The last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster. Over the last several months, I have been facing “reality” in many areas of my life.
MS struggles seem to have increased with wobbly days, brain fog and a wide range of mood swings. I have faced addiction relapse issues and am again fighting some inner gremlins. The lack of sun in Jersey hasn’t helped much either. I know it is January and winter is here BUT a few days of bright sunshine would definitely help!
Okay, so I am rambling but it brings me to a list of things YOU can do to give yourself a boost. Let’s get those HAPPY endorphins moving.
1. Go for a walk. If you feel like chatting, ask a coworker, friend, or family member to join you! I know it is a little chilly outside for this so why not head to the mall. My favorite is walking up and down the aisles of Walmart just to get out!
2. Be kind. Pick a day and do one to five random acts of kindness. They can range from feeding someone’s parking meter or complimenting a coworker. How about leaving a piece of chocolate for someone? Or even a simple thank you when they hold the door for you. It can be just what another person needs to see to turn their day around—and how you can start a karmic shift!
3. Listen to your favorite song. Music can decrease anxiety experienced by patients before surgery, according to a study in the journal, Anesthesia & Analgesia. If tunes can calm pre-op jitters, surely they can help you find your zen place.
4. Count your blessings. People with a more grateful outlook on life tend to exhibit a heightened state of wellbeing, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Researchers concluded “gratitude is linked with positive emotions including contentment, happiness, and hope.” At some point during the day, make a simple list of five or ten things you are grateful for in your life.
5. Take a breath. Take one minute today and focus on your breath with your eyes closed. A full minute. I have to set a timer to make sure I am not rushing through this. You will be amazed at how this can change your outlook.
6. Stroke an animal, like a cat or dog. If you don’t have a pet, go on YouTube and watch a funny animal video. I know I am not the only one who scrolls through those YouTube videos, right?
Life is what you make it – if you focus on the negative, you will get negativity. If you focus on the positive (no matter how small), it will come your way. There are days I struggle to find the good and something to be grateful for. It in on the days I beat myself up the worst, I work hard to find my happy place.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Last week I talked about three things happy people do, remember it was:
- They don’t dwell on the past
- They focus on the here and now
- They recharge
Believe it or not, there are 4 more things they do. Have you every searched “things happy people do” on Google? OMG! There is a ton of stuff. I have scanned a lot of it and it really comes down to just a few things said in a different ways.
So here are a few more things happy people do and those who aren’t happy 24/7 don’t do:
#4. They don’t spend time with toxic people
We all have had or have people in our life who are toxic. The ones who say things behind your back. Or are constantly putting you down. Maybe they promise to change but it just never happens? Being around people like this over a long period of time, will bring you down. Happy people don’t let this happen. They quickly recognize a toxic person when they see one. Me, not so quickly.
Here are some tips to help you recognize a toxic person, and what to do about it:
- Notice when someone puts you down. Are the words they use positive or not. Body language can also tell you how someone feels about you. Don’t feel good around them? Gradually close them off.
- Notice when someone constantly cancels on you (leaving you feeling bummed) If someone doesn’t want to spend time with you, and they are constantly cancelling on you, it might be time to direct your energy into something or someone else.
- Be aware of those who take advantage of your kind nature. I’m happy just going along with things most of the time but some people will use you for it.
- Don’t let people take advantage of your generosity – whether it’s time or money, don’t let people take advantage of you. It is okay to say no. What’s the worst that can happen?
- Spend time with those who make you feel cherished, valued and happy
#5. They value their self-worth
We are all human, so at some point in our life, we are going to have negative thoughts about ourselves. Happy people control these thoughts, or at least recognize when their self-worth is low. They know the moments will pass, and at the end of the day, they are just thoughts.
When your mind starts to wander to thoughts of low self-worth, or doubting yourself, spend time focusing on the good stuff. REMIND yourself of the great things you’ve done, or take yourself away to a happy moment in your life. Being happy is all about choosing to be happy. Lacking in self-worth can be controlled just as easily as controlling your thoughts.
#6. They keep things simple
How have you felt after you cleared out your closet, or tossed/donated items you didn’t need anymore? Awesome, right? That’s the beauty of keeping things simple. “Clutter in the house clutters the mind”
“It is simple to be happy, but it is difficult to be simple”.
Our lives are complicated and busy. I don’t know about you but I long for things how they used to be. So how do we keep things simple? Here are a few ideas:
- Toss old stuff away. If you haven’t used it in the last 6 months, are you ever going to need it, really?
- Keep some time in your schedule clear – you deserve some time off
- You don’t need to be busy to feel validated. Being busy and being productive are two very different things
- Looking for a solution, and can’t find it right away, come back to it tomorrow. Obsessing over things for long periods is not going to get you a solution.
#7. They smile often
Yes, smiling makes people happy. When you smile, your face lights up. When you’re on the phone and you’re smiling, your demeanour changes. EVERYONE looks and feels better when they smile. Happy people tend to smile more. Consider this quote from Scientific American:
“It would appear the way we feel emotions isn’t just restricted to our brain—there are parts of our bodies which help to reinforce the feelings we’re having,” says Michael Lewis, a co-author of the study.
Our emotions can be affected by our physical body, too. Feeling down, stressing – SMILE! It might just do you a bit of good, and help you improve your mood (even just temporarily).
