When you’re feeling happy, relaxed, and turned on by life, you radiate that energy—and everyone can see it.
For me, the best way to take care of my appearance and make sure I’m looking my best is to make sure I’m feeling my best. But let’s be real—life gets crazy for all of us sometimes.
It’s easy to “feel my best” when I’m on vacation, or out to dinner with my best friend, or at an amazing yoga class. But life includes lots of other things too.
I try to cultivate a life that’s as pleasurable as possible that gives me time to do the things I love. I do work that feels creative. I surround myself with people who nourish me and spark me up.
But we can’t control everything.
There’s no way to make it all perfect. (And in fact, it’s super stressful to try.) Sometimes life is going to hand us stress, difficulty, and hard stuff we have to work through.
So how do we “feel our best” even when tough stuff is happening around us? I’ve been experimenting with this lately, and I’d love to share a few things I’ve found useful.
Look for things to appreciate.
Recently, I’ve been experimenting with the concept of appreciation.
Whatever situation I’m dealing with—whether it’s getting my kid out the door, or a grumpy husband, or five action items flooding in at once for work—I can step back in the moment, shift my gaze, and look for what I can appreciate, right now.
If my kid is stalling, running late and totally distractible, I can still look at her and choose to see how she’s still adjusting to her time on this planet and how gorgeous and tender that is.
If my husband’s grumpy and tired, I can choose to recognize that’s because he’s been working hard on a creative project, and remember how much I appreciate his incredible and dynamic creativity.
If I get bombarded by five work requests at once, I can take three seconds, shift my perspective, and appreciate that I love what I do for a living. I can also appreciate that it’s busy enough for me to have a lot to juggle!
Looking for what I can appreciate about whatever’s happening, right now, shifts my focus. It instantly makes me feel freer and more able to take pleasure in what’s happening.
Tune into mindfulness—right now.
Meditation has incredible benefits, and it’s something I recommend to everyone for happiness, radiant health, and skin.
However, it requires stepping outside your life for a minute and creating a new habit. Sometimes, when the stuff is really hitting the fan, it's not the easiest time to forge new habits.
But the core principle of meditation—mindfulness, or being present in the moment—is available to all of us anytime. You don’t have to go on a retreat or be able to tap into a deep state of timeless inner peace to be able to access it.
Try this experiment: if you catch yourself feeling stressed, zoom in on where that stressful feeling is occurring in your body.
Is it your chest? Your throat? Your face? Then focus on a different part of your body that feels more relaxed. (My feet work well for me.)
Then just shift your attention back and forth between the “stressed” part of your body and the “relaxed” part of your body.
Don’t try to make the “stress” go away—just move back and forth with your attention for a few seconds or minutes (however long you have).
I find this kind of amazing. Just a minute or so of shifting my attention back and forth like this will often loosen up the “stressed” feeling enough that I can feel more pleasure and enjoy what I’m doing much more.
Just moving your body is enough and it’s really easy to forget to do it.
That’s especially the case if we work at a desk, spend a lot of time driving, or have limited mobility in any way.
But taking a few minutes to move in a way that feels good can radically up your happiness quotient—no matter what’s going on.
I love to dance, and lately, I’ve been reminding myself that I don’t have to be at a class or a club to do it. I can put on a song I love, crank it up, and spend five minutes dancing my heart out in my living room. I always feel better afterward.
Same thing with taking a brisk walk.
Moving doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or taking a yoga class. Even standing up and jumping up and down, shaking things out, for 30 seconds right now, can energize you, move your cells around, and shift things inside so it’s easier to smile.
And an extra bonus: it revs up your circulation, so your cheeks flush and you get a little glow. Do that, and you’ll start seeing that external radiance reflected on your skin.
What tools and tricks do you use to cultivate happiness in the moment, no matter what’s going on around you? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!