How to stay Happy – 10 practices

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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

 

Advertisements

What NOT to do during Meditation

About 3 years ago I was an Associate Director of Administration at an art complex near Wynwood Miami.

With this title came a great deal of responsibility, and it was the very reason why I started having anxiety attacks.

At that time, I felt that a steady meditation practice would surely cure my anxiety.

So I started meditating…everywhere, at all times.

I began meditating every single morning, then again right before leaving my house to go to work.

At work I would take bathroom breaks that were secretly “meditation breaks.”

I would meditate right before an important meeting and before presentations and tours.

I used any excuse to close my eyes, shut myself off from reality, and cozy up into my inner world where I felt safe and comfort.

My inner world became my escape from reality. I guess you can say my drug of choice was meditation.

All that meditation was good for me during this time because I was experiencing a critical moment in my physical reality, and I had to seriously do a lot of inner work.

The problem I began to have was when I began wishing for change.

I knew that I wanted to be a full time artist, to start my own business, be my own boss.

That idea created a lot of stress for me because I wasn’t sure how I was going to make that a reality, given the facts of my current situation.

My dream life felt SO DISTANT, like there was a huge gap from where I was to where I wanted to be.

As a student of the law of attraction, I knew the steps required to manifesting anything in life. I knew that in order to manifest, you have to feel that you already have it.

The problem was that I felt negative emotion with the dream life I was after.

I thought that more meditation meant I was closer to making my dreams come true. So during my practice, I began to think about what I wanted.

I started asking the universe for help, to make it happen faster…I felt desperate.

Thinking about what I wanted only made things worse for me because when I opened my eyes, my situation was still the same.

Meditation went from feeling like my favorite drug to feeling like I overdosed.

It wasn’t long after this cycle of mixed emotions was finally cleared up for me.

My desires switched from wanting something physical to wanting a feeling of relief.

I began to listen to the Teachings of Abraham on YouTube. Video after video I learned SO MUCH about the process of manifesting and the true reason why we should meditate.

I put it all into practice, and with time I was able to better balance my emotions. I learned that what people truly want in life is a feeling, an emotion.

As Abraham puts it, the things you want in life is because you think you will feel better when you have them.

The lesson I learned was this:

Don’t meditate to make something happen.

Meditation and visualization are 2 things that should be done separately.

Meditation is meant to give you relief, to let go of resistance.

I’m not saying you can’t think about the things you want…just do it if it feels good. If you have mixed feelings about your desires, don’t force yourself to try and solve it during meditation.

Today, I work as a full time artist in my home studio, I started my own business, I know how to balance my mind, body and heart, and more importantly I am able to teach others about what my practice has taught me.

The journey to enlightenment is different for everyone. No matter what stage you’re in, allow your emotions to guide you.

We are all at different stages in our personal evolution, and I’m happy to be able to share my experience so that it can help you in your journey.

I’d love to hear from you!

Have you come across a bump in the road with your meditation practice? If so, please share in the comments below.

Also, feel free to share this with someone who might also be struggling with their practice.

Sending you love from my heart to yours,

💋 Mari Medina

Overwhelmed? 5 Steps to clarity

Hello my lovelies,

I’ve been under a mental hibernation.

For a month I played tug-a-war with SO MANY  brilliant Pinterest ideas and saved screen shots from google searches that I took myself to a real place called “overwhelm.”

Talk about information overload!

I found myself inside my studio…sketches, magazine clipping and notes all around…I felt dizzy.

I couldn’t get myself to focus on ONE specific thing.

Everything seemed so important!

Time was ticking and there was money on the line…

As uncomfortable as this situation may seem, anytime I’m on the verge of insanity I KNOW I’m about to have some sort of break through.

Having had this experience before, I knew that the only way to refocus my energy is to stop, get up, and get out.

So for about 3 days I closed up my studio and got my body moving & into nature.

Sitting in front of the ocean I’d close my eyes, taking deep breaths in, and on the exhale I’d ask out loud:

What do I REALLY want?

What outcome am I reaching for here?

As soon as I shifted the direction of my focus, (which was on to the outcome) I started receiving answers.

Not only did I know exactly what project to tackle first, but a sense of relief washed all over my mind & body. I placed my hands on my heart, enjoying the appreciation I was feeling.

I share this story with you to help you see that clarity and focus comes to you when you know exactly what outcome you want.

Not sure what outcome you want?
Tony Robbins says it best:

“Ask better quality questions, to get quality answers.”

When your mind is asking lousy questions, as he puts it, it’ll reach for lousy answers!

So what outcome was I looking for?

CLARITY.

Clarity in my work process, momentum, ease, and flow. Once I connected to those emotions, I knew deep down in my heart what projects to take on first.


PRACTICE THIS next time you visit the land of overwhelm:

1) Acknowledge how you feel.

2) Get yourself out of the space that’s causing you to feel that way, and into a peaceful environment (like in nature or a zen space in your home).

3) Do deep breathing exercises to calm your mind & body.

4) When ready, ask out loud quality questions about the outcome you want.

5) Be open to allow your heart to guide and serve you, & you’ll soon receive the answers you’re looking for.


Be easy about this, the key here is to learn how to shift your energy from overwhelm to clarity.

May take a few days, but the more you practice, the better you’ll get.

Also, don’t push the process.

The more you push to try and resolve something, the less you’ll be able to tackle it from your heart.

I sure hope this was helpful!

If you found it useful and know someone who could use this advice, express your love & share it!

 😊

Thanks so much for reading,

Sending you clarity & love from my heart to yours!

💋 Mari Medina