Today, I want to talk about goals, progress and happiness and how all three things are interrelated.
For me the first few days of a month are always about revisiting my goals, taking a moment to realign myself with my values and mission and then working out my plan on what I’m going to do to help me get there.
In this article, I explore why seeing progress towards your biggest life goals can make you a happier person inside and out.
Did you know?
Pursuing your goals and having something to work towards is important for psychological well-being.
I don’t know about you. But I’ve always been a very goal-focused person. During high school I always had multiple things I was working towards. Whether it was house captain, being better at a certain sport, getting good grades etc.
In university it was no different, and now as I build my business and work full time, I always have a goal I’m working towards.
Sometimes I find it hard to understand those who don’t have any goals. Who aren’t working towards anything particular. How can you not be focused on bettering yourself each and every day, even if it’s just something small?
Although some of us may be better at goal setting and achievement than others, I 100% believe to my core that both of these skills can be learned and reinforced through habit.
I love this quote from one of my favourite success coaches, Darren Hardy. He says:
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
On the same note, Tony Robbins advocates that “Progress equals happiness” and I do believe these guys are on to something pretty special.
The Science Behind It – Goals & Happiness
According to a 2007 study,pursuing personal goals gives a person structure and meaning in their lives. The research also indicates that people who make progress towards their goals have better mental well-being than individuals who lack a sense of direction or purpose.
It may not sound like rocket science, but when we achieve one of our most difficult goals it can give us the confidence, motivation and the emotional reaction we need to continue taking action towards our other goals too.
I live by this strategy every single day.
The Importance of Commitment and Consistency
Like most people, a few years ago, I used to determine my daily priorities based on rolling to do lists and knocking off quantity rather than quality.
I’d ask myself, which items are the simplest and easiest to get done today, so I can tick off as many items as possible on that list.
In my head, I’d convince myself that this method was super productive. But at the end of the day, I’d find myself feeling guilty and defeated because despite what I’d tell myself, I knew that the most important and complex task was left unticked.Have you ever felt a similar way?
It’s not that I was procrastinating. I just had my priorities in the wrong order. Since completing a productivity course earlier this year, I realised that all I needed to do was shift my focus from quantity, to quality.
And wow, that small shift of focus has significantly impacted my progress towards achieving my big hairy audacious goals. I also feel so much happier and satisfied at the end of each day.
Now I’d love you to give it a go too.
Think to yourself, what is the one biggest and most valuable thing you can do today that will help you take one step closer to your goals? What is the one thing that if you get this done without doing anything else, you’ll be happy with your achievement?
It’s amazing how simply shifting your focus to completing your high return activities FIRST and taking small steps towards your goals each day, can make you feel so much more productive and content with your life.
You will no longer have that guilt hanging over your shoulders due to not doing that one high priority task that you promised yourself you would do. Especially when the excuse for not doing it is due to completing all the “small” insignificant stuff.
Are you making progress towards your goals?
The toughest question of all.
I love this time of the year as you can clearly separate those who have been taking consistent action towards their goals, from those who were all talk and never walked the walk.
Some may have even started by taking one step towards their goal, but never actually established a routine which allowed them to build momentum and keep a consistent pace going.
Procrastination is the biggest killer of your dreams. It does more than just undermine your performance but now science reveals that it can also impact your well-being, happiness and satisfaction with life.
So, what are your goals?
Is it to travel the world? Lose a few of those extra kg’s you built up over winter? Is it to learning more about healthy eating? Or maybe to live a happier lifestyle?
Whatever it may be, it’s always critical to continue taking small steps each and every day to get there.
If you’d like to learn more about living a happier and healthier lifestyle, check out the resources below:
Finding it hard to think of low-cost relaxation techniques you can do?
Don’t worry I’ve got you!
As someone who is regularly busy and easily stressed / anxious, I have a few tips up my sleeve when it comes to natural low-cost relaxation techniques.
For a lot of my life, I struggled with effectively managing my emotions and stress / anxiety symptoms. It was probably because I would make myself so busy that I just didn’t have time to unwind.
Well I felt like I didn’t anyway…
As a result, I’d often find myself working and pushing myself to the brink of burn-out until my body would give me no choice but to rest. Usually because I’d get sick or become bed bound.
Yep, thanks… but I guess it was usually my own fault.
Since Identifying these 9 relaxation techniques, I don’t experience this feeling anymore. I’m much more self-aware, better at listening to my body and stick to scheduled down time during my week.
I no longer feel guilty about it either.
These 9 relaxation techniques are a great no cost / low cost way to relax and unwind.
1) Meditation is a Great Relaxation Technique
Meditation is something that I regularly use to unwind, detach or start my day in a relaxed state. It’s also fantastic for reducing stress and anxiety.
Meditation a learned skill that is easy for anyone to pick up. All you need is patience, commitment and consistency.
One of the benefits of meditation is that it can be done at different locations and at different times in your day. You can also choose whether you want to meditate in the morning, before bed, at you work desk, lying down and even whilst walking.
If you’re interested in learning more about meditation, why it is great for our health and why is can be a great natural technique to relieve stress and anxiety, you can start with our mini email course: An Introductory Meditation Course for Beginners.
Register by entering your details below o the course modules can be sent to your inbox.
2) Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is an amazing relaxation technique for busy women. It is something you can do at anytime, anywhere.
One of the more common deep breathing strategies is the 4-7-8 breathing rule.
The 4-7-8 rule breaks down deep breathing into three memorable and easy steps.
You breathe in deeply for 4 seconds (Breathe deeply into your belly, not your chest)
Then hold your breath for 7 seconds and
Breathe out for 8 seconds
You then continue to repeat this process until you can start to notice your body relaxing and returning to state of balance.
Read more about the powers of deep breathing here and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine.
3) Incorporate Mindfulness into Your Day
Similar to meditation,mindfulness involves bringing your attention to the present moment.
Mindfulness is a great natural relaxation technique because it gives you a moment to wind down and focus on the present rather than being consumed by worries of the past or future.
4) Have a Warm Bath or Shower (anything warm)
For me, having a bath and going to the sauna at least once a fortnight is a non-negotiable.
