I’ve been super conscious of my mind, since I realized that I have anxiety. For so long I was worried about exercising my body and eating healthy, but I never thought about doing the same for my mind. It all started with journaling here and there. Then came listening to podcast to help me ease my mind. It all ended up leading to my Happiness Prescription — a checklist of things that I do each day to maintain a happy and healthy mind.
I can’t take credit for this idea though. Ingrid Nilsen talked about how she crafted her own Happiness Prescription on her podcast Ladies Who Lunch. She said that it really boosted her entire day, so I knew I had to try it. To put it simply, it’s a list of four things that guarantee to make you happy and boost your positivity. The goal is to do three things on the list every single day.
It sounds simple, but this list has completely changed my life. After following the list for months now, I can see a direct correlation between my mood and my Happiness Prescription.
I thought it was silly to do for a while, so I kept the list to myself. After telling a few of my close friends about it, they thought that it was an awesome idea too. That’s when I knew that I had to share it with you. If this mind management skill helps even one person the way that it helped me, then it will all be worth it.
When I first started my list, it was a matter of setting my routine. For the first few weeks I would write a physical checklist down on paper. Having something to check off is really important to my personal mind management. I love to see the checks and physically know that I crossed something off of my list. Now that it’s been a while, these things come second nature to me.
Your list doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. You’ll see that my Happiness Prescription is filled with things that might seem simple, but are very important for me. It’s not set in stone, either. There were some things on my list that just weren’t manageable for my every day life, so I tweaked it to make it enjoyable for me.
Here’s what is on my Happiness Prescription:
1. Get Outside
This might seem simple to you, but it’s the most important one on my list. Because I work from home, there are some days that I literally don’t go outside. My social anxiety leaves me stranded in the house at times too. Whether this is taking a walk around the block or going somewhere to have lunch with a friend, it gets a check off the list.
2. Reach Out To A Friend
Again, this one is mainly for my social anxiety. I realized that, now and growing up, I stuck to only a few really great friendships. It was a goal of mine to make sure to be a better friend this year. I check this box off by meeting with a friend for coffee or just sending them a text to see how they’re doing.
3. Cook Myself A Healthy Meal
Working from home means that I’m often at coffee shops or anywhere else with wifi. A lot of time that means getting snacks or meals on the go. Making it a priority to have at least one healthy home-cooked meal let’s me put my health at the forefront. I also really love to cook, which does wonders for my mental health too.
4. Journal Or Read
Journaling is one of my favorite things to do. Like I said before, it really helps me keep my mind at ease and get all of my feelings out on paper. It’s important for me to write personally, since I write all day every day for work. When I don’t feel like writing, I read. Books give me the same mental escape as journaling.
I don’t do every single one of these things every day. The rules are to do three of the four things to fill the Happiness Prescription for the day.
My list didn’t always look like this, either. Originally, I had working out on the list. I realized that I didn’t truly enjoy going to the gym, so I changed it to going outside. I enjoy taking a walk around the block way more than I do going for a run. It’s all about what make you happy the most.
What do you guys think of the Happiness Prescription? I’d love to hear about the things that make you the happiest in the comments section. Even if you don’t want to jump full force into the list, make sure you do at least one thing today that makes you happy!