A huge part of optimal mental health is a happy and peaceful state of mind. I often find myself surrounded by people in different environments that are burdened by a spirit of complaining and discontent. I see parts of the old me in them, and for those that I enjoy candid relationships with, the following advice is what I share with them to help reinforce positive realignment in their lives.
The happiness recipe has the following ingredients:
Liza ma nyimbo no vina kuseni (play music and dance in the morning!)
Turn up the music for positive vibes first thing in the morning AND DANCE 🎶🔊🕺🏾💃🏾. Choose to lift your own spirits and dance even if it’s not aesthetically pleasing to others. You’re alone in your house so get busy and vina mwamene wa imvelela* (dance the way you feel). If you live with others wake them up, grab them by the hand and dance with them!
Turn your insecurities into mantras🗣️
I’m not telling you to light a fire 🔥and start chanting around it, I just want you to acknowledge your insecurities and flip them. I personally do this by incorporating transcendental meditation for 20 minutes where I repeat a mantra and affirm a positive outcome. I’ll give you an example: I recently completed writing exams where in some instances it felt like they were written in a foreign language😓but when I meditate my mantra is “I have passed my exams.” It helps with positive realignment and anxiety alleviation. Find something that’s eating at you, meditate on it and positively turn it into a mantra.
Visualize positive things🧞♂️
It doesn’t matter what the odds are or how dire a situation may be you must consciously choose to envision a positive outcome. There’s nothing as powerful as the power of positive thinking. Currently some of you reading this may have sick loved ones on oxygen due to Covid-19, you have to believe that they’ll get better. Forget about the ‘hoping for the best but expecting the worst’ quote. You must decide to expect nothing but your desired outcome in any situation with health, work, business etc. Visualize outcomes to bring them closer. The law of attraction will fight your case.
Meditate for 20 minutes daily to calm your mind and heighten awareness of your thinking patterns. Basic meditation will slow things down and help you cope with the speed of life. Try it!
Soften your heart❤️
Don’t wait for an apology before you decide to forgive people that have hurt you. Forgive people because you need inner peace not because they deserve it. You don’t have to be ‘best’ friends (again), just forgive them, keep them at arms length and live your life without any bitterness or resentment. Don’t worry about the unrepentant ones; life will always settle the score for you.
Smile as often as possible. An easy reminder would be to do so in front of every mirror you find. A simple smile can place you in a better mental place particularly on days when you feel low. It won't make your problems disappear but it can offer some relief through the release of dopamine. The happy hormone. Try it!
Exercise daily for a hit of dopamine. Don’t have time? Consider HIIT training. Otherwise 🏃🏾🏃🏾♀️running (even walking), lifting weights (women too) all increase dopamine levels and influence things such as your motivation and cheerfulness. You might even want to consider merging fitness activities with your family members. Family fitness is an excellent social activity to undertake to increase the happiness levels in your household.
Men, get your manly health in check before it threatens your happiness & destroys your sense of self. Women, be alive to your hormonal shifts before it generates discontent in your life. Finally, ALL must stay informed on the status of their mental health before your residential address changes to somewhere you don't want to be.
The Covid-19 pandemic has put a lot of things into perspective. If you’re still breathing you should be smiling at every turn and know that “you can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” - Nypard. Translation: Happiness niwemwine!🥳
*An adapted translation is: dance the way you want to feel