Having a positive outlook every day, is something most of us would love to wake up with every day. Chances are, that some days, you find yourself struggling to keep your spirit uplifted and bright. What we must remember, is that, it takes effort. We must take responsibility for own attitude each day. When it comes to feeling happiness, encouragement, and peace within our heart and soul, it takes work.
In Yoga, this place of contentment, is called santosha, the second of the Niyamas of Pantanjali’s eight-fold path toward enlightenment or bliss. It is when we give up the notion of “I will be happy when…”, we can experience santosha, and realize having an attitude of contentment, comes from within. Nothing outside ourselves can cultivate true joy.
On days we are experiencing self-doubt, sadness, anger, or maybe feeling completely discouraged, there are action steps we can take to shift our energy from fear and return to a space of love.
Here are some of my favorite ways, I can always count on to put me in a better mood and raise my vibration. Remember, what we think, we create. Next time, you feel down, try one, or all, and you will be onward and upward in no time!
Moving our body, helps us to release stagnant energy, reduces stress, depression, and tension. A regular exercise program also helps us to relax and get a good night’s sleep. What are you waiting for?! Take a Yoga class, go for a walk, a bike ride, or dance to your favorite music today!
Five minutes a day, spent in silence, listening to our breath, can help us to surrender a monkey mind. Most of us have thoughts jumping from one to the next to the next, all day long, exhausting us, mentally and emotionally. When we connect to our breath, and turn inward, we access a stillness and peace that is always there for us. Light a candle, and maybe try a guided meditation with music. Begin with three minutes and work your way up from there. You will find meditation will become a necessity in your life.
Watch a motivational Ted talk
There are so many inspiring, motivational speakers to be found via social media. I love to go on YouTube, and watch some of my favorite spiritual teachers, like Marrianne Williamson, Carolyn Myss, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Eckhart Tolle. This is one, I still do quite often. I love to get cozy, with a cup of tea, and listen to inspiring and educational talks. It always feels like food for my soul.
How May I Serve?
This is a simple prayer you can say, which will guide you to help someone, or be of service in some way. No matter how big or small, giving of ourselves, without expecting anything in return, hands down, works every time, in turning a bad day around. Volunteer for your favorite charity, help a friend move, visit someone who is lonely, clean out your closet and donate items you no longer need, or simply spend more time with your loved ones. Giving the gift of kindness, a compliment, or a prayer, is something we can all do every day.
Spending time in nature, helps us to get grounded, and remember, the bigger picture of our lives. It gets us out of our heads and reminds us of the natural order to everything in the universe. We can obtain a much healthier perspective of whatever situation we find ourselves stuck in. The universe has supplied us with loving elements, which leave us feeling inspired, cleansed and renewed. Giving Dr. Air, Dr. Water, Dr. Earth, and Dr. Sun a visit, will leave you feeling better emotionally, and contributes to your overall wellbeing.
Read inspiring self-help / spiritual book
Reading a book, from your favorite author, or spiritual teacher, is another great, easy way to feed your mind, and soul with positive energy, and inspiration. I have been an avid reader for many years. Check out my list of favorite books here.
Listen to music
Music has the power to completely shift our energy. You may even feel inspired to learn how to play an instrument or go to a live concert. Find what style touches your soul, then, turn it up!
If someone were to ask me what my passion is, I would say creativity. Anytime I am creative, whether it is painting, writing, or creating my next sequence for yoga class, I lose all track of time, and enter into a space of pure contentment. Santosha! The best part is, we do not have to be the best at anything. The act of creating something, allows your own unique energy within, to flow through you, and be expressed out into this world. Creativity is a source of happiness. And we were born to experience both.
Our sense of smell, is directly connected to the limbic system in the brain, which controls emotion. Using essential oils, is an easy, quick, and powerful way to shift your mood, almost instantaneously. Try adding a few drops to a room diffuser, an ounce of massage oil, or to a soothing salt bath. You can even place a few drops in the palm of your hand, and take three deep inhalations, to bring a sense of calmness and balance to your well-being. (be sure to dilute with carrier oil prior to applying to skin!) Three of my favorite must have oils are lavender, patchouli, and peppermint.
Studies have shown, people who have healthy, supportive, and loving relationships in their life, live longer, and have a better quality of life, then those who don’t. Dedicate time to reach out and connect to the people in your life that mean the most to you. Spend time with family, and friends, in person!! There is nothing better than sharing a laugh, a meal, a warm embrace, and making memories, with your loved ones, that last a lifetime.
I truly believe happiness is a state of mind, that begins within. On days we wake up feeling disheartened, or with a case of the blues, the most important thing to remember, is that we do not have to stay there. To have a different experience, we must do something different. We get to make another choice and decide to make the best out of each day. Let life surprise you.