Apr 5 | BE BEYOND

Choosing Happiness

Happiness – a seemingly elusive word with a variety of individual definitions. Lately, I have been thinking about my own; how it relates to my business and personal life and found myself met with an overwhelming amount of “shoulds” (take caution with “shoulds” as you can end up “should’ing” all over yourself…) I needed to stop and focus on goals and the foundation behind them. The more I processed, the more I realized I was coming from a place of fear: the fear of not being relevant, seen, included or happy.  The truth is being happy isn’t about being relevant or included – being happy is about being happy.

We live in this crazy world that teaches us in order to be happy we must first achieve the status of “enough;” rich enough, smart enough, pretty enough, funny enough…but “enough” is a far-fetched illusion. Happiness is the true launching point. 

I am not claiming this is easy; I’m just saying it’s the way. The first step begins with accepting “I am happy” as your truth and then continues by implementing and regularly reminding yourself of it. Remember, we are all the same and we are all scared at times. Do not ever think you are alone. I am here to let you know that no one escapes fear, doubt and insecurity – it’s just a matter of how you choose to deal with it. I have a full, successful and beautiful life and I too struggle with maintaining happiness as my truth. I have to work at it every day, because no thing, person or success can make you really happy. Only you make you happy by choosing to be so.  

I trust in the truth that I am where I am supposed to be. I’ve discovered the more honest you get with yourself and those around you, the more authentic your life becomes and the clearer your vision gets. The happiness choice is hard yet rewarding work, and beyond possible when you set your mind to it. As I sit and type this, I feel excited to continue on this path with the sincere hope that my journey will inspire and elevate others in kind.

FOR A QUICK JOLT OF HAPPINESS TRY ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: 

1. Exercise – boosts the “feel good” brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress. It’s even one of the most effective prevention and treatment strategies for depression

2. Adorn Your Home With Fresh Flowers – People who looked at flowers first thing in the morning reported feeling happier and more energetic. Just be sure your cut flowers come from organic growers (or your own backyard).

3. Think Happy and Smile – Simply thinking about a positive event, and smiling as a result, can make you happier and more upbeat.

4. Go Outside – Exposure to bright outdoor light is crucial for a positive mood, in part because regular exposure to sunlight will helps to enhance your mood and energy through the release of endorphins. Getting sun exposure outdoors will also help you optimize your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency has long been associated with both seasonal and chronic depression

5. Meditate – Meditation is an underutilized tool to optimize mental health. Not only is it helpful for stress relief and gaining greater self-awareness, but it has also been shown to alter the structures of your brain for the better, including reducing activity in the “me” centers of your brain.

6. Play With Your Pet – Couples who own pets are less stressed by conflicts and recover quicker when conflicts occur. Pet-owning couples also report more signs of happiness and sociability than non pet-owning couples. Elderly dog owners also report being more satisfied with their social, physical and emotional states.

7. Listen to Music – Music triggers activity in the part of your brain that releases dopamine and is involved in forming expectations. One study found listening to music even resulted in less anxiety and lower cortisol levels among patients about to undergo surgery than did taking anti-anxiety drugs.

8. Eat Dark Chocolate – Like exercise, chocolate may trigger your brain to produce and prolong the feel-good effects of the “bliss compound” anandamide. Chocolate has even been referred to as “the new anti-anxiety drug.” One study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology also revealed that people drinking an antioxidant-rich chocolate drink equal to about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily felt calmer than those who did not.

9. Get or Give a Hug – Hugging is known to lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol. Hugging also activates the parts of the brain linked to feelings of reward and compassion. 

For more, check out the full post on The Huffington Post.

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"Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love." —Brené Brown

  • I am Beautiful.
  • I'MPERFECT.
  • I Belong.
  • I am Kind.
  • I am Me.
  • I Live my Life Beyond.