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Happy Habits

Happy Habits

danielledr.comThe other day I was watching a show on TV and when it ended, the news started. Within just a few minutes, the mood shifted to a depressing, hopeless type feeling. Now I think it is important to know what is going on in our communities, but I also wish the news would publish all the good stories happening around us that go untold so we can focus on positive and uplifting things in our environment too. It caused me to think about what are some easy habits that can become engrained in our lifestyle that influence a happy mood? As there are many things that help us feel happy, I have listed the ones that are more at the core of influencing our mood daily.  Here are 5 Happy Habits we can do on a daily basis to uplift and influence a positive mood:
  1. Limit negative media
    • This can be TV shows, movies, music, the News, the internet, social media or any other form of media that is hateful, cynical, angry, depressing, derogatory, etc. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself to you feel bad or good when you watch/listen/read etc. the content? Simple.
  2. Gratitude journal
    • Find every little thing you have to be grateful for each day and write it down in a gratitude journal or a list. This can be anything from the fact you have health, two legs to walk with, a home to live in, abundance of food, a job, friends, a beautiful sunset, etc.  Sometimes we overlook even the simplest of comforts or abilities and these are the most profound things we have to be grateful for.
  3. Compliment others
    • Find something about someone every single day to compliment them on (their scarf, hair, clothes, the way they did something, their character etc). When we do this, it creates a mutual happy feeling, and mirror neurons come into play causing both of you to smile which causes the feeling of happiness through neural firing in the brain. It is not rocket science (brain science maybe).
  4. Compliment yourself
    • Why does it feel more normal to say mean things to ourselves rather than good? What we tell ourselves we will believe, so why not tell ourselves the good things about us? This can feel awkward, but you can either do it out loud or in your mind, just be sure you do it. When you do something good or feel good about something during the day, acknowledge yourself for it and smile. I remember I had a friend who told me to look in the mirror and say "I love you". I was so embarrassed because at the time I didn't feel like I loved myself.  We are not meant to hate ourselves, so stop saying negative things to ourselves and start acknowledging the good, as we do, it influences more good in our character and behavior.
  5. Nature: Nature does in fact help uplift mood in it various forms:
    • Being in Nature
      • Being in nature can help clear your thoughts and mood. Everyday try to visit either a park, lake, forest, ocean, beach, garden, or just stand by a tree or grass. There is a real energy that comes from plants that vibrates into our body to cause a calming feeling.
    • Eating natural food
      • About 40% of what we consume is used for the brain. Over 95% of our serotonin is produced in the gut and serotonin is the happy neurotransmitter.  So do you think what we eat is important? Absolutely! My motto is the fresher and closer to natural I can get food, the better. I look for organic, local and in season fruits and vegetables and try to make those the majority of my diet in a day.  I also keep on hand fresh nut butters, nuts, pro-biotic foods, and sprouts etc. for healthy snacks.
    • Aromatic compounds from plants
      • lastly in the nature category is utilizing the incredible compounds that plants contain which are called the essential oils. Many of them help to uplift mood and reduce stress therefore promoting a happy lifestyle. I diffuse and apply essential oils daily as one of the simplest happy habits.  Here are my few favorites for a happy mood:
        • Orange, Frankincense, Bergamot, and Lavender
These 5 habits are simple to do and because they are simple, they get overlooked so easily, but these simple habits create profound long term results in your life, and after time, they just become habits that you don't even have to think about doing, and will become a natural part of who you are, a happy person.

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