Thursday, June 18, 2015

Three ways to be Happier.... Today’s post:  Thursday, 6-18-2015

Got an email from Spry Living with an article titled “7 Easy Ways to be Happier.”

I read the article and found it of interest.  Then I decided to do a post on the three ways they listed I thought most important, most doable, and most effective.

They are:

Do a vigorous workout first thing each morning.
  Do a daily grateful ritual each day; 
             & Be with happy people!

The Subject line for their article that suggested these actions said they were easy.  They may get easy to keep doing and are easy when you do them by habit.  

But, that's also a bit misleading because they can be extremely hard to start and continue until they become a habit.

So besides listing them, we list ideas to make them easy enough to start, that you have a shot at doing it if you don’t already.

1.  Vigorous exercise for a few minutes from 8 to 30 minutes each morning can make you strong and fit if you do the right exercises well. And energetic or vigorous exercise first thing each morning is very health protective in over a dozen ways.  

Here are several ways doing them in the morning, particularly at home, can make you happier:

a)  People who do this sleep a LOT better than people who don't.  They both get to sleep easier and get better quality sleep!  

And, no surprise, people who get good quality sleep every night are better rested, are mentally sharper, and feel better than people who don't.

b)  Doing vigorous exercise most mornings of every week—
PLUS taking an omega 3 supplement and a DHA supplement and eating walnuts daily if you aren't allergic and eating wild caught fish NOT high in mercury but high in omega 3 oils such as Salmon and small fish like sardines and herring
plus taking choline or eating egg yolks from chickens fed only their natural food on pastures –

physically turns off any depression caused by minimal brain damage!  This is one of the hidden causes of depression in many cases. 

Talk therapy also helps avoid depression effectively; but the vigorous exercise plus nutrients  helps people who still feel depressed even when they begin to  think better.  They are far less depressed to be sure.  Exercise when added to these nutrients often is effective in turning off the rest of their depression.

That damage can come from being sedentary for too many years before starting to exercise to having a concussion you haven't completely healed from to battlefield PTSD.

Early morning vigorous exercise even if it's only a brisk 10 minute walk plus those nutrients has been shown to strongly release BDNF, a specialized growth hormone that grows new nerve and brain cells.

In fact, brain scans show it IS effective.  And, best of all, the people who show the repaired brain cells on scans DO become less depressed and feel much better!

c) People who start the day with such exercises have better circulation and neurotransmitters for the rest of day each day they exercise!

 They ARE mentally sharper, tests show; and they often feel more alert and feel better too.

My wife says she feels more clear-headed and centered on the days she does this before work.

d) By doing these exercises first thing in the morning by routine and keeping a log book where you note what you did very briefly each time has been shown to:

Make continuing to exercise doable even for people who didn't before to extremely reliable once people do it for a few months.

That's because you do it BEFORE the varying challenges that come up later in the day; and you gradually begin to do it by habit.

(I can attest to how powerful this is personally. 

For a few months, I went to a gym after work twice a week besides my early morning exercises.  I made quite an effort to go each time even when I felt tired and blasted or was hungry enough to feel like staying home instead.  More than half the time this worked.  And once I was a few reps into my first set, I found the tiredness disappeared.  But the rest of the time either I found I was too tired and hungry or something came up that HAD to be done instead.

So, during those several months, I’d go two or three of the four times that month. 

Meanwhile, how many of my morning exercise sessions did I miss?  Zero!)

How can you start doing this successfully? 

Make it extremely easy to start!

Next time you go shopping get a log book or make a file on your smart phone.

Then pick at least one day this week or next when you will do your early morning exercise.

Then pick ONE thing to do that morning and decide how much of it would be ridiculously easy to do.

Then that morning do that and write it down in your log book or enter it and date it and save it in your file.

Then that same day of the week next week do that same exercise. 

Do a bit more; but still make sure it’s very easy to do. 

Then after two or three weeks you can add a second exercise or a second set or do a bit more of the first exercise.

How easy should you make the first week?

Do three pushups if you are reasonably sure you could do 10 or 12.  Go for a three minute walk if you probably could walk for 20 minutes and still find it easy.

