Some of the skills that help me stay positive are quicker and easier than others. These skills are also mentioned in our video course “Retire on Social Security“.
Laugh – I realized long ago the healthiest thing I can do for myself is to be happy. When you’re happy your body produces hormones that make your immune system stronger. They say that’s the most effective defense against Covid-19. Those same hormones make you feel better, function better, and improve your health both short and long term.
Watching The Simpsons on TV always makes me laugh, or a good comedy movie on Netflix, like Get Smart. You are not at the mercy of your emotions and feelings. You can learn to control them. When you’re unhappy your body produces hormones that lower your immune system, ruin your health, and make you less intelligent. Better to laugh and be happy.
- Listen to Music – It’s very difficult for me to be unhappy when I listen to my favourite music. I like music with happy or inspiring lyrics, such as “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash, or “I Just Want To Celebrate” by Rare Earth. One of the most beautiful pieces ever written is the Nocturne, Opus 9 in B minor, by Chopin.
- Sing – I always feel better when I sing even though I don’t have a great voice. I figure it doesn’t matter if I’m at home. I feel best when I sing happy songs, but sing whatever you enjoy.
- Dance – I love to play loud music on my stereo and dance in my living room. It’s hard not to move when my favourite songs are playing, and it’s very hard to feel bad when I’m dancing.
Gratitude – It may seem strange to talk about gratitude at a time like this, but as bleak as things sometimes get, there are still many things to be grateful for. Gratitude is the hidden gem of mental health and happiness. Most people don’t understand its power. Those who’ve discovered it will never go back. 🙂
I can guarantee the quality of your life will improve if you write down 3 things you’re grateful for once a day. Then add another one each day. Make it part of your daily routine like brushing your teeth.
Quality Food – I found that when I ate more vegetables and whole foods instead of processed foods with a lot of sugar, salt, and stimulants I felt better right away. An added bonus was that my overall health improved. I think that’s because my body had to use less energy to get rid of the unhealthy chemicals in my body. It could spend more time repairing and improving.
Also, your brain is part of your body. If it has better quality fuel it works better. It’s easier to relax, concentrate, and be positive.
Exercise – Most people don’t get enough exercise. It could mean the difference between having strength in your step and needing a walker. Sit-ups, push-ups, stretches, walking and jogging help you be stronger, more flexible, and stay pain-free. Regular exercise is a necessary part of any healthy lifestyle.
But don’t do too much. That can over-stress your joints and tendons, which is very unhealthy in the long run. Exercising in nature is the best if you can get out. Something about being in nature is relaxing and uplifting for most people.