Have you ever wanted to be a little happier than you are? When you see someone smiling and enjoying their life, do you wish you had a little piece of that? You are not alone in your feelings. Everyone experiences sadness or depression at one time or another. Some people are simply better than others at covering it up. It's hard to picture that a person who may smile beautifully in public may later go home and sink into a state of depression.
The truth is that when we tend to mull over and think about negative situations or conversations, it affects our mood. Watching too much TV and bad news can also affect us negatively. Hanging with the wrong crowd, eating too much sugar and simple carbs, not getting enough sunlight, avoiding friends and family can all affect our happiness and drag us into the pits. To be happy, we have to break the negative cycles.
Have you ever heard the phrase "the mental affects the physical"? According to studies, it's true. When we don't move enough throughout the day and get plenty of oxygen to our brain, we tend to get "down". Depressions starts to become chronic when feelings start to get in the way of health, relationships, happiness, and productivity. It's important to choose the right thoughts and get the blood circulating to our brain.
I read a study in Psychology Today about exercise (particularly swimming) and depression. The article revealed "the impact of swimming and how it stimulates brain chemicals that foster the growth of nerve cells, neurotransmitters, serotonin which influences our mood for the better, and produces ANP, a stress-reducing hormone, which helps control the brain’s response to stress and anxiety." (How Swimming Reduces Depression By Therese J. Borchard Associate Editor). Some doctors are prescribing swimming for their depressed patients and taking their patients off Prozac!
Practice healthy mental and physical habits daily. If you want to change your life from a negative and depressed life to a happy and energetic one, you first have to change what you think about. Thinking or saying things, like "I'm tired," "I don't feel like it", or "Whats the point?" won't change your mood. Watching depressing movies, news and engaging with negative people adds to a sapped mental state. You must set your mind on breaking those negative patterns and start replacing those thoughts (and sometimes people) with positive ones. Start saying things like "I'm full of energy!", or "I'm going to have a great day today!" or "I feel healthy and vibrant!" It's not about ignoring what's happening in the world. It's about balancing your precious time and being mindful of where you spend your mental energy.
We can control what we watch, talk about, eat, and do for our morning routine. Awareness is the key to breaking old patterns that are not giving us what we want - satisfaction and happiness.
Here are five ideas to help you get on the right track.
1. Get up and be grateful. Being thankful first thing in the morning is an excellent way to train your brain for positivity.
2. Listen to your favorite music or podcast while sipping your favorite tea or beverage. Create your own environment with the energy you want to feel and experience.
3. Pass up social media, mail and news in all forms for the beginning of your day. Too many people allow their time to get sucked up in other people's rants. Stay positive- news and drama can wait until later.
4. Expand your mind by learning something new. Want to learn French? Want to learn a new skill? There's nothing stopping you. Do it!! It's good for your brain and fosters well-being.
5. Get some social interaction. Have lunch with a friend. If you can't do that then go for a walk or bike ride through a park or drive to your local coffee shop. It's nice to bring your computer and sip a beverage and talk to people.
5. Exercise daily. Twenty minutes of vigorous walking, running, swimming, dancing, is healthy both mentally and physically. If you want to do more- do it! Remember to have fun and be free.
There are no rules. It's your time. Enjoy it!
Are there some things I left out that you feel would be helpful? Share them below!
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