It is easy to keep your spirits bright when life is going along smoothly and good news seems to turn up at every turn. It is an entirely different picture when life goes off course or bad news obstructs our path.
Life is kind of like that. Bumps and obstacles are cast throughout our life journey, and we never really know when they may turn up.
The question then becomes: How do we keep our spirits bright throughout the different stages of life and not allow the storms to dampen the truth of who we are?
These are some of the key practices I turn to when I need a reminder (or two) on how to lift my spirits and bring more joy to my journey. Try them out if they sound like a fit for you.
1) Turn the Page
Each day is a gift and a chance to start fresh. If yesterday was heavy, give yourself permission to turn the page. Start today with a new intention, one that will prompt you to focus on the landscape before you. When we give ourselves the gift of new perspective, hidden gems have a way of appearing and reminding us of the joy that lives within us.
2) Fuel Your Machine Properly
Your body is your most valuable asset -- treat it well. Much like we wouldn't put soap in the gas tank of our car, we shouldn't be consuming food that is overly processed and filled with chemicals and junk. We humans are meant to be eating whole foods that are alive, instead of the packaged junk and processed food we are constantly inundated with. When we take control and feed our bodies with nutritious food and clean water, it makes a world of difference in how we feel. When we feel good in our bodies, it is so much easier to maintain a bright disposition.
3) Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation is dreadful. It wasn't until I became a mother that I realized what a precious commodity a good night's sleep truly is. Getting enough pillow time has a way of making us feel more human. Sleep is such an amazing gift to recharge and start to see things with fresh eyes. According to sleepfoundation.org, "sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being." Click here to check out their downloadable recommended sleep times chart.
4) Get into the Driver's Seat
When life feels dull or uninspiring, it's the perfect time to remind ourselves that we can get back into the driver's seat of our lives. Sometimes we need the reminder that we are in ultimate control of how we choose to react to experiences before us and how we move forward. Sure sometimes the steps may take time -- that is okay. There is something really empowering in remembering that we are in the driver's seat of our life, and if we want to feel more joy, we can start moving towards that happier destination at our own pace.
5) Limit Your Screen Time
How much time do you needlessly waste on social media, in front of your TV or on your computer? More importantly, how much of your life force is dimmed while you sit there? I always find that the more time I spend being inundated by sensory overload or looking at other people's highlight reels, the harder it is for me to switch gears and get back into being present in my own life. When I am feeling low in energy or feel like I am not measuring up, I come to this reminder and look at where I can immediately begin limiting the amount of screen time I am getting. Having a break for some fresh air and leaving the phone behind is liberating -- it is a boost that can often be felt on a physical level.
6) Check in With Your Trusted Peeps
We are social beings and are meant to be connecting with others. The special people in our lives who want to see us shine bright, are the ones we can go to when we need a little lift. There is nothing like a good belly laugh with a friend or a warm embrace to brighten our mood. Receiving the gift of being really seen, or seeing someone else for who they are, has a way of making us come alive.
7) Back to Basics
If life feels complicated and heavy, see what changes when you put your attention on the simplest things. When I feel overwhelmed with too much to do, I love to lace up my shoes and get outside for a run. There is something about nature and fresh air that melts my stress away. When things get stressful to the point of feeling it in our bodies, I believe it is a strong indicator we need to simplify. Getting back to basics can include things like: getting outside, having real conversations with real people, enjoying a meal with a loved one or doing an activity you know brings you joy. The basic things in life always seem to be right under our nose, it is just a matter of putting our focus there.
8) Spiritual Practice
Sometimes life deals things that are hard to wrap our minds around and life can quickly feel disheartening and unfair. Having faith in a higher power, in a way that is meaningful and true for you, has a way of bringing a sense of peace and acceptance throughout life. Having a spiritual practice we can turn to can become an anchor and a powerful way to reignite our light from within.
9) Time Management
If life feels like it is out of control and you can't keep up, see what happens when you implement time management strategies. There are many digital time management systems out there that can help. Set event reminders on your phone and computer. Set an alarm as a reminder to leave early. Start your day by writing a list of what you intend to accomplish, and put time parameters around each task. Sometimes we need to let go of things that aren't important and prioritize what is. Having some control over our time management sets us up to feel like we are right where we are meant to be -- and that is empowering.
10) Dream Big
Keeping our deepest desires and dreams alive is the very fuel that keeps our spirits bright. Give yourself the gift of having goals and dreams, and don't allow fear to have a say in how big your dreams may be. When we give ourselves the gift of thinking about our dreams and sharing them with others, it is an automatic way to brighten our spirits.
11) Gratitude Practice
When we put our attention on all of the things we are grateful for, we get to experience a boost that can be felt on a very deep level. A gratitude practice can look like whatever you want. It could be counting your blessings at the start of the day, throughout the day or as a way to end the day. Perhaps you will choose all of the above. Like everything in life, when we put our own personal spin on things, it has a way of becoming meaningful and more powerful. What about you, what are you grateful for today?
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If you enjoyed this post and you are interested in creating a lasting practice of joyful habits in your life, Don't Delay, Check out Emily Madill's E-Course, Fall In Love With Your Life, One Week at a Time. We are excited to be building a community of people who are all on the journey of embracing life. It is a chance to create your own life practice in a way that is meaningful to you -- all are welcome. There are 12-week program options as well.