7 HABITS TO HAPPINESS
In a day in age where many might feel like they are being stripped of their happiness, it's important to understand Happiness from an energetic point of view. When we take a step back and look at happiness from the knowing that everything on earth is energy, we can better understand what emotions (energy in motion) induced by habits are worth engaging with. Everything, everyone and every thought carry different vibrations and a vibration can better be described as a state of being, or the energetic quality of a person, place, thought, or thing. As human beings our vibrations are composed of not just our physical matter but also the way we communicate with the thoughts. Each emotion carries a unique vibrations, Abraham Hick's emotional guidance scale does an amazing job at simplifying the energetic vibrations linked to emotions. When you are vibrating at a higher level, you may notice and/or feel a sense of peace, ease and happiness, as opposed to lower vibrations that may have you feeling depressed, anxious, angry and overwhelmed.
At some point or another we have all felt the temptation to succumb to low vibrations, especially as we make our way out of a global pandemic, those temptations maybe higher than ever. Being aware of our state of being physically, mentally and emotionally can help us take that first step to redirecting our efforts into raising our energetic vibration. This can hands down be one of the best gifts you can, not just gift yourself, but to the world around you. After all energy is contagious and it most defiantly doesn't lie! So now that we have a better understanding of the energetic frequency associated with emotions, lets zoom in on these 7 habits to building a foundation of happiness.
By now we may have all heard the word MINDFULNESS, but what exactly does this practice actually consist of and do we really reap as many benefits as they say it can?
In the most simplest terms, practicing mindfulness looks a lot like living in the moment. It consist of cultivating awareness in the present moment, whether you are placing your attention within or around you, you are putting your attention and focus in the moment.
Though this practice sounds simple, slowing down and being present in the moment and with yourself may actually be seem like a waste of time for some, after all we live in a society/culture where the pressure to work harder, faster, and relentlessly to reach our goals. However, this very practice can have the power to lead you out of exhaustion, anxiousness, and disconnect, especially if life has you feeling burnout.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA) the list of benefits from this old age practice can range from emotional, phycological to physiological issues like: reducing anxiety, stress, and rumination, while also boosting memory, focus, cognitive flexibility, and even relationship satisfactions amongst many many more benefits. I guess its safe to say, the benefits of this practice is worth the practice! For all my curious cats, you can get the a detailed scoop on the benefits of Mindfulness my visiting APA .
MY GO TOO MINDFULNESS PRACTICE:
Let go of the distractions and practice Mindful Eating. Again, this one might seem a lot harder than it sounds as life is constantly pulling us in the different directions with multiple distractions at our fingertips, literally. As we continue to advance in the digital era, we have to make a conscious effort to ditch the digital distractions especially during meal times. Not only will this practice help you to be more present and connected as you enjoy your meal, this also helps to prep the body for proper digestion and absorption of your meal. This simple practice can be a game changer for those suffering from digestive issues!
2. SOCIAL CONNECTIONS
Social connections are a key to happiness for several different reasons and our mental health and wellness makes it to the top of the list. As we slowly (but surely) make our way into new ways post pandemic, I think its safe to say we all experienced some type of disconnect during the past few years. A recent Harvard study was able to put this social distancing into prospective through numbers showing us how lonely our nations truly is. As numbers have skyrocketed into disconnect and loneliness, now more than ever we must take the time to understand how important human connections can be in our day to day life and our overall health and wellness.
So if happiness is something you are after, let this be our friendly reminder to make time for those closest to us, but most definitely do not close yourself off to new connections. No matter how big or small your circle is, quality over quantity is key here. If social interaction has you feeling overwhelmed, just know you are not alone. Even though we were in a global pandemic, individually we each had our own unique pandemic experience. Whether the pandemic left behind some biG T's (trauma) or little T's in your inner world, its important to recognize if not wanting to connect is a coping mechanism or if we are in need of some quality time alone. Dont get me wrong,
alone time is more than essential but we are spiritual beings having a human experience and its in our DNA to thrive off human connections, we weren't designed to live a life in pure solitude or isolation.
3. HAVE A ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
Gratitude truly is the new attitude here as research has revealed the enormous power of simply counting our blessings and acting from a space of gratitude over grief, guilt or anger. A research study done by Berkeley found significant impacts of their mental health and overall brain activity. Findings from Joshua Brown, Ph.D. & Joel Wong, Ph.D study suggests that, "gratitude writing can be beneficial not just for healthy, well-adjusted individuals, but also for those who struggle with mental health concerns." Having an attitude of gratitude just might be the new way, as the more we have an attitude of gratitude the more we can cultivate optimism, better health and greater satisfaction with life. Dont overthink this one, as you can truly invite gratitude into all parts of your life.
TRY IT NOW:
Take a break from reading and turn your attention to your surroundings, what are you thankful for (there is ALWAYS something)? Maybe its the clothes on your back, the roof over your head, the shoes on your feet, the body senses that have the power to experience life? What is it for you in this moment? Notice the feelings/emotions that arise asn you show gratitude for the big/small gifts of life.