Are you a happy person 24/7 or do you strive for it?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Did you start humming the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”? I do every time I see or hear this line. Have you ever wanted some of the “pink kool-aid” people who are alway happy take? You must know someone who always seems to be happy, I have one or two people I know like that.
When I am not having a MS flare up (of the depression kind), I am pretty much a happy go lucky kind of gal. Yes, I have times of sadness, anger, frustrate – don’t we all? I mean if we didn’t have a variety of emotions we would be “like a wet noodle” or a “block of stone”.
I will be the first to admit, on days when depression hits I enter a black hole where there sees to be no way out. It can last for an hour, a day, a week and sadly there are times when it can last for longer. You know those times when even the simplest word will make you cry. Key the song “Cry Me a River”. LOL. Thank you to “Modern Day Girl” for inspiring this post.
1. They don’t dwell on the past.
I know I do especially on a bad day. The shoulda, coulda, woulda kick in and the path into the black hole gets deeper. What happens when you start with the stinkin’ thinkin’? Things get worse instead of better, right?
So how do you stop yourself from dwelling on the past? Remember “It takes 21 days to make or break a habit”. So you need to change your mindset. Your mind is a powerful thing and you can control how you think, and it’s not hard either. When you focus on the here and now, it becomes easier to get rid of the old bad habits.
FIRST, recognize you’re dwelling on past situations. I know, easier said then done. When you spend time being more aware of your thoughts, it is easier to change your mindset. Like a new habit, once you start it becomes easier over time. When you’re aware you are dwelling on thoughts of the past, you can work on ignoring them, or replacing them with focus on the here and now.
2. They focus on the here and now
When you get rid of the thoughts from your past, you can dwell more on the here and now. I have been told meditation helps and will teach you how to focus on your breathing and what is around you. I haven’t mastered this yet but I haven’t given up. Here are some ways meditation and yoga (still need to try this) can help:
- When you’re focusing on the past, you’re distracted.
- We miss moments in our lives which may have been the happiest.
- When we let our thoughts control us , we feel unbalanced
- When we’re aware of our surroundings, we feel more empathetic towards others, have high self-esteem, and can reduce impulsivity (reducing mental health issues – Psychologytoday.com)
So, if meditation and yoga aren’t for you, find a way to focus on the here and now. Journal your thoughts. Take a few minutes to “zone” out. I like to sit outside and watch the clouds float by, imagining it is all of my past floating away. I guess my own form of meditation.
3. They recharge
Recharging is something we all need to do. For happy people, it is part of the every day life. Not sure what this means? Well, it means different things to different people. Think about what you like to do in your spare time? I know, what spare time, right? I’ve been there. The truth is having a chronic disease has helped to me identify when I need to recharge. It is usually a SMACK but I am learning to stop and rest. Maybe one of these will work for you:
- A good book and a cup of coffee
- A nap
- Exercise of some kind
- Spending time in a spa
- Eating chocolate in front of the TV
- Pretty much anything that makes you happy
The truth is, we live our lives in overdrive, always rushing to the next thing. Our bodies need time to relax and recharge. How happy are you when your schedule is jammed full with no time for fun? Probably not very, right?
If you feel like you don’t have time for yourself, make time. I know it’s hard, believe me I get it. I was a single mom working full-time but you need to schedule time. Maybe when the kids are napping, grab the book you’ve been meaning to read. Or on your lunch break at work – read your favourite magazine (whether online or paper).
Happy people value their time and know cultivating happiness is important.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Happy Monday morning! I know many of you are dreading this day. I mean who wants to go back to the J-O-B, right? You got an extra hour of sleep with the time change this weekend so you should be relaxed and happy. I know it is a far stretch for a Monday morning but work with me….
Are you letting your emotions rule this morning? Are the ruling emotions, the ones making you feel yukky or less productive? I mean how productive can we really be when we feel yukky!
So,why not kick start this Monday with some things to change you mood, so you can “get happy.” Pretty much instantly. Yes, even on a Monday morning headed to work.
Studies show we are more productive, create better relationships and have more success when we are happy. If you are struggling to be productive or to get the results you want, try getting happy first!
Try these life hacks to ‘get happy’!
- Start your day happy.
- Do something first thing in the morning which makes you happy.
- Dance to your favorite music
- Talk a walk
- Spend time with God
What starts your day ‘right’?
Finding yourself frustrated, angry or down? Stop and do something to ‘snap you out of it’.
You will be far more productive if you stop and ‘get happy’ than if you try to slug on through.
Check your environment.
Does clutter stress you out? Clear out one room and go there!
Did you know citrus, orange, lemon, and grapefruit, bring out positive chemical reactions in your brain? Try using essential oils in these scents. Put them on your pressure points or diffuse into the air. Go to the real thing, eat an orange and leave the rind on your desk.
If it makes you happy to be outside, move your phone and computer to the deck and work outside! Whatever is making you uncomfortable, change it up!
Be around happy people.
Who makes you feel good whenever you are around them?
Be intentional about who you spend time with, and know who you can call to lift you up. Commiserating may seem like a good way to support others, but it won’t help them be happier. Take a few minutes to create a happy list. These are the things you can do to “get happy.” When you are feeling unproductive, pick one and do it! Happiness is good for your soul.
So go ahead, get happy!
Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!