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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.

2
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! 

4
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
Lifecycle Program Manager
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. A former English major, 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).
people in upward dog practicing yoga on mats
Fitness
Published Wednesday Jul 28, 2021 by Bree Lewis

Sweat Redemption: 5 Tips for Getting Back Into Your Hot Yoga Practice

Yoga
Fitness
Expert Advice

If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.

To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.

1. Go at your own pace

Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you.  And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!

2. Hydrate like your life depends on it (honestly, it might)

The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!  

3. Nourish your body

Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.

4. Replenish those electrolytes

Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.

5. Bring the right equipment

Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.

So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.

Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you

While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.

bree lewis headshot
Written by
Bree Lewis
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Born and raised in a small mountain town just south of Yosemite National Park, Bree is an avid lover of health, wellness, and connecting to the outside world around us. As a Cal Poly English major alumn, she has a knack for books, writing, and all things words. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, drinking craft beers, and keeping life jazzy!