The Happiness Tool Box

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To love yourself is one of the most hot topics in those days. People struggle to reach happiness and fullfilment and reach the life they want and dream of. It’s not simple and, in fact, is frustrating for the most. You believe in youself, you see yourself as a strong human being, with strong intentions and desires…but everyday life keeps pulling you down. You want tangiblr instruments to reach happiness and weel being. Soooo…may I present you

The Happiness Toolbox

To love yourself is the mantra…

“Without being respectful of youself, of your body and your soul, you just can’t get anywhere”

Ok, we got it. But how can I start respect my body, my stream of thoughts, my life? How can I actually start not to look in the mirror and see an unhappy human being, maybe with too much fat on its belly, maybe with black circles under the eyes, without even the lighstes shadow of smile on its lips? How can I feel that I’m doing something for myself and for the success of my life? For my happiness, actually, now and for real?

I asked myself those questions sooo many times. No answers. Or, maybe, too much. So they count as no one.

You know, to love yourself it’s like a giant thought surrounding by the shining sparkles of the obvious and the foggy mist of the stress in achieving something too abstract, too far. Too general. So just “to love yourself” is too general for us. It’s no use like this.

…but HOW to love youself is the tool box!

And that’s why you need a project. You start projects for nearly everything, for your kitchen restyling, for your vacation, for your kids party, for your birthday, for you work. So why not just try to make a great, and even funny, project about you, yourself and your life?

I know, I know…the art of setting the goals can be freaking. I’m scared about it most of the time because it means that I must focus on what I really, really want, and most of the time I’m just flapping aroud in confusion. The only thing that actually works for me is: tiny. little. steps.

So I set real goals for my real and daily life. No-no with something like “My goal is to be happy” or “My goal is to look like Miranda Kerr” or even “My goal is to get a job”. Those are not goals, those are  universal needs. Those goals do not talk about you, youself and your life: they talk about what everybody want (or nearly :D).

Again, don’t be too general, too abstract. So…you must learn HOW to love yourself and, hand in hand, HOW to set your goals from the inside, from your inner perspective.

Let’s meet the Tool Box

The web is full of suggestions, routines, scheduling, programming. I’m myself a lover, an addicted of lists, bullet journaling (we’ll talk about it another time), routines and such stuff. I love to organize my clothes, my meal plans, my weeks, my months, my routine at my day job. And, believe me, I was a huge mess only two years ago. I was Chaos shoved in 5.2 feet. So, if it worked for me it can work for everyone on this planet, I assure you this.

But, before start to dig in the specific of my tool box, that you can take as an example or a start to build your own one, let’s see the Box Tool in general. The great topics:

Happiness routine

Or, if you want to be more specific:

Happiness routine

And you should not miss a single step. They are all important, they are all effective in order to make you what you want to be. But, I said it before, we are different: we have different lives, different goals, different ways to be ourselves. So we can’t have the same routines: they just would not work.

You can take, instead, suggestion from other people experience.

Layout of a Tool Box

Ok, I’ll give you the general and then my routines (I have two of them everyday), so you can start by NOW to think about your needs and build your own.

Do what you love happiness routine

…and I’ll say “Do what your love with love“. So, the beginning of your routine should be LOVE. For your day, for the people you have in your life, for you pets even! Be grateful of the things you own, be grateful for the food you’re gonna eat and for thos you’re gonna meet, for your day work if you have one (because it helps at least to pay your bills). Be surrounded by love. It’s the best way to start your day.

And, more important, do things linked with your goal. So your goal is maybe to end your studies, or to find a job, or to start a career on your own. Fine. Choose activities you enjoy that can help you to reach your goal.

Do you like to read emails in the morning? Send yourself a mail the night before, and write down all of your tasks and notes and suggestions you’ll must accomplish or you’ll need.

