1) Choose it. Seriously, this is one of the hardest practices to implement, and it won’t always be easy, but it will change your life. Only YOU control how you feel. Yes, you are going to have days where it seems like every single thing is going wrong, but amidst all of that you have to choose to show and up and be happy. I’m not saying you should hide all the bad stuff and act like it isn’t there, but the overall motto is to get happy and stay happy. And instead of chasing happiness, eliminate what doesn’t make you happy. It’s really that simple. Taking full control and responsibility of your emotions and happiness (e.g., stop relying on others or that one thing to make you happy) will be the best decision you will ever make because if you are in control, then you have no excuse as to why you aren’t happy. Don’t let a bad five minutes ruin your whole day because there are way too many beautiful things to be happy about! Remember, gratitude is everything. I challenge you to write down five things in your life that make you incredibly happy. Focus on those five things when you are having a “bad” day and I promise it will improve your mood.
2) Do something you loved to do when you were little. Our inner child is ALWAYS there. Embrace her/him and do something that your 8-year-old self would have loved to do! And let me give you a hint . . . it DOESN’T involve your iPhone, laptop, social media or alcohol. My favorite mini-Marisa activity? Riding my bike! It’s fun and freeing. I love the wind in my hair and pedaling around my neighborhood, smiling and waving to others, and just taking it all in. It’s an instant mood boost for me every time. Some other ideas – roller skating, jump rope, cartwheels, drawing with chalk (seriously, the best), blowing bubbles, splashing around in the pool, playing in the rain, catching fire flies, coloring, puzzles, and so much more. Making time for play and having fun is so important. If you can’t imagine doing one of these activities by yourself, then it’s time you stop taking yourself so seriously! Just do it! Life is supposed to be fun! However, I am sure a friend would love to join you 🙂
3) Go on a walk. Taking a walk in the sunshine is scientifically proven to boost your mood! Just a 20-minute walk outside in the fresh air will leave you feeling uplifted and much more at peace. You can be alone with your thoughts and work through them while you walk, all while enjoying nature and your surroundings. A little bit of intentional movement combined with positive thoughts will go a long way in changing your outlook. As an added bonus I typically walk barefoot depending on the season and where I am. Yep, outside, in the grass/sand/trail barefoot. This is a method referred to as “earthing,” and it has incredible benefits, including effortless healing. In a nutshell: When we make direct contact with the surface of the Earth our bodies receive a charge of energy that makes us feel better, fast. If you are interested in learning more about this incredible practice, start here.
4) Listen to a feel-good podcast. Everyone that knows me IRL, knows that I am obsessed with my daily dose of podcasts. I have some favorites that I listen to regularly and they help shape my day! And on days I am feeling blah, they really give me that boost and motivation to show up and get back to it! Two of my favorites when I need a boost are Lori Harder’s “Earn Your Happy,” (the name says it all!!), and Lewis Howes’ “School of Greatness.” Their episodes are always so thoughtful, and will no doubt leave you motivated and inspired to be your best self so that you can do the great things you were meant to do. Remember, when you are in a sour mood there is no way in hell you are going to show up and be great. Happiness is a magnet for all the best things in life. Please don’t waste a single moment missing out on those.
5) Remind yourself that you can think short-term and long-term at the same time. This was one of the greatest pieces of advice I have ever received (thank you, hubby!). You know those days where you want everything to be perfect and you want it all right now, but then you quickly realize those long-term goals aren’t going to be put into place by tomorrow, so then you freak out that it will never happen? That’s called being overwhelmed. And being overwhelmed will not bring happiness. Not being happy, means not showing up as your best self and losing out on important moments of growth. During those freak outs, you really need to be mindful and dial it in. Come back to being present and centered. Break down that long-term, bigger goal into smaller, more manageable short-term goals. What short-term goals can you set for yourself today that will assist you in achieving your long-term goals? Write those down, take action and review those short-term achievements when you need to remind yourself how far you’ve come. I always remind myself that sometimes you have to get off track to get on the right track, and that may mean making a short-term move that will help you greatly for your long-term plans. You’ve got this!
Go get your happy on!