Monday, October 27, 2014



As the Spanish proverb says, “He, who would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him.”

1. Focus on the good in your life.
If you focus on the good, you will draw more good towards you.  It is really easy to focus on the negative and everything that is going wrong, but it will make you much happier to try to focus on the good things.  Many people do this by keeping a gratitude journal, and writing down a couple things they are grateful for every night.  Something I do that I find even easier is I added a gratitude note on my phone, and before I go to bed each night I put in one nice thing that happened that day or something that made me smile.  It can be as silly as my breakfast totally rocked, or someone let me in while stuck in traffic.  And then when I’m feeling down I read over the list and it usually makes me feel silly about whatever's making me upset. 

2. Plan things to look forward to.
I think this is so important because when we feel like we’re having a bad day we can think about a trip or an outing that we have coming up that we’re excited about.  Haven’t you ever heard sometimes the best part of a trip is planning it and the anticipation building up to it?  On the same token spend your money on experiences and not things.  The memories of a great trip will last with you longer than that new handbag.

This picture was taken from a spontaneous girls weekend we took in Saratoga Springs.  We had so much fun and I’m so happy we went!
3. Take some time out for yourself.
Sometimes during the week I can get so busy and worked up about everything going on that I forget to take time out for myself.  To just unwind, put the phone down for an hour and relax. One of my favorite things to do is to take a bath or read a book.  Another great idea for trying to quiet your mind is to utilize meditation or breathing exercises.  A great website to try is  They have 2, 5, and 10 minute guided meditations and it’s free!  I know some people who do these every morning before they start their day and it really helps them quell any anxiety they’re experiencing or stress they’re under.

4. Stop Complaining!
I am so guilty of this myself, but I’m trying to stop!  First of all no one really wants to hear about your crazy roommate or that you stubbed your toe this morning.  And I have noticed that if you hang around negative people who are complaining all the time you will start to feel negative too.  Haven’t you ever met someone who is really positive and upbeat and you are just drawn to their energy? Yeah, I’m trying to be more like that. 

5. Put yourself in an atmosphere of growth. 
One of my favorite books, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin talks about the importance of putting yourself in an atmosphere of growth.  The book referenced information from studies that were done that found that it is not necessarily accomplishing something or reaching a milestone that is rewarding but it is the process that it took to get there that provided happiness.  It is the feeling that we are growing as a person and learning new things and meeting new people.  As Ms. Rubin states, "The arrival fallacy is the belief that when you arrive at a certain destination, you’ll be happy…The challenge therefore is to take pleasure in the “atmosphere of growth,” in the gradual progress made toward a goal in the present."  Learn something new, keep your mind stimulated.

6. You know what, it’s probably not that big of a deal…
I think all of us are sometimes guilty of catastrophizing situations.  We put our foot in our mouth or mess up at work and think it’s the end of the world.  I think one of the best quotes to remember is “People are not against you, they are for themselves.”  Most people won’t notice whatever embarrassing thing you did or mistake you made because they are too focused on themselves.  It is best to own up to whatever happened, take a deep breath, and move on. 

7. Take pride in your physical appearance.
We all have those days when we feel like crap, but for me dressing up usually makes me feel better and boosts my confidence.  There are definitely those days when I want to sit in my pajamas all day watching Will & Grace re-runs and eating non-dairy ice cream, but I gotta pull it together or I may never leave my couch.  Taking a bath, putting a cute outfit on and some bright lipstick usually lifts my spirits.  It’s important to be confident in how you present yourself to the world and to show up for your life. 

8. Go for a run…
Or whatever gets your blood pumping.  Endorphins are no joke people.  Exercise is a great stress reliever, good for digestion, and gets that blood pumping.  As bad of a mood as I'm in I usually feel much better after going for a run, taking my dog for a long walk, or popping in a yoga DVD.  I also think it’s beneficial to exercise outside if you can, and it’s very calming to be around nature. 

9. Get a good night’s sleep.
If I don’t get at least seven hours of sleep a night I am one grumpy girl.  And for good reason, sleep is so important for our daily functioning and impacts not only our physical, but our mental health.  While we sleep we give the body a chance to repair itself, build our immune system, decrease stress, and keep our hormone levels stable.  Stick to a sleep schedule, create a bedtime ritual, and include some physical activity in your day.  These simple changes should improve the quality of your sleep.  And if for no other reason than vanity, get those eight hours, because we all know baggy and puffy eyes is not a good look.

I couldn't help adding a picture of my pup Oliver.  How can you be sad looking at that face?

So there you have it, those are my nine tips for being happier.  What do you you guys do to stay happy?

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