Do you like to listen to podcasts? There’s a lot of them (but I suggest you Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Badass Spiritual Warrior by Janelle Klander and The Creative Success Show by Tanner Gers).

commit with passion happiness routine

This might be challenging, mostly if you never had a routine. It means to stick to the routine you create, every day. So your routine must be funny and shaped on your needs. The routine must be so nice and powerful that you’ll crave for it. I assure you that the first month will be challenging because, after the first week thrill, you’ll want to give up. Be strong!

I suggest you to choose something that will encourage you not to skip a day of your routine. You could try:

  • Fabulous (Android): this app is amazing, I use it every morning and evening. It helps you to build new healthy habits, suggesting some paths with motivational messages and letters, or you could just put in your routines and use the app as a reminder and a tracker of your progress
  • Don’t break the chain (iOS): it’s a (and I quote from the website) “motivational tool based on the “don’t break the chain” method that helps you build good habits and break bad ones. Each day you complete a task you want to keep up, a visual streak grows. The streak will grow longer with each day and soon your main motivation is to keep the chain from breaking”. Looks cool!
  • Printable habit tracker: you can find tons of them on Pinterest. The fashion of the moment is to put the habit tracker in your journal but, if you don’t have one yet (and you should! Journaling it’s so good!) I suggest you this one from Laura’s Crafty Style.

Make your needs your focus happiness routine

I mean the needs of your body and your soul. You know what I’m about to say: you need to excercise. Excercise should be easy and fun, and you should love to put your outfit on and get in shape. I’m talking about the old proverb: “healthy mind in a healthy body”. You did not have to become an olympic weight lifter in order to stay healthy. Try different things and choose one (or two, or three) of them that fit best with you. Some suggestions:

  • Blogilates: I’m a long time Popster by now (since the 2012 or so). I love the community and I admire Cassey, who built the whole thing with passion and commitment (and a lot of fancy designs). Subscribing to the newsletter you’ll get the free month calendar, designed to make you stronger and better. We talk about HIIT, cardio, pilates and those stuff.
  • 30 days of Yoga With Adriene: she is the sweetest yoga teacher I ever met (online :D). She is full of compassion and she take you to focus on yourself and your body needs. This path specifically is 30 days long and take you deeply into the yoga practice, starting from the basics. I suggest this one even for the long time yogi.
  • Yoga by Candace: Candace have a slightly different approach with the yoga, it’s more power flow and core based and it can be pretty hard sometimes, but her channel (and app) contains tons of yoga video for every level and every need

love your body and soul happiness routine

Pamper yourself. Get in touch with your body, listen to it. And don’t be shy to cuddle yourself in every way you know. Hot shower before bed? Incense and candles? Oil scents? Scented creams? Herbal teas? All is good, if you feel that’s good for you.

Get lost in your needs. It’s just for a short time every day (or twice a day, if you choose to have two routines). So, go and grab your happiness by stimulate your senses!

Good and healthy food it’s good for both your body and soul!

Be present happiness routine

We talked about the health of your body. So let’s talk about the mind now. Meditation is the key of an happy and calm mind. I’m anxious and tend to get stressed very quickly, but I’m managing this part of myself with a lot of meditation. You know what? Is working. I love to practice mindfulness meditation because it’s the best for me, but I suggest you:

  • Headspace (App): based even on the mindful philosophy, it’s really nice and have a really cool user interface. There’s a free path you can try before subscribe.
  • Youtube video: tons of them, and I mean there are literally tons of guided meditation on Youtube, for every moment of the day and for every flavor. Be curious!
  • Stop, Breath & Think (app): it’s the one I’m actually using. I love it because you can scan yourself before the meditation, and get a list of suggested meditation based on your mood or your health status.
  • Buddhify (app): I use it with SB&T, because I see those meditation more likely…conversation with my inner self. Tools to get the best from myself, from my day and from my sleep. Very nice designed and with 80+ meditations.