4. MOVE MINDFULLY
The power of moving our bodies goes far being the physical body. Regular exercise has been shown to not just increase self-esteem but also reduce anxiety and stress. While everyday life can be quick to contribute to the release of stress hormones, like the famous cortisol, engaging in movement is not only an amazing way to release muscular tension but also helps in the release of the feel good hormones (aka endorphins). These chemical reactions in the body post exercise have the ability to trigger positive feelings in the mind and body.
When choosing a form of exercise the main thing is to move mindfully by taking time to listen to the body and see what type of movement you truly need. It's easy to get trapped into mindset that the sweat life is the only way to achieve results. However, over engagement of strenuous, high intensity workouts can be physically demanding and cause more harm than good in the long run, especially when not coupled with proper rest. It's important to understand that our body needs the time to slow down to rest, digest, repair and recover for overall health and wellness. But in all honesty, every body requires something different, which is why working with a licensed personal trainer/health coach can take some of the work out of the workout by helping you build a balanced exercise routine to suite your life. Our bodies are in constant change but making mindful movement a way of life is the perfect recipe for cultivating more strength in the body and peace of mind.
MINDFUL MOVEMENT TIP
Take the time to truly listen to your body and honor its needs. We may have a workout plan set but the truth is our body doesn't always function according to our plans. If you truly feel inclined to move despite feeling tired, opt for a walk in nature or a light stretch.
5. FORGIVENESS GIVES
The art of forgiving, whether that be to yourself or someone else, has been linked to the activation of the Parasympathetic Nervous system, better known as the rest and digest system that is responsible for several bodily functions. While forgiveness is just 1 of the many practices that can activate this part of our nervous system, there are several self care tools that can activate peace of mind. By now you may or may not be wondering what can happen when we don't forgive. Long story short, our minds can be our best friends and biggest enemy at the same time. Whether real or perceived, a thought alone can send our body into fight-or-flight (opposite of rest and digest) activating the Sympathetic Nervous System. Over stimulation of the SNS can occur when a person is put under prolonged stress, which can cause havoc on the human body mentally, physically and emotionally. Forgiveness can not only lead us to the releasing of suppressed emotions, it can be helpful to the mind and body by helping us self regulate and bring the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems more in balance.
If something has been weighing heavy on your heart but you cant find the right words to say, try writing a letter of forgiveness. The options to deliver that letter is optional but the main purpose behind this exercise is to release some, if not all of the emotions that have been suppressed.
6. EATING HIGH VIBE MEALS
Everything you consume from the foods you eat to the drinks we drink are loaded with life-force. I like to simplify this by looking at it as either consuming "live" or "dead" energy. A diet that consist mainly of “dead” energy
(aka meat, fried foods, or processed foods), has the power to lower your vibration. By eating nutrient-dense foods high in vital nutrients, like local and organic fruits and vegetables, your body has the opportunity to absorbs the rich life force of the foods, which can help raise your vibrations through its energetic state, making you feel more vibrant, and alive. While High-vibration food has the power to raise a person’s vibration, its important to recognize bio-individuality and take into considerations that what might work for one person, may not work for another. Every body processes foods different (yes even the good for you foods), which is why I personally think seeking help can be key to finding a diet that suits you best! I say this from personal experience as I found that working with a functional nutritionist was key to managing not just my gut health but also my mental health and well being.
7. ACTS OF KINDNESS
Spreading kindness truly is a win win gesture here. Not only are you spreading love to those in need but studies have shown that being kind to others also make us feel good. A study done by Journal of Social Psychology witnessed the effects of acts of kindness by measuring life satisfaction pre/ post the spread of kindness. And just as expected, the random ( but not so random in this case study) resulted in an increase of life satisfaction/happiness after engaging in acts of kindness.
Need some kindness ideas, Other than the common sense kindness of always saying please and thank you? Here are some more common favorites you can add to your monthly acts of kindness bucket list.
Write a thank you note/letter to someone in your life
Give a friend/stranger a compliment
Buy someone flowers or even yourself (yes showing yourself kindness matters)
Pick up litter, because hey Earth deserves kindness too!
Surprise someone with coffee/tea
Hide inspirational messages for your kids/loved ones to find!
Donate to charity
Volunteer at your local food bank
Pray for your loved ones!
Check in with you're friends, dont wait for then to check in with you. We are all going through things, its ok to put your differences/difficulties aside and just genuinely check in to see if they are doing ok!
CAN THESE 7 HABITS REALLY MAKE ME HAPPY?
The truth is cultivating happiness can look different for us all, depending on whatever life has you going and growing through, somedays may come as a breeze while others may have you feeling like the sun may never shine again. Adversity doesn't discriminate, and we are all bound to encounter the high and lows of life. but its how we choose to act or react through adversity is what can shapeshifter our future. Acknowledging that concept alone can be a great foundation for, not just living a happier life but also building resiliency within.
Let's be honest, the list does far beyond these 7 habits and doing these 7 things 1 time may not bring you all the happiness in the world. However, all these small acts done daily multiple times a day will eventually make and impact to last. The important thing here is to create a happiness toolkit that works for YOU and keep the list long, don't limit yourself to just the 7 habits. As long as you choose healthy habits that help in raising your vibration (literally down to your cellular level) you're on the right track to cultivating happiness.
with Amor & Aloha,