Doctor of Chiropractic Mike Ford from Back 2 Balance is an ardent wellbeing proponent. He likes nothing better than improving others’ lives in any way possible, and helping them understand how to keep it that way! Today he gives us his top 7 secrets to being happy.
The 7 daily secrets of being happy!
I know! It seems simple, absurdly simple, but breathing is one of the keys to our emotional and physical state! This is how;
When you are stressed your breath shortens and your heart rate increases, and this association works both ways! Research has shown that consciously slowing and elongating your breathing not only releases stress reducing hormones but contributes to immune function (making you healthier), helps improve digestive function and stretches your back, shoulder and ribs! The benefits of breathing well are huge, try breathing in for 4 seconds and out for 8 seconds, let your chest relax on the out breath. Do it as often as possible.
Walking is extremely good for your body and mind! A long, brisk
walk is top of the list when it comes to weight loss, stress relief, and relaxation. Do your best to find a good 40 minute walk, filled with beauty, away from pollution and close to home. If it helps, put on some gentle music, a soothing audio book, some meditation or listen to a philosophical speaker like Alan Watts. Embark on your walk an hour before bed time and it will place you into a stress free, neutral space, ready for sleep. Thus also improving your happiness. Who is happier when you sleep better?!
- Disengage with your troubles. The old saying goes: ‘Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere’. The truth is; when you are stressed you link your internal state to external stuff, and even small troubles that normally would be easy to cope with become very disruptive. A common reaction to this emotional state is trying to ‘think’ (/worry) your way out of it. This, unsurprisingly, does not work! Find an activity that completely disengages you from life, this shouldn’t be TV or games but something physical, try drawing, colouring, knitting, playing an instrument, or sport. When we worry less we usually ‘feel’ happier./
- Do not compare yourself to others. ‘If you compare yourself to others you may become vain or bitter, as there will always be greater or lesser persons than yourself’ – this is a quote from an extremely brilliant page of writing called The Desiderata (which I would recommend). Find your own internal way of valuing yourself! Top tips; delete Facebook from your phone, don’t watch the Kardashians and create a sense of unconditional love for yourself! It can be a long journey but you deserve to be free of judgement and become happy!
- Consider life a game. If you had to play chess against the same opponent every day for the rest
of your life and you could either always lose, or always win, which would you choose? The way I think of it; If you won every time the game would get boring, you would never progress and winning would lose it’s value. However if you lost, you would have the opportunity to learn and improve, the game would hold more value for you and provided you weren’t disheartened by the defeat you would enjoy it more! Apply the same reason to your life, consider that your defeats are opportunities for learning, see the value in them! And don’t allow yourself to think that life is serious, play it like a game, not to win, but to learn! More of this and you can learn to be happy with what you have.
- Appreciate beauty. This is a subtle but powerful change in perception. What is beauty? What is
the value in seeking it? Ultimately beauty is whatever you find captivating, whatever encourages you to stop, take a breath and look, hear or feel. It could be as simple as trying to notice all the different colours in the sky at twilight, stopping and taking time to notice the feeling of wind on your skin, indulging in the sound of your favourite piece of music played on some great speakers. Beauty grants us perspective and a sense of wellness. Find it wherever you can!
- Learn new skills. Curiosity is a powerful driver! One great way to feel a sense of progression,
hope, increased self esteem, and mental activation is to regularly experiment with new hobbies, find activities you love, and spend time becoming more proficient at them. Abandoning the sense of fear, or self judgement (self talk like ‘I’m not creative’ or ‘I’m rubbish at that’) is essential to learning new skills! No one is good at anything at first time, so give yourself encouragement, enjoy playing with any new skills, and try something new! It is scary at first but if you learn how to pick up new skills your life will feel richer and more productive than ever!
So, there you have it- my top 7 secrets to achieving the much elusive ‘happy life’. Would you like to add one of your secrets to our list? Would you agree or disagree? Let us know….wishing you an aiming fulfilled and happy life.