We tend to go over to the extremes in our search for more pleasure, when we should be looking for more balance if we want to live a happier life.
1. Make time to play more games
I was first exposed to this weird principle, that can play a very important role in your levels of happiness and success, about two years ago in Robin Sharma’s audio book “The Greatness Guide” where he talks about the importance of making time to play once in a while.
The benefits? Endless. From experiencing more joy, which is a very high emotion (vibrationally speaking), to connecting with friends and family which is great more mental health and it also helps to take yourself less seriously.
Think of a game that you haven’t played in years and schedule a time in your calendar to play it in the next 14 days. You’ll thank me later for that.
2. Learn to do mindmaps
Did you know that the first person to use a mind map (even though they were not called this way back then) was Leonardo Da Vinci back in the 15th century? Yes, he was way ahead of his time. Mind maps are a great tool for balancing your left and right brain hemispheres, which will actually put your whole being in more balance. Learn more about how to create a mind map here.
A few key aspects to keep in mind:
- use big papers, this way you don’t shrink your thinking
- the more colors, the better
- underline & use caps where necessary
- connect the dots
- draw – let your creative juices flow
- write on top of the line
- start from the center (it has to be a drawing) where you place your main idea/project name
- some say to only write one word, but I find it easier to keep it under three words per idea.
3. Make time to walk
Walking can be so beneficial for you, especially if you’re not a very sporty person or you spend a lot of time working at a desk like myself (not the sporty part!). It’s been researched that just walking regularly can help decrease feelings of depression by up to 25% in a matter of weeks.
We are part of an environment, so it’s very important to remember that in order to feel good and happy, you need to take advantage and connect with the environment, with the nature around you. I love trees, woods and parks, and in time, walking actually became a hobby to be as I also use the time to do other stuff like:
- listen to an audio book & course
- meditate – count my steps
- think about my dreams and goals
- dream building – be aware of everything around you and find new items that you can add to your dream board (see #31)
TIP: walk barefoot on grass from time to time because there’s no better you to connect yourself with nature.
4. Go away for a weekend every month
We live in a busy world (most of us) and it’s pretty hard (if not impossible) to find balance when you’re constantly working on getting somewhere. Make a habit of going away for a weekend every month with your family and/or friends – you owe this to yourself for how much you work every day and sometimes we tend to forget that we are not machines, we need sleep, rest, nature, loved ones, good food, joy and time off from time to time.
A weekend is too much or too expensive? Go somewhere close by for an entire day and do your best to disconnect from everything that happens at work, but understand that the first few times it can be really hard to totally disconnect.
The biggest benefit is that you’ll get more creative ideas by constantly disconnecting yourself from what you do every day, besides experiencing more joy, see new places and meet new people.
Drawing is great for developing a balance between the left hemisphere, which we tend to use the most because it’s the one that deals with words, logic, number, analysis etc., and the right hemisphere which is where all the “creative juices” are hidden because this part of your brain deals with rhythm, color, imagination, awareness.
So, if you believe you have a lot of ideas, you can skip this one, but who would want to consciously keep themselves away from awesome ideas anyway?!
Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci was ambidextrous, paranoid dyslexic, and could draw forward with one hand while writing backward with the other? That’s what I like to call mastery.
6. Go out for dinner once a month
Some of you will be like “only once?” while others will be like “I can’t afford that often…” or “I like to prepare my own food” and I totally get you, but here we’re looking for more balance.
Cooking at home is great, but we need to feel taken care of once in a while and just enjoy our partner’s company. Allow yourself to eat out once a month at a nice restaurant and feel good about it because you are wonderful and you deserve this!
No cell phones, please! And even if you’re not a big drinker, like myself for instance, you can enjoy a glass of fine wine without feeling guilty – it’s good for your health too!
7. Stop skipping that vacation!
Even though work is a big part of a human being’s life and I believe it’s what keeps us from not going completely nuts, we need time off once in a while. But most, we need to learn how to make the most of that little time off that we get every year.
If you take the time to relax and recharge your batteries you will feel more joyful and happy, which is exactly the kind of emotions that have the power to make all your dreams become a reality. Living in a higher vibration is much more important than all the work that you could possibly do in that one week of vacation.
You might not see this advice anywhere else, but take a small loan if you have to and just go on vacation this year, feel good about it and deal with everything else later. You might find that by the time you come back, things will look much brighter in your life. Just because sometimes, a short vacation may be all that you need.
8. Wear more colors
Because style is one of the main topics I cover on my blog and I am very passionate about it, I always recommend a change of wardrobe. We need to make changes and challenge ourselves once in a while if we want to keep ourselves mentally healthy, and I believe that adding more colors to your outfit can be a fun challenge.
