“Happiness can only come from the inside.” -The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
There was once a time when I would gloat and moan about waking up each morning. Something about that routine was unfulfilling, and yet my obligation to pay student loans and credit card bills loomed. As I thought to myself, ‘My goodness, this is clearly not what I signed up for!’ I was eating poorly, drinking my drug-in-a-mug (aka coffee with 5 packets of refined Domino sugar), I carried on, not even realizing that the energy I’d halfway attempted to muster up in the early morning was cascading like a river of several shades of gray in all my actions. Seeking happiness was as foreign to me as healthy food is to a junkfoodie.
Ironically, a junkfoodie was exactly what I’d become! In my desire to feel better about work I purely disliked, I resorted to comfort and junk food. My best friends were Yodel’s, Wise® BBQ potato chips, Rolet’s chicharrones, 3 cups of sugar laden coffee daily, chicken fingers, and French fries. Lots of French fries. Needless to say, I was consuming more fat than my body could handle …and burn. It took 20 lbs. of inadvertent weight gain and being in a constant place of “I’m so tired of feeling tired” for me to finally begin an experiment. I decided that my happiness was being clouded by bad habits I was purely responsible for. I figured it was time I made some positive changes.
…and so the marriage as I knew it began. I researched the benefits of eating healthy and the importance of cutting out the toxic things that made life anything short of what I deserved.
Food seemed like a good place to start. I became my own lab and decided I was going to take control by eating healthy food! I had no previous experience with this other than having an urge and curiosity to know how eating differently would make me feel. Then, I created a small list to get a clear picture of what my life looked like, and where it really needed to be.
Here’s a simple way to find out if you’re healthy and happy.
First, read questions 1 through 10. Respira. Take your time and answer the 10 questions.
- What’s working in your life?
- What isn’t working in your life?
- Do you eat fruit and vegetables daily?
- If you crave comfort or junk food, when do you do this the most?
- What do you think about when you eat?
- Are you excited to wake up every morning?
- Does your job make you happy or are you only working to pay bills?
- Are you getting enough physical activity?
- Do you connect with family friends as often as you’d like to?
- Do you say thanks before each meal?
De un vistazo, the questions might seem too plain and simple to be helpful. That’s because the answers around health and happiness are much simpler than most expect them to be. I’m sure most of us have heard someone say, “I hate my job. I don’t even want to speak with anyone unless I have a cigarette, coffee, and a toasted cream cheese bagel!” It is this very basic type of expression that provides great clues about a person’s health and happiness. You can do this easy exercise about your life, learn to listen to your body and life’s needs, and get to know yourself better. What have you got to lose?
Eating fruits and vegetables is extremely important for increased happiness. Did you know that blueberries target healthy brain function to give you a clear state of mind? or that vegetables like carrots and batata (sweet yams) help stabilize blood sugar levels, which are usually responsible for mood swings and sugar cravings? Now that you know, don’t be afraid to try it as an experiment!
Lastly, what better way is there to feel better about what goes into your body than to be thankful for your food & drink? It’s an act that doesn’t only feed your stomach. Your mind, body, and spirit are fed in the process, too.
Be aware of your Self, and celebrate a healthier, happier version of you. Cuídate
by Jeanelle Roman