Mental Health

Cultivating Happiness

“Be here now.”

As I sit on the deck of our Hill Country getaway house, I am mulling over those words.

The little birds are attracted to the several feeders in the yard, and we’ve spotted more than one deer sauntering by the creek behind the house. Squirrels approach us curiously and mischievously as they plop onto their tummies and appear to engage us in a staring contest. The cool breeze rustles the trees and brushes my hair away from my face.

There is peace here.

Everything is calling for my attention, yet it is not in a desperate beckoning that gets only my distracted glance, but a deep, established process of nature that will continue with or without me. I can choose to enter in and be delighted by the small fawn with the spotted coat and the tiny birds that flit around. The big lizard sunning himself will enjoy his lazy perch with our without my notice.

Today I Choose to Notice. 

Because that is how I can live in the moment. To be here now, I engage all the aspects around me and drink them in. All we have is this moment really. We must plan that we may have more, (and hopefully we have many, many more) but in the end no one is guaranteed anything. This reality makes these moments where we can completely be in them all the more precious.

Let’s stop striving to be “the best we can be” and instead, actually BE where we are. We will find that we are enough for the moment and even more, that we have all we need in the moment.

According to the research writer and speaker Gretchen Rubin conducted, happiness is cultivated by engaging our five senses. Our society is too much in our heads. We are detached from our surroundings. 
What Makes You Feel Connected to Your Environment?

Explore your environment using your hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling, and seeing.
 You may look upon your everyday with new eyes. Appreciate the little things and you will receive a reward.

We cannot always change those big things in our life that may be a source of frustration, but we can change how we approach all the big and little things in life. We may find that simply changing our approach provides the joy to bloom where we are planted.

Cultivate the Good Things

Something that has been helping me to cultivate joy and contentment are finding those little things I really love and want more of in my life. Things I know my body, mind and heart crave.

Make a love list and keep it taped to your mirror or refrigerator and when you feel you are in need of some inspiration or a pick me up, pick something on that list to do. 

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Take an Epsom salt foot soak
Reread a favorite book
Go on a nature walk in a new part of town
Prepare a warm, nourishing meal
Do a gentle yoga practice
Pour a glass of wine, turn up the music, and paint
Host a small dinner party
Have tea with a friend
People watch instead of getting on your phone
Call a friend who lives far away

To “be here now”, ask yourself, “what makes me feel connected to my environment?” Find what they are and increase those things.




Author: Gabriela Johnson
Email: transform@renaissancelifehealthcoaching.com
Author Bio: Gabriela Johnson is a certified health coach and has been in the health and wellness field for 10 years. She provides a holistic approach to healing your body through good food and an emphasis on the things that nurture you in life. She has coached clients around the globe and developed a heart for different cultures and a crazy love for travel. She speaks to groups sharing her life changing approach and is the author of two e-books, “Recipes for a Renaissance Life” and “How to Stay Alive and Thrive While Globe Trotting.” Gabriela’s coaching style is gentle and effective, and she uses powerful tools for transforming unhealthy habits and that “stuck” feeling into a healthy lifestyle with clarity and momentum.
Link to social media or website: http://www.renaissancelifehealthcoaching.com




More From Mental Health


by S .M. Penn

Show up to your life – Be Anti-fragile

by emilia duarte

What a stray cat taught me this year

by Becca Carucci

A No Resolution New Year

by Gianna Starble

Dear Vincent

by Bharti Bansal

The Tide

by Janae Truesdale

2 responses to “Cultivating Happiness

  1. Well said, Gabriela! It just so happens that my wife and I are taking to the country today for some R&R. There is very spotty cell phone service so that will help us focus on the organic things of life and be quiet for awhile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *