There is a parallel relationship between happiness and wellness. It’s easier to enjoy the delicious simplicities of life when your mind and body are at ease. Yet, there are blocks between happiness that often stem from our health status and physical or mental well-being.
I often get weighed down by my self-imposed stressors. I say “self-imposed” because it's me that makes me feel bad most of the time. It makes me think happiness is indeed a choice. Perhaps the most challenging one you’ll ever have to make.
In Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron, she says life is “not about winning or losing–but about ceasing to struggle and relaxing as it is.” This state of mind can help if you’re feeling overwhelmed, stuck, or unhappy in your current situation.
“Things arise and dissolve forever and ever,” Pema writes. Happiness is possible when we can find acceptance in the inevitable changes of daily life. And happiness leads to wellness.
When you are happier, it’s easier to:
- Deal with uncomfortable changes
- Acknowledge the gains you have made already
- Appreciate your present health status
- Make better decisions.
So wherever you are in your wellness journey, take time to appreciate your progress. Then try these five tips to surge forward and rally against your inner critic.
5 Tips for Happiness and Wellness
1. Practice Radical Acceptance
The term “radical acceptance” comes from DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), a type of behavioral therapy. Acceptance is also widely taught in zen practices.
Just looking at the term “radical acceptance” brings me peace. That’s because it urges you to accept exactly where you are, at this moment, however messy or impossible a situation seems.
The path to wellness is much clearer when we can find peace and accept where we’re at. Possibilities open up.
Meditation as soon as you rise is crucial for your inner peace and brain plasticity. That’s because your mind is most susceptible to messaging the first hour of being awake, as you have lowered inhibition in the morning.
Another reason to meditate when you wake up? Meditation requires “higher attention load,” Doing it right before bed might interfere with sleep, according to neuroscientist Andrew Huberman from the Huberman Lab Podcast.
It may seem easier to rush to do work right away. But even five minutes of centering, like a guided meditation, can shift your mindset in the right direction. I personally love insight timer and Davidji’s Deep Healing guided meditation.
Benefits of Meditation:
- Reduce inflammation
Meditation reduces cortisol levels and cytokines, inflammatory markers from stress. It also reduces blood pressure and heart rate. Ahhh, peace at last!
- Feel connected
It’s common to feel lonely and isolated nowadays. Since the pandemic, life has changed, with a greater emphasis on remote work. Meditation helps connect with yourself and appreciate the connections in your life.
- Regulate emotions
Meditation changes the structure of your brain for the better. Your hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls emotion, is positively affected by meditation.
3. Be Mindful
Mindfulness is “a mental mode characterized by attention to present-moment experience without judgment, elaboration, or emotional reactivity,” says neuroscientist Amishi Jha. It’s different from meditation but just as impactful.
Mindfulness isn’t always pleasant, which is why we avoid it. Negative feelings may arise when you stick around to notice everything you’re feeling. But just 12 minutes a day of mindfulness and breathing exercises improves attention and memory.
Benefits of Mindfulness:
With mindfulness, you can retrain your brain to pay attention to happiness and wellness–as if your life depends on it. Because it does!
When it comes to maintaining good habits, 83% of people believe that cutting back on health and wellness services will cost them more in the long run, according to Wakefield Research’s report. They aren’t wrong. Making small improvements daily is key to building better health.
Habits lead to better choices through small, incremental steps.
Make it enjoyable.
According to James Clear (author of Atomic Habits), you have to “make it enjoyable.” If you start a habit and it feels good, you’re more likely to keep doing it.
For example, if you meet your exercise goals for a week and then “reward” yourself with something you enjoy, you’re more likely to stick to that habit. Your brain remembers rewards.
5. Reward Yourself at Restore
Restore’s services are dedicated to improving physical and mental wellbeing. Try it as a reward for your good habits. A healthy reward that’s also satisfying is one of the fastest ways to get on track and stay in tune with your goals.
Additionally, sixty-three percent of people believe investing in Restore services can help them save money in the long run. So there’s a cost-benefit to investing in healthy rewards.
Restore connects the dots between how you feel physically and mentally to help you get to happy. Services like infrared sauna therapy, red light therapy, and cryotherapy can help boost your mood. IV Drips have essential B-vitamins and minerals that build healthy muscles and mental acuity. Perhaps it seems strange to freeze your body in the name of happiness (i.e., cryotherapy). But I think it’s stranger not to try something that could radically shift your overall well-being into a state of bliss.
Photo by Jenna Kahn.