No matter who you are now or what you’re dealing with, deliberately following a lot of really simple tips, strategies, and habits can power an intangible energy and unique vitality in you. Part physical, part mental and emotional, this contagious zest for life comes from feeling open and game, healthy and capable, motivated, optimistic, and a bubbly punch of other positive emotions.
Author of the new book, Your Fully Charged Life, Meaghan B Murphy transformed from a self-described sulky grump to someone who approaches life differently—with seemingly boundless energy, positivity, and enthusiasm. And she’s convinced her new happiness handbook will help you do the same.
The fully-charged life is all based on one principle: Every day, every hour, sometimes moment to moment, you consciously choose to act in a positive way or look for the positive in situations.
To live life this way, you have to get out there and, well, live—actively participate in life and do things that spark happiness and generate positive energy. And to do anything beyond the bare minimum, beyond the things you already do, it requires a certain degree of raw, physical energy and endurance, plus mental and emotional stamina.
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What’s so cool is that along with physical energy, charging up your health produces a powerful mental and emotional charge. Exercise and eating right both slay stress, giving you extra patience and headspace to deal with the roadblocks and detours of life. They balance your mood and flood your brain with feel-good chemicals that help you enjoy and appreciate the scenery along the way. And this combo of physical, mental, and emotional energy makes you unstoppable.
And for more health tips, check out this One Major Side Effect of Sitting on the Couch.
Small changes can be huge.
Studies show even modest improvements to your diet—like simply munching a few more fruits and veggies every day—can improve mood and increase feelings of happiness and well-being. Plus, every nutrition expert I’ve ever talked to has said that, for most people, what matters is how you eat most of the time, not at any one meal or night out or vacation.
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Consider what you’re getting, not giving up.
People often think about healthy eating like it’s a majorly unfun chore. or they focus on what they’re sacrificing rather than the good they’re doing. That’s a mistake; how you think and talk about food shapes your perspective and how you feel and behave. Try reframing healthy choices. If you’re eating a salad, love it for what it’s doing for your energy and health and thank yourself for making that choice instead of hating it because it’s not disco fries.
Ditch the “good” or “bad” mentality.
Yes, certain foods are healthier than others. That does not make any good or bad, nor are you good or bad based on what you eat. Do you say or think things like “I’m so bad, I had a huge bowl of ice cream” or “I’m going to be good and order grilled fish”? The more that loaded language infiltrates your brain and speech and the more emotions and your identity get tangled up in food choices, the more you feel bogged down by pursuing your healthy-eating goals.
Never miss a Monday.
No matter how many days you work out, make one a Monday. Just as exercising first thing in the morning sets the tone for your day, a start-of-the-week sweat session can set the tone for the next six days and help slay both Sunday scaries and Monday blues.
Don’t play hide and seek.
You’re much more likely to choose healthy food if it’s right there, front and center in the fridge or out in plain view on the counter. Ditto with workout clothes, sneakers or other gear in your closet or home; seeing them can be the gentle nudge you need to stay or get active.
For more, check out the One Major Side Effect of Walking Every Day, According to Science.
Adapted from YOUR FULLY CHARGED LIFE by Meaghan B Murphy, published by TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2021 by Meaghan B Murphy.