8 Tips to Cultivating Happiness

I know I write a lot about happiness and depression and etc. but I keep getting asked for tips about it. I think it's a really important topic and I am a firm believer that you really need to work to achieve it. It doesn't just happen naturally to most people, especially, when life is determined to throw crazy things at you. 


1. Don't underestimate the power of music. Like Bob Marley once said, "One good thing about music is when it hits you feel no pain." I completely agree. Think of music as a pre-game and your day is the party. If you start your day with a sad Bright Eyes song, you've set the tone of your day to be depressing. Start it with Beyonce and you know you're the boss. Start it with Sublime, you're going to be chill as shit and not really give a fuck. Know what you want to achieve that day and go for it. 

2. Take moments for yourself. I know this seems like a silly one but how often do you just get up from your desk or get up from what you're doing and take a breather. Just take a step back and take a few breaths. Center yourself. No one is going to tell you to stop what you are doing and allow yourself to breathe. You have to choose to do it. So do it. It's so important because throughout the day, we end up becoming society's version of us rather than who we were when we woke up. Get back to you.

3. Keep a happy scent. Sense memory is actually a very powerful thing. I can't smell yellow roses without crying. They had them all over my best friend's dad's funeral when I was 14 and to this day, the smell makes me tear up (one way I know a guy isn't for me). For me, lavender and rose water reminds me of both Paris and having tea parties with my friends in NYC. I try to keep it on me through out the day. Whenever I start to feel a funk coming on, I just spritz a bit in my hair, face, or just in the air and it's an instant pick me up.

4. Talk to people. I talk to random strangers literally all day everyday. I find so much joy out of it. People are actually the most interesting part of this world. So often I find that I feel so outside myself that and see how large the world is that it makes me feel that my problems are insignificant. I remember I was running from meeting to meeting and just everything was going wrong. I got into a cab in NYC and started talking to the cabbie. He was telling me about how he sends almost all his money to his family in Pakistan. He hasn't seen his kids or  wife in two years but he makes more doing this than he would. They are saving up so he can come see them. I just sat back there and thought "WTF AM I COMPLAINING ABOUT?" I realized how blessed I was.

5. Remember you are blessed. Being blessed doesn't mean life is perfect but the majority of us have family, friends, a place to live, the ability to afford a morning coffee even if it is from McDonald's. Every little moment is a blessing and we need to remember that or life will swallow us whole. Appreciate a smile you get from a stranger on the street. It's a blessing that you both happened to notice each other at the right time. It's such a small things but a wonder. 

6. Get out and move. I love to dance and skate and surf and box (there is a lot of rage in there ;) ). Just get physical because your body carries enough and it's hard to release it if you don't go move. The best thing is to choose an activity you like. I would never go running. I hate it. I know a lot of people who like it. Yoga makes my ADD kick in. I like things that are really physical. 

7. On the note of physical, get physical. People who have sex regularly are happier people. Even if you aren't in the mood, get over it and do it. Yeah, I said it. Whatever.