C'mon Get Happy

Screen shot 2012-11-27 at 10.34.08 AM

Welcome to Tuesday’s Tips, the one day a week when I break the format of answering your questions and I dispense useful, actionable and empowering tips!

Today I’m talking about happiness, one of my favorite subjects! As many of you know, I’m trained in Positive Psychology and I believe that in the final analysis, we all want to be happier. And that’s it. Sounds simple, but most of us are so burdened by negative ways of looking at the world and by negative life habits that increasing happiness can become a daunting prospect. Here are 5 tips to increase your happiness TODAY. I challenge you to follow this recipe for 7 days and watch your happiness soar. Wondering how to measure it? Go to AuthenticHappiness.org and take the Authentic Happiness Inventory (take it twice: today and in 7 days for an accurate measurement of the success of this challenge).

Make An Appointment. Stop trying to work out alone. Call a friend or a colleague and ask him/her to work out with you 4-5 times in the next 7 days. Pick specific days and times and put them on the calendar! When you have someone else relying on you to show up, you won’t disappoint. Studies show that doing cardio 3-5 times a week for 30 minutes or more is the equivalent of the most effective antidepressant available, so make yourself a killer playlist of songs from high school and get your ass on that elliptical.

Reach Out. We all know that daily gratitude increases happiness. I’m about to give you a supersized version thereof:  Think of someone who has really been good to you. It could be an old teacher, an uncle, a neighbor, a former supervisor or a friend. Write them an email or letter of gratitude. Then send it.

Hydrate. Something like 80% of adult daytime exhaustion is due to dehydration. When we’re tired we tend to be cranky, we’re unfocused and we overeat for fuel. Take your body weight and divide it in half. That number (in ounces) represents the amount of water you should be drinking daily. Yes, you should be peeing every hour or so and it should be almost clear…Until you get to the next tip, that is.

Vitamins. Go to Whole Foods or another high-end store and buy yourself a great multi-vitamin. Add to that some ginseng, b-complex and omega 3’s and you’ll have the foundation of what is necessary to begin healing your stressed out body. If you don’t think you’ll follow through and get to a store today, do it online. Here’s a link to a really good brand: http://www.rainbowlight.com/. The down side? Your pee is going to look florescent.

Do It. You’ve wanted to take pole-dancing classes forever (oh wait…that’s me). You’ve been watching Ghost for years thinking one day you’ll take pottery classes. How long are you going to postpone joining that watercolor painting class? Not a day longer!!! Do it today. Don’t just start. Complete the task. Make the call. Send the email. Mail in the registration form and be done with it. Watch how having a new hobby to look forward to increases your happiness.