There’s an overarching theme in the Dear Sage letters we receive from you;
The source of discontent ranges but this period of MidLife seems fraught with a wet blanket of “womp, womp, womp”. In truth, Your Sages fight it too but we think we’ve cracked the code.
SPOILER ALERT: Nothing you’re going to read here is earth shattering information you didn’t already know, but we know you needed to hear it again.
This isn’t just a fluff piece. This stuff really works…if you commit to doing it daily.
Here’s 8 simple things to do daily to increase your sense of happiness. Trust us. Just give it a try.
Did you just groan? Get over it. We know this word along with its brother, MINDFULNESS, are thrown around a lot these days. But it’s with good reason. Taking a moment to identify the good in your life and being appreciative of it does raise your mood.
You don’t have to go on a quest for some magical epiphany to be grateful for. It can literally be something in the moment that is bringing you pleasure. Have a quiet five minutes to have a cup of coffee by yourself? Be thankful for it. Are you getting over a cold? Take a moment to acknowledge your awesome immune system. Having fun being part of MiddleSages? Thank your lucky stars we had the balls to start this. You get the idea.
It doesn’t matter if you take a minute to write down one or two things a day (click HERE to see how we check GRATITUDE off our list) or just say it out loud, a habit of thankfulness is a quick pick me up when things feel tough.
A lot of people think visualization is just a witchy thing where you can manifest things you want. That is a very watered down description.
We like to think of VISUALIZATION as more of developing a deep sense of optimism. Just like The Little Engine That Could, believing you can achieve something is often the catapult that actually allows you to reach your goals.
Making a Vision Board can be very motivating. A physical picture of what you want to achieve imprints in your brain. And when you believe you can attain those things, when you hold the optimism that those things are within your capabilities, your mental health improves. Optimism about a hopeful future filled with your wildest dreams can’t help but bring a smile to your face.
Fair warning, while the feeling of optimism is an immediate reward, do not allow yourself to be deterred when goals are challenging. By this time in your life you know some things are worth the wait. But by believing that you are a winner and that good things will happen to you and come to you, your daily demeanor will drastically improve.
Should you do nice things just because? Of course, but there’s a bonus. You can’t ignore the feel good feelings you get from helping out a friend, loved one or even a stranger.
Happiness for sale, 2 for 1! Why not buy some?
Friends are critical in so many ways. They are your sounding board, sometimes letting you work through your issue with just another person to nod and agree. Sometimes they are the ones to call you on the carpet and tell you you’re full of shit.
Honest and loyal friendships are tough to come by, especially in MidLife. We had a Dear Sage letter on the subject that you can read HERE.
While friendships may not come easy, they are worth it. Spending time with friends may be the best way to pull you out of a funk. And if you’ve got a really great friend, she’ll constantly remind you, “you are smart, you are kind, you are important”. That’s sure to boost your mood.
Nothing goes according to plan. Can I get an “amen”?
So it is imperative to your overall mood that you cultivate the ability to carry yourself in tough times. Resilience, though, is not only about getting through those tough times but it’s about bouncing back stronger and more prepared for the next crisis.
It’s also important to manage HOW you respond to difficulties. Freaking out never helped anyone.
Managing your responses and knowing you can grow through difficulties will contribute to a more constant level of happiness in your world.
We mentioned it above. Did you think you were going to get away with not discussing it?
Being in the moment is a key tenant of HAPPINESS. That means put away your effing phone and be aware of all that is happening right now here in the present. Need some tips on how to ditch the phone? So did this Dear Sage letter. You can read it HERE.
The amazing phenomenon that takes over when you are MINDFUL is something called FLOW. Some call it a groove but we know you’ve all had that feeling; you’re in the middle of a project and you are kicking ass and taking names. It feels amazing because you are being productive and what you are doing becomes fun, no matter the task.
Try it with something mundane like washing dishes. Focus on the cleaning. Feel the warm water. Smell the fresh soap. You may even want to through in a little GRATITUDE like “I’m so thankful to have these dishes clean and ready for my next delicious meal.” You’ll enjoy even the mundane just for the sheer sake of it, unto itself.
Then watch what happens when you really pay attention to something you love doing like a hobby. Your level of enjoyment and HAPPINESS will skyrocket.
Just having a sense of purpose can change your mood. Setting a goal or a few gives you a reason to jump out of bed.
Some have trouble even setting goals. Answering the question of what would truly make you happy is daunting. It takes work and is a process of self-reflection that may require input from a friend, life coach or therapist.
Once you’ve set a goal, you’ve got to keep at it. Sometimes you will be rewarded, sometimes you won’t. It takes stamina, hard work and RESILIENCE (see above).
There’s a saying:
Winners Keep Score
Make sure your goals are measurable. Take time to reflect on your progress and don’t be afraid to change course. Adjustments may be needed as you reevaluate what’s working and what is truly important to you.
Each day, make some progress on your goal. No matter how small, the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel will increase your HAPPINESS.
8. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY
If you don’t feel good, none of this is gonna help. Staying healthy and energetic in MidLife can be a challenge. It takes dedication and effort but you’re worth it.
Let’s talk about your innards first. More advice you’ve never heard:
- Eat Well
- Drink Water
Because when you do that, you actually LOOK BETTER!
And who are we kidding, when you feel good about the way you look, you are happier.
Don’t you dare leave this article saying, “yeah, yeah, yeah”. YOU are responsible for your own happiness and paying dedicated attention to these 8 areas will elevate your mood and increase your sense of happiness. Keep at it and let us know how it’s going.
Xo, Your Sages