Why You Need a "Happiness Routine!"
I have a secret to tell you....
I'm not a natural optimist.
If you know me....you would find that SUPER hard to believe because I am very outgoing and bubbly. I'm loud and interact with people easily and most times people catch me mid-laugh and clapping my hands like a seal to some joke I've either heard or thought of.
So....why is it that I actually think of myself as a pessimist?
Well, because I am. My natural tendency is to look for what could go wrong before I consider what could go right....I often envision every action that could lead to failure...and how I won't get the things I want or need. I imagine the "worst" case scenario BEFORE I imagine the best and I'm often heard complaining by those who I feel closest to.
Yep. It's true. Ask my boyfriend-he definitely knows. lol ;)
I also know I'm a pessimist because my boyfriend is a TOTAL optimist...he thinks very different than I do-proving to myself that I simply don't think the way he does.
Now, am I most the pessimistic person I know? Definitely not.
I can list a few people I would give that honor too but that would be in poor taste. lol
So how can I, a pessimist, appear to be so optimistic?
Well cause I have a "happiness routine"!
If you're not a naturally optimistic, worry free, happy go lucky type of person....it's vital that you have habits that will lift your spirits and remind you to stay focused on the GOOD things in life rather than worry over the bad. We spend so much time focusing on the bad and yet most times it doesn't even happen OR it happens because we were looking for SOMETHING to go wrong.
So how can you create your own routine? Well take a look down below for some ideas!
1. Watch Disney Movies or Cartoons
This woman scored a PERFECT SCORE on a happiness test-meaning she's INCREDIBLY happy and you know what she attributes to her happiness? CARTOONS! They always have happy endings and/or a lesson and their goal is to simply bring a smile to your face. Watching Disney Movies always reminds me of simplier and more whimsical times and it puts things in perspective for me.
I love to use ASMR to relax, fall asleep, or calm down after a panic attack or a lot of stress. Being that I have anxiety, it's easy for my mind and body to overreact to situations that aren't dangerous so having multiple ways to relax is vital for my mental health. ASMR has been one of the most effective triggers to remind my body that I am safe and things will turn out ok. I love ones that focus on the ears but when I need to calm down.... Reiki videos are my favorite since their purpose is to help "remove the negative energy" I feel. Side note: I love to listen to these while I go to bed or am getting ready for bed. I also find them helpful when I'm working/writing. USE HEADPHONES FOR BEST TRIGGERS
Yes, I like to color like a 5 year old. There are studies out there that talk about the positive benefits of coloring for adults and there are a ton of coloring books that will make even the most skeptical person sit down to color. lol Check out the coloring book my boyfriend gave me for my birthday. <3 lol
4. Taking Trips!
I ALWAYS feel better when I get out of my routine and go somewhere new. That is a MAJOR way for me to raise my vibes and feel more excited about my life. If you struggle with feeling hopeless, bored with your daily life/job/relationships/routine, or find yourself being incredibly negative... GET OUT! Listen, I believe that we are meant to get out and EXPLORE the world around us-not just sit in our makeshift caves and mope about. Switch up your routine and take a vacation to a new location. Plan a trip out of state or to a fancy place you've always wanted to go to (like Disney World!) Now, if you're reading this and saying to yourself, "I don't have the money for a fancy trip-I can't do that!" Well there are NO EXCUSES! Take a trip to the library (I'm POSITIVE you haven't been in a long time OR at all!). Visit a new area around you and go to dinner. See a movie at a new theater or visit a park in the next town over. Look up free days at your museum or zoo's. You can find fun new ways to break the monotony and trips will definitely help.
5. Human Contact or Connection
If you're single-don't assume I'm limiting contact to sex. So you can stop right there. <3 Human contact can be sex but it's not the only way to connect. Humans rely heavily on touch for survival. I remember learning in graduate school about a study of infants that were touched vs not touched at an orphanage. Infants that experienced daily contact had stronger immune systems and a happier disposition. Infants that were not, died. Yes. It's that drastic. As adults, we still need physical touch - it's not just an option or preference. So how can you get human touch if you're not in a relationship? Get a massage, get a manicure and pedicure and really allow yourself to feel someone carefully kneading your body and applying pressure where you need it. Give someone a hug (as long as it's consensual and appropriate aka not a sexual harrassment type situation) or hold someone's hand. Sit close to a friend or ask for a shoulder rub or GIVE ONE! Connection DOES make a difference so find ways to be close with someone.
6. Working out
ENDORPHINS! <3 It's simple, working out makes you feel happy. Even if you hate it. lol You can't help but feel really good when your hormones are letting out "feel good" feelings. And it doesn't take long to trigger these feelings either. Just 30 minutes of movement or even 10 minutes of intense moves can trigger a bunch of happy go lucky endorphins AND give you more energy. If you don't like the gym-skip it. Instead do something you like-dance in your underwear in your room. Jump rope with your friends. Run around the park. There's more than one way to move your body and enjoy it.
