We’re living in stressful times.
How are you coping amidst all the changes related to coronavirus?
You, like many other women, might be struggling — whether it’s from losing your job, keeping your family healthy, or securing basic supplies for your home.
Some days might even feel like a battle just to make ends meet.
How long can your physical and mental health endure? You’re doing your best but you’re so stressed and overwhelmed.
I know it’s tough right now.
But can you still find the strength to detect a glimmer of happiness in your life? Can you summon the wherewithal to cultivate that happiness?
Because learning how to live healthy and happy may be exactly what you need to carry you through these stressful times.
Can Happiness Really Relieve Your Stress?
Right now, the world can feel like a scary place.
Instead of attempting to draw happiness from the external world, try looking within.
Cultivating happiness from within will create profound changes in your life.
For one, you’ll gain more resilience to stress and overwhelm.
When you’re overwhelmed, your body releases the stress hormone, cortisol. According to Premier Health, high cortisol levels lead to fatigue, headaches, and can suppress your immune system.
When you start cultivating happiness, your body releases hormones like dopamine and serotonin. These are the hormones that make you feel happy and fulfilled!
How amazing is that?
Happiness doesn’t have to be some elusive concept. You can make the conscious choice to stop depending on external achievements and learn how to cultivate it from within.
You can stop feeling overwhelmed and start feeling happy again.
How to Live Healthy and Happy: 5 Tips to Nurture Happiness from Within
#1 Start a Gratitude Journal
If I asked you, “What’s going wrong in your life?” you probably have a mental list already prepared…
- Overwhelmed by work
- Coping with COVID-19 and quarantine
- Strained relationships
- And much, much more
See, your brain is wired to see the negativity in your life.
It’s a survival instinct that helped your ancestors evolve. It triggered a stress response that allowed them to quickly spot danger or risk getting eaten by a predator.
It was an eat or be eaten world back then.
Nowadays, not many of us are getting chased by wild animals.
Yet, the stress response remains, triggered instead by the endless obligations and negativity that life throws your way.
But what if you can take that survival instinct and widen it to also notice everything right in your life?
A powerful way to do this is by starting a gratitude journal.
Every day, jot down at least three things you’re grateful for.
Our minds are so prone to jumping from one stressful thing to the next. This practice teaches you to slow down. By grounding yourself in the moment, you can take stock of your life.
You might notice there are so many blessings you take for granted, like having a roof over your head and waking up to live another day.
Yes, life is stressful. But life can be filled with beauty and joy. Daily gratitude will remind you of this.
Kickstart this gratitude practice right now by sharing one thing you’re grateful for in the comments below.
#2 Embrace Forgiveness
There’s a saying — holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
While you’re not literally drinking poison, holding onto a grudge is still dangerous to your mind and body. According to Psychology Today, resentment may lead to emotional distress and feelings of shame or guilt. You might even experience physical symptoms, like illness or fatigue.
Is there something from your past that you won’t let go of?
Maybe it’s anger at your mom. Or resentment towards a toxic ex.
Ask yourself, “Why am I holding on this? Is this doing me any good?”
More often, it’s not.
Past experiences help you grow. But grudges hold you back.
Can you give yourself permission to forgive somebody who wronged you?
Can you summon the courage to move forward?
If you do, you might find the road is brighter looking forward than it is looking back.
#3 Nurture a Hobby
There’s more to life than work and home.
You’re a woman with unique interests and when you nurture them, you’ll tap into greater happiness.
What activity brings you to life?
- Is it when you’re mixing different colors to capture the right essence on canvas?
- Is it when you’re stringing stories from all the ideas bouncing in your head?
- Is it when you put on your running shoes and sprint towards glory?
The point of nurturing a hobby is to tap into your creative flow. When you’re in flow state, the world around you — your stress and obligations — they all slip away.
All that’s left is you and your craft.
Find a hobby that you love.
And if you’re not quite sure what hobby that is, quarantine might afford you extra time for a little self-discovery!
#4 Get Your Body Moving
Earlier, I mentioned how happiness releases hormones like serotonin and dopamine.
One of the best ways to boost those hormone levels is to exercise!
I know a little physical self-care can be challenging with gyms closing due to coronavirus.
But there are so many ways you can stay active from within your home.
- Living room yoga
- Exercise videos
- Go for a jog outside (if it’s permitted)
- Turn on your favorite music and dance your heart out!
Just get active.
As you exercise, you’ll notice the stress leaving your mind and body. That’s the happiness hormones doing their job!
#5 Filter the Negativity
While there’s much beauty and abundance in this world, negativity is everywhere:
- The news
- Your social circles
- Social media
Continuous engagement with negativity can create a stressful environment. Expose yourself for long enough and it can seriously affect your mental state, leading you to be more prone to pessimism and despair.
While there is no way to “negativity-proof” your life, you can take steps to filter the negativity you allow into your life.
You can remove a toxic friend from your life. Reduce your exposure to the news. Be selective about what media you choose to watch.
Then, find sources of positivity. Friends who uplift you. Inspirational books. Funny movies.
And on that note, introduce more positivity to your email inbox by signing up for my mailing list. Receive helpful and actionable tips on how to reduce overwhelm and create your best life.
Remember: Stress and setbacks will come at you throughout life, especially under today’s circumstances. Still, you can cultivate happiness from within, starting with loving yourself and appreciating the blessings in your life.