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Wellness
Published Thursday Dec 19, 2019 by Sara Lesher

8 Tips for Improving Happiness (That Actually Work)

Personal Growth
Expert Advice
Motivation

Happiness—the seemingly simple concept that can often be so difficult to obtain. If you've ever found yourself on a quest for happiness or wondered how you can bring a little more smile to your life, here are a few happiness hacks to boost your mood!

Clean

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: this is supposed to be an article about finding happiness, not doing chores. But oftentimes, our living spaces can be reflections of our mental health. You may have noticed when you’re feeling extra stress in your life, your clothes and dishes start piling up. Of course, this leads to even more stress—it’s a vicious cycle. When you’re feeling unhappy, I’m sure the last thing you want to do is start scrubbing last week’s breakfast (or was it lunch?) off your pan, but trust me, you should. You’d be surprised how much your overall mood can change once your home is clean. Plus, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and productivity! (It’s the little things).  

1
Clean

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: this is supposed to be an article about finding happiness, not doing chores. But oftentimes, our living spaces can be reflections of our mental health. You may have noticed when you’re feeling extra stress in your life, your clothes and dishes start piling up. Of course, this leads to even more stress—it’s a vicious cycle. When you’re feeling unhappy, I’m sure the last thing you want to do is start scrubbing last week’s breakfast (or was it lunch?) off your pan, but trust me, you should. You’d be surprised how much your overall mood can change once your home is clean. Plus, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and productivity! (It’s the little things).  

Diffuse

The moment your house is clean, you’ll want to plug in your diffuser. Each of our senses is powerful in affecting our mood, and smell is an important one. Try using essential oils to help boost your spirit and bring out that beautiful smile!  We’re all thinking it—a spotless house that also smells ~amazing~ sounds like the perfect combo.

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Diffuse

The moment your house is clean, you’ll want to plug in your diffuser. Each of our senses is powerful in affecting our mood, and smell is an important one. Try using essential oils to help boost your spirit and bring out that beautiful smile!  We’re all thinking it—a spotless house that also smells ~amazing~ sounds like the perfect combo.

Munch

Just like smell is powerful in affecting our overall mood, taste is crucial as well. I mean, how can you be sad when you’re eating good food? Cook up your favorite meal (and don’t forget to wash your dishes after), or if you don’t feel like messing up that beautifully clean kitchen of yours, go out for a bite. Bring on the dopamine and ditch those negative thoughts!

3
Munch

Just like smell is powerful in affecting our overall mood, taste is crucial as well. I mean, how can you be sad when you’re eating good food? Cook up your favorite meal (and don’t forget to wash your dishes after), or if you don’t feel like messing up that beautifully clean kitchen of yours, go out for a bite. Bring on the dopamine and ditch those negative thoughts!

Plan

Remember when you were a little kid and couldn’t contain your excitement? You’d stay up all night, too anxious to go to sleep. Think Christmas Eve or the night before Disneyland. That feeling doesn’t go away as an adult. Finding something to be excited about in the present moment is a great way to boost your overall happiness. Plan a trip, an outing, even just a quick happy hour with friends. Try to have something fun on the calendar to look forward to whenever you can, because the days leading up to it will be better too—discussing your excitement with friends, planning activities, outfits, etc. We all need something to be excited for! 

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Plan

Remember when you were a little kid and couldn’t contain your excitement? You’d stay up all night, too anxious to go to sleep. Think Christmas Eve or the night before Disneyland. That feeling doesn’t go away as an adult. Finding something to be excited about in the present moment is a great way to boost your overall happiness. Plan a trip, an outing, even just a quick happy hour with friends. Try to have something fun on the calendar to look forward to whenever you can, because the days leading up to it will be better too—discussing your excitement with friends, planning activities, outfits, etc. We all need something to be excited for! 

Go...

Outside! Sunshine is nature’s medicine, seeping into our skin and making us feel good. But even if you live somewhere the sun doesn’t shine this time of year, going outside for some fresh air is great for your mental state. Get out of the office on your lunch break and go for a quick walk. Being outdoors is an amazing (and free!) mood booster. Grab your friends for a hike, bundle up and eat your dinner on the patio, or even just step outside for a quick fix. Cooping up inside all day is never fun. (Unless you found a new binge-worthy show. Then we understand).

