My life is like a ride on a bipolar coaster.
It goes up.
It goes down.
It goes all over.
We all have our own set of armors and windmills to tilt, and I took charge of my self-care needs.
As if there’s a ‘quick fix’ solution for what get you through, and once I get it down, I will be thinner, happier and more successful. So while there isn’t a secret code to living happy, I will offer you this: Three ways that got me thru the night and transformed my life:
1. Try Something Fun and Cheaper Than Therapy — 101 Intro to Improv
When I took the free Improv intro workshop, offered by Philly Improv Theater, I was not determined to headline a comedy show one day. My interest was more practical: I was looking for a creative outlet to ease my ingrained self-consciousness.
And somehow, despite my low self-esteem struggle, I truly enjoyed it. It was an experience in liberation. I trusted my instincts and signed up for 101 intro to improv course.
After eight weeks of improv, I learned to make mistakes in a space free of judgment or fear of failure, to let go and surrender control, and to exercise mindfulness. I might not be a natural comedian, but I actually performed in front of an audience at the graduation show, and it felt exhilarating.
Fact… Improv is therapeutic. Plenty of laughter will never fail to make anyone feel better.
2. Take Charge of Your Well-Being — Be a Yale-Educated Wellness Pro
Some days, I was feeling crabby.
Other days, I was stressed beyond belief.
Many days, I was just “meh.”
An acquaintance advised me to check this online course if I want to know the secret to happy living. She guaranteed me I’ll feel about a zillion times better. It was an easy sell; I was intrigued. After all, isn’t finding the key to happiness everyone’s ultimate goal?
I was (always am) curious about the psychology of happiness, and what brings lasting life satisfaction. So, I enrolled in Yale University’s ‘Science of Well-Being’ class, the happiness-boosting and the most popular class in the history of Yale’s. Woot woot!
The course focuses on positive psychology, and I was so proud of myself for carving out this time for ME! During the ten weeks journey, I learned to tell myself; I am worth it. I deserve it. I learned to make self-care a ritual — A commitment. I learned to put self-care at the top of my to-do list! A priority.
Science of Well-Being is available for free to non-Yale students on Coursera, an online learning platform. While this course alone can’t treat your blues, it is a space to talk about mental health and happiness.
P.S: The course is absolutely FREE, but for $49 you can access all assignments and class materials and earn a certification of completion from the Ivy League university with your name and Yale on it and Show it off on your LinkedIn profile. Maybe this will make you feel a little more happier.
If you are interested in enrolling in “The Science of Well-Being,” here’s the link. It is FREE!
Fact… Money can’t buy happiness as long as a free lesson on how to live a happier life is accessible online.
3. Train Your Attention — Meditation MINDFULNESS
Well, it’s time for me to “get starting to meditate.”
I say it like this because, I was getting more frustrated from the sleepless, miserable nights I spent curled up on the couch, crying. I mean if there was just an app that could put my mind in a quiet place. But there isn’t.
So, I decided to hit the road to mindful living and embrace it, one year ago, as I was craving structure and routine. I signed up for the introductory course ‘Meditation In Everyday Life,’ with one specific goal: to reduce my stress, sleep and be mindful. Attending the weekly session at the Shambhala center was an important step towards strengthening my attention and redirecting it towards positive ends.
After four weeks of practice; breath awareness, the body scan, and mindfulness of thoughts, I started to sleep more and focus better. I even signed up for a second course ‘Joy in Everyday Life,’ where I learned more about compassion, joyous discipline, and good energy. Over time, I noticed that I am more compassionate for myself and I was seeing the “big picture” of my life more clearly and was able to make better decisions about it. That’s when I decided to go back to school.
Fact… Meditation is something Buddhist monks, people with a lot less crazed lives, I and you can do.
Now that catching more Zs, I hope you enjoyed this post and if you know someone who would benefit from it (not a narcissist obviously!), do please share it.
What’s your take on how to pursue happiness? Do share with me in the comments section.