Fill Up On Happiness, Not Food
When we eat beyond satisfied and even beyond full, we are eating to fill a void. That void can only be filled by you, your life, and happiness. People who fill up on happiness are more likely to take actions that move them in the direction of their goals. They also tend to burn more calories, and attract happy and successful people into their lives. They are “living on full.”
What do I mean by “fill up on happiness?” I mean choose to find happiness—not negativity, gossip, mind-numbing TV shows, or empty calories—in the world around you. The following tips, techniques, and happiness quotes should get you started.
1. Focus on the journey, not the destination. At the end of the day, happiness is not about the big house, the money, the jewelry or any material goods. The thrill is in the satisfaction of pushing our envelope and living our best life. Happiness lives in the meaning and purpose we find in our lives. This past weekend, my family had a bbq. We sat around our 4-person circle table on the back patio and ate together, laughed together, and enjoyed being together. That was one of the most happiness times I’ve felt this week. Happy times don’t necessarily include going on a cruise but can be experience in your own back patio table. Melt into the process. Enjoy the ride. Happiness guaranteed!
2. Celebrate a memory, your brilliance, your authentic style, your family, your animals, nature and/or your clean closets! Celebrate anything and everything that brightens your heart. If you find one thing to celebrate every day, your mind will soon automatically search for things to celebrate. Imagine that… your mind on automatic pilot, searching for happy things to celebrate.
3. One needs to expend an awful lot of energy to hold onto anger and resentment. And at the end of the day, who is it hurting? If you take a hot coal and intend to throw it, before you let go, who does it burn? You! Same way with anger and resentment. You get burned. Certainly not the people to whom you are directing your bitterness and hostility. Those negative feelings are swirling through your own psyche and body. So let them go and enjoy a path toward feeling lighter, freer, and happier. In the end, you could consider forgiveness the best kind of selfish act, as it benefits you as much as anyone else.
4. Rather than focusing on what you haven’t achieved (and believe me, you are not alone!), why not focus on what you have accomplished and give yourself credit where credit is due? No holds barred. No thoughts that negate your triumphs or happy moments.
Right now, write down your successes, your favorite memories, your blessings and things you are thankful for. You can even project happy happenings into the future. Feel that happy energy swirling upward? It may be big things but actually the smaller things are usually more meaningful.
5. Exercise and activity stimulates the brain to release endorphins and increases the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, the body’s natural mood elevator! Schedule 30 minutes a day to get out there and shake it, baby! Walk, dance, run, jump up and down, twirl in circles, just plain play… move any way you can and feel happy.
6. Get rid of those energy drainers. Anything and anyone (yep, people especially can drain your energy) that depletes your energy or you are tolerating in your life. Get those unpleasant, little, pesky tasks done, now! They are sapping your energy and weighing you down. They are hanging over your head. Free yourself of this mental clutter, and clear space for happiness!
7. Eat healthy, fresh foods. Yes, those Ding Dongs and Ho Ho’s may taste good temporarily but they don’t do your body any favors…..they add no, zero nada nutrition and actually with all the sugar, fat and the drain on your body, they actually do harm to your body. When you eat healthfully, your body thanks you and even your mood is elevated as well.
8. Stress, upset, and negative feelings can register in the body as tight shoulders, stomach cramps, stiff neck, or a headache. Some recommended ways to release this physical tension are to laugh, chant or sing, breathe deeply, get a massage, or sit in a sauna or steam room. It’s important to take care of your body in whatever way works for you.
9. Do a random act of kindness. Want to create an upward happiness spiral that not only affects you, but in turn expands and spirals out there (woo hoo!) enhancing the world-wide happiness quotient? Do something nice for someone else! It’s that simple. Plant one seed of happiness – just one – and it has the potential to grow and spread. The other day we were at a restaurant and there was an elderly gentleman that received his checkand took the change out of his pocket counting it out to pay for his bill. It seems as though he was short because he kept searching his pockets, his eyes were watery and he was shaking his head. We paid for his meal at the same time we paid for ours. We were so happy for the rest of the day. My sons talked for the rest of the day about how surprised he would be when he went to the counter to pay his bill.
10. Practice an attitude of gratitude daily. We can be collectors of injustices – we can continually feel slighted, empty, and unhappy because of all the injustices (both real and imagined) that have fallen upon us. Or, we can count our blessings, feel joyful and happy, and cultivate gratitude. Every night before you go to bed, jot down at least 5 things that you are grateful for. You may be grateful for the obvious – food, shelter, clothing, a job, or some more subtle things, like smiles from strangers, a ripe piece of fruit, or the bus arriving just as you get to the stop. As you strengthen your gratitude muscle, you’ll find that your life is filled with more blessings than you realized.
11. Do something daily to create a moment for yourself. It could be something as simple as watching birds outside in the trees, watching children playing, dancing to a catchy tune, playing with your pet(s), reading a favorite book, or whatever moment you can grab in your day that gives you a moment of pause and happiness.
When you fill up your heart with happiness, joy, and living your best life, you are truly full of what matters.
Believe In Yourself,
Cathy, ACC-ICF, CLC
Certified Life Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Coach
Certified Back On Track Facilitator