So…I presented you the Tool Box for your Happiness and hope you liked it. Let me know what you think with comments comments coooomments! 🙂

 

My Routine

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Be water, my friend

Since when you were a toddler, people asked you who would be as a grown up. Your parents, your teachers, your friends: literally everyone wanted to know your preferences in the vast amount of skills and knowledge you had, and how you would apply them to life as an adult.

Probably, they let you also learn and improve a variety of skills as well: you enjoyed a sport, music or art class, foreign language class, and many of us did both sport and classes as well. We were busy discovering and growing up our preferences, our centers of personality, our future paths.

This sound a little weird, isn’t it? You are performing in so many areas of the human knowledge (arts, sport activities, hobbies) and then BAM! they ask you to choose. They ask you to cut out “something” in order to make your road to your future being more straight, and clear.

In some cases this is not a bad issue. Chaos need to be restrain to a certain amount of doubt, and too many choices to choose from could be dangerous also, because they can lead to procrastination, unclarity and stillness. No action can be taken without a little clarity of mind. This is obvious.

What it’s not so obvious, is that you don’t need to specialyze yourself in order to give your life a Why. You don’t need to take a role, stick it to yourself and hold it firmly. Once a Bruce Lee said “Be water, my friend”. And this is one of the biggest and better advice you would ever take in your life

What’s take to be water

To be water is hard, is challenging and is also the right opposite of what you were told  since your childwood. To be water mean to be in action, to be flowing, and not just to stamp on the first rock that comes on your path as an obstacle or a challenge. It also mean that you can pick interests, preferences, knowledges as you would pick flowers from a beautiful and rich garden (a metaphorical garden, or you’ll be probably jailed for it).

So, you start as a daughter, or a son. You are as well a sister or a brother, a nephew, a friend, a scholar and so on. Then, as school starts, you are suggested to choose and let yourself be tagged. So you become someone who likes music, the actress, the cheerleader, the football player, the weirdo, the nerd and so on. Then you face college or you start to search for a job. The things are getting harder in this part: you must really choose the path to follow. So you choose: you become a scientist, an artist, an employee, a teacher, an engineer and so on. Perhaps you’ll even be a partner, a wife or a husband, and then a mother or a father.

And some think that’s all. You follow a ladder (that’s your life) and you must take all the steps in a particular order, just to reach the top. This magnificent, mythological top, where you will be happy, satisfied with your life, complete and in peace. Well, in some situations and for some kind of people this is true. For me is incredible, but let’s face it. But for other people this is a lie. And is counterproductive to be expected to live like this, to grow up like this and to die like this.

That’s not all, at all. You are a magnificent sum of many qualities, aspects, choises, preferences, roles and interests. You are a rainbow, you can’t just pretend to be an orange, or a red, c’mon!

Let’s pick some examples

This is a list from Buzzfeed of famous people that are quite good at doing something else besides being famous. Even those people who we think about as the most. And this is a simple test you can take, just for fun, to become aware of the multiple intelligences that make you yourself. What for? Just to understand that

It’s not how smart you are that matters, what really counts is how you are smart.”
~ Howard Gardner

Paraphrasing it, I dare to say that

It’s not how happy you are that matters, what really count is how you are happy, and why.

This is not, in fact, a race. This is not a challenge with everyone else. This is a challenge with yourself, with the persone you were yesterday, and the day before and so on, to be better and to be happier, because it is your own right. This should be your life projects, your main projects, your bigger life project that will contain all the others.

I suggest you to just give a try to a new state of mind. Be free, set yourself free to be what you want. Just right now, not tomorrow or in ten years from now. What to do you think, that right now, will make you better, and happier. A new hobby? Maybe you want to know more about women literature. Or about bugs. You don’t have to be the most aknowledge scholar about it. You don’t have to maximize your investment in something, not for now. Just try to be good at it, just start.

You can do what you want
The opportunity’s on
And if you can find a new way
You can do it today
You can make it all true
And you can make it undo.

~ Cat Stevens, If you want to sing out sing out

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