The New Self-Care: Rethinking Your Happiness Threshold
In a world that’s often about selfies and likes, you’d think self-care would be simple. Surprisingly, it can be the opposite. Keep reading to learn about adjusting your happiness threshold with new self-care techniques.
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Credit: Daniel Riera
As we write this, we’ve got about a million other things going on. There are deadlines, emails, not to mention the long list of chores at home. There’s probably a sink full of dishes for starters. Maybe you’ve done the laundry but it’s still sitting in the hamper in desperate need of some precise Marie Kondo style folding. It never ends...and it never will. There will ALWAYS be a world full of obligations, to-do lists and plans. In a lot of ways that thought is terrifying and can leave you feeling like you’ve already failed before you’ve even begun.
But maybe you can also hear your partner in the kitchen cracking eggs into a skillet. Maybe the light spilling in from the nearest window turns emerald as it filters through the leaves of your house plants. Is that the smell of lemongrass from the diffuser on your desk? If you take a moment to really pay attention to the world around you, you’ll be surprised at how many small things bring you joy.
Maybe you’re not living in the house of your dreams yet. Perhaps the glamorous bohemian-chic life you’ve carefully curated on your Instagram doesn’t quite align with reality (psst, it rarely does). But by rethinking what makes you happy every day, you can completely change your mindset to raise your vibes and boost your mood.
Not sure how to get started? Keep reading...
Quit Thinking Happiness Happens Later
Do you like your life?
For a lot of us, we may respond by saying, “Well, my plan is…” and then follow that with a big explanation about how much we love our FUTURE life. This needs to stop!
Social media and television show us glimpses of all these great lifestyles and how amazing we’ll look and feel once we live that way. Oftentimes, we get wrapped up in that idea and how amazing it’ll be...even when that life doesn’t exist yet. Plus, in the meantime, it often feels like our current lives don’t measure up.
Then comes the fear. What if that life is only ever a dream? What if we make mistakes and all those plans are for nothing? Will we be stuck in our current situation that already doesn’t feel like enough?
In reality...anything can happen. At any time something can come crashing into our lives that can completely derail all of our careful planning. Maybe something terrible, maybe something miraculous.
The whole point is there’s no way to know what might happen tomorrow. Yes, having plans and goals for the future is good because it gives us purpose and motivation. But the future is just an idea, it’s not real. And there is no regret like looking back and wishing you had cherished your life more, lived more--loved more.
We exist here and now, so NOW is when we should be enjoying our lives! We’re not saying to quit your job and go live with your rave family (although it’s tempting). Your plans for your dream future, while purely hypothetical, are still valid! Just because plans have the potential to crash and burn doesn’t mean they will.
So which is it? Are we supposed to throw ourselves into the grind of endless productivity for a future that MIGHT become reality? Or are we supposed to throw it all out the window in favor of instant gratification?
You might be surprised by our answer...we think you should do both! It IS possible to work towards future goals while still enjoying today. It takes a shift in values though, and that’s the tricky part.
Why You Need to Re-evaluate Your Happiness Threshold
For a lot of us, our threshold for happiness is way too high. Basically, it means that unless you're doing something outrageously exciting (Spring Break in Cabo, mountain hiking, a shopping spree, etc.) then it doesn’t bring you much joy. Yeah, maybe you ate your favorite breakfast or a good song was on the radio. But those things tend to pale in comparison to what you think makes you happy.
We’re always waiting for the next big hit of happiness. It’s very comparable to someone addicted to processed sugar. Their body is so used to the concentrated power of artificial sugar, that the natural sweetness of strawberries just doesn’t do it for them anymore.
So, how exactly is someone supposed to get themselves out of the high-intensity happiness cycle? First, just like everyone else who’s trying to nix a bad habit, take it one day at a time. Some days will be better than others. You may still get bouts of anxiety, you may still get down on yourself, and sometimes you’ll struggle with failure. When you find yourself entertaining these thoughts, however, it helps to get back to basics.
For some that might mean returning to the idea of keeping your mind, body, and spirit in harmony. For others it means getting back to more primal basics like being grateful for food, shelter, and companionship. Everyone is different, but here are a few new self-care techniques that will help you re-evaluate your happiness threshold.
The New Self-Care
Yes, we all love a boujee day of shopping, mimosas, and brunch. However, when you stop and think about it, that’s setting the self-care bar really high. For those of you grinding every single day, taking an entire day off may not be practical (however, try to regularly take a day off for your mental health). Maybe your financial situation doesn’t allow for that shopping spree, or maybe your health requires specific nutritional needs that can’t be deviated from.
Basically, it’s time to prioritize being happy in your skin and in your mind. When your happiness revolves around material things, you’ll always need more and more. However, when your happiness revolves around experiences and connections, you’ll start to notice less anxiety and feelings of “lack.”
Not sure what we mean by that? Keep reading and we’ll cover all the details 😉
First, Be Present By Embracing Your Sensuality
And no, we don’t mean sexuality. Sensuality is “the condition of being pleasing or fulfilling to the senses.” So sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. The reason this works is that it forces you to be present in the current moment. There’s a reason why we believe the way our products feel and smell is just as important as their effects. It’s because we want you to enjoy them with all your senses!
