Reclaiming your happiness
You’re snuggled up under your sheets peacefully snoozing away. Your obnoxious alarm starts making its way into your dreams and before you know it, you’re pressing the snooze button for the third time. One of two things is going on. Either you’re hungover(whether it be from alcohol or an intoxicating work week) or, you’re subconsciously avoiding your reality.
We’ve all been there; hungover, yes, but also, so unenthused about life that we’d rather float around the dream realm instead of hopping out of bed and taking on the day. This feeling is merely a portrayal of life’s ebb & flow. One day we’re on top of the world, and the next day we’re facing inner war.
The good news is that we have complete authority over our minds, although it doesn’t always feel like we do. The trick is to learn how to grab the reins and start controlling your thoughts instead of letting them control you. How, you may ask?
I am going to provide three life changing exercises that have been scientifically proven to increase one’s psychological positivity, also known as happiness. I learned about these tools in my schooling, but I also have personally been using them for years, especially during times when I’ve been stuck in a rut.
I encourage you to frequently implement these exercises in your life whether you’re fighting depression or are simply seeking inner growth.
Back to you and your beds love affair: Imagine you waking up, and instead of dreading having to get out of bed, you feel deeply thankful for being alive. Instead of being bored of your daily routine, you pay more attention to the blessings you rarely notice. Is it really necessary to be unhappy?
The likely truth is that there are more miracles in your life than there is affliction. After all, the chances of you being born is 1 in 400 trillion. Although you might be facing challenges in your life, your ability to transform your perspective gives you the option to feel happy at any point.
Practicing gratitude will not only make you instantly feel better, but will help retrain your brain so that it naturally produces more dopamine(the happy chemical).
Exercise: Buy yourself a journal or grab some paper. Write down 3-5 things that you’re grateful for. It can be anything. I like to focus on the basics, such as: a roof over my head, food to eat, the energy within me that keeps me alive. That sort of thing. Allow yourself to feel the gratitude as deeply as possible. If you’re prepared to jump into a life of happiness and abundance, start doing this exercise every morning or night(or both!).
Learn to breathe
The moment that you were born, you knew to take a breath. You knew that it was your life force without anyone having to tell you. It’s unfortunate that many people grow up and forget the power of the breath.
In today’s society, there are an abundance of distractions that cause people to forget to take full deep breaths throughout the day. The lack of oxygen to the brain leads to stored tension in the muscles. That tension leads to anxiety, which is ultimately a form of depression.
It’s time to let go of the tension. Start placing more focus on your breath, and begin using it as a tool when it seems as though your mind is working against you.
Exercise: Take a deep breath. Hold it in for 3 seconds. Let it go until your lungs are empty. Release the tension in your body as you exhale. Repeat. This practice takes less than a minute and can immediately transform your state of mind. When you are driving, take deep breaths. When you wake up, take a few deep breaths. The more you implement this, the more results you’ll see.
Sink into the moment
It is easy to assume that once “things get better”, you’ll feel happy. So you might work your butt off to become more successful, or sit around and wait for you life to change, but in truth, that isn’t going to make you happy in the long run.
Happiness starts with right now, in this very moment.
Although the past and the future seem so relevant, they are ultimately illusions. The past is a figment of your memory, and the future is a concept that is yet to exist. The most authentic reality you live in is now.
Remembering this will help you heal from painful memories as well as anxious feelings for what tomorrow brings. It’ll help you become more aware of your current blessings and encourage you to see situations for what they truly are.
Exercise: Stop what you’re doing(or thinking) and direct your attention toward your fingers. Do you feel the tingly sensation, the energy running through them? As you feel the sensation, look around the room and notice every detail. Try not to think about what you’re going to do after you’re done reading this article, and rather allow yourself to focus on the moment. The more you do this throughout the day, the more conscious decisions you’ll make. This will be your way of taking control of your mind and naturally becoming a happier person.
So there you have it. The solution to your blues. All that is left is for you to decide that you want to be a happier person, and start claiming authority over your headspace.
Although there are a plethora of exercises that could work, these three are the quickest and most powerful ones I know toward reclaiming your enthusiasm for life.
I intend to provide more tips and tricks regarding this topic in the future, but for now, I encourage you to consistently use these steps for improving your life and becoming the very best version of yourself.