We’re all in the pursuit of happiness, but it’s not always clear what will make us happy. Try analyzing these four elements in your life. If you’re lacking in any or all of them, don’t worry, we’ve got a remedy for your ailment.
1. Get that Shut-Eye!
You need your sleep. There’s no such thing as a person who doesn’t need sleep. A quick Google search will bring up billions of articles on how sleep affects happiness. The relationship has been documented in countless studies and speaking from experience I can tell you that it’s just true. Sleep restores your mind and body in ways that nothing else can. If you’re not happy and you’re getting less than eight hours of sleep a night, try hitting the sheets a little longer. This one’s a no-brainer.
2. Land Yourself a Brand New Friend
You need meaningful relationships! We are social creatures. Some of us can’t get enough, and others only need a limited amount, but we all need social interaction. If you are in a job or relationship that keeps you from forming new and meaningful relationships, it’s time to say “adios.” For the sake of happiness, put yourself in a situation where you can create good relationships that support you. You deserve it!
3. Strike the Balance
Yep, balance is all it’s cracked up to be. If you think that you can stay happy (and sane) putting in 12-hour days, having all of your meals while working, and only being social once in a blue moon, you’re wrong. You will burn out. Likewise, you can’t sit on the couch all day and eat pizza. It’s not healthy and you won’t be happy. You must strike a balance in everything in life. Focusing on areas where you’re successful and ignoring areas of life that are more challenging will end in an unhappy mess. Spread the love to all areas of your life and find your perfect balance.
4. Make it Mean Something
If you don’t have a purpose then I’m going to give you one. Your current purpose is to find a purpose. It’s that important. Purpose is what gets us through the days when absolutely nothing else can. It is there for the rock-bottom moments and the earth-shattering failures. It’s also there as your guide during the triumphs and joys of life. It keeps us moving forward and stops us from giving in to our demons. Your purpose doesn’t have to be groundbreaking. It can be simple and it can be something that only you know. No one said you have to post your purpose on Facebook or use it in your email signature. It can be for you and you alone. We’re talking about your happiness here.
But “HOW?” You ask?
Yoga. Hear me out.
1. Yoga and Sleep: Exercise will help you sleep because your body will physically be tired at the end of the day. The two are healthy habits that have a reciprocal effect. That’s awesome! On top of that awesomeness yoga helps clear your mind and reduce stress. If you’re tossing and turning at night or having anxiety attacks when you should be sleeping, you might be surprised how long a little downward dog and warrior pose can go.
2. Yoga and Relationships: Studios are an excellent place to form new relationships. If you’re going to a studio where this isn’t the case, change studios. A genuine sense of community is a must for all yoga studios, any that don’t have that are missing a big part of yoga. Find a studio that cultivates a kind and caring community and you’ll quickly connect with those who are open to connection.
3. Yoga and Balance: I shouldn’t have to get too detailed on this one…yoga is an excellent platform for practicing balance. Yes, yoga is focused around physical balance, but practice makes perfect. If you’re struggling with balancing poses on your mat there’s a good chance you’re struggling with balance somewhere in your life. Let yoga help you become aware of those areas and then do something about them!
4. Yoga and Purpose: Combine the mind, body, and spiritual growth with the community connection and new values and opportunities are bound to reveal themselves. I discovered a lot about myself and what drives me through the practice of yoga. I can honestly say that it changed my life. It’s unlikely that you’ll discover your life’s purpose the first time you walk through your studio’s doors, but it may just happen one day if you're open to it.
What are you waiting for? Go get a mat, find a studio, and turn that frown upside down.