I found myself longing for more fulfillment, deeper connections, heck, a connection at all, to feel and be… happier. At the time I was a working mother of young children, so I thought I didn’t have the time, energy, or money to invest in months of therapy or premium programs offered on the market to figure out ways to be happier. After lots of reading and research, and trial and errors, I found some simple techniques and habit that I am sharing with you, so you too can create and make subtle but significant, long-lasting changes in your life.  Most of all, live, be, and feel happier. 

 

Attitude of Gratitude: That’s right! You have all heard it before. I know this term sounds so cliché, but it is so important in shifting your mindset. There is a reason why you have all heard it before, and that’s because it’s ancient wisdom. When you wake up each day be thankful for what you have. Literally, go down a list on paper or in your head of all the things you are grateful for in your life. Commit to this practice for at least a week, but to create a longer lasting change do this for 30-90 consecutive days. Do your list first thing when you get up in the morning and at night when you go to bed. It is ok to do in your head, but it is more powerful when you put your pen to paper and write it down. Your brain sees the words you are writing and makes a connection, and it becomes more real because it places your focus and attention on what you are writing. This practice is an essential step because it will automatically shift your thoughts into focusing on positives (not the negatives), which will in return change your energy, mood, and feelings. I love this practice and it is my daily practice to keep me in my flow. I have done it for so long it’s second nature to me.  

Be Present in the NOW: What does that even mean? I am here aren’t I?! Being present means your mind, body, spirit have all shown up for you and your day in order to live a vibrant and full life. Many of us have a million things on our minds and don’t even realize that we are not fully present in the moment. We are running on auto-pilot mode. Remember the one thing you can never get back is time, so do you want to live your life stuck on auto-pilot or enjoy each moment, especially the special ones? When we are stuck in anger, our sorrows, what we don’t have or can’t do, the past (would have, could have, should have), or too busy trying to control everything then we are not fully present. You can say to yourself, “I am present. I am showing up for myself and my life today. Any negative thoughts and feelings that do not serve me I release them to the universe freeing myself and choosing to live a vibrant, happy life!”  

Do Something That Lights Your Spirit Up: Chose an activity that truly brings you joy and lights you up. Many of us have gotten stuck in the hustle of life- career, making that money, trying to compete with others and with an image that society says we must maintain to appear significant, powerful, liked, accepted. Somewhere we started living and chasing what we thought would make us happy. Some of it has, but some of it has also left us with an empty feeling. Make a plan to begin to notice and figure out what gets you excited, what stirs up passion inside of you. Start to choose to say “yes” to those things and “no” to things and people that do not line up with this, and that does not feel right to you.  

Sometimes we lose meaningful connections to others and to who we are. We are social creatures! We all want to feel connected and loved, this is a human need, so make time for some real, nurturing connections whether this is spending time connecting with friends and family. Spend time with those who fill you up and lift you up. Even if you don’t feel good or feel motivated to be in front of others, it can be helpful and mood changing to spend time with those who spread light to you. You can also do something nice for someone else. It has been said the quickest way to feel better about yourself is to help someone else. You don’t have to go to a retirement home and play games, although that is wonderful too, you can smile at someone and be kind if the thought of putting yourself out there scares you. You might even strike up a simple conversation or a simple gesture like giving positive feedback on a co-worker’s work performance or helping a neighbor with their bags. Being kind is free and can make a world of difference in someone’s life and your own, and it also is a starting point at reconnecting with others. If you are not sure how you can be helpful, you can google some ideas. I have seen many suggestions, pick one that feels right for you. There are also volunteer match agencies that can match you to your interest, availability, and location.  

Connect to Nature: We are part of nature, so it is important to reconnect to it mentally, physically, and emotionally. Most of us find ourselves caught up slaying it in life and with our goals- high stress all the time from juggling all the different hats we wear and responsibilities we take on. We get disconnected from nature and are conditioned to spend day in and day out in human-made structures moving us further away from our connection to nature. There are plenty of studies showing the benefits of being in nature and green spaces and the positive effects it has on our wellbeing, health, and happiness. Make it a weekly practice to take some time to be in nature. Observe your surroundings and its beauty. You can even take your shoes off and feel into it. Feel the ground below you. Notice the softness of the grass or the grains of the sand or dirt below you, feel the texture of a tree beside you. Feel the sunshine above you, and take in the magnificence around you. Breathe into it. Soak it up.  

De-stress and Recharge Your Batteries: This are important to your vitality as well. We need to nurture and honor our bodies as well as our minds. Destress at the end of your day. Visualization is a powerful technique that can be done anywhere. I enjoy meditations because they are replenishing and invigorating, but the truth is I don’t always have the time to do this being a mother of four and having a career. I have learned to work with what I have. Enjoying a hot shower while visualizing my stress and any negative or heavy energy running out of the body down the drain with the water. Sometimes my meditation comes in the form of prayer, or taking a walk and practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is what we discussed about being present in the here and now. On a walk, I am practicing mindfulness, connecting to nature by observing my surrounding, consciously paying attention to my breathing, all in the form of meditation. Another popular stress reliever to letting go of stress and center yourself is through your breath. Find a comfortable position, close your eyes, connect to your breath, and observe it. Notice how it flows in and out of your body. Allowing it to fill up your lungs and leave your body. As thoughts come up simply acknowledge them and consciously let them pass as you refocus on your breath.   

Lastly, make sure you are consistently replenishing and rejuvenating your body by drinking plenty of water and getting enough quality sleep. There are many benefits to getting a good night’s sleep and keeping hydrated with plenty of research to back it. Some of my favorites are health, beauty, and wellbeing, in a nutshell. I keep a water bottle with me at all times to ensure I remember to drink water throughout the day. I also make it habit to do my gratitude then breathing exercise before bed to put myself in a good vibration and to relax making it easier for me to fall asleep.  

While true happiness takes time, commitment, and effort, I know by implementing these simple steps you are off to a start in living a happier life! I hope you enjoyed this blog.  

In your journal please answer: 

  1. What do I do that lights up my soul? And, in which ways do I enjoy connection with others?
  2. How do I connect to nature? 
  3. What do I find recharging and rejuvenating on a daily or weekly basis?

Thank you for sharing, and for your bravery to share honestly, and open-heartedly in our conversations. Your shares and light inspire me and those around you: We rise together!   

Do you have friends, family or colleagues who could find value in this article? Share this post. 

With all my love, 

Christina Sofia

 

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