One of the most useful things I’ve found in being more consistently happy and dealing with stress is to have some sort of ritual, routine or program that adds to my emotional and physical well being. For me, it’s going to bootcamp three mornings a week – it keeps me feeling positive thanks to the endorphins it releases and I feel proud of myself for going -adding to my overall happiness. Bootcamp gets me ‘out of my head’, it gives me a bit of time to focus on one thing and provides me with a much needed break from my incessant internal chatter. Afterwards my mind feels clear and my body feels strong. Doing this regularly helps to alleviate any guilt I feel around eating whatever I want and helps me to be in the present moment.
Another thing I incorporate is meditation – it can be 10 minutes or 30, it doesn’t really matter. Again, it gives me a little bit of peace and perspective and doing it on a regular basis creates a kind of build up of feeling calm and able to deal with life’s stresses. Just sitting quietly focusing on your breath for 5 minutes can make a huge difference to your day. You don’t have to chant! Meditation apps like Headspace and Buddhify are also great! A daily practice of just being can really make a difference. Getting a program also relates self care (see post #3). Making time for you every day sends out the message to yourself that you are worth it which creates increased self esteem which in turn, makes you feel more content and able to handle what life throws at you.
Other rituals may be going for a daily walk or run, doing 20 minutes of yoga in the morning, writing a journal every day or any spiritual practice that makes you feel good. The key is to to it as regularly as possible. You may even find that these habits start replacing ones that aren’t so useful such as smoking or drinking too much and you certainly won’t feel the guilt associated with smoking or drinking (or filling up with sugar). A little bit of investment in your self every day soon adds up and before you know it you’ll feel more resilient and happy.