So, I’m giving a speech today on the topic: “How To Be Happy”. I have no idea why they asked me but I suppose someone overheard somewhere along the line that I am currently writing a book. Well, I guess you can say that I have been writing a book for 9 years- just online, with lot of pictures and caustic wit thrown in between the “lessons learned”.
So when they approached me to speak, the first thing I thought was – oh no- I suck at public speaking. I know, you’re probably shocked if you know me at all you know that I am quite loud and get very animated when I talk- but I am just so much better at writing out what I think – it just comes easily to me. Whereas, when I speak in public I end up going way too fast, perhaps because I feel like I’m going to lose the audiences interest so I better hurry up and get out all points quickly- which always ends up getting scattered along the way.
So I decided to WRITE down in outline form the points I want to make. That’s today’s blog- I am sharing with you my secrets to living a healthy and happy life. It’s a little long so feel free to take all week to read.
Happiness comes naturally to me –I am a lucky gal- but don’t worry
- Happiness can be learned!
- Environment creates positive or negative Behavior…but that can be changed. Change your environment and change your behavior (When I lived in N.J. I was absolutely miserable. The people around me did not smile. The skies were often grey – and not in a cool way like they are in the Mamma’s and Pappa’s song . But the minute I moved to FL and surrounded myself with smiling people and the sun is out all the time – I’m happy again).
- Appreciate everything you have. Sometimes I stop and make my kids look up at the blue sky. They get so annoyed because the sky is always blue and we are always stopping. Devote time to family and friends and appreciate them.
- When all else fails go to the Beach -We are lucky enough to live in FL- 6 minutes from the ocean! No matter if you don’t live near water- go sit on a rock or swing on a swing! Take time to let nature be your therapy.
- Be positive! Ok, Ok, it’s easy to say be Positive but to actually BE positive you have to do more than think it – you have to make the effort to actually say it out loud- even if don’t really think it. Makes a difference when you say something nice vs. something negative or complaining.
- Promote yourself– always give yourself compliments- no negative speak! None of this: “I’m such an idiot!” instead – what I do since I’m such a big klutz- bumping into furniture that I placed- I say things like: “I’m such a dingy!” – meant affectionately about myself. I think this makes me so cute. It doesn’t matter if no one else agrees.
- No complaining!! This is one of my favorites and I stick to it! Stay away from complainers or toxic people, weed them out don’t even respond when they complain- don’t indulge them! Complainers love to complain and love an audience even more! I tell my daughters all the time “don’t be a yenta”! Don’t take on other people’s drama. I avoid people who complain or gossip- I change the subject or walk away. Granted, I don’t have a lot of friends – but the few real friends that I do have – make me happy. Some acquaintances I know come up to me and say something negative- I just walk away. Especially if they try to approach me in the gym- that’s my happy place.
- Have No shame– I really don’t care what others think of me- never have- I have high self esteem and that’s what makes me happy.
- Surround yourself with happy people! Optimism is cultivated and contagious!!
- Don’t try and get in the head of crazy! Just like there’s no room to negotiate with terrorists – same thing goes for crazy- there’s just no room for it! Stay away from crazy eyes!
- Learn/ study/grow your mind. Learning leads to distraction from negative but also inspires the positive. Learn something new- then teach it…pay it forward!
- Set goals – and write them down and most importantly, review them and modify/ change / update!!!
- Contribute / volunteer. My weekly nursing home visits were initially because we thought we would help cheer up the old and sick but turns out it’s more for us!! I always feel like a million bucks (they dish out so many compliments – I’ll take it anyway I can!!)
- Eat clean– no sugar. – Anyone who knows me knows I love to talk about health and fitness. Obsessed with clean eating and natural foods. But there’s real science behind how food affects your mood!!! Spike in blood sugar and insulin levels cause hormone imbalance- just ask my husband when I eat too many cookies- I always BLAME him! Some how it’s his fault – the spike in sugar causes hormonal imbalance- mood swing and even worse: skin issues. Wrinkles, blemishes…blame them on Junk Food =imbalances. Health food= happiness! Hormones lead to Happiness – hormones affect everything from our immune response and inflammation to cellular growth and tissue repair.
- Exercise – for your brain and your body. <20 min. increase Heart Rate = pumps Oxygen to brain and stimulates growth of new connections between cells –neuronal connections reduce stress and increase cell growth! The Type of exercise is even more impactful: workouts that incorporate different parts of your brain – when forced to move and think- and use these 3 things: Coordination + rhythm +strategy= DANCE!! So go do the Salsa and eat it too!
- Sleep– most important is to get rest but also –just before you go to sleep, listen to soft music or watch a comedy or something silly –read an entertaining light book – nothing sad or tragic- avoid the nightly news before bed – I watch my dumb Bravo network- the Real Housewives of anytown- my husband calls it the “dumbing down of Jordana”- I call it the best sleep aid in town! (But Xanax works well too!)
- BREATHE! Take a breath- literally breathing reduces stress – releases the same chemicals that: lowers blood pressure/Heart Rate, reduces stress hormones, lactic acid build up in muscle tissue, levels of Oxygen and Carbon dioxide in blood improves immune system, physical energy = calm
- Talk about it. Relieve stress by talking through something or write it down- my blog started as therapy when I moved to NJ back in 2008– to work through my issues with negative people around me- I just wrote about them- publicly. Best part about it is they all followed me and still read my blog to this day! I spread the happiness to miserable people and help them get happy.
- Follow your gut-go with your instinct = GUT health – unhappy causes stomach issues- boy can I vouch for this one! I even ordered the Squatty Potty to help- but overall only happiness relieves gut issues.
- Make a change– do something different – get out of your comfort zone- change up your routine – helps get you out of a rut. If something is not working for you – modify and improve it!!
- Stop apologizing! Do what’s in your best interest. My Husband hates my leopard shoes!- I call them my happy shoes- too bad for him- leopard always makes me smile –I love color!! Brighter the better!
- Hobby / volunteer/ find spirituality- do all these things!
- Inspire others! Cheerful smile- fake it till you make it- even if you’re trying to pull a fast one on your brain it still triggers your brain to release endorphins, which are the chemicals responsible for making us feel happy and lower stress levels. = Contagious!
- Have Deep thoughts –sounds like a bad SNL skit but even that makes you laugh which ultimately reduces stress!
- LAUGH. Be jolly. Let it roll…. literally. Belly laugh so your stomach literally rolls- deep heavy BROO HA HA!!! Laugh until you cry! (Or pee- even better)
- Change your state! Jump up and down/ like Taylor swift sings, “shake it off!”- Move! Express! Make funny faces!!!
- Let it go! Forgive! It heals your heart and aids in cardiovascular activity- scientifically
Happiness comes from your brain, your smile, your heart, your gut, your body and your soul. It’s not too late to make major changes and live a full, healthy and happy life! Enjoy your day and smile hard until it embarrasses someone.
And now for your viewing pleasure: