Seven Tips for a New Year’s Mood Makeover

Seven Tips for a New Year’s Mood Makeover

2017 has been a rough year for so many reasons. I was and still am terrified by the outcomes of the last election, and regularly grieve for everyone whose lives are made more difficult as a result.   For me personally, it has also been a difficult year with my relationships.   This admittedly has put me in a very negative and pessimistic frame of mind. After hours of release work, I’m feeling more grateful for the lessons learned, and am accepting the changes, but feeling happy feels like a stretch at this point.

Happy is not my natural state of mind. I grew up with a very negative and pessimistic father, and that was my default state for decades.   Recent research shows that there is a genetic tendency to depression, and well-being. I suspect given my family and personal history that I did not fair well these genes. Never-the-less, a gene can be expressed in 3000 different ways, so our environment, and what we do matters a lot.

I have had to work at being happy. When our environment spirals negatively downward, being happy requires more work.

Here are some simple tips that you can do to give your mood a makeover for 2018:

  1.   Exercise every day

A review of 25 studies shows that exercise effectively decreases risk of depression, and elevates one’s mood. The standard guidelines are 20-30 of moderate exercise, 5 days a week, with 2 days of strength training.   Personally I find that I have a need for daily activity, and staying challenged, regardless of whether it is aerobic, muscle conditioning or yoga has added benefits.

2.  Gratitude list

Gratitude helps us focus on what we have, rather than what we lack, and research confirms that people who developed a gratitude habit are happier.   Try beginning this practice by starting and ending the day with 3 things you are grateful for.

keep friends close3.  Keep your friends close

Having close social connections is one of the best ways to be happy. Unfortunately, it can be a challenge for some of us.   If you struggle with developing close relationships, the book “The Relationship Cure” by John Gottman, Ph.D. is worth reading. It is based on his extensive research on the interactions made by people in healthy vs. unhealthy relationships.

4.   Get enough sleep

We all know from personal experience that we are much more likely to be cranky when we are sleep deprived.   If you are chronically sleep deprived, you may become less aware of the link between sleep deprivation and your mood, but it is still relevant.   If you find yourself chronically tired, or falling asleep at inappropriate times, it is essential that you address the factors that are interfering with your getting enough good quality sleep at night.

Enjoy the moment5.   Enjoy the moment

If we are unhappy, we are usually spending too much time upset about the past or being worried about the future.   When we stay in the moment, it is easier to be grateful for the things that we do have.   Life is a series of present moments. Don’t let the negative experiences drown out your enjoyment of the here and now.

6.  Embrace Discomfort

In America, there is a strong pressure to always be happy, and we often feel shame when we are not.   Yet, recent research is showing the benefits of being able to comfortably recognize, embrace and accept a wide range of emotions.   Life can be difficult and messy at times.   The happiest people know this and know that “this too shall pass”.   If we can embrace the discomfort, and use it as an opportunity to learn the lessons it teaches us, then we develop more control over our future to forge the life we want.

Be your own best friend7.  Be your own best friend

Many of us are too hard on ourselves. We criticize ourselves for every mistake we make and we can often be vicious and unforgiving. But when we treat ourselves this way, it reflects how we judge others as well.   Practicing compassion towards ourselves, allows us to accept our inherent human nature with all its flaws, and thus to accept the humanity of others.   Accepting ourselves does not mean we have to accept all our behaviors however.   But it is a lot easier to focus on change and growth, when we aren’t mired by all the negative self-talk and criticism.   And being gentle with our imperfections will give us more courage to seek out new relationships, new experiences and new ways of being.

Are you finding it difficult to be happy?  Why not make happiness a priority for 2018?   When you are happier, you not only are more productive, but you can spread more joy, and be a better friend.   So pledge to make happiness a mission, not only for yourself, but those around you.

What will you do to increase your happiness in 2018? Comment below!

If you need support in implementing these tips, consider releasing the beliefs, emotions and subconscious barriers that prevent you from being fully aligned with what is best for you. Learn more about we can do that with the Body Code here and contact me for a complimentary consultation.

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