Both of these relaxation techniques truly help me to unwind at the end of my day.
Whilst in the bath or at the sauna, you can also stretch your body which is a great way release any built-up muscle tension from the week.
Our bodies have the tendency to store emotions in our joints and muscles. Therefore, it is important to stretch regularly to release this built-up tension.
If you don’t have a bath or access to a sauna, a hot shower is a great free alternative and offer similar benefits.
For most of us, warmth promotes feelings of relaxation and comfort. This is why doing something warm during your day / a few times a week is great for your health…and no your normal morning or evening shower doesn’t count.
Using warmth to your advantage can aid relaxation, especially when you’re busy or on a tight budget.
5) Cuddles With Your Partner
People often overlook the power of affection, love and comfort for relaxation.
For those of you who have partners, I’m sure you can relate to that amazing feeling you get when your partner wraps you up in his / her arms after a tough day at work.
There’s something extremely comforting about it.
A feeling like everything is going to be ok.
If you are feeling stressed or anxious, or need to find a relaxation outlet – why not spend more quality time with your partner cuddling.
If you’re thinking to yourself right now that you “don’t have a lot of extra time for snuggles”, I’m telling you now…
Even if you can just add 5 minutes of cuddles before you get out of bed in the morning or before you go to sleep each night, I promise it will help you and your partner will likely love it too.
6) Go for a Run or Walk in Nature
I don’t know about you guys, but I find nature to be one of the most soothing things. It’s also such as great relaxation technique, that is completely free.
Same with exercise!
Depending on where you live in the world, there are so many places you can go to a dose of nature.
You can go to one of your local parks, a national park, a botanical garden – honestly anywhere that has trees, flowers, birds or even flowing water.
The reason we often feel refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed in nature is because of something called “negative ions”.
Despite their name, negative ions are great!
In addition to cleansing and purifying the air around us, the negative ions released by natural resources (eg. Running water, trees etc) are beneficial to our health.
According to Webmd, once negative ions reach our bloodstream, they are believed to produce biochemical reactions in the brain.
These reactions can increase levels of serotonin(the hormone that impacts our mood and feelings of happiness) and reduce depression, relieve stress and boost our energy throughout the day.
Exercise is also known for its stress relieving properties because it helps reduce stress hormones in our bodies such as adrenaline and cortisol.
It also stimulates the production of endorphins that make us feel awesome post exercise.
7) Spend Quality With Pets, Family or Friends
The proven impact of pets and animals in general, on our mental health and happiness is legit. The truth is, pets make us happier….
If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or are finding it hard to unwind, grab your favourite fluffy friend and give them some love.
By doing this, you’re also guaranteed some unconditional love back.
If you don’t have a fury friend, then spend some time with close friends or family.
Laughter is its own form of natural medicine and can also be an amazing stress relieving activity.
The great thing about pets, friends and family is that they also provide a distraction from what may be stressing you in your life.
You’ll need to deal with it eventually, but for now relaxing may better until you’re in the right head space or frame of mind to address the problem.
8) Watch a Movie / TV Series that You Love
This relaxation technique is not rocket science, but a great one nonetheless!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes after a busy day all I feel like doing is plonking on the couch and watching a soothing romance, drama or comedy.
Watching a movie is a great way to distract your mind temporarily by giving you time to detach from the thing stressing you, and instead tune in to something that you love.
Sure, Netflix and some other movie subscriptions cost money – but even if you don’t have access to those programs – most of us have at least one DVD lying around.
Alternatively, if you have nothing at home to watch, tune in to your local TV channels which usually play a movie on Friday and Saturday nights OR catch up a friend who does have some great movies.
Kill two birds with one stone by socialising with a friend and being able to unwind whilst watching a movie.
9) Listen, Dance or Sing Along to Your Favourite Music
Of all of the relaxation techniques mentioned in this article, this one is a classic. It’s crazy how good it can make you feel!
There’s nothing more that I love to do than singing along to my favourite song or music playlist.
Depending on your degree of confidence, you can sing or dance it in most places…
There’s the car, your bedroom, whilst showering, in the bath, whilst shopping. There’s no shame in singing along to your favourite tunes.
You can even get creative like this guy…
After all, we all do it!
And those who say they don’t are lying!! haha
If you don’t have a favourite kind of music, my favourite backup genre is classical music.
I know some people aren’t all that keen on classical, but for those who are interested in trying it I can 100% recommend.
There are some great classical playlists available on Youtube, Spotify and Apple music, so do a search and see if you come across anything that tickles your fancy.
You can also listen to relaxing music instrumentals which contain guitar, nature sounds, etc. These can be a great option to look into as well.
Which Relaxation Techniques are Best to Start With?
If you’re a busy woman like me, trying to work out which relaxation technique is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck can be tricky.
Especially if you have limited time in your day.
Personally, my #1 recommendation would be meditation.
Because with meditation you can knock off 3-4 of these relaxation techniques in one.
I’m an “achieve as much as I can with as little as possible investment” kind of girl.
How about you?
With meditation you get to incorporate deep breathing, mindfulness and listen to relaxing music all in one.
You can also tick off “keeping warm” if you wrap yourself in a blanket or doona (bed spread) like I often do.
If you haven’t done meditation before, you’re probably wondering “what’s the easiest way to learn?”
Don’t worry girlfriend, I’ve got you.
How to Meditate When You’re Busy?
Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated.
Once you get the basic concepts down you’re pretty much good to go and can do it on your lonesome.
The best way to learn how to meditate is to get guidance from someone who has been where you are, meditates regularly and knows what they’re doing – aka ME!!
At Finding Happiness, we offer an awesome meditation for beginners course for our clients called Journey to Calm.
In this course, you will learn everything you need to know about meditation. You’ll also gain an insight into other relaxation techniques such as self-care and natural remedies that can relieve stress and don’t demand a lot of time.
Making time for ourselves and filling our cups up, is just as important what we do for others.
Click here to start the Journey to Calm Course.
If you’re not ready to commit to the complete course, you do have another option – you can sign up for our free “lite” introductory version of the course below.
Now with this mini course, you’re not going to get as much value as you would from doing the complete course.
But, you’ll gain an insight into the basic concepts of meditation so you can decide if that’s something you want to do before jumping into the bigger course.
If you find it difficult to decrease anxiety or stress, you’re in the right place!
Like me, you probably understand the following feelings:
Your thoughts racing on constant overdrive
Your heart throbbing in your throat
Over-sensitivity to what people say and think
Feeling on edge and unable to focus when anxious
Having trouble sleeping
Finding it difficult to sit still for long periods of time
Being unable to swallow properly due to emotions building up
AND unable to stop worrying about worst case scenarios or what will happen in the future.
Yep, having anxiety can suck...
But it’s usually at it’s worst when you’re not equipped with effective techniques to manage and cope with it.
As someone who has had anxiety for many years and found constant stress overwhelming, I understand the frustrations of not being able to switch off your mind, control difficult emotions or rationalise why you’re feeling a certain way.
I get it….
But I think the greatest challenge I experienced, was trying to explain my anxiety to my inner circle.
It’s hard to explain your emotions and what you’re feeling (eg. anxious, angry, stressed or upset) when you don’t really have a tangible reason behind it.
And in the moments when they couldn’t empathise with how I was feeling, I’d start to feel weird and like an outcast.
I think that was the greatest pain of them all…
BUT!! There’s a silver lining! I don’t feel that way anymore!
I’ve learned to be a lot more open with my emotions and have learned how to decrease anxiety and stress symptoms.
And now, I’m so much more stable with my mind and emotions.
But how did I do learn to decrease anxiety?
I’m going to delve into this shortly, but before I do – here’s a video you can watch which covers the same content if you’re more of a visual learner than a reader.
To be honest, Meditation has been an absolute godsend for me!
If you haven’t done meditation before or are a bit intimidated or “weirded out” about with what meditation is, don’t worry! I was in the same place several years ago.
But after giving it a go and keeping consistent, the practice has truly transformed my life.
These days, I don’t get stressed as easily, I’m more balanced, more focused, motivated, centred and feel genuinely happy before my day has even begun.
Meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing have become necessary exercises in my daily life.
The Benefits I’ve Experienced from Meditation
1) Dedicated time to refresh, regenerate and relax.
One of the greatest things I’ve gained from building a meditation routine is that I’m much more comfortable giving myself permission take a break and a moment to myself.
Being able to pause, reflect, focus and live in the now rather than constantly panicking about the future, what I need to do, my goals or past events.
2) Have Greater Clarity With My Thoughts
Rather than having scattered and distracting thoughts a lot of the time I’m now able to focus on what’s important, and detach from the rest.
3) I Deal With Anxiety & Stress Much Better
I’m also so much with how I manage anxiety, pressure, stress, nerves, overwhelm and conflict.
Previously, it wouldn’t take much for me to feel stressed and overwhelmed, but now I feel that my tolerance and resilience is a lot better.
4) I Feel Genuinely Happy Within Myself
Meditation has helped me to feel happier every day because I have greater focus and can prioritise my time on things that have the greatest meaning or impact to me.
I have a better understanding of myself and my emotional triggers, have learned to accept myself as I am and have a more positive mindset. I don’t dwell on the negative and have more gratitude and appreciation for the small things in life.
I guess you could say I’m a much more grounded, happy and balanced person in most areas of my life.
How Meditation Could Help You Decrease Anxiety & Stress
Something to remember…
Although meditation (for some) is a spiritual practice, it’s not magic.
There may be times when you meditate and don’t feel much afterwards at all. Other days you may feel amazing and ready to take on the world!
Another thing to consider is that Meditation will not rid you completely of your anxiety or stress symptoms.
But it will help you to reduce them and cope more effectively.
Although it may not do those things, Meditation will open the door to your subconscious and give you insight into the inner workings of your mind.
Given many of us are so busy running our lives and distracted by the noise around us, we rarely give ourselves time to tune in to what it really going on at a subconscious level.
Before learning the skill of meditation, I had suppressed my emotions for so long, that I’d eventually boil over like a pot on the stove.
Even at the most undesirable times…aka. work.
I learned the hard way but you don’t need to.
Until you sit down and truly listen to what’s going on in your head, you’ll never be able to overcome or address the source of your anxiety and stress.
If you’d like to read more about the health benefits of meditation you can do so here.
How to Get Started with Meditation as a Beginner
Wanna know what’s awesome? Yeah you do…
Well for starters, you don’t have to be a pro or be spiritual to feel the benefits of meditation.
You also don’t need to have a lot of time to invest into it or spend a lot of money on meditation retreats or classes.
I started my meditation journey on a cold hostel floor with a pillow.
Not ideal, but proves it can be done.
To start a meditation practice, all you need is:
A quiet place to sit or lie down;
and guidance form someone who knows what they’re doing.
And that person is me! Yay!!
If you’d like to give meditation a go, and are interested in learning from someone who has been where you are, I offer a great meditation course for beginners to teach you how to meditate.
Decrease Anxiety with our Journey to Calm Meditation Course for Beginners
This week, I experienced a bit of a downer moment.
I was living my typical daily routine when my head decided to fill itself with an encyclopedia of negative thoughts:
“Maybe I’m not smart enough to be successful”
“I’m not cut out for this kind of thing”
“What if no one likes my style?
“What if I fail?”
“Hang on a sec, easy there Tiger!” I began to think.
My mind had spiralled so far ahead of where it needed to be and by giving attention to these limiting beliefs, I was letting myself be pulled down for no particular reason.
The thing is, limiting beliefs are TOXIC.
Yet, they are something many of us struggle with each and every day.
And, as the name suggests, they limit us from achieving your true potential and goals.
“I can’t do this.” “No one will like me.” “I’m not smart enough.” “I’m not pretty enough.”
“I’ll never get a boyfriend” “I don’t deserve to be loved.” “I must work hard for money.”
Thinking like this is super toxic….
Not only for you but for everyone else around you too.
We need to change our mindset and train ourselves to recognise and overcome these limiting beliefs.
That’s exactly what I’m going to explain in this article.
Change Your Beliefs – Change Your Life
Most of the negative thoughts and beliefs that infest our minds are triggered by our brain trying to protect us.
