Sixty-two percent of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions each year. Among the top of the list include weight loss, quitting an addiction, getting financially stable, and being happier.
I believe that being happy is number one and all of the rest of the resolutions that people set will follow behind.
Here are some simple tips to keep you happy in 2013
1. Start a Gratitude Journal. The start up cost is under $5 and it takes 5 minutes a day. In a simple note book or a fancy one with designs, which ever you prefer, write down 5 things each day that you are grateful for. It can be generic such as I’m happy to be alive, or I’m glad I have food on the table. It can also be specific like, I am happy to have ___________ (insert name of loved one, spouse, friend, boyfriend/girlfriend…etc here) in my life. As you go along each day your notes will get more in depth and you will realize how great a life you actually have. For example, when you get soap in your eyes instead of getting angry that night you would write down, I’m glad I can afford soap. Or for the college kid in all of us, instead of darn I ran out of beer you would write down Thank God I didn’t have another beer.
2. Work Out- You can do this with or without a gym membership. According to a Harvard Medical School Psychiatrist “Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood”. Working out can help you sleep better and give your skin a nicer glow, both which could lead to happiness. When you workout your body gives off endorphins, a brain chemical that makes you happy! If you live in the Lakes Region a great local family run gym is Laconia Athletic and Swim Club. It’s like Cheers- everyone knows your name and they are glad you came. Its one of the only gyms in the area with a pool and that offers a variety of classes such as step, spinning, TRX, P90X, Yoga, and Zumba. One of the greatest things about LASC is that they are HUGE supporters of the community; so you will most likely see them at various charity events.
3. Remove Clutter and Clean- I don’t know about you but I love the feeling of clean sheets, or putting on pajamas that just came out of the dryer. There have been many studies that say you sleep better in clean sheets, which leads to being happy! A clean home can help cut down your allergies, lowers the risk of an injury, burns calories and reduce stress. If you can’t do all the cleaning yourself and live in the Lakes Region I would recommend All Brite Cleaning. They do it all, from fire damage to mold removal, and from carpet cleaning to housecleaning. They redid my garage after a mold issue and just recently cleaned my carpets and believe me… that definitely made me happy! My number one reason for loving that business is not only are they extremely professional but they are run by a local family and are also HUGE supporters of the community. The do food drives for the Laconia Salvation Army, run blood drives for the NH American Red Cross and they volunteer with the Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity.
4. Take time to do things you love and try new things. Doing things you love relieves stress and of course, makes you happy.I love traveling and try to go with friends on a trip each year. Some of my favorite trips from the past include going with my college roommate to Denver one spring break, going to Vegas with friends for my 30th, a girls trip to Miami and of course the many destination weddings I have been to-not only are you traveling, you get to hang out with your best friends, and celebrate love! I’ve been to Arizona, Tennessee, all over New England, Canada and to Cancun Mexico for weddings! Oh and to Europe for a Girl Scout field trip-yes we had to sell a lot of cookies!!! One of my favorite places though, in all of the world is the White Mountains of NH especially, the Crawford Notch Area. I also love taking photos, hiking, and scrapbooking. I am lucky to live in an area where I see beautiful mountains and lakes every day! Some new things I would like to check out in NH this year include surfing in Rye, paint at Muse Paint Baror climb the rock wall at Evolution Rock and Fitness. I’ve had a beautiful guitar for a few years that looks amazing in my living room, perhaps I’ll learn how to play it this year! Check out your local chamber of commerce for local things to do, or if you are like me and you have the Free History Here App on your phone, it won’t take you more than a few seconds to find all the historical sites to visit in your town and state.
5. Volunteer-Volunteering not only helps others but it makes you feel good about yourself, it builds confidence, it’s a way to make new friends, and for some it can help you figure out what you want to do in your life. Volunteering can also lead you to traveling! (See #4 for benefits of traveling!) There are many amazing places to volunteer. I have volunteered all across the country, but if you look in you own back yard you can find countless places to lend a helping hand. It’s very rewarding to volunteer in your own community as you see the need and see the results of caring people. You can go online to your local United Waywebsite to find opportunities or visit Volunteer NH.
6. Get a Dog- If you can have one, if you are not allergic and if your place of residence allows it…Adopt of pet! You are not only saving a life, it also helps your health and makes you happy! A study at Purdue University Veterinary School said that cuddling with your dog drops blood pressure. Walking your day every day gives you a dose of fresh air and some exercise. Check out your local humane societyfor one of these furry family members.
7. Pamper Yourself-Take time to do something for you! Maybe a manicure or pedicure at your favorite spa or perhaps a facial or a massage. I personally enjoy treating myself to massages at Sunday’s Salon. I have a dislocated knee cap so when I go it helps that area and cuts down on inflammation. Studies show that massages relax people as it cuts down the stress hormone coritsol and leaves you-yes you guessed it HAPPY! Yet again, I am a fan of this local business, not for it’s amazing awards but because of all they do for the local community! When you go ask for Marlyn and tell her Laura sent you!
No matter if it’s watching the Goonies, singing karoke, reading, collecting stamps, or decorating cakes…find what makes you happy and DO IT! No excuses!
Cheers to ALL and a happy 2013!
What makes you happy?