Happiness. We all want it, but it can often feel elusive, especially when we chase it through food, social media, shopping, or other people.
As a holistic health promoter and soon-to-be PhD in happiness studies (yes, really!), I’ve spent more than a decade focused on the magic and mystery of happiness.
And here’s the thing: Although I’m an expert in “happy,” I can’t make you happy. No one can, really. Happiness starts with you.
The good news: There are myriad ways to start cultivating joy in your life! As the lifestyle coach for Clean Eating’s #GoClean45 challenge, I mapped out a six-week program to help you tune in to your body, quiet your mind and seek happiness through actionable steps. Here’s how to start:
Get those goals down on paper! Ask yourself: “What is my motivation?” Is it a positive voice within yourself, or is it driven by something negative? Then, take it a step further, asking yourself:
1) What is my vision or intention for myself at the end of this achievement?
2) I am starting this journey now because:
3) Things that motivate me right now include:
4) I am worth it because:
Reflection can take many forms; for me, there are three pillars, including meditation, breathwork and gratitude.
Gratitude is a cornerstone of happiness. I encourage you to practice it daily, and log what you’re grateful for every day. Having a gratitude practice helps you feel more content and optimistic, while also reducing stress and anxiousness. It’s been shown through studies that the simple act of trying to think of something you appreciate activates neural pathways in your brain that release two feel-good hormones: serotonin and dopamine.
Move every single day, whether it’s a gentle hike or a power yoga routine. Perform a mobility bodyweight routine 2 to 3 times a week, with a strength workout woven in 1 to 2 times per week.
When in doubt, break things down and focus on what feels manageable. With movement or any of these other activities, let the Domino Effect be your guide: When you change one behavior, it activates a chain reaction, causing a shift in related behaviors—like a chain of falling dominoes. The Domino Effect is about progress, not results. Start small and watch as you gain momentum toward change!