Trying to prevent us from confronting our fears and stepping outside of our comfort zones.
But, if you want to be successful you must stop these beliefs from influencing how you live your life.
It’s time for a change.
No more self-sabotage!
Why You Need to Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs
Many of the beliefs that we’ve been holding on to throughout our lives were imprinted on us from a very young age relative to who/what:
We grew up with
We’ve surrounded ourselves with
People have said about us in the past
And, once installed these beliefs become difficult to change, especially for those who are completely unaware of them.
P.S>> If you’re more of a video person,you can watch the video below as an alternative to reading through this entire article.
Note: In the video above, the part of the brain that stops us from stepping out of our comfort zones and taking risks is the Amygdala, not the Hypothalums/Hippocampus. My mind went blank at the time – so there you go!
Without knowing, we all select, filter and mould sensory information to fit in with our position, opinions and the way we want to see the world.
But in many cases, what we think we see, is not necessarily how it really is.
We choose to ignore other information that doesn’t confirm what we believe, called Confirmation Bias.
This is why if you ask someone about their perspective on a certain polarising topic or event, let’s use Climate Change as an example, you’ll get the avid:
Believers who have found every possible resource supporting evidence for their argument, and
Non-believers who have also found every possible source to support their opinions
In this instance, few people will actively seek out content that supports the “other side”. This is because doing so, can lead to cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive Dissonance relates to the mental discomfort (psychological stress) felt when someone simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. And our brain hate’s this feeling!
Therefore, we avoid it like a disease and without even being aware that we’re doing it.
It’s pretty trippy actually!
But now that you’re here, it’s time to let go of some of those old beliefs and you can do that by following the steps below.
4 Steps to Help You Overcome Limiting Beliefs
Your beliefs shape your life.
What you think and perceive affects how you behave, which in turn affects how you perform towards others around you.
When not managed effectively, your belief prism can become your own personal prison and demise.
This is why it is so important to take charge and confront them.
You must go into battle….with yourself.
Step 1: Identify
The first step is to IDENTIFY what limiting beliefs you have about yourself, other people, your surrounding environment and your ability to achieve your goals.
Which of these beliefs need to be challenged and uprooted in order to achieve your goals?
As an example, do you believe that you:
Have to work hard for money?
Don’t deserve love?
You’ll never lose weight?
By taking a moment to identify what is going on in your mind, you can now take action towards uprooting these beliefs and making a real impact and change to your life.
Step 2: Decide
It’s time to decide that you’re not going to believe something anymore.
In this step, we draw a line in the sand (metaphorically) and take a stand that from now on, this is it.
You’re not going to believe those things about yourself anymore.
You can do this and you are just as worthy as anyone else to achieve your goals.
Step 3: Immerse Yourself
Your next step is to start bombarding your conscious and subconscious mind with new and more empowering beliefs.
Meditation is great because it helps you build a habit of expressing gratitude and can help to calm the mind, promote relaxation and improve focus during your day. It also has many scientifically proven health benefits in addition to boosting health and happiness.
If you’d like to learn more expressing gratitude through meditation, a great place to start is with our Mindfully Happy Handbook.
Get your copy of the Mindfully Happy Handbooktoday and learn how to live a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life through:
Building a Positive Mindset &
Overcoming Limiting Beliefs that hold you back from achieving your true potential.
With this checklist, you’ll gain insight into some simple activities you can do each day to feel awesome in your body and win the day before you’ve even entered your office doors.
14 Happiness Quotes by Famous People
1.“If you can do what you do best and be happy, you’re further along in life than most people.”
– Leonardo DiCaprio, Actor
2. “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
3. “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfilment.”
– Tony Robbins, Entrepreneur & Life Coach
4. “I think most of us are raised with preconceived notions of the choices we’re supposed to make. We waste so much time making decisions based on someone else’s idea of our happiness – what will make you a good citizen or a good wife or daughter or actress. Nobody says, ‘Just be happy – go be a cobbler or go live with goats.”
– Sandra Bullock, Actress
5. “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.”
– Democritus, Greek Philosopher
6. “There comes a certain point in life when you have to stop blaming other people for how you feel or the misfortunes in your life. You can’t go through life obsessing about what might have been.”
– Hugh Jackman, Actor
7. “Happiness comes from you. No one else can make you happy. You make you happy.”
8. “Most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But I know I am successful, wealthy, and connected because I am happy.”
– Richard Branson, Business Entrepreneur
9. “You might not make it to the top, but if you are doing what you love, there is much more happiness there than being rich or famous.
– Tony Hawk, Professional Skateboarder
10. “No one is perfect… absolutely no one. Like precious stones, we have a few flaws, but why focus on that? Focus on what you like about yourself, and that will bring you happiness and peace.”
– Richard Simmons, Television Personality
11. “Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come”
– Ellen DeGeneres
12. “My mother is a big believer in being responsible for your own happiness. She always talked about finding joy in small moments and insisted that we stop and take in the beauty of an ordinary day..”
– Jennifer Garner, Actress
13. “It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short-term and the long-term for both yourself and others will come”
– Dalai Lama, Buddhist Monk
14. “The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”
― Audrey Hepburn, Actress
So there you have it, some beautiful happiness quotes and tips to help you create a life that you love.
Although all of us want to live a healthy and happy life, it’s seems almost rare to find people who are entirely happy, healthy and fulfilled in their current lives.
Especially in western culture anyway….
It seems like so many of us are struggling to find the true happiness we seek in life, leaving us feeling incomplete, unhappy, stressed, unfulfilled and anxious.
But why is it that we struggle so much?
Well, personally I believe it has something to do with being taught to seek happiness from sources outside of us, rather than looking within.
Rather than creating the lives we want for ourselves, we focus our attention on things that don’t actually bring us happiness and prioritise activities that give us short term gratification or are self-sabotaging.
Working in a job you hate because it pays good money
Focusing on money and material possessions to validate your self-worth
Binge watching TV or eating sh** because it feels good at the time
Not feeling happy or confident in our bodies because we’re fatter than the “normal” person
Not going to gym because it’s easier or you can’t be bothered
Not doing what you love or hobbies that light you up because you have “no time” or are “too busy”
Spending your time on low priority and trivial things which don’t add value to your future
Yep, I’m sure each of us can relate to at least one of the above points.
