Are you looking to add a little more joy into your life? Let’s be honest, as of late I think we could all use a little more happiness. Luckily, there are a number of ways to up your happiness game in no time. Because such a large part of what I do is to help people live healthier and happier lives. I felt it was important for me to jump in and offer some of my favorite ways to do just that. As always, I will also talk to you about ways you can eat your way to a happier and healthier day.
Happiness is around every corner
Finding something to be happy about just once a day can be difficult. Finding something to be happy about so that you are a happier person overall can seem almost impossible. If you are finding yourself in this situation, you may be wondering how to get out of it so you have less stress and anxiety as well as increasing your happiness and getting to a better place in your life. Here are some daily practices that can help you be a happier person.
One way to become a happier person, through mindfulness and daily practice, is to start a gratitude journal. You do not need a full journal to do this. In fact, you can use your daily planner or online planner for this. You can even use social media. The key point to this daily practice is to find at least one thing a day you are thankful for or have gratitude for. This can be anything. Let’s face it, we all have bad days. It is finding the good in that bad day that helps us become happier. So, it can be anything from having a great cup of coffee that morning to being happy the day is over so you can start fresh the next day. The point is to recognize happiness or good and note it.
Reducing for Charity
While this may seem like an odd endeavor as a daily practice, it is something that can be very fulfilling for both parties. The idea here is to remove something from your life each day that you do not need. This can be anything from a toy your child no longer plays with or has outgrown to an extra set of dishes you really don’t need. Place these items in a box and at the end of the week or month, give the box to charity. These items are no longer cluttering your day and causing a storage issue, and you are helping someone else you may want or need them. The happiness comes in when you find the joy in either getting the items out of your house or seeing that they can bring joy to someone else through your charity.
This may be something that is new to you, but it can make you a happier person. The concept here is to go on a walk in nature each day for a few minutes or more. Just get away from everything. Step out into nature with no electronics. Now this doesn’t mean to go out with no way of contacting anyone in an emergency. It simply means to turn off music and phones and just walk. Concentrate on your breath as you move and walk and work to calm it. Notice the sounds and nature around you, and let go of the stress of the day through your breathing. You will find yourself healthier and happier at the end of the walk and as the walks progress, you may find yourself more adapted to handling your daily stress as well.
Food with Purpose
Okay, we all know just how much I love to work nutrition into every facet of what I do. Turns out, most of us already associate foods with happiness. Weather that be grandma’s secret recipes or even a bar of chocolate. Certain foods whether we like it or not tend to become attached to feelings. More often than not it is the memories we associate with these foods. But some of these foods can actually produce a chemical response within our bodies. As such, we can see an increase of hormones like Serotonin, Dopamine, and Oxytocin. These three hormones are more commonly correlated with happiness.
How to Feed The Beast
When it comes to boosting your happiness levels with food you want to make sure you are choosing foods that will help more than hurt. So, while dark chocolate can quickly boost your Dopamine levels the high sugar content can also create blood sugar spikes. That is why it is so critical to ensure that the foods we are choosing have multiple benefits. The best food options to naturally increase Dopamine are: apples, beets, avocado, walnuts, oatmeal, and green tea. Some of the best foods for Oxytocin are: spinach, avocado, watermelon, figs and green tea. Lastly, the best options for Serotonin are: walnuts, salmon, oatmeal, sweet potato, and leafy greens.
Putting it all together
As you start putting these daily practices into your life, you will start seeing a change for the better and seeing yourself becoming happier. Remember, start slow and let the process work. It’s all about letting the process develop in your life at your own pace. Don’t forget that where the mind goes the body will follow. That means the more you focus on how happy you are the more evidence your mind will find to support that. The same goes with unhappy thoughts. So keep your eyes on the prize. To help you stay on target here is a recipe to help you see just how sweet life can be.
Crinkle Top Walnut Brownies
Gluten Free Vegan Serves 20
- 2 Cups Dark Chocolate Vegan Chips
- 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla
- ½ Cup Vanilla Cashew Yogurt
- 2 tsp Instant Coffee
- ½ Cup Applesauce
- 1 ½ Cups Coconut Sugar
- ¼ Cup Gluten Free Oat Flour
- 1 Cup Coconut Oil
- ½ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 Cup Walnuts Chopped
- ¼ Cup Coconut Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper (or non-stick option of choice). Using a double boiler melt 1 ½ cups of chocolate chips and oil, remove from heat. Stirring until smooth, add in sugar, vanilla, and coffee. In a small bowl combine yogurt and applesauce. Mix in yogurt mixture into chocolate batter. Add the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Stir until just combined and add in remaining chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until brownies are just set. Let cool and dust with powdered coconut sugar or stevia. Enjoy! Goes great with coconut whipped cream. I also like to cube 1-2 brownies to throw into my brownie nice creams!
Need A Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!