From where I stand, balance equals more happiness, but in order to feel happier you need to wear happy clothes. It’s pretty hard to feel happy when all you’re wearing every day are black, brown and gray clothes. Be bold and try on a green shirt, yellow pants, a pair of red sneakers or a dark blue coat.
Too scary? Start small!
Men can start with a pair of colorful socks, a colorful striped tie or just a pocket square.
Women, depending on your style, you can also start with colorful socks, purse, scarf or even shoes.
9. Eat organic food
Fortunately or unfortunately for a lot of people, we are what we eat. A big chunk
of our everyday balance comes from what we eat and drink, but what I’ve learned is that small changes can produce big results and that it’s better to introduce new healthy foods than to get rid of all the “negative” ones.
Try to introduce 1-2 healthier foods in your diet every week and soon you will realize that you don’t crave the bad stuff that much because your body gets used to the new way of eating. My girlfriend taught me that it’s easier to make lasting changes by adding good foods in your diet because it produces less frustration.
Change is easier than you think! A study conducted in Sweden showed that by eating only organic food for two weeks, the pesticides levels dropped by 95%. This is good news because even if all your life you’ve been eating infested foods, you can turn that around in a matter of weeks by deciding to eat organic foods.
It’s not about how much you eat, but about how nutritious is your food. Buying from trusted sources locally can increase the nutrient value in your foods, which will make you eat less and feel better, plus you’ll support the local food market instead of putting money in the pockets of big companies.
10. Bach Flowers Remedies
I’ve discovered Bach Flowers about a year ago, but I’ve only been exposed to their amazing healing power about 6 weeks ago when I went through a tough period in my life (like we all go through) and I’ve managed to get out faster than I’ve ever imagined with the help of these amazing holistic therapy called Bach Flowers.
Bach Flowers are very similar to homeopathy, but they work on a deeper level, on a vibrational level. I say they are great for overall balance because they work with your emotions and have the power to heal negative emotions. You can use the for anxiety, depression, tension, sadness, but also for perfectionism, procrastination, different fears, self-pity, to bring more faith into your life and to also help you say “no” when you have to.
The remedy was invented by Dr. Edward Bach who spent years experimenting on himself different emotions so that he can find the right remedy in flowers.
Disclaimer: because they work on such a deep level, you need to have patience because this is not an instant happiness pill, but it has to power to make you happier on the long-run. See a professional therapist, give it time and observe the changes in your life.
11. Declutter your life once in a while
A lot of people tend to get stuck to what they own because it makes them feel rich, which in fact, the underlying feeling is lack and that’s exactly what they’re putting into the Universe “I don’t have enough” – this is the exact reason why some people will never get rich or have enough.
On the other hand, when you consciously go through your stuff and donate (or just throw) old stuff, you make space for new ones to come into your life, you tell the Universe “I have enough” and the Universe will provide more so that you will always experience the feeling of “having enough”. At the same time, everything is energy and if you stick to your old things, you risk to do the same on a mental level: old habits, old beliefs, old patterns, etc., which will keep you unhappy and broke.
In order to experience more abundance and prosperity in your life, you have to learn how to circulate energy, be it money, clothes, gifts or just thoughts.
If you’ve never done this before, start by just donating two clothing items that you did not wear in 12 months. Two items is enough to give you a glimpse of how it feels to get rid of stuff, but it’s also safe so you don’t freak out that you don’t have enough.
Forgiveness is another form of decluttering your life. If you want to move forward in life, you have to leave some of the baggage behind and choose to see that you’re setting yourself free. Ho’oponopono is a great exercise that will help you release hate, resentments and negative feeling toward anyone.
12. Find your true voice
When we are kids, we tend copy everything our parents do, good or bad because we did not learn to discern yet. But, there comes a time in our lives, if you constantly work on yourself, when you can’t cope with some of the voices in your head anymore, you feel like their not on your good side.
That is the moment when you have to stop and ask yourself
- “Do I really believe that?”
- “Is this my authentic self?”
- “Is this helping me in any way?”
- “Do I still want to listen to this voice?”
It’s a not-so-nice (at times) process of letting go the old stuff, but it’s really just preparing you for the better. Remember that you don’t have to do it all by yourself:
- ask friends to just listen to you and confront some of the voices
- ask your life partner to help you out
- see a therapist for a few sessions – it might be the easiest, faster and most effective way of dealing with this.
This is the exact phase I am going through right now, but I trust the process and I believe it’s all for my highest good because I can’t reach the goals that I’ve set up with the past baggage I am carrying right now, so some stuff needs to go.