C'mon, get happy!
Life is meant to have its ups and downs (after all, we would never know what happy felt like unless we felt its opposite from time to time), but that doesn't mean we can't strive to feel that yummy-goodness of happiness more often! In fact, there is a lot of happiness research out there now--researchers are discovering what makes us happy, and ways to help us stay that way more often!
That said, although there are LOTS of ways to feel happier, I'm including a short list of tips that can help up your happiness quota on a more regular basis!
4 Happiness Tips
Although it's not good to get stuck in the past, we can use our happy memories to up our happiness capacity. In fact, research has shown that if you do a practice called "savoring" where you visualize and allow yourself to FEEL and re-experience past happy moments by reminiscing about them, you will actually increase your ability to be happy!
How to "savor":
Sit in a quite space. Allow your mind to go back to a moment where you felt happiness, joy, pleasure, etc. Visualize the moment in as much detail as possible--touch, taste, smell, etc. Now, very importantly, see if you can remember how you FELT during that time (this is the most important part). Soak in and savor those feelings. Let them permeate your being. If you like, imagine the feel of happiness, joy, etc. as a color filling up your entire person. Sit with and savor this feeling for several minutes each day.
Note: If you're having a hard time thinking of a happy memory, instead imagine a person whom when you are with them, you feel happy, peaceful, etc. or even a beloved pet. In essence, find a thought or image that brings you happy, feel-good emotions, and savor that.
Extra credit: Savor happy moments while they're actually occurring!
2) Drink Kefir.*
Ever heard of kefir water or milk-kefir? This lovely pro-biotic beverage is a bit of a wonder in my opinion. It improves how you feel by improving your gut health! I thought I would have my lil' brother (a bio-chemist) explain how this drink can help you feel happier (and get healthier to boot!)
"Kefir is a probiotic drink with a variety of good bacteria. When these bacteria begin to inhabit the gut they are responsible for a majority of the body's serotonin. Serotonin is known as a "calming neurotransmitter" and most of the body's serotonin is found in the gut. Clinical studies have shown that with the addition of high dose probiotics (specifically the bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus) that test subjects showed lower stress level hormones and an increased feeling of contentedness."
Where to get kefir:
Most grocery stores will carry kefir beverages. They come in milk and water forms. I recommend the Redwood Hill Farms goat milk kefir (it has a picture of a goat on the front), or Kevita sparkling beverage (comes in many flavors). Milk kefir can be found in the dairy section of the store, and water kefir (Kevita) can be found where they sell single, cold beverages like Kombucha or chilled coconut juice.
Note: If you choose other brands than what I listed, that's fine, but be sure to check that they have the Lactobacillus rhamnosus culture. That is the bacteria that helps you (and your well-being) the most!!
*And as always, check with your doctor if you have any medical issues before adding kefir into your diet.
3) Get your spirituality flowing.
Research shows that people who feel connected to something greater than themselves, call it Source, God, Spirit, Nature or Oneness, are happier than those who do not.
Now, don't get worried if you're not into "spiritual stuff" (although since many of y'all are my Reiki peeps, I doubt this is the case for many of you). You can be "spiritual" without any spiritual beliefs in place. Some find spirituality by walking in nature, for example. Whatever makes you feel that you are connected something greater to yourself is what you need to be doing on a REGULAR basis. That could be meditation, prayer, yoga, breathwork, etc. Feeling connected in to your source will help you feel more re-sourced and happier overall.
4) Get some Energy-work.
This list would not be complete without adding in energy- work. Of course I think Reiki is a super-helpful way to find that skip-in your step! Reiki is relaxing and restorative by nature. It helps clear out the old energy that is not serving you, and helps you to heal in body, mind and spirit. In fact, Dr. Oz (whose wife is a Reiki Master) believes it's the number one form of alternative medicine.
I hope this list has been helpful. The next step is to try one, two, three or all four of these happiness tips, and pay attention to how they impact your happiness levels!
Have some happiness tips of your own? Please share them by commenting below. I would love to hear from you!
Until next time...may you're days be filled with happiness and lovely delights!
Reiki Master Teacher ~Intuitive Healer~Lover of life!