The successful focus is to put all your willpower on doing one exercise that morning and make the exercise so easy you need almost zero willpower to do the exercise itself.

2.  Do a “things to be grateful for routine each day. 

This has been proven to dramatically increase how happy people are each time it’s been studied.

Your brain is a focus machine.  Good things large and small happen to everyone even on ridiculously bad and challenging days.  Once you train yourself to notice the good things and review them once a day, it becomes dramatically easier to be happier and have a good quality of life.

Sometimes something good happens that’s memorable enough you will remember it or you’ll think to write it down. 

But believe it or not, enough good things happen to everyone, when the time comes to review what went well that day, you can almost always think of something.

What if you do draw a blank? 

Tony Robbins found a great cure for that one!  Ask yourself:  “What happened today that might be something I can list?”  “What began today or I started today that might turn out well?”

Educator for toddlers innovator Glen Doman suggested this one indirectly:  “What did I learn today?”

The harder part is to find a time later each day when you can do a short review of what went well that day.

But it can be very powerful when you do and then do it that time of day each day.

One author, James Clear, has family sit down dinners.  And he starts each family dinner by describing and telling about something that went well that day. With his example, sometimes his wife and kids add things.  He even wrote about a time when the dinner started badly and he resorted to saying he was grateful it wasn’t worse and for how well everyone handled it!

3.  Be with happy people.  

We are social beings. 

And over and over research finds we tend to become a bit more like the people in our social network.  If they are fat, we tend to become fat too. If they exercise and eat right, we tend to do that too.

And, if several people in our social network are resilient, kind, and fun and happy themselves, we tend to become more that way too!

There are several ways to do this.  Find happy people to associate with.  And, know yourself  how to make being with people a happier experience most of the time.

Watch for people who are happy or fun to be with.  And, if there aren’t that many in your social network, find people who are online or in the library and read things they wrote.  Then arrange to spend more time with them and savor it when you do!

Here are three examples: 

a) When I was younger I read quite a bit of the books of Isaac Asimov.  He loved life; had a great memory; and loved to use his story telling ability to bring things to life and tell stories about himself and other people. He shared humor even when the funny happening was at his own expense.

Oddly, he became famous because of his science fiction.  But except for his first short story, all his best writing is his nonfiction, his autobiography books, and his books on humor.

If no one in your network is life affirming and fun to be with now, he’s a resource you can use!
He wrote so many books, every public library in the country has several of his books or even dozens!

b)  I once went to a weekly networking group and one of the other regular attendees, Bob, liked to create humor or point it out and reliably he did this several times each time he attended.

Like the jokes on Saturday Night Live that I once watched, some of his efforts were well meant tries but came off as trying too hard when there was nothing or very little funny about his try.

But most of the time, Bob was funny enough that, by himself, he made the whole event worth attending no matter how good or bad it was otherwise!

And, sometimes he totally made things go right when, had he not been there, they might not have done so.

I was completely out of position then to socialize with him outside of the event.  But my life was happier because he was in it.

c)  My younger brother John is the third of us in our family and as often happens, though we are all social, he became unusually skilled.

He is a very perceptive observer and remembers social events and what was funny about them at the time to an unusual degree. So on social occasions, his descriptions of these events in his life are vivid and fun to listen to.

So it’s my goal to spend a bit more time with him when I can.

If you have anyone like Bob or John in your life that you can spend more time with, you will be happier.

    The other way to be with happy people is to do things that make the people around you happy or avoid doing things that would make them unhappy.

James Clear, when he told his family members how he saw them handling a bad situation well and thought it was a positive instead of taking out the bad situation on them or doing the reverse, helped his family to be happy!

You can do things like that too!

Focus on being encouraging and paying sincere compliments and being kind and forgiving to the people around you.  When they reach out to you in some way, respond quickly and in a positive a way as you can.

The people around you will be happier AND you will too!  

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:12 PM  
Blogger David said...

I hardly ever post these kind of comments. But the post does recommend exercise first thing each morning; and the website is videos of gym exercises mostly with a barbell that is well decently well done.

So if you have a home gym or live near a gym you go to first thing most mornings, the website does fit the post.

7:58 AM  

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