The tricky part is that this behaviour is a part of our DNA…
Back in the day, instant gratification would almost guarantee our survival and made us happy. But that’s because we weren’t living as long as we do today.
So what can we do to combat this?
To live a healthy and happy life, here are 12 simple tips and activities you can incorporate into your week.
They will help you to truly become a happier and healthier you.
1) Mindset & Mental Health
Our mindset is one of the greatest contributors to our overall and long-term happiness and whether you’re able to build a happy life that you love.
Your mental health is greatly influenced by your mindset – ie. whether you often see yourself as a victim, always dwell on the negative or seek out the positive in all situations.
In most cases, our mindset is built upon subconscious internal beliefs. These ingrained beliefs have typically been imprinted into our minds from a young age by those around us – our parents, teachers and even our friends.
The problem is that most of us are completely unaware of the beliefs we have installed.
And you’ll never really know until you take a moment to reflect and tune into your body.
Meditation is a great way to do this and can help you identify any limiting beliefs that are holding your back from your true potential. Whether it’s beliefs about money, beliefs about yourself or beliefs about others.
If you want to live a healthy and happy life, you must uproot these negative beliefs and replace them with constructive positive beliefs. I teach you how to do this in the Journey to Happiness course.
(I’ll touch more on the course shortly, in case it’s something you’re interested in checking out.)
2) Managing Stress and Anxiety for a Happy Life
In today’s age, chronic stress is almost becoming the norm…
So many of us are used to running around like headless chickens, stressed out of our minds and having way too much on our plates to handle each day.
Whether it be working in a very demanding job, trying to manage household duties whilst growing a family, making time for study or even stress from imposed social norms and expectations.
For starters, chronic stress can impact our mental health, emotional health and physiological health. Which is the exact reason why it’s important to nip stress in the bud, rather than ignoring your symptoms.
Some techniques and activities that can be helpful for stress relief include:
All of these techniques can help you manage stress and anxiety
3) Set Personal Boundaries
Whether at work or home, it is so critical to set personal boundaries. If you want to live life on your terms, you need to determine what your limits are.
And trust me, regardless of what you think, everyone has a limit!
Especially when it comes to saying no, having enough time in your day, patience, emotional tolerance or even money.
It is so important, to set expectations on what you will do and will not do. Not only in terms of morals and ethics, but also in terms of your workload.
You’re not doing yourself any favours by continuing to say yes to everyone because you:
Are a people-pleaser
Fear not being liked
Worry that people will get upset with you
Wonder whether your colleagues will think that you “can’t handle it”
Being able to say no, is not a weakness. It is a strength!
And I know because I used to be one of the biggest people-pleasers out there!! AND I was miserable…
So what’s the key takeaways…
If someone is constantly delegating you work and it’s too much to handle, speak up and say no!
If you have other priorities you’re working on and someone keeps trying to bump ahead of the queue, say no.
Through good communication with your peers, family etc, saying no doesn’t have to be a bad thing or hurt anyone’s feelings. Instead you are protecting yourself whilst also ensuring that you can follow through on your promises and attend to your greatest priorities
The truth I stand by is “If you can’t respond with a heck yeah!, it’s ok to say no.”
4) Meditate Regularly to Build a Happy Life
As mentioned earlier, meditation is an amazing and natural way to boost your happiness and mental health by allowing you to tune into your body.
In addition to stress relief, there are many known benefits of meditation.This is why it can be a great exercise to add into your daily routine, even if it is just for 5-10 minutes a day.
In that article, I also refer to a natural whole food supplement I take to help fill the gap between the nutrition my body is getting from my food, versus what it actually needs for optimum health and performance.
A whole food supplement can be a great option if you’re busy, don’t have a lot of time or don’t want to constantly think about what you’re putting into your body.
You can read more about the whole food supplement I use here.
6) Exercise Regularly for Your Health
Exercising regularly can be an important way to relieve stress as it can help to rid our bodies of “stress” energy.
But the key is to find a type of exercise that you enjoy, rather than exercising just because you feel that you have to.
As soon as you make exercise a chore, you’re going to find yourself procrastinating and self-sabotaging. You’re also unlikely to build a stable and consistent routine – which can negatively impact your health in the long term.
Our bodies are MADE to move… not to stay seated at an office desk. So, not exercising is actually doing your body a disservice.
Think about what you can do that moves your body and that you love, so you don’t have to think about exercising it just naturally happens.
Here are some examples to get you thinking:
Team sports (eg. Basketball, Tennis, Athletics, etc)
Canoeing / Kayaking
Martial Arts / Boxing
There are so many options to choose from to add some exercise during your week. Find something you love and stick to it!
7) Build Positive Relationships
Although the following quote is heavily used, I still wholeheartedly believe it to be true….“You become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
So the question you must ask yourself is “Who do you hang out with on a regular basis?”
Are you spending your time with dead beats, drop kicks, nasty or bitchy people, judgemental people or those who make you feel bad about yourself?
If so, it’s time to make some cuts…
Don’t waste your time nurturing relationships with people who don’t give you the same in return, or aren’t encouraging you to be the person you want to be.
I have learned from this first-hand….
But remaining friends with people because it’s convenient or because you’ve known them since childhood is not a good enough excuse if they continue to make you feel bad about yourself.
Instead, aim to surround yourself with people who:
Light you up,
Share similar interests
Look for the positive in life
Support you and
Encourage you to be the best version of yourself.
8) Express Gratitude
Although most of us have goals that we’re working towards, it’s important to take time to reflect on all the current or previous things you have achieved or experienced and are grateful for.
Examples may include your family, owning a house, getting an education, having a job, having all senses and limbs intact, etc.
We often overlook the things that become a norm in our lives, but often they are they things we should cherish most.
Rather than constantly focusing on the future or dwelling on the past, allow yourself to stop and smell the roses. Think about all the things that you are grateful in your life and that make you the person you are today.
