It’s raining. I’m dog tired. I ache from new exercises I tried yesterday.
Yet here I sit, feeling like I must write a blog about finding health & happiness in life because the deadline is looming. True inspiration on that topic seems hard to find this morning.
Good thing I took notes last week when the sun was shining and I was feeling better.
The #1 Way to Be Happier Now
So here’s the overriding principle I came up with last week that I think is pretty darn fundamental to being happy:
Do things on a daily basis that make you feel good mentally or physically, and ideally, both.
Because feeling good is pretty darn fundamental to happiness.
Feeling good helps you feel optimistic, to look on the bright side of things. It helps you keep going.
There are all sorts of neurochemical reasons for this. I won’t turn this post into a dissertation on that except to say it makes sense.
Because keeping going is pretty darn fundamental to survival.
So how do we keep going? By taking care of ourselves. By doing things on a daily basis that make us feel good mentally or physically, and ideally, both.
Self-Care Is Not A Luxury
What this gets down to is that self-care is not a luxury.
It’s actually pretty darn fundamental to survival, too.
Given all this, the human body in its wisdom has set things up so that we are driven to take care of ourselves. Things like feeling hungry, feeling tired, feeling listless, feeling harried, feeling overwhelmed, and more. That’s a whole lot of feelings.
In today’s world, though, we can easily get distracted and not pay attention to what we are feeling. What’s more, even if we do recognize our feelings, sometimes we’re not quite sure just what we need to take care of ourselves.
All this said, it’s important to acknowledge that there are many, many other things that can significantly interfere with happiness. Things like poverty, war, illness, and more. So I don’t mean to be Pollyanna about it, but instead to offer up a list of relatively simple ways to practice self-care, some of which work even when things look pretty tough.
See if you can practice at least one every day. The more you do, the more you win!
P.S. I was initially going to try to separate these into ways to practice physical and mental self-care but then I realized that they’re too intertwined. When you feel good physically, you feel better mentally and vice versa. It’s a breath mint. No, it’s a candy mint. Stop, you’re both right! It’s two mints in one!
57 Ways to Be Happy Now
- Eat and drink well. #fuelyourbodymindsoul
- Go to bed early. #restisthebest
- Move your body in a way you enjoy. #exerciseforpleasure
- Eat what you want. You may find you don’t want it as much as you thought you did. #saynotodiets #mindfuleating
- Spend time with friends. #besocial
- Talk to yourself like a long lost friend. #positiveselftalk
- Treat your body like someone you love. #loveyourbody
- Take time to do something you love every day. #Ilovetoread #favoritetvshowscount
- Swim, or soak in the tub. #justgetinwater #preverbalnurturingtechnique
- Meditate. #nufsaid
- Feel your feelings. #sadisok #angryistoo
- Ask for help when you need it. #callafriend
- Plan a vacation. #restisthebest
- Hug someone. #instantstressrelief
- Get a manicure/pedicure or give yourself one. #pamperingisthebest
- Wake up each morning and say, “I like you.” #tryit
- Write a gratitude list. #gratitudeworks
- Practice yoga. #serious2mintsinone
- Pause. #timetothink #respondinsteadofreact
- Go out to dinner. #treatyourself
- Get a massage. #pamperingisthebest #therapeutic
- Buy a new piece of clothing that you feel good in today #livetoday
- Soak up the sun. #vitaminD #10minutesdoesit
- Say please and thank you. #gratitudeworks
- Leave your shopping cart where it belongs. #kindnessworks
- Tip well. #gratitudeworks
- Declutter your home. #freethemind
- Donate to a homeless shelter or food bank. #kindnessworks
- Donate to an animal shelter. #takeonehome
- Remind yourself of the good things you do. #positiveselftalk
- Declutter your desk. #freethemind
- Take the stairs. #getthingspumping
- Take a nap. #restisthebest
- Sing. #releaseendorphins #doitintheshower
- Smile. #instantstressrelief #infectious
- If you have to, fake it. That may help you make it. #instantstressrelief
- Give a homeless person a sandwich. #kindnessworks
- Stick up for someone you believe isn’t being treated well. #advocateforkindness
- Try something new. #varietyisthespice
- Smell the roses (or any other flower you like). #justenjoy
- Glory in the sunset. #naturesoothes
- Seek meaning in your life. #purpose #passion
- Challenge your thoughts. #youarewhatyouthink
- Be compassionate to yourself and others. #kindnessworks
- Feel the fear do it anyway. #believeinyourself
- Find the light in your darkness. What is your darkness telling you to do? #trustyourself
- Perfection is impossible. Do you. #believeinyourself
- Pick yourself up when you fall. (We all fail.) #perfectionisimpossible
- Listen to yourself. Are you being kind? What do you really need? #positiveselftalk
- What would you do? #believeinyourself
- Jump in all the way. #passion #wholeheartedness
- Give yourself flowers. #smallpleasures
- Express your anger constructively. #kindnessworks #feelyourfeelings
- Dig in dirt. Gardening can make you happy. #microbes
- Take a hike – hiking has awesome health benefits! #takeahike #womenwhoclimb
- Pay it forward. Send this list to a friend. #kindnessworks
So there. Blog written. Which makes me think of one more way to #behappynow
- Meet your responsibilities. #jobwelldone
I’m going to go do something else now that will also help me raise my happiness quotient on this gloomy day, aches, pains and all. Hmmm. What to choose from the list?
P.P.S. The sun just broke through.