Happiness is something we all have the ability to create, foster and share with others. And happiness is an important part of self-care.
Think about it, when you're happy it's easier to embrace healthy habits and find more reasons to be happy. But when you're unhappy, well everything can feel like a struggle.
So how can you increase your HAPPY and have more feel good days?
With the help of these 7 tips! Get ready to stress less, smile more and live happy!
1. Streamline your morning.
Set yourself up for a great day from the moment your feet hit the floor until your head hits the pillow. Where are some areas that you struggle? Do you tend to forget where you put your keys? Run out of time for breakfast? Stand staring at your closet for 10 minutes trying to figure out what yoga pants and hoodie to wear?
Determine where you can make some small tweaks that will make your morning kick off easier and increase productivity all day long! Like putting your keys in the same place each night so you know just where they are when you're racing out the door, or prepping your grab-and-go breakfast the night before (overnight oats and smoothies are excellent for this!), or set your workout clothes out the night before so you can jump out of bed and get moving without giving it too much thought.
2. Love the skin you're in.
We come in all shapes and sizes, with varying attributes and quirky qualities that make us all wonderfully unique. It's okay to both want to improve yourself and love the skin you're in. You can want to improve your health and lose weight while still loving your curves, eyes and generous spirit. A thinner body does not equal happiness.
Practice body confidence and you're more likely to live happily at any size. Start by celebrating what makes you uniquely you -- do you have your grandmother's hands, your mother's nose, your dad's laugh? Maybe it's your curly hair, your freckles, or a heart shaped birthmark. We all have something that makes us special. We just spend so much time criticizing our outsides and wishing for something different, that we ignore all the beauty that's there!
Get in the habit of telling yourself that you're beautiful, strong, and worth love and kindness. Yes even if you don't believe it quite yet. Because in order to receive kindness and compassion, you must first be able to give it to yourself.
3. Smile and the world looks a little brighter.
In a slump, or feeling like a grump? Studies show the simple act of smiling, even when you don't feel like it, can boost your mood and improve your outlook. Think about it, have you ever been having one of those days, then a stranger says hello with a smile? It brings you out of your funk, even if just for a moment. You realize the world is bigger than you and the problem, frustration or disappointment circling around in your mind. For a moment things are a bit brighter and lighter. And you may even find yourself smiling back, then paying it forward to share that smile with the next person you meet.
Smiles and positivity are contagious. And no, I'm not saying you have to walk around all “fake happy” or where rose colored glasses like it's all good in the 'hood when you're feeling really challenged. Look for opportunities to find joy. Did the sun break through a cloudy day? Was traffic light this morning? Are you drinking more water today? Simply take a break from the darkness and notice what's going well and what's positive. It's good for your soul. You can be unhappy and happy in the same day, and even at the same time. It's okay.
4. Move your body.
Whether it's a 10 minute walk on your lunch break or walking the dog after work, you don't have to hit the gym to reap the mind, body and spirit benefits of movement. The simple act of rolling out a mat to stretch or going for a walk around the block will increase blood flow and oxygen circulation, improve mood, boost energy, help you sleep better, and reduce your risk of disease.
Feel like you don't have time for exercise? Try setting a daily reminder to take 10 minutes and move your body, and commit to doing it each day. Play around with the time that consistently seems to work the best -- morning, afternoon or evening. Enlist accountability and support to hold you to your goal, such as jogging with a neighbor before work, taking a yoga class after work or walking with your spouse after dinner. There are all sorts of simple and effective ways to add more movement to your day, for a few quick and simple ideas check out my 12 Ways To Move More Each Day.
5. Replace a bad habit.
Unhealthy habits tend to generate negative feelings, which often leads to more unhealthy behaviors. Stop the cycle of negativity and self-sabotage by trading up one of those less healthy habits for a healthier one.
Do you find yourself reaching for sweets or a cocktail after a long, hard day, or do you tend to mindlessly munch on chips or crackers while zoning out in front of the television? Try swapping a sweet snack or cocktail for a bowl of fruit or herbal tea, nosh on nuts or carrot sticks and hummus to satisfy the crunch, or take a walk, journal or meditate to release negative feelings.
Take a moment and check in on how you're feeling: bored, tired, frustrated, lonely, sad? Then ask yourself what you really need most in that moment. Is it a friend, to vent the frustrations, a nap, a snuggle with your pet, or a mood lifting comedy? More often than not, it's not the actual food that you crave, it's the rush of hormones that flood when you eat it. Unfortunately the crash shortly after is rarely worth the escape. A walk around the block can often serve you much better, giving you that rush of feel good without the regret.
6. Stop the stress spiral.
Next time you feel your stress level rising, stop and take a deep breathe. Count to five and ask yourself, "Is this in my control?"
Often when we're faced with stress we feel paralyzed, which of course can lead to more stress, and potentially reacting with unhealthy behaviors. But when you stop to assess the situation and realize what you can control (your actions and reactions) you're better able to reduce the stress and let go of what you cannot change.
How do you know what you can or can't control? Typically your thoughts, feelings and actions are in your control, whereas other people, situations, and environments around you are not. Sometimes the best thing you can do in the midst of stress is take a break, even step away if possible, for perspective. In the words of Elsa as sung in Frozen, sometimes it's best to just Let It Go!
7. Surround yourself with positivity.
Ever heard the saying “If you want to live healthier and happier, surround yourself with healthy, happy people!" That's because it's true. Studies show when you surround yourself with healthy happy people, you're more likely to be that way too.
That's because when you surround yourself with people who share a similar passion, value, or whom you simply aspire to be more like, you'll naturally be inspired, motivated, and lifted up in their wave of positivity. And it can happen through friends, family, community, co-workers, or any variety of organizations.
Not sure where to find your tribe? If you like yoga or strength training, sign up for some classes, join a gym or studio in your area. If enjoy being outdoors, join a meet up group for hikers, bikers or runners that host events around that activity you enjoy. If you want to eat healthier and love to cook, check out a local Facebook community that's all about fun recipe swaps or join a local cooking class. There are all sorts of fun ways to mix and mingle -- virtually or in-person!
Are you tired of starting over every Monday, hopping from diet to diet, wondering if you'll ever get it "right" so that you can lose the weight and become the best version of you? I’ve got you friend! Come join me inside my FREE women’s-only Facebook community: Eat Better with Coach Mindy. It's for busy women like you who are ready to lose weight, gain energy, get healthy and fit -- without restrictive diets or punishing food rules.