By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
For a happy, healthy life there are 5 must have skills.
Most happy life skills are relatively simple. You would think we would all have learned them shortly after birth. Just in case no one told you about these happy life skills or if over the years you have forgotten to practice some of these skills, here are the top 5 skills you need for a happy life.
Just in case no one told you about these happy life skills or if over the years you have forgotten to practice some of these skills, here are the top 5 skills you need for a happy life.
Breathe deeply and slowly. Do not rush through the breathing part of your life. Breath too fast or too little and you get to the end of your life too soon. Rapid shallow breathing promotes and maintains anxiety.
Learn to breathe slowly, from way down in your diaphragm. Linger over each breath and savor it like a tasty morsel. Slow deep breathing relaxes you and helps oxygenate your blood.
Think nothing happens when you sleep? Think again. The body heals and repair work gets done while you sleep. The brain uses a lot of energy and gets all heated up. A good sleep cools the brain down and gets neurons ready to work the next day.
Memories get sorted, consolidated and filed away. Your brain also works on those leftover scenarios. It figures things out and helps you remember things to avoid to keep you safe.
Failure to get sufficient sleep will reduce your thinking and emotional regulations skills and put you at risk for more mistakes the next day.
Do not try to fake sleep. You can’t overdraw the sleep account and then try to make an extra deposit on the weekend. There is a hefty bounced check charge on lost sleep.
Drinking and drug use to fake sleep does not help either. Use alcohol to “nod off” and you are unconscious not sleeping. You may pass out but your brain gets no sleep.
3. Move around.
Use it or lose it should be the warning label on your body and your brain. Failure to get enough exercise leads to all sorts of medical problems.
Your brain also requires exercise and challenges to stay healthy. No watching a reality show is not brain food. One report tells us that for each hour of TV you watch while sitting down you lose 22 minutes off your lifespan.
Someone needs to make a TV that runs on the power you generate by riding your indoor bike.
4. Eat well.
Most people in the industrialized world have no trouble getting enough calories each day. The trouble is that quantity does not make up for quality. Being overweight does not equal good nutrition.
Learn to eat healthy and balanced meals. Avoid fad diets. Drink more water and fewer sodas. If you drink caffeinated beverages avoid the ones with sugar added and do not add more sweetener.
No one is likely to go from a junk food and sugar diet to a truly healthy diet in a short time. Make small changes as you can. Keep making changes and see where you will be in a year or two.
5. Cut out the drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.
Do I need to tell you that happy people smoke far fewer cigarettes than unhappy people? The drug of choice among the homeless is cigarettes, followed by alcohol. Smoke over two packs a day and the chance you will be homeless at some point in your life increases something like – 400 %.
Cut out the alcohol and the drugs of abuse, prescribed or street type, for more happiness. Despite the heavy use of drugs to pursue happiness, I have not met many happy alcoholics or drug addicts.
5. Spend time with positive people.
The more time you spend with someone the more likely you are to think and act like they do. Hang out with the winners and you become one. Hangout with the failures and you will end up living down to their level.
Surround yourself with happy people and their happiness, along with their behaviors and attitudes, will “rub off” on you.
Those are my picks for the top five happy life skills. Notice that more money and more things did not make the list. Sure toys are nice and money gives you options, but no amount of money and things makes up for not breathing, sleeping, eating or having friends.
Do you have any happy life skills, not on this list that you would like to share?
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.