I used to think that living happily ever after was something that took place as soon as all my dreams come true.
I’ve come to realize that I AM living happily ever after – NOW.
Right now, I’m a happy wife, artist, entrepreneur, daughter, sister, friend, dog owner, traveler, dancer, writer…happiness is happening NOW!
Happiness is not a place you finally reach once all of your dreams and desires have been met. Happiness is a state of being, that when practiced, can become our natural way of experiencing life.
I know life can be tough given the horrifying things we hear every day on the news. Those negative situations are out of our control.
The only thing you do have control of is your reaction, and how quickly you can shift your emotions when facing a difficult situation.
So how do I stay happy in life?
I simply practice happiness.
Since we are experiencing life from within, we have access to all states of emotions.
All emotions (the good and the bad) play an important role in our existence, and I believe that a natural balance will help you live a more joyful life experience.
How does one go about practicing happiness?
A good athlete spends hours training for each game. Think of yourself as an athlete in the game of life. The more you practice feeling good, the more you’ll show up as a champion of your emotions.
There are 10 practices you can start doing every day to start choosing joy as your natural way of being:
- Begin your day feeling appreciation.
Before you open your eyes in the morning, take a moment to appreciate the bed you’re sleeping in and the sheets that have kept you warm at night. Appreciate the awareness that you have woken up to a brand new day! This practice cranks up the momentum of appreciation, which will more than likely carry you through the entire day in this delicious state of being.
- Meditate for 10 to 15 minutes.
Meditation is the most effective in the morning, but if that time is not available for you, sneak in your meditation whenever it is possible. I would suggest at night right before going to bed. How does meditation influence our happiness? Well, given that our natural state of being is one of joy, meditation is the practice that will get us to align to the happiness we inherently feel.
- Intentionally look for things that please you.
As you go through your day, look for things that please you, even small things like the song that has just come on the radio, or the texture of the mug you’re drinking your coffee in, or the smell of the flowers in your office as you walked by them. When you intentionally look for the things you like, you’re rewiring your brain to automatically look for these things as you go through the day. You’ll be less likely to continue observing an experience or story that makes you uncomfortable.
- Choose to only talk about the things that please you.
Gossip is inevitable when you’re working at an office or with a team. I would suggest if a conversation leads to one of judgment and harsh opinions, leave it alone. Judging others simply means you are bringing up the feeling of judgment within you. The idea here is to practice more conversations that delight and inspire you.
- Eat nutritious foods.
Everyone knows that a balanced diet promotes a healthy lifestyle. Did you know it also influences your happiness? Your mind, body, and heart connection are part of the system that makes you…well, you. If you are feeding your body unhealthy foods, your body will have a hard time processing it, which in turn will more likely affect your mood. Think of this practice as choosing a happy, healthy body over your cravings. That’s mindful eating at its best!
- Drink plenty of water.
Water is the source of LIFE…how important is that! Water keeps our cells hydrated, our brain functions better, helps our tissues regenerate…the list goes on! Get yourself a bottle of water in the morning and keep refilling it throughout the day. Just as I mentioned with food, when the body is not properly hydrated, our emotions are affected. Drink water to be happy!
- Have human connection.
This is SO IMPORTANT. There must be someone in your life you can give a hug to like a family member, a co-worker, a pet, your kids, your neighbor…ANYONE! Why is this important for our happiness? According to an article I read from Happyologists.co.uk, they say that “Oxytocin, also known as the “love drug”, calms your nervous system and boosts positive emotions. Here’s how a good hug resulting in oxytocin flow affects you: It lowers your blood pressure, especially helpful if you’re feeling anxious. It lowers your cortisol (the stress hormone), enabling a higher quality of sleep.” Read the full article her e.
- Connect with nature.
We are a part of this earth and much like our need for human connection, our body also responds to our connection with mother nature. When you place yourself in nature, begin to feel the breeze on your skin, listen to the birds chirping, feel the connection with the trees or the ocean. Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself! You’ll see how nature will inspire you to naturally feel happy.
- Perform a physical activity.
Just to be brief, physical exercise is important for your body because it cleans out your lymphatic system (which means it flushes out the toxins in your body), and it also releases serotonin which is a chemical that makes you feel, well, happy!
- Maintain a clean, fresh environment.
As my mom used to say, a clean home is a happy home. How exactly is this so? Without throwing at you scientific evidence, I’ll stick with the metaphysical approach. Your physical world is a reflection of how you feel. A messy house that is ALWAYS messy is an indication you’re probably feeling sad, anxious, or overwhelmed. If you make time for and practice cleanliness, it is a clear indication that the things you own MATTER to you, that you’re placing importance on your environment, keeping it clean and tidy.
These are 10 practices I have included in my daily life that have immensely supported my happy state of being. There are SO MANY more practices we can do to stay happy, these are just the basics I believe can be done by just about everyone.
The beauty of this list is that it can be modified to fit your schedule and lifestyle.
All 10 of these practices are habits you can start including in your daily life, and once you’ve mastered them, you’ll become a champion of happiness!
I’d love to hear from you!
What are some of the daily practices you do to stay happy?
Thanks for reading, and feel free to share this post with someone you may know could benefit from 🙂
Sending you love, from my heart to yours,
❤ Mari Medina