5 Tips on How to Be and Stay Happy
Lately, I’ve been thinking and journaling a lot about happiness. What does it mean? What does it truly entail? And why is to so different for every individual person? Happiness is something I struggle with, as I tend to get frustrated and flustered when things don’t turn out what my mind’s eye considers to be “perfect.” So I’ve been meditating a lot and really contemplating the keys to happiness. I asked myself: What are my five keys to getting and staying happy? Most of these tips you will probably find self-explanatory or perhaps even cliché, but I’ve found balancing these five things is what truly works for me.
Eating vegetables and fruits and drinking plenty of water.
You hear this constantly: At the doctor’s office, on Dr. Oz, from your annoying co-worker who just completed a juice cleanse. I know. But if I’m being honest, I’m never happy when I overindulge and over eat on fatty foods with little to no nutrition. Sure, decadence tastes great in the moment, but when I get on a health kick, there’s nothing like that nutritious, healthy feeling. I feel lighter, bouncier, and more energized. I’m ready, willing, and more able to complete the day’s tasks and I feel some kind of small victory at choosing an acai bowl for breakfast over a bowl of sugary cereal.
Meditate daily or as often as possible.
Sometimes the word “meditation” can be daunting, as it’s kind of overused. Think of it this way: You get 10-15 minutes a day when you’re allowed to do nothing. You can lay down or sit, play some calming music, and keep to yourself. You don’t have to worry or be responsible for anything in these 10-15 minutes. It can be hard to schedule in meditation, but afterwards, my immediate feelings are gratitude and relief.
Practice yoga weekly.
Yoga isn’t for everyone and while I’m not the most agile, flexible, or trained yogi in the universe, I do notice a great deal of difference in my body when I’m practicing, compared to when I am not. I tend to carry a lot of stress and tension in my back, neck, and shoulders, and so when I practice a very easy, light, and basic routine that focuses on stretching and breath, I see a huge difference in the way I carry my body. I’m not as tight or sore.
Have a regular exercising schedule.
Not hitting the gym every day doesn’t make you a bad person, but sweating improves the mood. I’m much more invigorated and ready to seize the day when I’ve put in some time either at the gym or at home on my workout mat. Currently, I’m loving the 7 minute workout app, which makes you put in the necessary work in a short amount of time.
Get outside and breathe in the fresh air.
Being outdoors is an instant mood lifter for me. When I think of times when I’ve felt most peaceful, I usually envision Vermont, where my family has a vacation home. I picture the gorge, rows of trees, waterfalls, and the dam. Mountains everywhere. Here at home, I like to get outside when I’m feeling stressed and walk to Pier A, a local park which overlooks the New York skyline. The Hudson River, the grass in the park, and the surrounding trees and gardens really help to quiet my mind and relieve me of some of my stressors.
It doesn’t matter your canvas or artistic outlet; creativity alleviates anxiety and I believe (this is not scientific at all) releases as much endorphins as exercise. I have always cited reading and writing as my creative outlets, but lately, they’ve started to feel like a chore, so I decided to extend my efforts to something else: painting. Truthfully, I’ve really been enjoying it. I’m seldom stressed that my painting isn’t coming out as nice as I’d hoped. I don’t really think about other things like the office or relationships. I just concentrate on my painting and as a result, I’ve completely in tune to that current moment in time.
So what do you to do keep happy? Share your 5 things with me below.