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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lessons :: 6 Ways to Stay Happy

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It doesn't matter who you are, what you've been through, where you live or how much money you have -- we all have trouble staying happy sometimes. Maybe you're dealing with a tough situation like a job loss, relationship issues or even death. Perhaps you're just having a bad day or feeling down in the dumps for no reason at all. I don't recommend avoiding your emotions, but I don't think any of us like to dwell. Here are 6 tips for sticking to the bright side, even when it's hard.

GET SLEEP. Between working 11-hour days, working on this blog and working out, it's hard to squeeze in a good amount of sleep -- but when I do, I end up working even better and more efficiently. Honestly, nothing makes me crankier than being tired and worn out. Just ask my poor boyfriend. :) When I'm not well-rested, everything seems more difficult and I end up dragging myself through my duties. Not fun at all! My pal Alysia wrote a whole post about this.

LAUGH OFTEN. If you don't yet know how to laugh at yourself and your current situation, now is the time. I pretty much laugh at anything and everything (at a loud volume, too) but if you don't then maybe you need to practice. In Martha Beck's The Joy Diet, she suggests watching funny shows and movies, reading funny books and comics, hanging out with funny people, bookmarking funny websites -- even listening to a laugh track. She has determined that each person requires 30 LPD (laughs-per-day). It's important.

WORK OUT. Having an active lifestyle keeps endorphins (happy hormones) surging through my body. After a session at the gym, I tend to feel a natural high! Moving, sweating, and pushing my body's limits keeps my mind at ease and calms me down. Even if you don't have a regular workout routine or a gym membership, simply walking outside for a half hour will put things in perspective.

EAT CLEAN. During my month of Whole30, I felt happier and healthier than ever. Though I've since introduced some of the 'bad' foods back into my diet, I attempt to follow the same concepts -- limiting dairy, grains, added sugar and alcohol. When I regularly consume healthy stuff like fruits, veggies, nuts, eggs and seafood, my body responds in a good way. I don't feel tired and sluggish when I eat whole, natural foods. Though I love my carbs and sweets, I totally crash when I have too much, and it brings out unnecessary negativity. I'm in a much better mood when I'm feeding myself better!

READ MORE. Getting lost in a good old-fashioned book is a simple, relaxing type of therapy. I love snuggling in with a fun, suspenseful novel and a glass of wine before bed. Even a fluffy magazine is a great way to exercise your brain and keep you entertained through the madness of life. Whatever type of reading you're into, be sure to incorporate more of it into your days. When was the last time you got to sit down and read something that wasn't for work or school? Exactly.

TAKE BREAKS. Give yourself a break once in awhile -- whether that means grabbing a longer lunch at work, booking a weekend road trip, or reserving an official hiatus. Too much of anything can bring you down, stress you out and beat you up, no matter how much you love it. A balanced life is an enjoyable one, so if you feel yourself starting to burn out, it's time to stop. At least for a little bit.

*Photo by Mary Tap.
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