Wednesday, December 19, 2012

5 Ways to a Happier You


What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the mornings? Check your phone? Race around your room trying to find your misplaced shirt? Rush out the door at the risk of already being late? How your day begins sets the tone for what's to follow. Make it positive! Do the things that make you feel optimistic and empowered.

How do you make that happen? Set aside extra time for yourself. If you can squeeze in an extra hour, that's incredible, but even an extra 15 minutes can make all the difference. (Trust me, I use to practically sprint out the door within what seemed like minutes after hopping out of bed!) Use this time for self-reflection, meditation, or even just to simply stare out your window and let your mind wander. I can guarantee that after doing this you'll feel more relaxed and your day will be much more enjoyable.


It's so easy to let negative thoughts and feelings dull our sparkle. How many times have you criticized yourself? How often have you said something out loud and wished you could scoop it up and put it back where it came from? How many times have you let someone else break you down? Know this - you are the only person that can make you unhappy!

Learn to shift your mindset. It's tough, but you're packed full of superhero-like inner strength that can overcome anything! Tap into that.

Choose your words wisely. Turn negativity into something positive and you'll see that "I hope I don't fail, I can't do this." becomes, "I will not fail, I can do this!" Small changes will have a huge impact! Rather than throwing yourself a pity party over how unmotivated, uninspired, unhappy you are, ask yourself "What can I do to become more fulfilled?"

Guide yourself with words of affirmation. I have some of my favourite inspirational quotes posted on my mirror. Each day, I wake up, and those words are the first thing I see. By reciting them to myself, my days begin with that little kick I need to get going. Try this one for yourself: each morning, say this simple line (out loud!) "I accept myself unconditionally right now." At first, the criticisms will flood in. "But I'm not good enough." "Look at that pimple" "Look at that cellulite" "I wish I was more ________." Don't beat yourself up over it, know that this is okay, and you'll notice after a few weeks something will shift in your mind! You'll begin to shine.


There's no denying it: life is busy. It's easy to get caught up in the tasks, chores, and routines of every day. Our to-do lists are endless, and often, we're struggling to get them done.

Stop for a second and take a look around. Life is pretty wonderful, isn't it? Learn to express your gratitude for life daily. Start a gratitude journal. Grab yourself a gratitude rock. What is that, you ask? Pick out a small rock and leave it in a place where you're likely to see it. In your purse, on your dresser, beside your computer, next to your coffee maker, anywhere! Each time it catches your eye, take a second and say something that you're grateful for.

Easy, right? Just by expressing your gratitude, you'll start to notice that you're involuntarily welcoming more incredible things into your life. You can read more about that over here, if you'd like.


When's the last time you did something for someone else? Without strings, without expectations, just because. By giving and helping others, it helps you grow and changes you in ways that you never expected. Be the person that make others feel special!

Volunteer your time to a great cause, lend a helping hand, be a shoulder to cry on, call someone just to ask how they are, pay for the person's coffee behind you in the drive-thru! A little goes a long way. Each and every time I do something for someone that makes them laugh, smile, feel loved... it's like I just gave my soul a giant bear hug. Heart-warming stuff! But not just that! Did you know that if you give someone a helping hand they feel more obliged to help someone else. Hello, ripple effect! Pay it forward, you never know how much that person really needs it.


Is there something you've been wanting to do forever but just... haven't? We often put our goals on hold because of our fear of not doing it perfectly. Fear of the unknown. Fear of change. Fear of rejection. Fear of life getting worse instead of better. I'm guilty of this too - the amount of mornings that I've delayed starting a meditation routine because "I don't know how" is getting a little obscene. Whether it's yoga, writing, starting a new project, taking a cooking class, learning a new language... dive in with both feet! Remember this fun fact: If you want to master anything in life you need at least 10,000 hours of practice. 10,000 hours! That means that all the experts out there were beginners at one time in their life. How many hours have you killed by procrastinating? (Hello, social media!) Do something else that will benefit you!

I was reading an article that spoke about the simple truth that it's our moods that hold us back from what we want. How many times have you delayed doing something because you "just didn't feel like it."? Probably more than you'd like to admit. (Me too!) Think of it this way - often times, it's when you don't feel like doing something (meditating, exercising, eating well, etc.) is when you NEED it the most! (In short, no excuses!) The key to accomplishing your goals and having those Ah-HA! moments is practice and consistency. So go on, JUST DO IT already!


“I am compelled by some deep hunger of the soul, driven by a desire that will not leave me alone, to live life to the fullest. And I know this does not mean working endlessly, accomplishing the most, or consuming the greatest amount and variety of things and experiences. It means tasting each mouthful, feeling each breath, listening to each song, being awake and aware of each moment as it unfolds.” // Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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