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

 

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How to bust your creative blocks

Have you ever experienced a creative block?
Like your ideas don’t seem good enough, and you can’t come up with something beautiful, or fun, or inspiring?

I sure have…

Art school was NOT easy for me.

Not that I hated it, it’s just that every semester, every class, every project always began with a bunch of self-doubt.

I didn’t feel like my work was good. Like, at all.
I compared my skills and style to artists I admired who are like, beyond amazing.
I had a sense of “unworthiness” looming around me.
Worst of all, these emotions were reflecting in my work.

I was stuck, and couldn’t find my way out.

Clearly I had a problem, and although I’ve been a student of metaphysics and the law of attraction my whole life, this was just one subject I COULDN’T FIGURE OUT.

So my questions to the Universe were:
What am I supposed to do with my life?
Is this “the best” I can do?
How will I ever figure out my artistic style?
When will I overcome this?

TALK ABOUT A CREATIVE BLOCK! It lasted nearly 5 years of my life!

Aside from the drama, I want to point something out from this story:
all my worries and troubles were tied to questions. I HAD SO MANY QUESTIONS.

These questions were at the root of my creative block. What does that mean, really?
O.K here is where I talk about energy and momentum.

Law of Attraction is the same thing as momentum. When you begin to think about something, the very first manifestation you get is a feeling, an emotion.
Law of attraction then begins to attract similar thoughts that match this emotion you just manifested.

If you continue to think about these thoughts, before you know it, you’ve got some momentum building around this topic, and now you’re riding the wave of it (emotionally, that is).
Once you’re on that wave, unless you know how to slow it down, you’re going to stay there for some time.
The next thing that happens is that the Law of attraction will just keep bringing experiences that match those same emotions.
Whoa, I know! Maybe new terminology for some…stay with me!

So, how does this relate to creative blocks? Well, think about it. Just “thinking” you’re going through a creative block will attract more creative blockage…

Your focus on a problem (a creative block, in this case), feels much different and feels  super far away from putting your attention on the solution (which in our case, the best solution here is to be a creative genius).

A creative block simply means you have your attention on it as a real “problem,” and this attention is having you feel negative emotions around it. The more keep your attention on this as being a problem in your life, the longer it’s going to stick around. Plus, while your attention is on the problem, you block any and all ideas from flowing in.

So this is how I came out of my 5 year funk, and a tool you can use for yourself:

  1. Become aware of your questions and emotions associated to them. Take out a piece of paper, your journal, or sketchbook. Draw a line going down the center that splits the paper in half. On the left side write the word “Questions”, and on the other side write “Solutions.” Now choose a topic that’s bothering you (like, how can I unblock my creativity?), and make a list of all the questions you’ve got going on about whatever is bothering you.
    Can you describe what these questions feel like in your body?
    Then, on the left side write down any possible solutions you might come up with at the moment, even if they terrify you. The answers I wrote down for myself terrified me, but only because all my attention was still focused on the problem. Remember, questions and answers both feel different in our body, and if you’re riding the “fear-based question” wave, it’s impossible to feel good at the same time.
    Write down as many solutions as possible. Keep writing until you feel some relief in your body.
    Something magical happens when you take your problems floating around in your head and put ’em onto something tangible that you can read out loud. You’d be surprised at the patterns that start coming up for you. This practice helps you to see your problems from a logical point of view, and away from an emotional point of view (your emotions are what law of attraction responds to).
  2. Make a list of all the things you LOVE to do and feel good to you. May seem odd to do this next, but instead of hammering away on trying to “fix” this block, we are going to slowly shift waves here for a bit, start searching for the build up of a new, deep wave, one that feels familiar and good to you. To do this you’ve gotta get off the subject of whats blocking you and on to something that feels lighter and much better. I want you to on the back of this paper, write down all of the things you absolutely LOVE in this moment. Things that inspire you, like places to visit, colors you love, movies to watch, maybe its dancing, singing, maybe you can doodle a few things…the idea here is that once you’ve started writing down solutions in the previous exercise, your brain began thinking in a different direction, and what you want to do is slowly enhance that shift by changing the subject in your mind to the things you enjoy doing the most. Added bonus here is to FEEL those good emotions as you’re writing/ doodling all these things you absolutely LOVE.
  3. Get your body to move! After doing this exercise, I am sure you will have begun a new momentum, one that leans towards solutions, towards creativity and inspiration. If you found that spark, even if it’s the smallest sensation of a shift within you, I want you to get up and MOVE YOUR BODY. You want to build on this momentum by enhancing those good feelings. Have a dance break, go to the gym, go for a run, do some yoga, go for a walk, put on some inspiring music and do some free-form movements, go for a swim, bike riding…
    Build that spark of momentum in your body. Let it move you, inspire you.TRUST me this works.

Disclaimer: Once you feel that shift, DO NOT go back to your list to try to solve your creative block/ problem by continuing to ponder about it. The way that energy flows is like that wave I mentioned. You’ve gotta let this small shift in emotion gain some momentum until you’re 100% riding the new wave. Just let that subject go all together, and give yourself the opportunity to move into a better feeling place, where all the answers to all your problems and creative blocks live.

Moral of the story is, focusing on the creative block won’t get you anywhere near allowing goodness to flow in. Attention to either one requires different points of focus and awareness. In order to express your true self and allow those creative juices to flow, become solution oriented! It’s a state of mind worth the practice, because not only will it serve you creatively, but also in your everyday life.

This practice, coupled with meditation (which I’ll talk about in another post) and a few other “rituals” I’ve developed over time, was my #1 tool in busting my creative block. Took me A LOT of practice, I’m not saying I did this once and BAM, all problems solved. I did, however, get SO GOOD at balancing my emotions that honestly, I still use this method to this day. My problems are far less than what they use to be, but hey, problems come up on the daily. It’s how you move through those waves that matter most.

I TRULY hope this post was of help to you!

I’d love to know, have you suffered from a creative block in your life? If so, what techniques did you use to get through it?

Also, if you feel that this information may help someone you know, please share it with them. It may be the solution to their problem 🙂

With Love,

Marisol Medina

P.S: Some words I mentioned here might be new to some of you, so I’ve defined them and linked the resources:
Law of Attraction: That which is like unto itself, is drawn. In other words, that which you think, in any moment, attracts unto itself other thoughts that are like it. 
manifestation: a perceptible, outward, or visible expression