Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Happiness is something we all have the ability to create, foster and share with others and honoring it is an important part of self-care. How can you increase, enhance or add more joy to your life? 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 you get out of bed by having a plan for success. Do you often struggle to find your keys as you dash out the door? Try putting them in the same place each night so you'll know where to grab them in the morning. Do you find yourself consistently running a few minutes late? Give yourself an extra 5-10 minutes buffer and you won't feel so rushed. Are you skipping workouts? Try packing a gym bag with fitness items you might need (a change of clothes, athletic shoes, headphones...) and keep it in the car so you'll be workout ready. Is your stomach grumbling by the time you get to work? Prepare a healthy breakfast option you can take on-the-go and you won't be famished when you walk in the door (visit the clean eat section of our blog for some great breakfast ideas that you can whip up in no time flat!)
2. Love the skin you're in. People come in all shapes and sizes, with differing attributes and qualities that make us wonderfully unique. Learn to feel comfortable in your own skin by celebrating what makes you uniquely you! Quit the negative self talk and body shaming and embrace all that makes you the amazing, wonderful and unique person you are! Every day tell yourself you are beautiful, strong, worth love and kindness and show that love and kindness to yourself first. You are more than just a body, you have many talents and accomplishments, things that you bring to this world and can share with those around you. Gratitude is always a great attitude.
3. Smile and the world looks a little brighter. Having a bad day? Feeling grumpy, challenged or frustrated? Studies show that smiling (yes, even when you don't feel like it) can actually improve your mood and outlook. Think about it, have you ever been having a rough day and had a stranger simply share a smile? Suddenly things don’t seem so gloomy and you might even find yourself smiling back, then paying it forward and sharing a smile to brighten someone else’s day! Smiles and positivity are contagious! I am not saying you have to be “fake” or walk around with a Polyanna head in the clouds attitude, just to choose happy and to share a bit of happy with someone around you…the impact is beneficial for you and the one receiving the smile.
4. Move more. Make time for exercise. Whether it is taking a 10 minute walk on your lunch break or walking the dog after a long day at work, you don't have to hit the gym to reap the mind, body and spirit benefits of movement. The simple act of movement can increase blood flow and oxygen circulation, improve mood, boost energy, help you obtain better sleep and reduce your risk of disease. Need some help carving out some time for exercise? Try setting a daily reminder on your phone to take 10 minutes and move, commit to a weekly fitness routine and recruit friends and/or family to support your move more goals (such as a plan to meet up for a walk after dinner 2-3x a week) or sign up for a weekly fitness class before or after work. There are lots of ways to add more movement to your day, for more ideas check out our article 12 Ways To Move More Each Day.
5. Replace a bad habit. Unhealthy habits generate negative feelings. Stop the cycle of self-sabotaging behaviors by replacing less than healthy habits with more healthy and supportive ones. Do you find yourself reaching for sweets after a long, hard day or mindlessly munching on chips and crackers while zoning out in front of the television? Try swapping that processed sugar snack for some fresh fruit paired with low or non-fat plain Greek yogurt and 1-2 Tbsp. of low fat granola and a touch of honey or maple syrup for a healthy with a hint of sweet while satisfying snack. Craving something crunchy? How about some baby carrots (or veggie of choice) paired with hummus? Take a seat at the counter, table or outdoor patio and enjoy the food distraction free – no smartphone, television, laptop, etc. If you have tried the healthy eating and distraction free route and still seem to find yourself repeatedly visiting the pantry or fridge for more, take a moment to check in on how you are feeling: bored, tired, frustrated, lonely or sad?Sometimes it isn’t the food we crave at all, we are simply seeking a way to cope with the feelings we are having. That is when journaling, calling a friend, going for a walk, reading a book or watching a funny youtube video can be a positive redirect for self-sabotaging behaviors.
6. Stop the stress spiral. Next time you feel your stress level rising or starting to spiral out of control, stop and take a deep breathe. Ask yourself, "Is this in my control?" Often times when faced with stress we feel paralyzed, which of course can lead to more stress. By stopping a moment to assess what is in and outside of your control, you are able to actively reduce stress as you let go of items you cannot change and instead begin to tackle those items you can. How can you determine what is in and outside of your control? In general, our own thoughts, feelings and actions are within our control, whereas other people, situations and environments are typically not. Sometimes the best thing you can do while in the midst of stress is to take a break, walk away and think things through to discover a more clear perspective (aha another reason to exercise!) then come back with an empowering approach to stress less and live more.
7. Surround yourself with positivity. Ever heard someone say “If you want to be lifted up surround yourself with positive and like-minded people”? That is because these are individuals who are working toward a similar same goal or who share a passion or value for those things you do, which means when you are around one another you will naturally be inspired, motivated and lifted up in positivity. This can occur through friends, family, community members, co-workers, and/or a variety of organizations, etc. If you are an animal lover you might volunteer at a local shelter or with a charity, enjoy working with youth or seniors perhaps you can volunteer at a local school or adult living community, or if you are a runner, hiker, biker or other fitness enthusiast maybe you will enjoy joining a local fitness activity group in your area. Meetups, community boards and social networking groups can be a great place to discover groups in your area.
Stress Less and Smile More - Live Happy!