Come on, get happy.

It’s been a good week. Correction, a great week.

I’m a brand new homeowner, I’ve been presented with a very exciting professional opportunity, and I’m wearing a fairly sizeable rock on my left hand.

Like I said, this week has been quite a whirlwind of excitement. I feel like a million and one dollars! And here I am asking myself, “Does it ever get any better than this?”

Sunflowers

In an article published by Psychology Today, Robert Firestore (psychologist, theorist, and author) defined an “emotionally healthy individual.” Of course, these findings were withdrawn from personal opinion and experience, but I think he had a pretty darned decent idea about the subject at hand.

“First of all, it depends a lot on their own motivation and their particular goals for themselves. But in general, the kind of person I would like to see them be is one who had a strong sense of themselves: a person who could deal with feelings; a person who was non-defensive; a person who had a strong sense of values; a person whose values were inner directed, rather than outer directed; a person who was neither defiant nor submissive, but independent.”

Yes, I am currently floating on cloud nine (and will be for the next little while). But this article also clarified that happiness is a result of good character and habits, and a solid sense of self. My happiness is drawn from circumstance and also from the person I’ve shaped myself to be. And you wonder why I always have a goofy grin on my face!

After digesting Robert Firestore’s theory, I’ve come up with my own list of tips to add a little pep to your daily step.

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1. Start your day off right.
Munch down on big bowl of your favourite cereal. Send out an uplifting tweet. Whip your hair around to some upbeat music (to the tune of Willow Smith or otherwise). The simple step of starting off your morning with something you enjoy sets the tone for the rest of your day.

2. Tell someone you love them.
Turn to your left, or turn to your right. Are you facing a loved one (significant other, family member, friend, pet, beloved inanimate object)? If so, give them a tight squeeze and tell them how much you love them. It will make both of you feel trusted and valued.

3. Reconnect with an old friend.
“Hey, it’s been a while!” As insincere and awkward as it can sounds, it’s important to reconnect with people you haven’t talked to in a while. Maintaining meaningful relationships and staying in the loop with your circle of friends makes you a mentally healthier person and means you’ll never be lonely.

4. Be happy for those around you.
Don’t let life get you down. Instead of dwelling on missed opportunities, use your friends and family to leverage your pep-o-metre. New job? New home? New relationship? First thing: AWESOME. Second thing: I’m excited for you!

5. Surprise someone.
Surprises are hiding around every corner. And isn’t it awesome when someone surprises you with a sweet (and not necessarily extravagant) gesture? Turn the table around and surprise someone you know with a small treat they adore or a gift related to a TV show, movie or band they love. Showing someone you care is the ultimate high. There’s just nothing quite like it.

Legs of a young man running

6. T’work it out.
The correlation between feeling great and exercising is no coincidence. Take note of this HowStuffWorks article, highlighting a few positive byproducts of exercise. Not only does it make you feel great about yourself, but helps normalize sleeping patterns, lowers anxiety, increases antibody production, and releases feel-good endorphins.

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7. Don’t be ashamed. Treat yourself!
This may sound a little contradictory to the previous step, but it’s key to treat yourself – in moderation. Dieters often find themselves plunging off the deep end because they deprive themselves of all delicious delicacies. Treat yourself with something tasty when you’re feeling accomplished. If you’re worried about the calorie count, healthy snacks count too! Greek yogurt, granola, fresh fruit and agave nectar is my favourite guilt-free dessert.

8. Don’t beat yourself up.
It’s way too easy to feel guilty for making mistakes. But hey, we’re only human. If you remind yourself you’re just like everyone else and that no one’s perfect (surprise!), you’ll learn to use your missed opportunities as learning experiences. As cheesy as it sounds, it works. There’s no way but up from here!

9. Stay humble.
Oh shucks. Staying humble and grounded will help keep your values in perspective. Remember where you came from while still keeping your eye on what you’re working towards. Gracefully accept praise, just try not to bask in it for too long.

10. Save some time for yourself.
Let’s face it, we all lead busy lives. Between classes, work, medical appointments, parties, homework, and spending time with your loved ones, we find little time left to ourselves. Save some time each week for you. Read a great book, watch one of your favourite TV shows, or schedule an appointment with your massage therapist. Allocating this much needed time will help you relax and let go of any not-so-feel-good vibes.

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It’s just that easy. Come on and get happy!

 

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