Happy International Day of Happiness!
Firstly, for a double whammy for #DayOfHappiness and #MotivationMonday, I’m flashing us back to my fifth episode of the #OWNSHOW on The OWN. The topic was on some less well-known happiness boosters. Here is that episode on Oprah Winfrey Network.
And to celebrate today, 15 Happiness Boosters to incorporate into your life immediately:
1. Stick To A Routine – You might think happiness comes from the spontaneous, but the newest science-based evidence suggests that man likes routine. Researchers believe that we experience calm by practicing repetitive behavior. Our daily rituals and habits serve strategies for us to manage our stress. When our world feels fast-paced and overwhelming, sometimes sticking with the old routine is a good way to maintain happiness.
2. Decrease Time On Social Media, Increase Your Time Nurturing REAL Relationships – Or as us OG bloggers like to call it IRL – In Real Life relationships. Psychologists today are calling it Facebook Depression and Social Media Depression- seeing all your friends posting all their “wonderful” activities they are doing often leave us feeling down and sad about our own life. There has been a correlated link between social media and depression. So nurture your REAL LIFE relationships as a happiness booster. And cut down on social media.
3. Create your bucket list – One of my favorite exercises. To this date, my Bucket List blog post is one of our most popular, and I even encouraged Brooke Burke to write her own which she spoke about in her book and blog and on Oprah! Just putting the pen to paper on everything you want to accomplish in your life will send your brain positive messages. American psychologists did studies on writing about our dreams for the future, and the studies are in: writing about our dreams can actually make us happier! After writing about their dreams 20 minutes a day, after 4 days, the subjects felt immediately happier and this effect lasted for several weeks.
4. Adventurous / Risqué Activities! In every major city, there are many great places to go where you can boost your serotonin levels, your happiness hormone! Take a pole dancing class! Just trust me! Beside the benefit of this amazing workout on your body and the stimulation of serotonin production, every woman should try this. I dare you not to leave happy! Here was my pole dancing teacher and here is my experience. Others are boxing classes, open dance nights, and why not strip poker with your partner? Yup!
5. Move Closer To Work – Our commute to the office can have a surprisingly powerful impact on our happiness. The fact that we do this twice a day, five days a week, can build up over time and have a lasting effect on our happiness. According to the research, having a long commute can leave us unhappy. We tend to try to compensate for this by having a better job or bigger house, but these compensations just don’t work. These long commutes leave little time for us to do the things we love, and the effects of traffic can dampen our happiness.
6. Get A Life! And here I mean, your OWN life – separate from your partner and your kids. Take time to discover your passion and have the courage to chase it. Here’s why: Every woman no matter her race, age, social status needs to find something to call her own to boost her happiness and self esteem. It could mean a new hobby, a new part time job, volunteering, something just for her separate from her family.
And a quick tip on finding your passion. It is the intersection of:
- What you love
- What you’re good at
- What the world needs now
- What you can get paid for
7. The 85% Rule –Most of us are stressed and unhappy simply because we are overwhelmed: we take on too much. I practice the 85% rule – I make sure 85% of my commitments are NECESSARY COMMITMENTS. That means, I have started eliminating unnecessary commitments from my schedule. It’s practicing the art of saying “no” to the things that don’t BOOST YOUR HAPPINESS.
8. Volunteer – 100 hours per year is the magical number (or two hours per week). Doing something for others and seeing results is an instant happiness booster. I volunteer to teach yoga at women’s shelters, at my kids’ schools, for cancer, for sick kids, and others. I did this a few years ago, something I recommend to you, and it was an instant mood booster to bring some warmth.
9. Practice LIVING IN THE MOMENT – It’s a simple but powerful concept. Robin Roberts from GMA said something so powerful: “If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” That is the way to fully live happy and free – because if you’re not fully present in the moment, it’s as if THAT MOMENT DIDN’T EVEN HAPPEN.
10. Let go of grudges – There is a great saying, “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” It’s a new year, time to let go of those grudges. Studies show that holding a grudge is actually bad for your health. Grudges only hold YOU back, while the other person just goes on living their life. Forgiveness is your better option for happiness.
11. Buy a full spectrum lamp and consider a Vitamin B Complex or magnesium supplement to boost mood and serotonin levels (the happiness hormone). Also, remember foods like simple sugars decrease your serotonin levels – they do nothing to stimulate the ongoing production of serotonin.
12. Diffuse Essential Oils. Essential oils like lavender, sweet orange, and ylang ylang are proven to boost mood and energy. Check out the best on the market – GOOD VIBES from Bliss Essential.
13. Drink a cup of banana tea! Simply boil the banana skin in water for about 15 minutes, let it cool and then sip the water. After a two-year study, researchers from Taiwan found banana peel contains several ingredients that increase levels of serotonin, the happiness hormone.
14. This is an easy and obvious one: TAKE A DAILY WALK – But here is why I’m talking about it: the proof is in the pudding. Ladies, may I challenge you to just 20 minutes a day. Look at your brain neurons firing after just a 10 minute walk!
15. Meditate. I am grateful to have found meditation years ago, and am even more grateful to have become certified to teach it. I challenge you to give it a try. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Here is a 10 minute meditation for instant calm. Again, more proof in the pudding.
And finally I’d love to know, what makes YOU happy? What are YOUR happiness boosters?