If you’ve ever gotten into a period of deep unhappiness for any reason you probably have an acute sense of just how valuable happiness is, and how elusive it may seem.
Even mild unhappiness can be a deeply miserable situation compounded over time. For years before I figured out what I was doing on this planet with my life, I suffered from low-grade blah constantly, something I now see was like a veil that I let keep me from really shining and living well every day.
Have you been there? Are you there now?
For me, it was like floating. I avoided commitments of all kinds- from homes to relationships to jobs- because I didn’t really know where I belonged and I sensed that anything I picked up would be temporary. The veil lifted when I just started to explore my real interests rather than “ideas” and “thinking”. All I had to do was start doing more of what was interesting. I didn’t have to figure everything out to feel good. And then better. And better.
In my immersion Camps and I see people every day finding more small ways to create big happiness and none of them are grandiose or out of reach. I notice more of the dramatic switches because of the concentrated and close-knit groups and I see just how much these happy-making changes echo into the whole community.
Happiness is a lifestyle, a choice, something you can make more of and something to allow. Today’s feng shui is not just concepts but actual actions that can lead to a big mood boost in simple ways!
I love this list, except… well.. I think everyone’s a little put off by discomfort and a little afraid to fail… but when you’re happy, these vital risk-taking feelings are something to meet with open arms. Being in a space of the “usual” doesn’t really usher in the extraordinary, you know?
1. The one big lifestyle idea to start with: invest in experience.
The few hours of joy from finding a new dress or shoes or some product is minuscule in comparison to my trips recently to Chicago, Nicaragua, San Diego, New York, Asheville… Experiences are enduring. You don’t collect stuff, you collect a new rhythm of life and all it’s possibility.
Beyond travel, the best “investments” I’ve made this year are in healers, new-wave brain coaches, and Buddhism. And courses. And books. And yoga. All experiences.
I don’t really love buying “things”, especially after purging so many over the last years.
Do yourself a favor and do a big donation of some stuff you were excited to buy that you never really used. Put that stuff to good use. And now… do you really feel like buying more stuff? Plan a trip instead…!!!
2. Choose to be happier even if you feel “meh” right now.
Yes, all your tears and miserable times and anger is valid and real, but happiness is as much of a choice. This article in the Huffington Post puts an exclamation point of the science of “choosing” happiness.
“A little effort can go a long way in increasing happiness. Two small experimental studies, published this year in the Journal of Positive Psychology, found that simply trying to be happier could actually elevate mood and well-being. In one study, two groups of students listened to “happy” music — one group was instructed to make a concerted effort to feel happier, while the other group was instructed not to actively try to lift their mood. The group that tried to feel happy experienced the most elevated moods after listening to the music.”
Try a screensaver or a phone lock screen with an inspired saying like “choose happiness” on it so it’s in your face all day. Write it on a post-it. Put the message where you can see it so you’re actually actively in the swing of little shifts all day.
3. Color makes a huge difference.
While the color meanings and the way we process color psychologically differ from person to person, a simple chart like this one can get you thinking of how to tune up your wardrobe or your desk top or even your food to reflect more of a happy-making spectrum…!
4. Up your beautification game. There’s so much proof that when you take good care of yourself in a “ritual” way that it translates in your mood and confidence. You don’t need to compare yourself, you don’t need to be perfect and you don’t need to be self-punishing! All that said, a better face-cleansing ritual, a little three minute self massage in the morning or a minute of tinted moisturizer with sunscreen can be instant wow-factor. Whenever I switch up a beauty ritual toward feeling better, everything feels better. Presently: dry brushing skin is my favorite, second only to scalp massage!
5. Move a lot. Stand instead of sitting. Stretch in breaks. Walk more than you ever have. I know you heard this before, a thousand times, and so have I… but I still have to remind myself constantly because I don’t do it as often as I need to and it is instant happiness. Move, move, move. And get a fitness tracker for a while to make a game of that movement. Motion- as much as you can fit in your day- is the greatest.
Move that motion into your house, too, by changing up a room that always looks “the same.”
Fresh views give you fresh ideas. Fresh choices bring you fresh energy.
You’re not broken even if you’re a little miserable right now.
Count your blessings, make new choices and start moving…!
P.S.: The Catalyst Camp Feng Shui Home & Life De-Cluttering is on the way soon to open up your life to the new like never before!
It’s 8 weeks of de-cluttering, letting things go and lightening up life in radical ways.
Join us making space for more money, love, peace and happiness to flow now and in the New Year!!!