Showing gratitude and appreciation each day, even for just a few minutes, has been scientifically proven to boost happiness and contentment in life.
9) Allow Time to Unwind
To live a happy and healthy life, you must make time for the things you love and set aside downtime to relax your body and unwind.
A nice little trick to help you do this is to schedule a few activities that you love to do during your week in your calendar / diary FIRST!
As an example, a couple of things that I strive to do each week to fill my cup up are:
Make time for exercise 4 times a week
I go to the sauna and for a swim on Thursday evenings
I meditate each morning before work for 20-30 minutes
Wednesday night is date night and we go dancing together
If you’re currently overwhelmed and truly think you have no time for yourself, I recommend starting with even just ONE thing you can do during your week that makes you feel good.
Our bodies need a break.
We’re not made to continuously function at a heightened or stressed state without burning out. So, do yourself a favour, and make down time a priority.
10) Get Enough Sleep
I can’t stress enough how important sleep is for our overall happiness and health.
Although the general recommendation is to strive for 7-9 hours of sleep, sleep needs can vary from person to person.
Some people can perform optimally on 5-6 hours of sleep, whereas others may need more than 9 hours to feel refreshed.
I personally strive to get a minimum of 6-8 hours each night, otherwise I notice that I just can’t focus as well as I normally do. I’m also not as productive, get headaches and my eyes become strained and heavy.
If getting more sleep is an area you need to improve in, I suggest striving to get 7-9 hours of sleep and experiment with different lengths of sleep to see what works best for your body.
If you struggle with getting to sleep, or getting enough sleep due to waking up or insomnia, I suggest that you consult with your doctor with some tips & tricks that could help you.
11) Reduce Time on Social Media
If you want to live a happy and healthy life, stop spending so much time on social media.
Probably not a surprise for some of you but social media can be extremely detrimental to your mental health and happiness, especially when over-consumed.
When over-used, social media can cause us to doubt ourselves and our self-worth.
This constant comparison game can cause lowered self-confidence and esteem, unhappiness and a whole spectrum of other negative emotions.
You must remember that social media is literally a filtered highlight reel of people’s greatest moments in life. Therefore, you’re not seeing the complete picture of what is actually going on behind the scenes.
I’ve had it myself where someone I was connected to (who always seemed to have their life together, had lots of friends and posted regularly about the good things in life) disclosed that they were actually suffering from depression and a gambling addiction.
I had no idea!!
The key message: be careful and avoid comparing yourself to others on social media. The life you see online is not usually the same as what is often going on behind the scenes.
12) Create a Morning Routine That Makes You Feel Awesome!
The final tip to live a happy and healthy life, is to build a morning routine that you love and fills your cup up.
Having a solid morning routine can give you more time to focus on the things you love and can help you to:
Take control back over your day
Train your mind to focus on the positive appreciate the small things
Start your day with something productive rather than waking up feeling lazy or drowsy due to snoozing your alarm
Get yourself into momentum for the day
Fill your cup up with things you love so you don’t feel deprived during the week
Fuel your mind with positivity
Affirm your vision, goals and beliefs
Grow into a bigger and better version of yourself because you are continuously evolving
Make progress towards your goals
Learn a new skill
Plan your day in advance so you can be proactive, rather than being reactive.
Enjoy and appreciate the present moment, rather than focusing on the day ahead
When building a morning routine, you should aim to create a routine that works in with your lifestyle and that you’re going to enjoy.
How to Create a Morning Routine to Live a Healthy & Happy Life Long Term
Since the age of 16 anxiety and stress have been a common occurrence for me.
Just like many of you I’m sure…
At this age you start to enter the world of VCE (Year 11 and 12) and all of a sudden you’re required to decide exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life…AND start making plans to get realise it…
All within those last 2 years of school – crikey! Talk about pressure.
Then by the time you’re 18, you’re required to start “adulting”, which can come as quite a shock to some of us.
No more pocket money….
No more parents driving us around when we feel like it….
No more packed lunches…
No more 2 week boyfriends… (ok maybe that was just me)
And you officially get your drivers license….
Eeee shits getting serious….
Then, as we enter our 20’s we hit that point where we need to make some big life decisions including whether we go to uni (for most), work full-time, buy a house or even starting a family.
To be honest, life in my early teens had been pretty sweet, but once I turned 16, I was hit with a mass of self-inflicted stress and anxiety.
The kind of stress and anxiety that has a massive toll on our bodies – yep you know what I’m talking about…
It was in my 20’s that I started to discover natural remedies for stress and anxiety, and goodness me, it was one of the best things I did.
So here’s an insight into 10 helpful natural remedies for stress and anxiety.
10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Stress Relief
If you know me personally, you’d know I’m not a big fan of taking prescription medications. This is why I rely on natural remedies and techniques to help cope with my anxiety and stress symptoms.
It may not be the be end all solution for everyone…I get that.
But, these natural remedies can definitely help you to reduce your symptoms, even if used along more conventional medicines.
So without further ado, let’s kick straight into it.
P.S > If you prefer to watch videos over reading text you can also check out the video below:
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness Meditation– originally an ancient Buddhist practice used by various religions around the world, but as of the last few years, has become a mainstream therapy for treating stress and anxiety.
It is a great natural technique where you’re key focus is to bring yourself into the present moment, and usually involves bringing your attention to your breath.
This course is awesome because it not only teaches you how to meditate, but also helps you overcome many of the challenges newbies experience and build a fool-proof meditation routine.
You can read more about the Journey to Calm course here.
2. Get Off Your Phone!
It’s easy to forget how dependent we’ve become with the technology in our lives. Often most apparent by the immediate panic and worry that we feel when we think we’ve lost our phone. Followed shortly by the relief when we realise it’s been sitting right next to us the whole time…
Phew, the relief!
This constant need to check our electronic devices, regardless of whether there’s an alert or not, can trigger feelings of anxiety. Even just idly scrolling through social media feeds and comparing your life to others can make you feel a sense of stress.
Sometimes it worries me with how intensely people’s phones seem to control them.
And, no! I don’t mean in a crazy sci-fi thriller kind of way.
