Happy AF: Simple strategies to get unstruck, bounce back, and live your best life by Beth Romero (November 14, She Writes Press) is the perfect how-to happiness manual for any review, roundup, or Q&A coverage to grab those readers’ attention.
Drawing heavily from neuroscience, positive psychology, and behavioral science, the straightforward strategies and exercises in Happy AF will teach you how to strengthen your “happiness muscle” and live up to your greatest potential. Beth Romero serves up a life-affirming parable laced with contextual how-tos—all backed by clinical research—in fresh, insightful, and accessible language you can relate to. Kinda like your best friend giving it to you straight (with love) over cocktails. In this book, you will discover:
* the art of letting go
* proven ways to jiu-jitsu your negative thoughts to transform your life
* how goals, vision, and purpose are the stepping stones to greatness
* the importance of gratitude and grace in your happiness journey
* the scientific link between sleep, morning routines, diet, and exercise on your mental well-being
“Smart, witty, and insightful, this roadmap for happiness offers practical solutions to up your happiness game and realize your greatest potential.” —Dr. Nicole LePera, The Holistic Psychologist and New York Times bestselling author
Thank you, Beth for this inspiring strategy on how to change your gloomy mood to a positive one!
Sunny Days Come Rain or Shine by Beth Romero
“Rainy Day Blues” is more than just a folksy ballad from Willie Nelson, but an actual phenomenon. Many studies have shown a clear correlation between sunlight and positive mood, whereas rainy weather can be the nemesis of positive affect. Indeed, research reveals a higher prevalence of depression in parts of the country with more rain and cold weather than their sunny, balmier counterparts.
I experienced this firsthand when I moved from the blazing sunshine of Arizona to the cloudier skies of the Midwest. It was almost jarring, and it incredibly affected my mood. I became a jiu-jitsu master in combating the rainy-day blues. There are several simple steps you can take to increase your happy vibe. Being proactive is your best umbrella against an internal downpour.
Foremost, make sure to open all the blinds and shades to let whatever available natural light in. Engaging in mood-boosting activities will be difficult and not very motivating if your place feels like a dark, oppressive dungeon.
~ Exercise: If it seems obvious, it’s because it is. Exercise is one of the easiest and quickest ways to boost endorphins, increase serotonin and release stress. When it’s gloomy outside, you can find virtually any exercise class or video on YouTube. You may even discover a new indoor physical activity that you love. (Zumba, anyone?) As little as ten minutes of activity a day can boost your mood.
~ Catch up with Besties: My friends are the 911 on my emotional speed dial. There’s nothing more beautiful than being lifted by the love of family and friends. Moreover, there is overwhelming research showing the benefits of social support on happiness, and by social support, I mean actual connection and not “likes” or heart emojis on social media. So, reach out and touch someone! Call a loved one or catch up with a bestie—and watch your mood take flight.
~ Uplifting Music: Psych yourself up with music. It works. (Try staying mopey while listening to Pharrell Williams’s “Happy”; it takes some serious sad-face commitment!) Create an upbeat mix for your life’s soundtrack. Easier yet, tell Alexa to play songs from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s or whatever musical genre that is your motivational call-to-arms. Music has been shown to reduce stress and depression while improving mood, cognitive skills, memory, and health. In other words, tune into a happier you.
~ Cook: It’s a great distraction, keeps you busy, and makes the house smell wonderful. Nothing like homemade soup or chili simmering on the stovetop to stave off any outside chill. One rainy day, my kids and I made homemade pasta and sauce. It was awesome and is now their requested rainy-day menu. On days when time is limited, they are just as thrilled with grilled cheese and tomato soup. It’s really just serving up some warmth and love.
~ Meditate: Another practice that increases happy neural pathways is—drumroll, please—meditation. If you’re feeling resistant, do a guided meditation to take the brain- work out of it. There are excellent apps that make the pursuit easy and not nearly as intimidating. It is clinically proven to be an effective foot soldier for happiness. The mood is already set with the soothing drumming of raindrops, so light a candle and try it. You have nothing to lose but the blues.
~ Reframe the Situation: The frame through which you view a situation determines your point of view. When you shift the frame, the meaning often changes. It’s literally the cheapest yet most valuable redesign you’ll ever do. When the weather turns foul, we repurpose it as we have been now given a “snuggle” day. Whether that is lighting a fire, cozying up under soft throws, or making hot chocolate or tea…the day becomes a gift rather than something to endure.
The bottom line is you don’t have to let the occasional rainy day dictate your state of mind. It is what you make of it…as is everything in life. I’m not saying you have to tap dance and sing in the rain like the old movie classics (although I bet that would be epic), but there are simple habits and exercises you can incorporate into the next rainy day to boost your internal sunshine.
Let the sun shine in. Literally.
About the Author:
Beth Romero was born and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After a thirty-year sojourn on the West Coast, she recently moved back to Philadelphia. In addition to having made her a pizza afficionado, her Italian American, East Coast background inspires the straightforward, humorous, and self-deprecating narrative style that characterizes her writing. (As every good cook knows, the secret is the salt.) With a background and degree in psychology, Beth channeled her creativity into a successful sales and branding career. A former business owner, VP, chief brand marketing officer, and director of sales, persuasive storytelling is her superpower. She showcases those skills to their fullest in this practical and entertaining how-to guide for happiness.