Published July 6, 2018 — Share
There are some days where it doesn’t take much to shift your mindset from positive to negative, putting you in a less than stellar mood. Workplace stress, an unpleasant social encounter, traffic, or even just getting up on the wrong side of the bed can set the tone for the day. Almost everyone deals with everyday stress and aggravations, but a shift in attitude can help to reset your perspective and offer longer term benefits.
There is a power in positivity. Happiness doesn’t just feel great, mental wellbeing is part of overall health, and can help you get ahead in life. Having an optimistic state of mind feeds motivation, so new challenges are welcomed with the mindset that goals will be met. Positive psychology looks at mental wellness, and found that the qualities of hope, efficacy, resiliency and optimism (HERO), together comprise Psychological Capital. Like optimism, this capital can contribute to greater sense of intentional living, control and satisfaction when pursuing goals in life.
Simple shifts in lifestyle habits including fitness, diet, sleep and certain supplements, support the cultivation of happiness and an optimistic mind. Here are 6 ways to help support and maintain a positive outlook.
Dietary choices make a substantial impact on the state of your mood. A diet focused on nutrient-dense, whole-foods provides the fuel you need to persevere throughout a challenging day. If you’re on the go, or a busy day just doesn’t allow you to prepare whole foods, you can lean on one of our CHFA member retailers for a wide variety of health-conscious choices.
Bonus Tip: Choose Organic as often as possible and reduce your exposure to chemical residues. Here are 10 great reasons why.
Exercise generates endorphins: chemicals produced by the body that relieve pain and induce feelings of pleasure. Daily exercise gives you a mental “boost”, reduces stress and even bolsters self-esteem. Whether you like socializing with team sports, the solitude of yoga, or walking with a friend while catching up, there are many ways to up your physical activity. Even habits like opting to take the stairs help weave fitness into your routine.
Bonus Tip: Get outside – exercising in natural environments has been associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement.
Integrate mindfulness into your day. Some people practice meditation for its many benefits, and sitting comfortably in stillness for even 10-15 minutes a day can provide valuable down-time to counter stress. But you don’t need to meditate to be mindful. Taking 10, deep, slow breathes a few times a day can help centre and calm you. Other great mindfulness practices include personal goal setting, positive visualization, and journaling, all of which aid in self-connection.
Bonus Tip: Practice mindful eating, taking the time to chew slowly, really savouring your food. Not only is it calming, it promotes healthy digestion!
Good sleep is a vital pillar of our health, and there are things you can do to promote a restorative night’s sleep. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours a night and incorporate some “wind-down” time into your bedtime routine. Avoid screens or any stimulating activity, and set the mood with a soothing bath, diffusing calming essential oils and darken the bed room to support circadian rhythms.
Bonus Tip: We don’t always get time to wind down, and melatonin supplements been found to be helpful in inducing and maintaining sleep for those with regular sleep habits, as well as those who have issues with insomnia or jet lag.
Stress affects everyone, but to help prevent stress from taking a toll on your wellbeing, try adaptogens – compounds that assist your body with stress management. Rhodiola has been researched for its abilities to reduce the symptoms of stress, including mental fatigue.
Bonus Tip: Fish is called “brain food” for a reason. The Omega 3 fatty acids sourced from fish – namely EPA and DHA can support healthy brain function. Look for a supplement containing 1,500-5,000 mg EPA + DHA including at least 1000 mg EPA per daily dose.
A few simple changes in your daily routine can have amazing benefits for your happiness. But while establishing healthy habits into your life, take one day at a time and don’t hold yourself up to a rigid “happiness routine” - self-love and forgiveness are important for cultivating happiness too.
Bonus Tip: Ask for help! Visit a local CHFA Member health food store for supplements and foods that can nourish and support you in your goals, and remember to speak to your health care practitioner to find what’s best for you.