The self-care revolution that is currently taking place gives me mixed feelings. I support putting our physical, mental and emotional health first. However, like so many other buzz words i.e. authentic, triggered etc., a once pure concept gets muddied by becoming more of a trend and click-bait word then actual self-movement and a thoughtful lifestyle change.
That’s primarily why I decided to steer clear of that word in today’s post title and focus on the real MVP which is happiness. Whether momentarily or lasting, it feels good and makes our minds and bodies a more at peace place to be. So, today I wanted to share 4 things I do that immediately make me happier. They are simple acts of just choosing joy and choosing something I know is going to benefit my state of being.
4 Things I do that Immediately Make Me Happier
As I mentioned in my Instagram post, take a walk. It can be with purpose, like going to grab a coffee, or with no purpose at all. I love taking them by myself and with my hubs, both make me feel present and aware.
Whether it’s a workout or being out in the heat and sun, you’re elevating your endorphin or serotonin levels depending on which you choose and both are instant mood boosters. While we know sweating helps dispel toxins, I’ve always felt that it also has a metaphorical cleansing feel.
It wasn’t until 3 months ago that I switched up my workout routine to guarantee an intense sweat everyday, because I felt my body asking for it. I was working out 3 times a week, but now I work out 6 days a week and do cardio each of those days to make sure I start my workout with a good sweat. It’s changed so many things for me, not only physically but mentally as well. I’ll never go back to hardly breaking a sweat again.
Talk through metaphysical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual concepts together.
To me, this is a big part of what life is about. Luckily, because stimulating your brain with complex thinking activates the pleasure center in your brain, this activity will also make you happier. The key is of course to talk with the people you love and respect in your life, so that the intellectual conversations stay thoughtful and courteous and therefore remains a positive effect on your mood.
Some good ways to spark these type of conversations can be after listening to a podcast episode that got you thinking, or after reading a quote that struck a chord, or after watching the new Brené Brown Netflix special and you started feeling lots of feelings. (ahem…me 🙋🏻♀️) Whether it’s your partner, bestie, sibling etc., start a conversation about it. It feels good to be heard and it feels good to hear how other’s minds and spirits work. I always leave these kinds of conversations feeling like I took a brain vitamin and feeling invigorated.
Don’t try to overcome sad thoughts, try to understand them.
Sad thoughts are inevitable. Some are rational and some are so irrational you wonder what the heck is wrong with your brain. One thing that has helped me actually not allow my sad thoughts to linger and ruin my otherwise happy mood is to get to the bottom of why I had that thought. What am I afraid of? Why did that just pop into my head? How does this thought relate to my life right now?
Doing this gives my sad thoughts purpose and not just total buzz-kills. And each time I try to understand why a thought popped into my head, I end up in a better place mentally and emotionally than if I would have just stayed thinking that thought or even just brushed it aside.