Today, I’m throwing in with the “healthy lifestyle” crowd because I have something to offer that will make it feel a little more accessible. You see, we spend a lot of time living in our heads. We think of “me” as my brain, spirit, soul, and consider “my body” as the machine that works for us but is somewhat separate from us. Ah, what misguided thinking that is!
I’m the perfect example of someone who has treated her body like it’s meant to thrive day after day regardless of how I treat it. Sure, I exercised, but I had a cruel inner critic, emotional baggage that was being ignored, and high stress from juggling all the things. In my early thirties, I learned that I had a leaky gut and high anxiety. Living in that state was a daily marathon of mental, emotional, and physical discomfort.
Yet, over time as I’ve reoriented myself in a process I call my joy journey, I’ve started to think of that low point as a blessing in disguise. The anxiety and physical symptoms were messengers: I am not living the grounded, joyful life I dream of. So I got to work pursuing joy, and today I’ll share share how to feel happy with these five things: vitamin b, hydration, veggies, sleep, and meditation.
Feel happy with these five things
Now, you may be wondering how to even begin a joy journey when all the things going wrong feel like a dense rubber band ball about to start snapping. The simple answer is begin anywhere, and as you go, give attention to a mix of physical, mental, and emotional spaces.
The physical side is important – little things can make a fast difference. For instance, did you know that:
- The vitamin B family helps prevent anxiety and depression? In fact, an imbalance of any kind of key vitamin can deeply affect your mood. A blood test and consultation with a naturopath doctor is your best bet at learning the optimal vitamin levels for your body, and which ones are off balance. (Traditional medicine will just tell you if your results are normal or not, when what you need is a fine-tuned assessment for the unique body you are).
- Proper hydration improves sleep quality and mood, and it delivers nutrition to all of your cells. Experts recommend 11 cups of water per day for women, and 16 for men. (Pro tip: so long as it’s not sweetened or alcoholic, this can include flavored like tea or soda water).
- Eating healthy levels of fruit and veggies makes your digestive system happy and also decreases your long-term risk of things like diabetes and certain heart conditions. Aim to fill half of your plate at each meal with fruits and vegetables. You’ll be feeling so good.
- Sleep is particularly important because it gives your brain time to recharge. Adults up to age 65 need 7-9 hours of sleep – the more the better. But you already knew that 🙂
- Meditation is rest for the body. When you meditate, your mind quiets and your body has space to do deep healing. This is THE thing people know about but don’t do. I promise you, if you get yourself a free app like Insight Timer and commit to showing up for 20 minutes a day until you feel a shift, you’ll get yourself addicted to the best mental health support on the planet.
All you, m’dear!
I’ll be the first to admit that lifestyle changes take work. I started meditating in 2021 after years of just reading and thinking about meditating. I can tell you, thinking about meditating and actually showing up for it are not the same! The results have been astounding. But that’s the big thing I’ve been working toward. Getting more sleep is still on the radar. I eat more veggies than I used to but there’s room to grow. I’m learning to catch my mind in the act of being critical and help it reframe. I started to feel happy with these five things in my life, and I know you will too.
The biggest reason I share all this because I want you to remember that you can start anywhere. Pick just one thing to address. Then, add on as you are able. It’s really that simple! You’re not taking on the whole kitchen sink, you’re weaving in new threads, in ways that feel right.
You’re really going to start enjoying yourself as you get going. Loving on yourself will get easy once you start building these new grooves.
As always, I’m so grateful to be on this joy journey with you. Whatever hurts you are healing, know that you are your own best healer. You’ve got this and I’ve got you.
With so much love, your joy midwife,