What I mean is how so many of us multi-task with our phones:
Watching TV…but also scrolling the social feeds on our phones
Typing a task at work…and then suddenly feeling the need to check our phone
Walking down the street…with our face in our phones not even looking where we’re gong
And the worst of them all, driving….and texting on the phone.
Look guys, I admit I’m no angel! I’ve been a sucker for all of these things too.
But it’s something we all need to mindful of, especially if we’re wanting to reduce stress and anxiety on our bodies.
3. Get Yourself Some Herbal Teas
Yeah, yeah. You’ve probably heard about the power of herbal teas before.
But, as a natural remedy for anxiety, herbal teas are just so simple and easy to add into your daily life.
They’re not expensive and some have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety symptoms; promoting relaxation and improving sleep.
A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, in Philadelphia, revealed that patients with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks, saw a significant reduction in their anxiety symptoms versus patients taking a placebo.
That’s why chamomile tea can be a great natural remedy to look into if you need help relaxing and de-stressing in the evening.
4. Essential Oils & Aromatherapy
Essential oils are another natural therapy that can be used for stress and anxiety relief. It is one I absolutely LOVE and rely on almost daily.
Of the many essential oils out there, Lavender, Chamomile and Cedarwood are known to help:
Reduce your heart rate
Reduce tension in the body
Another great thing about essential oils is that they can be used in such a variety of ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
They can be smelt, inhaled, burned, diffused, put in a bath, dabbed on your skin, put on your pillow etc.
But just remember, this is mainly for essential oils only. Many fragrance oils are not recommended for your skin or in the bath so be aware of this when looking to buy some new oils.
Why is it that we feel so refreshed and happy after spending some time outside and amongst nature?
Well, a key reason is that nature including waterfalls and streams are known to release negative ions into their air.
Once negative Ions reach our bloodstream, they produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of serotonin in our brain. This is said to help alleviate depression, relieve stress and boost our daytime energy.
So, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious – take a moment to get outside and go for a walk in a nature reserve or park.
You’ll feel so much better for it.
In addition to getting up and close with nature, pets are also great for reducing stress. They offer companionship, love and support.
Research has shown that pets can be beneficial to people experiencing a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety.
Yeah, yeah. Another one you’ve probably heard of before.
However, for me this one has been HUGE!!
In my case, I need to exercise at least 3-4 times a week in order to keep a lid on the box of my anxiety monster.
If I miss a day or can’t exercise for a week due to sickness or another event, I immediately notice a change in my anxiety levels. Something inside me just feels different and my mind can start to race unnecessarily.
As has been proven on many occasions, regular exercise is good for the brain and is a powerful cure for both depression and anxiety – immediate and in the long term.
Some even say that just 20 – 30 mins of exercise daily can help to reduce anxiety symptoms.
This could include a brisk walk during your lunch break or a quick gym session before or after work. it doesn’t need to be a burden on your life. Especially if you’re not really one who is very keen on exercise.
My advice is to just DO IT!!
Stop being a lazy couch potato, get your heart rate up and let’s burn off some of that anxious energy!
8. Eat a Healthy Diet
Most of us are aware of the importance of a healthy diet. It’s not exactly a new concept.
Yet, with the amount of conflicting information about health and diet on the internet, it’s no wonder we’re all confused about what to do.
From an anxiety perspective, diet can have a HUGE impact on your energy levels and nerves.
For anxiety sufferers, it is recommended that you focus your diet on:
According to Dr. Ramsey, the co-author of “The Happiness Diet, “people get more anxious and irritable when they are hungry.”
I don’t disagree with you there, Doctor. I definitely get anxious and #HANGRY when I’m hungry. Bring on the meal…
In the book, they also highlight how during anxiety attacks, our blood sugar can start to drop.
This is why having a snack can be the best thing to do if you feel your symptoms coming on (but of course, avoid unhealthy sugary snacks).
Over the last year, I’ve cut out quite a bit of sugar from my diet. So, now, when eating something naughty like a chocolate bar or a snack high in sugar, my heart starts to race and I feel anxious.
This never used to happen to me before!!
I believe it’s related to the sudden hit of energy you get from consuming sugar. This is why I now try to avoid eating those things as best I can.
Note: Being a chocoholic, this can be really hard!!
9. Relaxation Exercises
Breathing deeply and also engaging in other relaxation exercises such as body scanning and stretching can help to relieve tension in the body as a result of stress or anxiety.
If you suffer from anxiety, deep breathing is a great habit to get into. Also termed “yogic breathing” or the “4-7-8 breath”, deep breathing has been shown to effectively reduce stress and anxiety.
One reason it works is that you can’t breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time. It also helps to slow down your body.
To do the 4-7-8 breath:
Exhale completely through your mouth
Then inhale through your nose for a count of four.
Hold your breath for a count of seven
Now let it out slowly through your mouth for a count of eight.
Repeat several times in a row until you start to notice that you feel a greater sense of calm.
Body Scanning – Relaxing Different Muscle Groups
Some people unconsciously tense muscles in their body, such as clenching their jaw, in response to anxiety. To combat this, try lying in a comfortable position on the floor, close your eyes and scan your body from head to toe.
Can you identify any areas in particular that feel tense?
If so, slowly constrict and relax each muscle group, beginning with the toes and working up to the shoulders and jaw. Do this for a few moments.
10. Self-Care – Making Time for the Things You Love!
Ever wonder why you feel so relaxed after treating yourself to some time in a sauna, a bath, or a steam room? Or even just by cozying up to a fire with a cup of tea?
Well, the sense of relaxation you feel is associated with the release of tension from your body as a result of feeling warm.
Research suggests that sensations of warmth boost mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
One study in particular, revealed that “whether lying on the beach in the midday sun on a Caribbean island, grabbing a few minutes in the sauna or spa after work, or sitting in a hot bath or Jacuzzi in the evening, we often associate feeling warm with a sense of relaxation and well-being.”
In addition to seeking some warmth, allocating time for self-care and downtime is really important as part of our weekly routines.
Whether it’s watching a movie, painting your nails, getting a massage, meditation, yoga or going for a walk, making the time for these things will help to make you feel much more relaxed.
I guarantee it!
