My lifelong quest has been to find ways to be happy, under all circumstances. I’ve come to the conclusion that other than setting an intention first thing in the morning, that is, making a conscious choice to be happy no matter what, there is no singular activity that gets me there. What works some days may not work on others. This is because, just like the weather, our metabolism changes daily depending on what we have eaten the day before, how much exercise or fresh air we’ve taken in, whether we have consumed alcohol, who we have spent time with, what conversations we’ve had or even what we have been focusing on. These stimulators, whose control center lies in the brain, affect our neurology that sends out messages to our bodies and affect how we feel. So, besides setting a positive intention, if you want to be happy every day, you may want to try some these things.
Here are some activities I practice in the mornings, before the day’s responsibilities get in the way. These actions raise my frequency and set the tone to my day. No one is immune to problems and challenges that come during the day and may throw you off a high vibrational tone. It’s up to you to get back in the saddle when this happens. You’re in control. You set the dial.
Before getting started with some of these practices every day, I take five minutes in bed with my eyes closed to name things that I’m thankful for. I send love and appreciation to Source, God, the Universe, whatever is greater than myself. Here are some activities that work for me.
On days when I wake up feeling a bit anxious or stressed, I love to listen to deep healing music. These are calming tones and vibrations that have been found to repair our DNA and calm our bodies.
Anxiety and nervousness is the result of an over-stimulated brain. This happens when we watch, read or listen to too much information and negativity. I like all kinds of music, depending on the mood I’m in. However, I stay away from listening to heavy music with strong base tones when I need calming.
It has been found that listening to 432Hz and 528Hz music brings positive transformation. These frequencies cleanse the chakras and raise vibrations. They act as cleansers for the mind and are emotional as well as physical healers. It’s interesting to note that the 528Hz tone reoccurs in an important Buddhist chant, Om Padme Mani Hum, sung during meditation.
Spiritual and highly evolved Masters have practiced sound healing for millennia. Frequency tones are used today in sound wave therapy. In scientific terms, binaural beats are the difference in frequencies between what the right and the left ear hear. The effects of binaural beats have been likened to the effects of meditation.
There are countless great videos on YouTube with frequency tones for relaxation, healing, motivation and transformation. Many popular tunes also contain healing frequencies. You just have to do a little research to find which songs contain them.
When I’m not in the mood to listen to music and want a quiet environment, meditation is a great way to set the tone to my day. I used to meditate up to one hour a day. Lately I’m happy if I can squeeze in fifteen minutes. Provided it’s a deep meditation, the amount of time doesn’t matter. The effect is the same. It’s not how long one meditates but the quality of the meditation that is the key.
There are countless scientific studies on the neurological and physical benefits of meditation. Like a cell battery, when we clear our minds of thoughts and just “be,” even if only for a few minutes, we open up and allow recharging. For me, the benefits are staggering. When several days go by without meditating, I feel the difference.
The single greatest benefit of meditation, besides centering, is the slowing down of our breath, which is essential for a healthy body. “Breathing is part of our body’s master blueprint for regulating the body’s rhythms.” Check out this great article on the subject.
One thing is clear, the last thing I turn to when I start my day feeling uneasy or nervous are pharmaceuticals or medical opinions. I’ve learned to self-diagnose and heal for free.
I’m a take-charge sort of person. I believe in the healing power of the mind and I rarely give control of my body to anything, especially meds. However, on the rare occasion when I don’t have time to meditate, do yoga, take a walk or listen to meditative music, I either drink chamomile tea or use 3 or 4 drops of sublingual hemp oil, which comes from the cannabis plant family. Natural, organic hemp oil calms me and gives me clarity. By no means am I making any recommendations or diagnoses, I’m only sharing what has worked for me and how much I believe in the medicinal qualities of some plants and herbs.
I’ve been researching this miracle crop and learned a lot about its healing properties. It’s a plant that is often misunderstood. There are two strains that come from the cannabis plant family: hemp and marijuana. They are very different plants and produce different effects.
While both contain some of the same elements, all hemp is cannabis but not all cannabis is hemp. Both plants contain CBD, a naturally occurring cannabinoid that is found throughout the body and THC, a psychoactive ingredient that produces the feeling of being high. Hemp contains minimal traces of THC.
Hemp is grown throughout the world and has been used for thousands of years. It’s a much taller and stalkier plant than marijuana and is used for manufacturing paper, fabrics, rope oils, powders and oils. It’s commonly found in health and food store shelves like Whole Foods due to its nutritional benefits.
