We can agree everyone wants to be happier, yes? We must change ourselves and not our lifestyles to increase genuine happiness that lasts.
It can seem at times impossible to increase our happiness as we live in an incredibly busy age, and we’re all experiencing more stress and tension and fatigue. We are over-stimulating our stress hormones (adrenalin and cortisol) and in turn creating a lack of happy hormones (serotonin and dopamine).
Bring on more chocolate moments. Besides being a delicious treat, dark chocolate contains plant chemicals called flavonoids, which may lower your risk for a number of health conditions, including cancer and heart disease. It also increases your serotonin levels, which can be beneficial in improving your mood.
One key tool is every day ensuring you do something small that makes you happy; I dub it ‘Chocolate Moments’. Not literally chomping down on dark chocolate nor huge things like going on holiday or getting a promotion. Of course that makes everyone happy – but might only happen once a year. What we want is daily happiness.
Seemingly small things, little activities that are unique to you are what defines a happy moment. Things like watching the sunrise instead of lying in, eating a cooked breakfast as opposed to a takeaway muffin, going to a new cafe for your coffee, drinking a cold pressed juice instead of a soft drink, or catching up with a friend for dinner instead of taking that Spin class you hate but feel you need to do.
Every day you do at least one ‘chocolate moment’. Not only does it bathe your mind in happy hormones, it stems the tide of stress hormones. And every day you increase your happiness a little by little.
Chocolate Moment Tools
1. meditate for 10 – 20 minutes
2. spend 5 minutes taking stock of a few things you are grateful for today in general, your work and most importantly yourself
4. exercise, something you enjoy, a walk, a surf etc.
5. a glass of red wine
6. find a little inspiration, be inspired, open up to a new challenge
7. connect with someone you love
6. and of course, enjoy a square or two of dark chocolate
I highly recommend daily meditation as it increases your happy hormones also, and actively releases stress from the nervous system. Stress related hormones are a serious threat to happiness.
People say to me all the time ‘oh I don’t have time to meditate or do little things that make me happy, my god I am SO BUSY as it is!’. So tell me how important is it to be happy and improve your health every day? Some of the above only take 5 minutes, we all have 24 hours in the day, it’s what we do with them that counts.