5
Go...

Outside! Sunshine is nature’s medicine, seeping into our skin and making us feel good. But even if you live somewhere the sun doesn’t shine this time of year, going outside for some fresh air is great for your mental state. Get out of the office on your lunch break and go for a quick walk. Being outdoors is an amazing (and free!) mood booster. Grab your friends for a hike, bundle up and eat your dinner on the patio, or even just step outside for a quick fix. Cooping up inside all day is never fun. (Unless you found a new binge-worthy show. Then we understand).

Sing

Alright, you don’t actually have to sing (unless you're like me and just want to make your friends laugh), but at least listen to music. Yeah, we’re using another one of our senses—shocker! The incredible power of music not only brings people together and increases social connections, but can help us access any of our positive or negative emotions. If you want to feel happier, play a happy song! Tip: turn on some fun dance music while cleaning, it’ll definitely make it more enjoyable.  

6
Sing

Alright, you don’t actually have to sing (unless you're like me and just want to make your friends laugh), but at least listen to music. Yeah, we’re using another one of our senses—shocker! The incredible power of music not only brings people together and increases social connections, but can help us access any of our positive or negative emotions. If you want to feel happier, play a happy song! Tip: turn on some fun dance music while cleaning, it’ll definitely make it more enjoyable.  

Hug

That’s it! We can dive into the science behind human touch, or you can just trust me—a nice big hug can make you a whole lot happier. You’ve probably experienced this boost in your own happiness, but you may not know all of these benefits of hugging (hint: check out #4). 

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Hug

That’s it! We can dive into the science behind human touch, or you can just trust me—a nice big hug can make you a whole lot happier. You’ve probably experienced this boost in your own happiness, but you may not know all of these benefits of hugging (hint: check out #4). 

Sweat

For some, working out might fall into the same category as cleaning: things I really don’t want to do right now. Others might’ve already experienced the uplifting effects of getting their sweat on! Exercise naturally releases endorphins and the chemicals in our brains that lead to positive emotions (AKA norepinephrine and serotonin), so even if you hate your life during that cycling class, you’ll sure feel good after. If you don’t know where to start, you can find classes near you on Mindbody.io or the Mindbody app

8
Sweat

For some, working out might fall into the same category as cleaning: things I really don’t want to do right now. Others might’ve already experienced the uplifting effects of getting their sweat on! Exercise naturally releases endorphins and the chemicals in our brains that lead to positive emotions (AKA norepinephrine and serotonin), so even if you hate your life during that cycling class, you’ll sure feel good after. If you don’t know where to start, you can find classes near you on Mindbody.io or the Mindbody app

Sara Lesher
Written by
Sara Lesher
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. As Mindbody’s marketing content associate, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).
woman with short hair staring into camera
Wellness
Published Thursday Apr 01, 2021 by Denise Prichard

Your Guide to Releasing Stress and Finding Peace

Expert Advice
Wellness
Self-care

Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.

With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."

There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.

Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:

shanila sattar header
 
1. Foundational Steps to Cultivating a Daily Self-love Practice  

When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey. 

virtual meditation header
 
2. I Tried Virtual Meditation...Here’s What I Learned 

Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?) 

TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra. 

dani schenone yogi
 
3. Accessible Yoga Poses for Emotional Balance and Release 

Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.  

shanila sattar header
4. Top Breathing Exercises for Anxiety and Depression and The New Normal

Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.

destress with yoga
 
5. The "Staying Grounded" Guide to Stress and Anxiety Pre- and Post-COVID-19

If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.

woman meditating
 
6. How to Meditate: A Beginner's Guide

Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.

woman in down dog
 
7. Cultivate Your Calm with These 7 Yoga Poses

There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.

shanila sattar header
 
8. Mindfulness Tips to Stay Intentional, Focused, and Aligned in 2021

We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.

shanila sattar header
9. Why It's Time to Try a Healing Virtual Sound Bath

If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.

These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.  

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.