Living happy and loving yourself are habits you must learn how to cultivate. We have researched five easy and effective ways you can do these. You can set a goal to try these suggestions out, then reserve the testimonies for Surge Zirc editorial team.
Start journaling every morning.
Penning down your thoughts everyday is a great way to remember them. It’s also another way to look inward when it looks like you’re spending much time pouring energy out. If you havn’t started doing so, you must pick-up your dairy at once and begin to write down things that happened to you which you were grateful for each day
Alison Ledgerwood, social psychologist and professor at the University of California, Davis. said, “practicing gratitude for a few minutes each day can boost people’s well-being — and even their experience of their physical health.”
Funny enough, it doesn’t take much time to write down something that you really appreciate, it doesn’t matter the size. It’s a process of making your mind dwell once more on something you appreciate.
“You start thinking that way a little bit more spontaneously through the rest of the day as well,” Ledgerwood said. “It gets easier. The first time you sit down to write it, you’re like, ‘I’m grateful for my dog. And uh, my dog. I guess it was sunny today.’ The second day it’s a little easier and the third day, you’re writing about a lot more stuff.”
Make sure to eat food that nourish your body and mind
It’s widely known that emotional eating can be used to suppress or soothe feelings, including stress, anger and loneliness. However, in recent years, health experts have made the case that we don’t just turn to food in response to our emotional state — food might actually be the catalyst.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps regulate sleep and appetite, manage your mood and prevent pain, according to Harvard Health. Nearly 95 percent of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract. As a result, your digestive system doesn’t just help your body break down food, it helps guide your emotions.
Rachel Hollis, author of Girl, Wash Your Face, has also noticed a connection between her wellness routine — including diet — and her mindset.
“I’m actually much better able to control my thinking when I control my daily habits and routine: working out, eating well, staying hydrated all work as a physical practice that reinforces the mental practice I want to have,” Hollis explaned.
To get more from your meals, consider a balanced diet of foods that provide premium fuel to your body and brain. What’s that look like? A plant-based diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially green, leafy vegetables and berries, is associated with better brain health, according to research. You might also consider fish and other types of seafood, which have been tied to improved cognitive function.
Try to make your world smaller
We spend much of our day seeking affirmation from others, especially through social media. On average, more than 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram every day, with posts garnering 4.2 billion “likes” each day.
Each “like” on our posts or photos gives us a boost of dopamine, a chemical in our brain that plays a role in our reward system. However, that satisfactory feeling is fleeting.
That’s why Wright and her husband periodically take breaks from social media — to be more present in the moment but also to spend more time with their own thoughts. “We automatically go external instead of turning internal, which is really where most of our answers live,” Wright said.
Take the social media apps off your phone for a period of time or only use your phone as a camera on vacation to quiet the external chatter and refill your cup.
Make sure to find physical movement that feels like a reward, not a punishment
Data show a good chunk of people ditch their New Year’s resolutions ― like hitting the gym ― pretty early in the year. Reasons for ditching a fitness goal may vary, but there’s likely one commonality: They signed up for something they never really wanted to do in the first place.
The physical and mental health benefits of exercise are well-known, but it can be hard to reap the rewards if you’re forcing yourself to do something you dislike. Choose physical movement that feels good for you, not like a punishment, they should be habits you enjoy, Kristoffer said.
“You need to find your version of physical movement that makes you come alive, and feel amazing, and that you look forward to,” she added.
Recognize your negative thoughts — and replace them
There’s a roommate inside your head who weighs in on your every move. They might catch a glimpse of your reflection in the mirror and make a snide remark about an ill-fitting shirt. Or, when someone doesn’t respond to your text right away, they lead you to believe you said the wrong thing — again.
“The way that we would talk to our worst enemy is the way that we talk to ourselves when we’re stuck in this toxic cycle,” said Rachel Wright, a licensed marriage and family therapist based in New York.
Wright, who co-owns Wright Wellness Center with her husband, Kyle Wright, added that one of the most common issues she helps clients work through is negative self-talk, which sometimes develops due to a number of influencers, including our parents, gender, culture and even our socioeconomic status.
Negative words that your parents used toward you growing up can often resurface as the things you tell yourself, she continued. However, with practice, you can learn to recognize these toxic thoughts and replace them with positive ones.
The first step is to identify the toxic thought (“OK, I’m thinking this thought”), Wright explained. Second, acknowledge and validate the thought (“OK, this is a terrible thought. I don’t want to be mean to myself”). Third, replace the thought with the new one. For example, if you struggle with feelings of inadequacy, Wright said, you could set an alarm to go off on your phone every day that reads, “I am enough.”