4 tips to be happier!

1. Stop putting things off until tomorrow and accomplish your goals... one at a time.


Did you know that meeting your expectations and achieving your goals cause a release of dopamine in your brain and that this neurochemical substance is one of the hormones responsible for the feelings of motivation and satisfaction?
 
In other words, the less we do, the less we want to do, and the more we do, the more we increase the feeling of self-satisfaction.
 
Of course, you must be careful to not overload yourself! Extremes are never desirable to maintain good mental health. Go a little bit at a time.

 

2. Reframe your thoughts.


Did you know that our brain can generate 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day?
 
This equates to an average of 50 thoughts per minute(!), and since the central nervous system of human beings is wired with a significant bias towards negative thoughts, all human beings tend to think more negatively. This was to ensure our survival as cavemen and protect us from threats. It is therefore normal to often feel caught up in the feeling of being overwhelmed and dissatisfied.
 
The good news is that neuroscience research tends to show that changing our thoughts changes the brain itself. And so, it becomes necessary to qualify our way of perceiving our life situations in order to contribute to happiness and even eliminate mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

 

3. Be “present” and meditate.


Did you know that the more our stress increases, the less our brain is able to focus and pay attention to what we do?
 
And so, to compensate, human beings put themselves on "autopilot" mode, but this state of mind has been correlated by thousands of studies with depressive and anxious states. In contrast, research shows that practicing meditation and intentionally paying attention to what we are doing — without negative judgment, by welcoming the present moment, as it unfolds — enhances the feeling of happiness and mental health.
 
It can be difficult to start practicing meditation, and many people think that meditation is not for them. Think again! Even Buddhist monks agree that everyone can meditate (even those with an attention deficit!), but you have to practice every day.
 
Don’t hesitate to take a meditation class; you will be supported and guided in your practice to facilitate your journey to happiness.


4. Be active… as much as you can!


Did you know that physical exercise has been correlated with better mental states?
 
Several studies have even shown that daily exercise can help reduce certain doses of medication by improving some physical and mental health conditions. Even if you have pain or your physical health doesn’t allow you to exercise, your physical health professional such as your doctor, physiotherapist, occupational therapist or osteopath can tell you how you can be active without increasing your pain. Remember that it is easier for a healthy mind to reside in a healthy body and that it is better to move a little than not to move at all. The important thing is for you to be active while respecting your limits.
 
And don’t hesitate to consult a social worker or a psychotherapist. These professionals have invaluable resources to help you identify your life goals and build the life you want.

 

Mélanie Raymond
Social Worker and Psychotherapist
Action Sport Physio Vaudreuil