking enough water include more radiant skin and eyes, and overall the body functions at its best when it is well hydrated.  Also, some people may not realize that our diets can have a profound effect on our brain and mental health. According to the Harvard Health Blog article, “Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food,” people who take probiotics (supplements that contain good bacteria for your gut) their anxiety levels, perception of stress and mental outlook improve, compared with those who did not take probiotics. Also, people who eat either Mediterranean diets or traditional Japanese diets have 25% to 35% lower risk for depression. These diets are high in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and unprocessed grains. Another possible key to these diets is that they don’t contain processed and refined foods and sugars, and many of the unprocessed foods are fermented and act as natural probiotics.

3.      Get enough sleep. The Mayo Clinic recommends 7 to 9 hours per night.

4.      Be Productive, Feel Productive! Make a list each morning of three things to accomplish, and then do them first thing. It’s amazing how feeling productive effects your overall feeling of self-worth and happiness. Tackle the hardest chores first to feel extra productive and then keep going if you are on a roll!

5.      Meditate. There are literally hundreds of free meditations on Itunes. Two of my favorites are “Meditation Oasis” and “Meditation Station by Stin Hansen.”  There is an abundance of evidence regarding the positive effects of meditation on our mental AND physical health. Carve out an extra 10 minutes in the morning and see how it can change your mindset for the whole day!

6.      Learn Something New. Listen to a “TED Talk,” sign up for a course at your local community college or log on to You Tube to learn about something that interests you. Other ideas that get the creative juices flowing include music lessons, sewing or craft classes, or dance classes.

7.      Help Someone Else. You could formally sign up to volunteer for an organization that interests you, or you could reach out to someone in your family or community that needs help. It feels good to help others. Sometimes, simply doing something for an immediate family member that you don't normally do is really appreciated by them and also makes you feel good.

8.      Connect with others. Dial up your friends from high school, throw a little neighborhood cookout, or invite your mother-in-law to lunch. There is something about connecting with others that boosts our mood.

9.      Turn Off Negative News. This is self explanatory, especially lately.

10.   Read a Good Book. Find something that you can completely escape into!

11.   Spend Less Time on Facebook. I am as guilty of this as anyone, but really it can suck up so much of our precious time. Try to limit yourself to a certain amount of time per day, maybe 30 minutes.

12.  Clear the Clutter and Clean Your House. Clutter literally can clutter our minds, or at least add unnecessary stress to our everyday lives. There is truly something stressful about looking at piles of junk around your house. It can be overwhelming to get started with de-cluttering, so here is a great tip taken from one of my favorite books with a really weird name, “Sink Reflections,”by Marla Cilley. She suggests that you look for a set number of items each day to get rid of. You can keep a box in the hall closet where you keep these items and then sell them on Ebay, offer to family or friends or donate to charity. By making it a habit, it’s not so overwhelming and eventually helps you to reach your goal of being clutter free! For cleaning, Cilley also suggests setting a timer for a specific amount of time and limiting yourself to cleaning one room as fast as you can during this time, until moving on to the next room. I love this idea, because you really can make a big impact on your whole house in a short amount of time if you move fast. It’s amazing how much we can get done when we are timing ourselves! If you are wondering about the title of her book, “Sink Reflections,” it refers to the one thing she wants all of her readers to do first thing when they wake up—clean their sink so that it shines and you can see your reflection. She believes that it all starts in the kitchen!

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13.   Focus on Self-Care. This could include taking a long, luxurious bath, getting a nice haircut, a massage or makeover. The idea is to take extra-good care of yourself.

14.   Be Inspired! Maybe you have always been interested in starting your own business, eating healthier or learning how to invest. Or maybe you are thinking of a career change but aren’t sure how to get going with it. One of the things that I do is listen to podcasts on Itunes. It is an unbelievable resource for pretty much any topic under the sun. One of my favorites, which helped motivate me to start writing for this blog again is called, “ A Better Life with Rachel Rofe- Practical personal development for an amazing life and business.” Here are some of the podcasts that I have listened to of hers that are phenomenal: “How to have a better day with 5 minute morning boosters;” “How to keep reinventing yourself with Thai Nguyen,” “How to feel highly energized and healthy: an interview with Shawn Stevenson,” and “How to get through a dark period.” So, check out her podcast or another one that inspires you!

15.   Spend Time Outside!. For me, my go-to place will always be the woods. It is my absolute favorite place to go when I need to recharge my soul. But for you maybe it’s the beach or a local park. Or even a stroll through your neighborhood. Being outside, especially on a nice day is good for your mood, and it’s also good for your Vitamin D intake which we get from the sun. Not getting enough Vitamin D can have a negative affect on our moods. This is why some people have a harder time with depression in the winter, because they are not outdoors as much and getting less natural sunlight. Of course, don’t overdo it and always wear sunscreen!

I hope you found a few tips that you can use! Please leave comments below. I would love to hear your additional tips for happiness!


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