The game of life can be challenging at times. Using these “players tips” will find yourself leveling up your sense of happiness in no time!
Be Happier Power-Ups
1. Dress for Game Day
This means shower and get dressed for the day.
I know this seems like a “EWWW! You have to put this on a list??!!” kinda thing, but let me tell you, when you are in a slump, just getting into the shower can be a Herculean effort. Showering and getting dressed for the day (not throwing on ratty pants and a t-shirt, but actually getting dressed) refocuses your energy and makes you feel like you’re ready to take on anything…and keeps you from being the mayor of Funky Town.
2. Grab Those Health Packs
This means nourish your body.
Eat good food. Don’t start your day with a blood sugar crashing donut – opt for something you know is going to make you feel good physically. You are already trying to tackle a mental funk, why heap a physical burden on top of it by eating crap?
Advanced Player Tip: Take a quality liquid vitamin, probiotics and B-12. It’s like a zap of go-go juice in the keester and will keep you playing strong all day long.
3. Stretch It Out
Yes, I’m serious. I remembered when I first tried it, I laughed…”Sure lady, I’ll bend myself into a pretzel, it’ll be easy!” But now I really enjoy it and do at least a 15 min session daily. Yoga helps to reconnect your body and mind – don’t believe me? There are studies to back this up. You can check out the biological science, the neuroscience and the psychological research. Just freaking try it.
Don’t have a yoga studio near by or can’t afford it? NO PROBLEM! Here come the inter-webs to save the day! Just pop over to YouTube and enter “yoga for beginners“, you’ll find a TON of yoga videos to get you started. You could also tackle this “old-school” and head to the library and check out a yoga DVD or video (for FREE) or even head to the local recreation center – many offer free or very low-cost yoga classes. There is even a church in my area that offers a weekly yoga class for the cost of a donation to the food pantry (aka “a canned good”). So, no excuses folks! Bend yourself into a pretzel today!
Here’s a 20 minute video for beginners to get you started…(I know, I rock).
4. Bust A Move
Uh-huh, I said DANCE. You don’t have to hit the club. You don’t have to let anyone watch. Just shake your groove thang to your favorite music. We already know there is science to back up the physical and emotional benefits of moving your body, add music to the mix and a little sweat and POW! You have leveled up some serious joy in your life.
Parent Player Bonus: Just turn on some music and get-down with your kids…like this guy…
5. Quiet Your Mind
Meditation centers you. It gives you focus. It lets you function better in the world. It opens up a well of energy inside you that you didn’t know you had.Click To Tweet The problem is that most of us don’t know how to meditate. No problem! Download an app (I personally recommend HeadSpace) or go on YouTube and enter “guided meditation” into the search bar. Shazam! Free guided meditations at your fingertips.
Here’s one to get you started…
See? You feel better already. Seriously though, meditate. Find a real guided meditation and use it. You can thank me later.
6. Reach Out and Touch Someone
Hugs and Cuddles.
If you don’t get how this works then you probably don’t like pandas either. Move along.
But seriously, it has been proven that physical touch is required for the very basic sense of well-being and happiness. Babies die if they are not touched. You can feel them and change them and do all that stuff to keep them alive, but if they are not touched, they will wither and die. THAT is how important physical touch is. So grab your partner and hug it out. Grab your one of those people you made (we call them kids) and squeeze ’em tight. Don’t have a kid yet? Go grab your parent, best friend…someone…and give them a BIG hug!
Don’t have someone to cuddle with? Get a massage. The physical touch of massage will level up your sense of happy quicker than a fight will break out over a flat screen TV on Black Friday at Wal-Mart.
Can’t afford a massage? Get a pet. There are always FREE pets being listed on Craig’s List. Find one. Hug it and squeeze it and call it George. Again there is science to back up the benefits of having a pet.
7. Show Us Your Teeth
Smile, Better Yet, LAUGH!