I've been journaling since I was 5 years old and it has been fantastic for my mental health. I come from a line of journal writers so luckily I inherited that skill but writing your feelings down can be super cathartic when you're stressing out. What I love about it is that I get to write down what matters to me, what frustrates or worries me and no one judges me for it. Plus, reading my journals back 10-20 years later often reminds me how much something can seem so big right now but not matter at all in the future. It keeps things in perspective.
8. Being outdoors
When I was a child, I wanted to be outside EVERY SINGLE DAY! I felt like a day was wasted if I wasn't out playing at the park. lol I had a ton of energy, loved connecting and talking with friends, AND I loved feeling the sun on my skin. As an adult, I'm the same but I don't go outside as often as I should (now that I work for myself, it's definitely harder). But I recommend making outdoor activities a priority. Maybe not everyday, but PRETTY often. Sit on a bench for 15 minutes, exercise outside, visit the beach, meet up with a friend at a park, go to the tourist parts of your town to try new fun locations like your city piers or any boat tours they may have.
I LOVE to sing so playing music and singing along is something I do every day. This is a major part of how I maintain my joy and my confidence. I feel amazing when I try to copy a run that Adele has done and I actually do it. lol Plus, you can't help but feel amazing when you hear a good song and it makes you want to dance. Lately, I can't get enough of "Finesse" by Bruno Mars and Cardi B. It's SUCH a great song cause it makes me feel so nostalgic of my 90's childhood (which is the best decade if you ask me).
So this is really important if you do struggle with negative thinking because it's important for you to start addressing HOW you think and what you say to yourself. If you're spending the majority of your day calling yourself an "idiot" or "dumb" or insulting your weight or your skin....you're going to feel unhappy and unworthy UNTIL you change that. So stay tuned for a blog on how you can use affirmations to change your mindset! But I make sure that I constantly address my negative thinking and replace it with facts AND positive thoughts.
11. Meditating/Oracle Card Readings/Praying
My spiritual practice is VITAL to my happiness. Although I am not religious, I am VERY spiritual and rely heavily on my meditation practice to feel happy and confident. My meditations allow me to get clarity on what I want and help me to feel gratitude for the moments I'm experiencing. During my meditations, I often pull oracle cards for deeper connection to my Highest Self-that's the part of my soul that is NOT blinded by my human ego or I use them (along with prayer) to talk with my Angels and Mother Goddess (who some refer to as The Universe or God). I find a lot of peace when I feel anxious by simply stopping to meditate or pull cards each morning.
I don't read as often as I would like-because of Netflix lol haha However, when I do read, I find that my mind refocuses on the story. I'm able to get distracted by the problems or excitment of something else instead of worrying about myself. You need a break sometimes and reading helps. TV does too so I do watch TV. However, the issue that I have with TV is that it often includes a lot of other drama that triggers a bunch or negative feelings in me so I don't always find it as relaxing as reading.
If you haven't heard of Tapping, it's time you do! It's a great tool for when you need to move energy through your body and release it. If you're struggling with muscle tightness or stress....tapping helps you to release those feelings through tapping on energy centers around your body. You don't have to know how it works or how to do it to get the benefits of it. Try this video to help!
SIDE NOTE: I often change the words to match my own struggles or emotions or the desired outcome I want. You can too.
14. Getting Offline
I'm online pretty much every day-which is why it's important that I remind myself that there is life outside of Instagram and my blog. So take a day or two to simply enjoy the world around you WITHOUT technology or the internet. Take your actual camera with you to capture memories instead of using your phone. Delete Faceebook, IG, and/or snapchat to help keep you honest. lol You'll find that you may start to even feel LIGHTER because you're not spending the day comparing yourself to your friends and family.
15. Surrounding Myself with Optimists
My closest friends tend to be more optimistic people - and I am grateful for that. I can be very hopeful, when I'm reminded that hope is just as powerful as negativity-if not more so. They remind me that it's up to ME to see the good in every challenge and opportunity. They push me to refocus my attention BACK towards the good that is possible and to keep my mind there if I REALLY want to succeed and get what I want. So let your optimistic friends ignite your imagination! WARNING: Because your friends are optimists, it's important that you be mindful of your own sarcasm and thoughts. Yes, I said sarcasm. Often people rely on sarcasm to express their pessimistic thoughts in a funny way and although most people enjoy it-it can become overwhelming for the very people who are trying to lift your spirits. I know this, cause I have the same problem. lol So remember that your friends are TRYING to help you shift your energy so you'll feel better AND solve your problems. Allow them to empower you rather than saying, "thanks but that won't work because of....."