You deserve to be happy, but there are days when it’s easy to get sucked into negativity and despair. When nothing seems to go your way. When the craziness around you starts to influence your own thoughts. When you wish you were as awesome as so and so… I have discovered a few tricks to help create happiness for yourself.
There are a few simple strategies that you can implement today to start increasing your levels of happiness. Every day is a new opportunity for growth and today you can choose to honor your right to whole-hearted happiness. I tend to believe that we can all try to find the beauty in life, even when life seems to be very challenging. It may be difficult to learn to do this, but we can choose to see the negative or smile through life’s challenges with grace.
Let Go of Perfection
When you expect perfection, you set yourself up for disappointment. Because nobody’s perfect, and thinking you need to be is just setting yourself up for failure. Or worse, for not even starting.
On the road of self-improvement, there will be potholes, cracks in the pavement, and distractions on the sidelines. This is completely normal and natural. Judging yourself too harshly for not being perfect is a major happiness killer.
I tend to see many people with a “when-then” frame of mind. This is when someone says when I get that dream job, then I’ll be happy. When I lose 10 pounds, then I will be happy. This is setting yourself up for failure. I also see the “all or nothing” mindset. Say for example, on Monday you start a new eating plan that is quite restrictive and you do great but as soon as Tuesday afternoon rolls around you find yourself starving from such a restrictive eating plan that you stop and get a delicious pastry. Then you feel horrible because you view that food as “bad” so you decide to give up and binge eat for the rest of the evening. You tell yourself, I messed up already so next Monday I will start my diet again.
There are many problems with this. The first is the restrictive eating plan, to begin with. We eat to fuel our bodies and if done correctly, we get healthier, have more energy, and in turn naturally, the weight will come off. The second problem is viewing foods as “good” and “bad” foods. Lastly, is the idea if we aren’t perfect with our eating then we should just give up and continue to eat foods we know might not make us feel good and or fuel us properly. The best thing to do is to just make a healthier choice during the next snack or meal. Add in extra vegetables to your dinner.
Don’t punish yourself if you didn’t eat that grilled chicken salad you planned on eating for lunch. Instead speak to yourself the same way you would talk to your best friend, with love and grace.
BEGIN WHERE YOU ARE NOW
When we wait for all the conditions to be perfect before we start working on a goal, it sets up the tone for failure right from the beginning. This is because, with any goal setting, the conditions will never be perfect. Life is full of curveballs and obstacles on a daily basis. The key is to start. Start whenever you are because every step toward that goal is progress. Remember that no change is too small to be effective.
Creating healthy habits and finding ways to boost your happiness is all about starting small and progressively building upon those habits. For example, say you drink several sodas a day and your goal is to drink more water, try to replace one soda a day with a full glass of water. This is a nonrestrictive way of implementing a new healthy habit into your life without overwhelming yourself with so many rules and changes.
Try journaling daily on how you feel. Take note of any changes in energy levels or maybe your persistent constipation issues are less frequent. Once you start to recognize how these small changes can impact your body and mind, you are more likely to keep it up and thus, it inspires you to make other healthy changes with your current health habits.
Eat More Fermented Foods and Probiotics
Fermented foods might not seem to have much to do with happiness from the outside but on the inside, they make a huge difference. By adding probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, miso, yogurt, and kombucha into your diet, you’ll strengthen your body’s ability to produce serotonin, the happy hormone.
Serotonin is produced in large amounts in the gut, but when our gut bacteria isn’t healthy, our bodies have a hard time producing serotonin and transporting it to our brains.
The gut is often referred to as the second brain and for good reason. A balanced probiotic-rich gut makes it easy to produce hormones that flood the brain with positive feelings. Recent studies are even looking to probiotics as a way to treat depression and anxiety! (1)
Watch Your Thoughts
Thoughts are wonderful and wicked at the same time. They can build you up or they can hold you back from taking action towards what you want.
The only way to really know what’s going on in your own head is to sit down and watch the movie that only you can see. Through the daily practice of sitting down and watching the thoughts pass through you without judgment, you can start to understand yourself better.
This is a place where massive growth happens. If you notice a lot of negative self-talk you can consciously take action to switch it around. This one action alone, even for just a few minutes a day, can increase your happiness and decrease your stress tenfold. These simple mind shifts can help create happiness for yourself without much effort. I hope that you try out one or all three of these simple ways to create happiness.
CONNECT AND LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS YOUR FAVORITE WAYS YOU BOOST YOUR HAPPINESS!
I hope this article about easy ways to create happiness for yourself was helpful and you can start finding more ways to create happiness. You can also connect with me @Eat_Your_Nutrition on Instagram. I love seeing your photos. #EatYourNutrition #LauraVillanueva
- Slyepchenko A, Carvalho AF, Cha DS, Kasper S, McIntyre RS. Gut emotions – mechanisms of action of probiotics as novel therapeutic targets for depression and anxiety disorders. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2014;13(10):1770-86. doi: 10.2174/1871527313666141130205242. PMID: 25470391.