"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
While happiness is a complex issue, the above statement by Abraham Lincoln sums up how a positive outlook can be one key to life's happiness.
Stress, physical issues, and coping with the day-to-day activities of life can leave us all a little down from time to time.
Here's "30 Days of Wellness" tips from Highmark BlueShield's newsletter, Healthy Highlights, one for each day of the month of November to take steps to make a difference in our mental health by taking action to mind our mood and give our emotional well-being a boost:
1. Get moving...to produce the "feel good" chemicals in the brain that promote positive well-being.
2. Bring in the outdoors...make your home, office or work space sunny and bright.
3. Get plenty of sleep...seven to eight hours and keep a consistent schedule.
4. Take 10...at least 10 minutes a day to do something you find fun and interesting and relaxing.
5. Always look to the bright side...optomistic in thoughts, words and deeds.
6. Get involved in your community...volunteering and sharing your time makes you feel good.
7. Practice preventive care...always get your annual health exams to maintain your health.
8. Try meditation...twenty minutes a day can reduce stress and increase focus.
9. Talk it out...to enlighten the mind and spirit.
10. Laugh early and often...find something to laugh about, particularly in the morning to keep a smile on your face.
11. Experience yoga...increase fitness level and reduce stress for more energy and peace.
12. Just ask...seek guidance when feelings of sadness or depression become overwhelming.
13. Keep it regular...get up and go to bed at the same time each day, even on weekends and days off.
14. Help others...a friend, a neighbor, an elderly person to take your mind off yourself.
15. Reward yourself...plan something fun each week to look forward to.
16. Try a box of light...daily light therapy in consultation with a health care provider.
17. Be selfish...learn to say "no." Too many things to do can be draining.
18. Learning is a lifelong process...sign up for a class or read about something that inspires you.
19. Try decaf...cutting caffeine may improve your mood.
20. Make a donation...clean out closets and give items to a local charity. A decluttered space can give a feeling of accomplishment.
21. Journal it...jot down your thoughts, daily or weekly.
22. Spend time with animals...take a pet for a walk, play with them, or simply give them more attention.
23. Give yourself a "face lift" and smile...a grin from ear to ear will release serotonin in the brain, which can instantly lift your mood.
24. Eat lunch someplace different than your regular spot.
25. Reconnect...with family or old friends celebrate, reminisce or just have fun.
26. Develop your spirituality.
27. Go someplace different...doesn't need to be a cruise or cost a lot of money, just slip away somewhere you've never been before.
29. Give 100 %...relish in your accomplishments to improve your self-esteem and self-worth.
30. Eat regular meals...to avoid energy lows.
Cindi Dinger, on behalf of the FPS Wellness Committee