It feels so easy to say, yet so hard to do. ‘Just be happy!’ – If only it were that simple.
The truth is, however, it actually is that simple…if you’re willing to do the work. People nowadays assume that happiness and feeling good is a right – but it’s not – it’s a privilege, and just like getting good marks in school or performing well in your career, the harder you work at feeling good – the happier you will be. The key to this is determining what makes you happy/feel good, so even though you’re working hard towards something, you can also have fun along the way.
1. Get Moving
It may feel obvious but exercise is single handedly one of the best ways to get yourself turned around. Not only does exercise help burn fat and calories and get you looking better on the outside, the internal health benefits are off the charts. A lot of times, what prevents us from working out, is it feels like such a long road to success and the idea of starting such a process feels daunting. It is true, to really change your physical appearance it will take a long time and a well thought out plan, BUT there are immediate benefits to physical activities that happen literally as soon as you start to get your heart rate up – the biggest being the release of endorphins which interact with your brain. The result? A ‘trigger of positive feelings’, which result in a reduction of anxiety and depression as well as improved sleep and an increase of energy.
So whether it’s plotting a full scale work out regime with goals attached, to making a daily commitment to do some physical activity (i.e. taking a brisk walk) to just making small tweaks on your daily choices (i.e. take the stairs instead of the escalator, if you sit at a desk – stand an move around at least 5 minutes for every hour)….
Want to feel better about yourself right away? GET MOVING.
2. Stay Still
Ok, I know this feels like the counterintuitive to the first tip, but really it’s not. Everything in life has a yin to it’s yang and just as it’s so important to get moving, keep active, burn calories and fire up those endorphins, so too is it important to relax and rest.
Here’s the thing – I mean REALLY relax or rest. I don’t mean lie on your couch, watching television while snap chatting (@erinfalconer !) and responding to emails. This isn’t relaxing -this is called non-productive lethargy. Your mind isn’t relaxed at all. Resting your mind is so crucial to being able to be in peak performance shape. Running on fully charged batteries gives you endless energy – and you know what that, in turn, delivers? Happiness and feeling good about yourself!
It is imperative to let your mind recalibrate on a daily basis – and for that you need, distraction-free silence and calm. Sound impossible? Only if you make it so.
I am a huge fan of meditation – 15-20 minutes in the morning and afternoon. I’ve been doing it for 16 months now and it is incredible the difference. I feel lighter, happier, more focused, way calmer and have more energy. Total time 30-40 mins a day. Feel like too much? How bad do you want to feel better? Start slowly – 5 minutes in the a.m., 5 minutes in the p.m. – I guarantee you will only want to do more.
Besides meditation – simply taking quiet, uninterrupted time for yourself is a must. Take a hot bath, read a book, get a massage – find a way, once a day to get some peace, for renewed energy and happiness.
Want to feel better about yourself right away? STAY STILL.
3. Stop. Eating. Crap.
For me, this is probably the most important point both for immediate and long term benefits. It’s simple – stop putting crap in your body and you will stop feeling like crap. Let me be blunt: there is no loophole, no way around this, no other way to look at it – it just is what it is. Eat an apple – provide yourself with energy and a body that functions seamlessly. Know what that does? Makes you feel good. Eat a chocolate bar – which is difficult to break down and spikes your insulin, which zaps your energy, leaves you feeling terrible about your choice and makes you feel physically and emotionally bad.
So why is this so hard for so many of us? 2 reasons:
A: we haven’t committed to making the right choices – without this, there’s no reason to keep reading.
B: there is an influx of marketing and bad food choices all around us, 24/7. When you’re short on time, running around like a chicken with your head cut off, and hungry – it’s a recipe for disaster.
So what’s the solution?
A: commit to better choices. PERIOD.
doesn’t matter if it’s harder – how bad do you want to feel good?
Everybody is so busy all of the time, that for a while eating out or picking up food felt like the beset option. The problem is, when you eat out, you really don’t know what you’re eating. One of the greatest things about the internet, for me, is that it allows me to do things that simply weren’t possible before – and one of the biggest areas of impact is my own health.
Food health info is just a click away, but now – there is something even cooler. A good friend put me on to an online food service called: Blue Apron. I can get fresh produce (the exact amounts I need, so there is no waste), and delicious, chef-designed recipes that use all of the produce sent. All of the ingredients are farm fresh, sourced from quality suppliers and artisans, delivered to my door once a week. Not only does that take care of a good chunk of the planning part – what I love about it, is that it is also teaching me new skills in the kitchen, in a very little amount of time.
How does it work? Blue Apron is available nationwide (shipping to over 80% of the country – map here). You simply sign up, make your food preference selections and how often you’d like to receive and voila, your ingredients appear in a refrigerated box, once a week! New recipes are featured each week, so you never get bored and are opened up to a whole new way of eating – and all meals can be prepared in under 40 minutes.
The best part? It is so affordable. Honestly, i was super impressed with the pricing. Full gourmet meals starting at $8.75 per person – we’re talking Salmon and filet here. It can’t be beat. Last week I made an incredible Dukkah Spiced Salmon with Spring Vegetables & Oyster Mushroom Ragout as well as a Three Pea & Barley Miso Ramen – delicious!
What is the coolest part of this whole concept: I believe in it so much, that the First 100 readers will get two free meals on their first Blue Apron order! Simply click here to get started!
Want to feel better about yourself right away? Stop. Eating. Crap.
Now there really is no excuse! Get moving. Sit Still. Eat Well.
*Sponsored by Blue Apron