Marijuana, on the other hand, contains high levels of THC, the “high” psychotropic producing element. This plant is used for recreational purposes and is outlawed in many places.
In my research I found suggestions that Avatars like Jesus, Buddha and others great sages and Masters may have used Hemp in their healing arts. We know that Jesus healed the blind and that he spent time in India (during the lost years of Jesus in the Western bible) learning about medicinal herbs and plants. “Now there is an overall consensus of the power of cannabis to help with some eye afflictions, especially glaucoma.”
The Ministry of Hemp, an independent source and largest advocacy group in the US explains that “hemp has been prohibited in the US over the past 80 years due to its misconstrued association with marijuana.” Hemp was vilified and wrongfully identified in the USA in the 1930’s by uninformed politicians who gave it the name “Mari(a)” and “Juana” as a demeaning racial slur. Had they done their research, these public officials would have learned that Hemp was grown by our founding fathers Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Franklin.
SPEND TIME OUTDOORS
We don’t always have time to commune with nature, especially first thing in the morning before heading off to an office. If you’re fortunate to work from home or don’t have to be anywhere in particular, spending time outdoors is a practice you can incorporate first thing in the day.
I don’t like gardening or getting my hands dirty, but I can definitely appreciate beautiful plants and I feel the benefits of walking barefooted on the grass. When I take the time to look around and connect with nature, I feel calm, I feel alive. I love to watch flying hawks. There are many where I live. They’re beautiful, majestic and determined creatures. Taking part in nature moves me away from the material and into a realm of new possibilities. I also love walking barefoot in the sand. It’s known as “earthing” and letting your feet connect to the natural grounds has been found to help with reducing inflammation, pain and improving sleep.
Breathing fresh air daily is essential to human health. I don’t enjoy winter months in New England because they limit how often I can leave my doors and windows open or how long I can be outside. When I let breezes flow through the house, I feel renewed.
I frequently suggest to our son, who works in New York City, that he leave the office as often as possible during the day, even if only for a couple of minutes each time to breathe in fresh un-recycled air. Fresh air clears the mind, it wakes you up and it boosts your immune system.
If you’ve never done yoga, you’re missing out on one of the most beneficial activities you can do for your body and mind. I won’t repeat the countless articles and overwhelming evidence that list the benefits of yoga but, I wanted to include it in this list as a great tool to set a good tone to your day.
I practice Ashtanga yoga several times a week. It keeps my body limber and free of pain, especially during those days when I have to spend long hours in front of a computer or during long cold winter months when the muscles feel atrophied due to reduced physical activity. Ashtanga focuses on proper breathing and building up body heat to get rid of toxins through sweat.
Yoga helps me to sleep better. It has given me excellent posture. I have small nostril cavities and sitting upright, which yoga trains me to do, helps me with better and deeper breathing. Another advantage is that, unlike other forms of body and mind training, yoga does not require joining a studio or gym.
Yoga has taught me to take things slowly and how to prioritize. If I need to start my workday early or if I have a particularly demanding day ahead of me, I get up earlier than usual to include it in my morning routine. It’s one of the best things you can do to avoid health problems and too many visits to the doctor. If you want to learn about yoga, check out the Gaia channel. It offers a great selection of classes for all levels that you can do on your schedule and in the privacy of your home.
BE SMART ABOUT CAFFEINE
Instead of starting your day with caffeine that will get your heart pumping quickly and unnecessarily fast, drink a green juice or a fruit smoothy with protein powder. It’s a healthier and more rythmic way to get your metabolism going. I would recommend the Ayurvedic practice not to mix dairy milk with fruit and substituting with alternatives like almond, coconut or cashew milk.
Another great Ayurveda practice is to drink a warm cup of water with a hint of lemon juice first thing in the morning. It cleanses the system, aids in digestion and eliminating waste.
Keep caffeine at bay. Studies have found that overconsumption of caffeine can lead to increased heartbeat, irritability, muscle twitching, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, and an upset stomach. Why start off your morning with any of these negative reactions, when it may be better to wait until later in the day when you have food in your stomach to enjoy a cup of java.
I practice some of these suggestions daily. Clearly I don’t have the time to do all but whichever one suits the circumstance, incorporating some of these in my daily routine is the secret to being happy every day.