I didn’t realize how much a smile changed everything about how I felt. Even a fake one. Try it. Think of something that makes you smile (maybe a hug or puppies) and pay attention to how you feel.
Pro Tip: Laugh. Laugh your ass off and see how much better your feel Laughter release feel good hormones in your brain. It’s an automatic pick me up.
I dare you to watch this and not laugh. You can’t help it.
You feel better don’t you? Crazy how that works.
Sometimes I just tell myself to smile and it gives me the energy to power through whatever miserable task (laundry) that I am facing.
8. For The Love of Gawd Go Outside
Sunshine and Going Outdoors.
Feeling drained and unmotivated? Sunlight is energy. Absorb some. ‘Nuff said.
Here’s the deal, going outside does the following:
- It increases brain function (and concentration)
- It increases creativity
- It is a natural “pick-me-up” as effective on your brain as a cup of coffee.
- It increases your Vitamin D intake (and you can only get it from the sun…10-15 minutes of sunlight is all you need). Vitamin D helps with bone strength, immune function, inflammation, and releases “happy hormones” in the brain.
- It helps you sleep better.
- It increases your positive outlook.
9. Become Mindful
Be In The Moment.
What the fuck does that mean? It means get OUT of your head and pay attention to what is happening right NOW. You can practice with a cup of coffee. Pay attention to just the coffee. How does it taste? Smell? What is the temperature? What color is it? How does the cup feel in your hand? How does it feel on your lips? In your belly. Be mindful of JUST drinking your cup of coffee (or tea). You can do it in the shower too. How does the soap smell? The water feel? You get the idea. Being mindful keeps you from WASTING energy by thinking all those same-old-thoughts about how you “need to do this or should get that done” it keeps you in the moment.
You can also try active listening. Just stop for a moment and listen. Listen for all the very far away sounds. The cool thing about active listening (and you’ll know this is true if you just tried it) is that you cannot focus on anything else while you try to hear something…it puts you INSTANTLY into the moment.
10. Be On The Look Out
Observe Your Emotions.
Huh? Observe my emotions? I don’t see them, I feel them!
By using a process called “labeling” you can reduce your stress and anxiety by up to 60%. What is labeling? It is the process of “naming” what you are feeling. This one takes some practice (and the meditation helps). But whet ends up happening is that you are able to identify what you are feeling with some objective distance. Why would you want that? Well, instead of simply reacting to your emotions you can now act with integrity despite your emotions.
“Oh look there, that is anger. I am feeling anger. Interesting.”
And you find yourself still able to be level-headed and deal with a situation without loosing your temper or shouting or throwing that vase across the room. Just try to become aware of your emotions and observe them without judgement. Think of them as cars passing by on the freeway – red car, blue car, white car. This keeps you from wasting energy on acting out in ways that aren’t really “you”.
Andy from Head Space does an ah-mazing job of explaining this in a short video…
BOOM BABY! You’ve Just Leveled Up Your Happiness
Even if you only tried one of these tips (and I sure hope you watched that laughing baby) you should be at least 1% happier than you were when you started reading this. Put these tips into daily practice and watch your happiness, satisfaction and joy soar. You will be happier if you do these things…promise.
Many of you may have noticed that I did not include “gratitude” in this list. (face palm!) You are right!
Here’s your bonus tip….
11. Be Thankful
Show Some Gratitude, Dude.
Being thankful is one of the easiest ways to increase your “happy” and is just a good habit to get into. We often get stuck thinking about all the things we don’t have. Take a moment and be grateful for what you do have. You’ll feel instantly better. If you don’t, you aren’t doing it right. Try again. When you are truly grateful you are moved, you appreciate, you see beauty where you could only see ugliness before. If this is difficult for you, keep trying, it will get easier. Take time everyday to be thankful. Do it when you wake up, or at meals or before bed, but just do it! Acknowledge your blessings and watch your heart open up and the happiness flow in.