How do you achieve happiness, the kind that lasts all day? Robert Frost wrote, “Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.” While this is a beautiful aphorism depicting the spirit of the human condition, there are many concrete strategies to assist you in making happiness go the distance. Here is a sample weekday happiness schedule:
* If you are jolted out of bed by your alarm clock, you are already starting your day stressed which means anything can set you off. Hit the snooze button. Just a few minutes more in bed and you wake up gently and in control while you prepare yourself emotionally. Savor these “stolen moments.”
* Eat a balanced breakfast of complex carbs and lean protein — food and mood go together.
* Change your seat at the kitchen table to see things from a fresh perspective. Don’t eat on the run!
* For the daily commute, car or public transportation, vary your route just a little. Nothing deadens the heart like routine; wake up your spirit. While you are at it, get off a stop earlier or park your car a few blocks away to reap the mood-elevating benefits of an outdoor walk.
* Use your daily commute as an opportunity to meditate. You can meditate anywhere as long as you are aware of your surroundings.
Imagine your forehead, the center of your inspiration, as a deep blue; your pure heart is white and your belly is gold because you are a golden child. Now align the three colors vertically, blue, white and gold like a traffic light and you will feel emotionally centered and in focus especially during rush hour traffic. Note: if you are driving, do not close your eyes unless you are parked!
* Greet people at the train station, school bus stop or in your office building. Happiness is propelled by numbers. When you are acknowledged, you feel validated and energized. Pay it forward.
* Keep in mind the correlation between food and mood. Eat a balanced lunch. Exercise during half of your lunch break to move stress out of your body and increase focus to avoid that afternoon slump. You can walk, stretch or do exercises that use the body’s own resistance. Your ability to find solutions will improve.
* De-clutter every afternoon. The day’s chaos accumulates to weigh you down. Clear out your desk, your fridge, a drawer, the mail or your pocket book to liberate your energy.
* Have a late afternoon healthy snack to keep energy levels at peak performance. Drink a hot liquid like herbal tea to signal relaxation. You can’t gulp a hot liquid.
* Unwind and enjoy your personal space with happiness rituals.
* To help you unwind before sleep and release toxins: First put your feet in a pot of hot water (a temperature you can tolerate) for one minute and then immediately place them in a pot of cold water for thirty seconds. Repeat this cycle 3X. This hot/ cold treatment releases toxins from your feet — the body’s foundation. The heat circulates the blood; the cold water reduces the swelling. The cold pulls out toxins in the contractive phase and the heat brings blood and nutrients in the expansive phase.
* Have a treat right before bed — you won’t overeat because you will be going to sleep and you will feel rewarded.
* To unwind before sleep: instead of that endless to-do list playing in your head, how about a “Look what I did today list!” Sweet dreams…
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By Debbie Mandel, Intent.com