As you know, there’s no magic pill you can take to be happy. Even anti-depressants have side affects, like lower libido. Oh no!

Living in a state of well-being involves taking moments out of your busy days to reflect on what’s working and what’s not. It takes transforming poor habits and improving your self-care and making that a priority. It takes dedication to feeling good, noticing what makes you NOT feel good, and closely tracking your body.

The reward for the good work is waking up laughing!

In order to feel happily inspired, here are some of the things you may need to change:

— Quality of Self-care
— Elimination of Tolerations
— Choice of People to Engage With
— Work Aligned With Values
— Time in Nature

Let’s take a look at each one of these topics:

— Quality of Self Care
Self-care is a reflection of how much we love ourselves. It is the key to real success, happiness, and longevity. You may make a ton of $$ but if you are sick or addicted to unhealthy behaviors, you won’t be enjoying your life to the max.

If we love ourselves a lot, we are not going to hang out with someone who hurts our feelings or spills their drama into our lives. We eat what makes us feel good, and substitute junk food and rich desserts with more healthy items. We get exercise several days a week and spend time in nature often.

I recommend getting exercise doing what you love. For me, going to the gym is so boring I can’t make myself do it. But put me out on my paddleboard skimming the reefs with the turtles and dolphins and I am a happy girl.

Do the activities you love most and make the effort to do them in nature. Have you heard of “Earthing” or “Tree bathing”? I recommend a wonderful book, To Be Healed By The Earth, by Warren Grossman, Ph.D. See page 175.

— Elimination of Tolerations
All of us, no matter how enlightened, are tolerating people, situations, and even our own habits that cause drains of energy, time, and money in our lives. Maybe we tolerate a job or a supervisor we just can’t stand. Perhaps we tolerate a 40-year-old “child” living at home.

Maybe we make ourselves listen to the negativity or tripe our “friend” dumps on us time after time. Maybe we watch horror movies, porn, or too much television. Don’t you agree that what we watch or listen to is just as important to our health as the food we eat?

I can help you create a step-by-step action plan to let go of the things you are tolerating. You’ll be surprised at how much energy you will unleash that you can put towards doing what you love most. Think of that creative project you’ve been wanting to do for years. My tips can help you fund the energy to complete it, giving you a high sense of satisfaction and meaning in your life.

— Choice of People To Engage With
Tune in to how you feel around certain people. If relating with someone is causing you to feel angry or upset, is the person you are tolerating trainable? There are simple processes you can use to bring about a change in someone’s behavior. Here’s what you can say to almost anyone, even a boss:

When you do this ________________(behavior), 
I feel this __________________(emotional response). 
Would you be willing to ____________________ (make this change?)

If the person you are tolerating isn’t interested or able to improve their behavior, you might consider cutting down the time of contact, or even eliminating him/her from your life if at all possible.

— Work Aligned with Values
Are you clear about your values? Have you written them down? Do you know for sure if your work or business in alignment with your values? If it is not, ultimately you will not feel satisfied or fulfilled. Sometimes the work we engage in is not meaningful or challenging, or we are not using our skills and talents. As a result, we are depressed and our souls ache. You cannot fund a project or be passionate about your vocation when you are stuck in a conundrum like this.

It helps to get a journal or notebook and take time out to write about your values. On another page, list your top talents, gifts, and strengths. Does your present work align with your values and allow you to use your best skills?

— Time in Nature
There are beautiful hikes in nature wherever we live – we might have to drive a few minutes or get on our snowshoes or four-wheel drive boots if we are in cold weather.

Nature is a place to commune and remember what is really important in our lives. Nature feeds us. If you have forgotten this, I invite you to remember a time when this was so. Remember what it felt like. Let that feeling guide you to engage with nature once again. (Hint, this is not about playing golf.)

I search out wild places that are power spots for me – Haleakala Crater is one. Canyon De Chelly in Arizona is another. I like to hike alone for several hours at a time, enough to let the noise of the city and the intensity of the cell phones and computers melt away. Then I can tune into myself in a deeper way. I often get insights about the big picture of my life and revelations about my next steps. I check in with myself: is this what I want to create, or am I going headlong in a direction that‘s not what I truly want?

I always think of certain choices in mathematical terms – is it worth having a martini or a margarita or eating a piece of cheesecake that gives you 15 minutes of pleasure, but leads to 48 hours of feeling badly?

You might be surprised at how many people do not connect how they feel with what they ate or imbibed.

On days that I wake up feeling not so good, I review the day or two before. I try to remember what could have caused this. Was it all those chips I ate when I was hungry? Was it the mold I was exposed to when I cleaned out the filing cabinet in the carport? Did I stay too long on my iPad or a screen before bed?

My favorite practice of the day is waking up naturally without an alarm, lying in bed as the sun rises, and reflecting quietly on my life.

In order to wake up without an alarm, I suggest going to sleep early enough to feel rested the next morning.

In this precious, quiet, early morning time, I take time to breath deeply to feed my body and mind with fresh oxygen. This is when I usually think of some little thing that makes me burst out laughing. How novel, getting high on air!

I remember reading M. Scott Peck‘s book, The Road Less Traveled, many years ago. The message I remember from the book is his comparison of the kinds of choices we make daily. When we go for instant gratification, we get fleeting pleasures and sometimes unintended consequences. When we delay gratification and make thoughtful decisions based on the good of everyone concerned, we reap fulfilling long-term benefits. This is the true meaning of ROI.

I will leave you with this meaningful quote from Hafiz, a 14th century Persian poet (1315-1390 AD):

Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins that may buy you just a moment of pleasure, but then drag you for days like a broken man behind a farting camel.

Ha! Just remembering this quote might set you to laughing tomorrow morning.