From donuts for dinner to flexing a muscle you might not know you have here are some of my favorite tips to live happy!
1. Jump in the Balls: When a giant ball pit came to Washington I think I was more excited than my kids. In fact I was the first to jump in! As parents we are programmed to be the authoritative voice, the rule maker and all too often the serious one. Look for ways to be a kid again. For instance, every now and then we do "backwards dinner". That's where we go out for dessert first then follow up with supper. Try coloring too.. it's actually pretty therapeutic and they now have several books just for adults!
2. Use your "emotional muscle": GRATITUDE. I read an article in INC.Magazine that changed the way I look at everyday life. It simply referred to the the act of being thankful as a muscle. The more you use it the stronger and more resilient it becomes. When you have gratitude you have a natural awareness of the good in your life. As a result, you crave more goodness and become better prepared to face failure through the power of perspective. An exercise recommended included writing down happy moments of the day before bed. It could be as simple as making the cashier smile. They call this 'programming your brain' with positive thoughts. It's a way to practice focusing on the good. Don't get me wrong it's hard but the more you do it the easier it becomes.
3. Row row row your boat: Okay you don't have to give up your life savings to buy a boat. I'm talking about finding a way to get your body in motion. Sometimes I go to the gym and I just row on the row machine with my eyes closed for 15 minutes. Then I'll spend another 15 doing more cardio or strength training weights. It's actually relaxing even though my body is working. Truth is, the exercise is never intense ... just enough to get the blood flowing. Even then, sometimes I just don't wanna go. Then I remind myself of one thing "I'm just 30 minutes away from a better mood!"
4. Unleash your Peter Rabbit: Maybe there's something to that Peter Rabbit tale and his chamomile drinking ways afterall. Every night my daughter (4) and I sit down and share a cup of tea. It's our "night tea" and time to talk about the days highs and lows. We celebrate the highs and look for ways to avoid the lows tomorrow. There is just something sweet about winding down with a warm beverage I find it to be a nice, calm way to wrap the day.
5. Get caught in the "Self-Help" aisle at the bookstore: I use to be a die-hard self-help cynic. Ithought I was smart enough, strong enough, capable enough to keep looking up in life- alone. Then I came to the point where I had to admit I needed help. Maya Angelou once said "Words are things... they get on the walls. They get in your wall paper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes and finally in to you." It wasn't long before I figured out it was ok to seek motivation and words that move me to a better place. Suggested Reading: The Secret, Brene Brown, Robin Meade, Glennon Doyle, Beth Moore, Jen Hatmaker & Oprah Magazine.
For more on any of these tips feel free to tweet me @ohmygoff