Don’t believe us? Try this...
What are you wearing? Notice the texture of your clothes and whether or not they’re comfortable. Try to pay attention to any scents that are particularly pleasing to you. What’s something you can see that’s beautiful in some way? Use your senses to discover something right here and now that makes you happy.
We’re not trying to say you shouldn’t be pumped about exciting events coming up. It’s perfectly fine to be excited about the future. What it means is at the end of today, even if you didn’t accomplish every last thing you wanted to, your partner might come home and ask how your day was and you could answer, “Today was a good day.”
If you took stock of your senses and didn’t enjoy anything, stop what you’re doing and go find something that brings you joy! Even if it’s just going to sit by the window to feel a breeze or to slowly enjoy your favorite La Croix drink, find something small that makes you happy. You deserve it!
Practice Gratitude to Shift Your Attitude
Once you feel grounded in the present moment, think about something you’re grateful for. Maybe you’re grateful that your neighbor decided to walk their new puppy past your window. Perhaps you’re grateful that Disney+ finally released Hamilton. Maybe you’re just grateful for the clothes on your back and the air in your lungs.
Social media gives us a peek into different worlds and all sorts of lifestyles. It’s easy to look at other peoples lives and feel like our own is lacking in some way. But it’s this feeling of lack that makes us so unhappy. It makes us feel like we need more. More stuff, more posts, more likes, a bigger house, a newer car, more, more, MORE...but it will never be enough. That feeling of emptiness and lack creates a mindset that will never be satisfied.
If we can stop and be grateful for what we already have, then we’ll develop a feeling of abundance. And that’s when the mental shift starts to happen. Suddenly, things that you take for granted become gifts. Ask any mother--no one appreciates a quiet car ride more than a stressed out mom at the end of her rope.
Show Gratitude to Heal Your Mind & Body
If we’re grateful for something, then we should show it. Simple as that.
If you and your partner have different schedules and don’t get to spend a lot of time together, think of a way to show them how grateful you are for them. Something as simple as making coffee for them in the morning can make a world of difference. Maybe you have a family picture that always makes you smile. It might sound silly, but making sure it’s clean and dusted can have an incredibly healing effect on your mind and heart.
While we’re focusing on all these fabulous mental vibes, don’t forget to show gratitude to your body. Images of face masks and spa-like baths come to mind, and for good reason! Your body has been with you since day one. Your body has survived every scrape, sickness, heartbreak, and hormonal roller coaster. Honestly, your body is amazing!
The relationships we have with our bodies are incredibly intimate, but they can also be complicated. It’s easy to compare our looks to others, but there are so many more important traits a person can possess outside of just being “good-looking.” To help break the obsession with how we look, focus on truly nourishing your body.
For each of us that might be different. You could eat healthy, whole foods to give your body fuel. Maybe you practice yoga everyday to help oxygenate your muscles. At Fifth & Root, we honor our skin by only using natural products with plants and herbs specifically designed to nourish. Consider honoring your own energy, by going to bed early some nights so you can fully recharge for the next day.
Our bodies may not always feel strong, and they may not always even feel healthy. But your body has been with you every single day, and it’s important to show gratitude even when it’s hard.
Sometimes You Have to Create Your Own Happiness
Sometimes life is hard--really hard. Sometimes we suffer, sometimes we’re angry or afraid. Sadly, that’s part of life. So it’s important to carry your own happiness around with you.
The next time you’re having a truly terrible day, try to find somewhere quiet to take a few slow breathes. Focus on your senses and the beauty you discover there, and remind yourself of all the wonderful things you’re grateful for.
Creating your own happiness is hard at first, and everyone will have a different ritual that works for them. Take some time to think about what it is you’re grateful for, how you’d like SHOW that gratitude, and some way that you can carry those things around with you in times of need. There’s a reason so many of us have adorable pictures of our pets as the backgrounds on our phone or computer ;)
Self-care is just as much about feeling better emotionally as it is about skin treatments. By retraining your mind to practice abundance and gratitude, your psyche is going to become so much more resilient. Things that used to derail your whole day will dwindle into small speed bumps. A day that you might have described as boring in the past could now be precious and enriching.
Rethinking Your Happiness Threshold Raises Your Vibes!
Rethinking your threshold for happiness is the most powerful form of self-care we can practice as human beings. And the beauty of it is that if you practice this and you’re still unhappy...you can change. At any time you can be whoever you want and live whatever life makes you happy. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and everyone deserves to live a life that allows them to pursue happiness.
We urge you to find something that makes you happy today. If these are all foreign concepts to you then grab a piece of paper and write down five things you’re grateful for right now. Do it every day. Do it every day for a month, then two months, maybe three, maybe forever. You’d think that eventually you’ll run out of new things to be grateful for, but it’s the opposite. You’ll start to realize that your world is full of grace and beauty--and so are you ❤️️
What are you grateful for today?