So, there you have it, 10 Natural remedies for anxiety & stress relief.
I hope that you now have some ideas of things you can try to aid in managing your anxiety naturally.
Note: When trying these remedies, keep in mind that some remedies may work better for you than others. Everyone is different. Ensure to try several different remedies before deciding if they work for you.
For chronic anxiety sufferers, you may want to suss out some other treatment options as highlighted below.
Other than that, I wish you all the best with giving natural remedies a go!!
If you would like to learn more about meditation, we cover this an more in our free Journey to Calm course below.
Other Treatment Options
For those who suffer from chronic anxiety, you may require some additional treatment or therapy to prevent anxiety from interfering with your daily functioning. This is where it can be necessary to seek advice from a doctor about your symptoms.
The great thing is that Anxiety is becoming much less of a taboo topic these days. So, don’t feel awkward about seeing someone about it.
Even though mine isn’t chronic, I went and got some therapy myself (in the earl days).
It helped me to identify my triggers and make positive lifestyle changes.
It could be the same for you!
You can also try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which has also been very effective for anxiety sufferers. I personally haven’t tried this though.
CBT is all about helping you to understand how your thoughts affect your emotions and behaviour. And then, replacing those reactions with positive or constructive alternatives.
Finally, there is always medication. However, for me, this would be my last resort. But maybe it’s the best solution for you.
Speak to a doctor and they will be able to help you to explore your options.
5) Find Happiness Through Meditation & Mindfulness
During your week, it’s important to take a moment to clear your mind.
Meditation is a great way to bring your focus back to the present.
When you focus on the present moment, you are much more likely to feel centred, happy and at peace. Meditation and mindfulness can help you with this.
And no, you don’t need to be a “pretzeled” yogi or a Buddhist monk to reap the health benefits of meditation. Anyone can engage in meditation exercises… even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes each morning.
When practiced regularly, meditation can help to reduce negative thoughts, anxiety, stress and depression and increase feelings of peace, calmness and serenity.
If you’ve heard about meditation and are curious to learn more about it, sign up for our Free introductory meditation e-course below.
6) Be Kind to Others & Yourself
This one is pretty simple. Just be nice!
You don’t have to be an angel or saint 100% of the time. Just be more respectful and kind to those around you.
Doing nice things for people can trigger feelings of happiness by making us feel warm and fuzzy due to the natural dopamine (happiness hormone) release we get from doing so.
Volunteer your time, help others and be giving.
They may not always return the favour or physically show their appreciation, but you’ll reap rewards in the long run, even if it’s just good Karma.
7) Nurture Your Body Properly
Your body is your temple and you only get one.
Instead of treating your body like a rubbish bin, fuel it with nutritious and healthy whole foods.
Engage in regular exercise (even if it’s just a 30-minute walk on your lunch break) and strive to get the 7-9 hours of sleep that your body needs for optimum performance.
This will make you feel good on the inside and look great on the outside.
When you feel run down or sick, give you body a chance to rest, repair and recharge. Even if it means not getting that one last task done and ticked off your to do list.
Self care is so critical, especially if you’re a high-achiever and tend to push yourself to burn out.
8) Appreciate You for You
Learn to love yourself as you are.
Each of us has our own quirks and insecurities. It’s how you manage and respond to these insecurities that will determine whether you thrive or self-destruct over time.
You have 3 options. You can either:
Choose to hate yourself or that part of your body; putting yourself down each time you look in the mirror over something you cannot change.
Take action to make a change. If you’re overweight, go to the gym and start eating properly.
Accept it and move on. Identify all the other characteristics that you love about yourself. Maybe you have great hair? A killer smile? A kind and loving heart? A natural wisdom about the world?
We’re all different and have unique features and personalities. Embrace it!
Accept yourself as you are – flaws and all.
Be grateful for what you do have rather than stressing about the things you don’t.
No one is perfect – so why are you trying so hard to be?
9) Cherish Your Relationships
Relationships are one of the biggest sources of happiness in our lives.
Yet in our busy society, we become so easily caught up with other responsibilities that we neglect those around us.
In the pursuit of money, fame and fortune many of us overlook the needs of our family and friendships. If managed poorly it can lead you to a very depressing place.
To be happy, you must focus on surrounding yourself with a supportive circle of family and friends, a loving relationship and a thriving social life.
Cultivate and build connections (no, not through Instagram or Facebook), but actually in person.
By doing so, you will experience greater levels of joy, attract higher quality relationships into your life and satisfy your sense of belonging.
Rid yourself of pessimists or gossipers.
Disconnect from people in your life who make you feel bad, unworthy or unconfident.
Instead, make a conscious effort to spend quality time with happy people, family and friends who make you feel good, support and encourage you and take delight in your good fortunes.
In return, offer them the same.
10) Be Resilient
Learn and grow in the face of challenge.
When you get smacked down in life, remember…. life is a rollercoaster.
Don’t let it get you down.
Instead, rise up from failure, take on new challenges and adapt readily to change.
Stop taking things so seriously (as I used to). The truth is that you can’t control everything or have your way all the time (even though I used to wish we could).
Sometimes, life can push you down a different path which can be scary, or even exhilarating.
So ease up tiger!
Let your hair down every now and again and enjoy the ride. All will work out in the end.
For me, these 10 things have had a significant impact on my life.
I hope for your sake, that they have helped trigger even just ONE NEW IDEA on how you could do something differently. ONE SMALL THING you could change in your life to be a happier and healthier you.
If you need help with creating a life you love and that lights you up every day, I can help!
We’ve designed a course to specifically help you to become a happier and healthier you in 21 days.
You’ll learn how to improve all aspects of your life (physical, emotional and mental health) and how you spend your time.
I’ll teach you a simple routine to maximise results each day, so you can make progress towards your biggest goals and start you day with the things you love and that make you feel amazing (rather than forcing yourself out of bed each morning).
With the checklist, you won’t receive as much value or guidance compared to the course, however it will give you insight into a list of activities you can do each day to live a happier and healthier life.
Think of it as a mini small sneak peak inside what is covered in detail in the Journey to Happiness course.
Enter your details below to get sent your free Journey to Happiness Checklist: