Live - December 10, 2018

8 Simple Hacks To Finding More Happiness In 2019

Is happiness a goal for 2019? I know it is for me. In my personal opinion, there’s no big secret to living a happy life, but I do believe perspective, maintaining healthy habits and living in gratitude definitely set us up for living healthier and happier. Here are eight strategies that I like to incorporate (or I’m working to incorporate) to encourage happiness in my life.

Stop Reaching For Your Phone First Thing In The A.M.

What’s the first thing you do each morning? If the alarm on your smartphone goes off and you proceed to check emails or scroll Instagram immediately afterward, you could be setting your day up for unhappiness. Checking your inbox as soon as you wake can cause overwhelming feelings and stress. Even more so, if you’re answering someone else’s emails, texts, or voicemails as soon as you wake, you’re putting those other people’s priorities before your own.

Maybe you think surfing social media platforms are just a way to help wake you up? Wrong! Mindlessly scrolling Instagram first thing in the A.M. starts your day off in search of validation from others (how many people liked that photo I posted? Did I get any new followers?) It also triggers a cruel game of comparison. Is someone else’s highlight reel making you feel like you’re slacking in life? That’s not inspirational it’s depressing.

Tristan Harris, a former Product Philosopher at Google, who studied how technology affects people’s attention and wellbeing, says that FOMSI (Fear of Missing Something Important) is one of the main reasons we let “technology hijack our morning.” The first 30 minutes of your day should be used to focus on one’s self. If you want to set your day up for success wake up and immediately tend to positive and productive chores. Make your bed, enjoy the morning silence while you sip on something warm, workout, read a few pages of a book, make yourself a great breakfast, or get everything in order so that you can actually sit down for breakfast with your kids.

Point Out The Most Positive/Most Anticipated Moments

Now that you’ve found 30 extra free minutes each morning start your day off by pointing out what’s going to be the best part of your day, instead of being bogged down by thoughts of all the things you have to, but don’t want to do. Focus on what excites you about the day ahead.

Did you schedule a mid-day lunch with a girlfriend? Are you getting a manicure after work? Does that after school hug from your little one get you every time? Maybe today’s the day you get to give that kick-ass presentation you’ve been working so hard on. Use the day’s specific agenda to encourage feelings of happiness rather than anxiety.

Movement.

Emotional health is said to be closely tied to physical health, that’s why getting up and moving around is one of the best things you can do to stay happy. Movement looks different for everyone, but whether it’s killer workouts, a mindful yoga practice or dance sessions in your living room, movement stimulates happiness. Numerous studies prove that people who workout are less likely to develop depression. Having a regular fitness program is a great way to practice self-care, but there are also simple ways throughout your day where you can easily squeeze in some physical activity.

Light stretching. Stretching as soon as you get out of bed or during your morning shower increases blood circulation and body flexibility as well as release muscle tension. These all help to reduce stress.

Taking the stairs. Even if it’s just a floor or two, using the stairs helps get your heart rate up and blood flowing.

Throw on your favorite song and dance, dance, dance! This is one of the easiest ways to lift your mood.

Get Outside.

Rather than spend your lunch break cooped up at your cubicle, go outside for lunch. Whether you take your entire break outdoors or savor the last ten minutes, it’s sure to change your mood.

Talk and walk. Catching up with mom? Have a client call? Taking that call during a walk around your home or office is a great way to get outdoors, which is an instant mood booster.

Are you a new mama with a newborn? Getting out of the house can feel like a complete mission. Don’t get fooled into staying indoors. Throw on some sweats, grab your stroller and get you and that baby some happy air. Not only will mama benefit physically by making this a habit, both you and baby will find the air and Vitamin D refreshing and invigorating.

Smile More Often.

Smiling is a basic universal form of communication, and it’s contagious! There’s actual research that smiling feeds your brain happiness. Smiling at someone will lift not only your spirits but also the spirits of those on the receiving end. So just do it!

Say “NO” more often.

Every GirlBoss knows there’s great power in the word “No.” Saying “No” makes more room for yeses. Stop overcommitting yourself, dragging yourself to things you don’t want to do, or investing in relationships that give nothing back. I promise you that finding comfort in saying no leads to more happiness in the long run.

Turn Work Off

Depending on what you do this might not always be available to you. For example, if you’re someone’s assistant, then it’s probably part of your job requirement to be readily available at all times. Same goes for entrepreneurs. If you’re running your own company, it might seem impossible to turn work off. I promise you though it’s not that impossible to structure your schedule so that you can turn off for at least a few selected moments in the day.

For example, those first 30 minutes of each day as well as the last 30 minutes to one hour before going to bed. Giving yourself time to unwind begets great sleep, and great sleep begets happiness. Another vital moment to walk away from work is dinner time. As hard as it may be, putting your phone down during dinner allows you the ability to connect with your partner, friends or children. Think about what dinner used to look like before smartphones and work to recreate that. More connective moments with the people you love lead to happiness.

Create A Gratitude Log

This one is much simpler than it sounds, in other words, don’t over complicate this. Keep a notebook bedside and take five minutes to write down anything and everything (or at least two things) that you are grateful for that happened that day. There are no items too obvious or too small. You might be grateful that you finally got that promotion you’ve been working all year for or grateful that your local coffee shop didn’t run out of pumpernickel bagels that morning or maybe you’re grateful because your boss finally uttered a “thank you.” Regardless of the moment, having an ongoing list is a great way to keep things in perspective, realize how abundant your life is and encourage happiness.

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