7 Tips to Help You Find Your Happy

A while back I was doing some business training and I had an experience that was…I’m going to call it uncomfortable. I was involved in an online course with several thousand people that I do not know personally. The format involved daily Facebook live streams from the course trainer, and we’d all watch and react with our hearts and likes, and comment on the stream. There was a good amount of spontaneous interaction.

Prior to this particular day, we had all received the same assignment, one that I had found confusing and strange. I texted one of the assistants and told her my thoughts about it. I tried to wrap my head around it. Not only didn’t it seem possible, it didn’t make sense to me. It made me feel icky.

During the following live stream, the lead trainer spoke about my question in a mocking tone (Thankfully, he did not name me personally.) Only three people knew he was talking about me. He and his assistant, and me. That’s it. Still, it stung.

This was a very minor occurrence, I know. Nevertheless, as he was speaking, I could feel my adrenaline starting to flow. My face probably got red. I was thinking, ‘What the heck?!’ Real nice, dude. Not only did he misquote me, he called me ridiculous in front of thousands of people.

At that moment, there wasn’t much I could do. It felt crappy. I texted his assistant, and she tried to smooth my ruffled feathers. She was very sincere.

Bottom line; I got over it. But it got me thinking about what happens when things don’t go your way. How do you deal? I went on Facebook and did a livestream where I talked about it. At one point during the livestream I heard myself saying that I would share some tips about how to deal with negative emotions.

Then, I had to write them! So, these are the ones I came up with. I hope there’s something in the list that is helpful to you.


Develop an attitude of gratitude

Even when things are really difficult and stressful, it’s always possible to step back, check your situation and find something for which to be grateful. What that is will depend on you. A simple example could be something we often take for granted like being thankful for your lungs and air to breathe. Looking on the bright side and making it a habit can truly start to bring good things your way.

Journaling can be an effective way of unburdening yourself. Unloading some of your thoughts on paper can help keep you from ruminating. There’s even something people call a gratitude journal, so you might kill two birds with one stone. Hey, it’s an expression! So please, no angry comments in defense of the birdies.

Do something that makes you laugh

Humor can help dispel unhappy or angry feelings. Maybe it’s only temporary, but the physical effects of laughter are well known to be good for you, too. Best if your yucks don’t cause hurt for anyone else. Enough said there.

Deep breathing and mindfulness techniques

I’ve heard of a technique called circular breathing and there’s another called alternate nostril breathing.1 Slowing down and deepening your breath can have a profoundly positive affect on your overall well-being, Studies have shown deep breathing can even have specific benefits like lower blood pressure. It starts with something as simple as helping your body to get more oxygen.

Look for mindfulness techniques online or in books, or even seek out a meditation trainer if you can afford it. I took martial arts and yoga and both of these disciplines have great aspects for focusing your breathing and quieting your mind.

Talk Therapy or Call Helpline 

Unfortunately, in some circles, this method of stress relief still has some stigma attached. Despite this, it’s still a great route to take if you decide it’s warranted, even if it’s only short term.

This is a bit of a tangent, but I recently watched a TV show called After Life. The main character, a widower, spent time talking to a therapist. The therapist was portrayed as a real putz! (If you don’t know, putz is a Yiddish word which, though it occasionally has a more vulgar usage, basically translates as fool.)

Towards the end of the series, the main character, played by Ricky Gervais, spent his final session calling the therapist a laundry list of insulting words to his face. It gave the Gervais character personal satisfaction to do that.

The portrayal of the therapist and the interactions with Rick Gervais’ character seemed to imply that the whole talk therapy method was ridiculous. 

I found it worrisome because, sure, there are crappy therapists out there. And though there are plenty of people who can navigate their own difficult emotions, there are many who are suffering with true mental illness and may need a professional’s help.

The show was entertaining; it was funny and touching at times. I’m not sure what the show’s message was about therapy, or if the writers even intended to make a statement about it. 

However, the message seemed to be that if one is depressed and suicidal, you should just muddle through. Go ahead and act out! Treat people badly, until, eventually, you come to the realization of your own bad behavior all by yourself, and then you stop.

Sorry, but NO. In my opinion, this is not a good plan for most of us, especially in such a serious state. It’s also not a good plan for the people around us who don’t deserve bad treatment and who only want us to feel better.

We might not get what we truly need by talking with a good friend or some similar method. There are myriad professionals in the field who can help. 

If you’re feeling tempted to harm yourself or anyone else, I urge you to reach out to someone trained to help prevent that from happening. One of the fastest and best ways to be put in touch with a professional therapist is by calling a mental health or suicide prevention hotline.2, 3

Get some fresh air and exercise 

My friend Julia and I goofing around at tap class

Exercise is a great way to get out of your own head. A simple 10-15 minute walk around the neighborhood can work wonders! Hopefully, you live in a safe area, and you will be conscious of your surroundings. Even better, see if there is a friend that will meet up with you for your walk.

There are meet-up groups devoted to hiking and bicycling and all sorts of other activities. If working out feels like work to you (no pun intended…it does to me sometimes) choose an activity instead. I recently started taking adult beginner tap dance lessons. Find somewhere to go dancing and shake it off!

If you can’t get outside, there are scads of YouTube exercise videos that could help get your heart rate up and your endorphins flowing.

Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep

Sleep is one of the most powerful wellness activities you can engage in to help yourself be well. If we don’t get enough, all kinds of bad things can happen. Lack of sleep can even help keep weight on you that you’d likely be better off releasing. As I write this, it’s past my preferred bedtime and I should be sleeping. Ironic, isn’t it? I never said I was perfect.

Make use of nutritional and herbal support 4

There are some nutrients and herbal supplements that have been very well studied and can help with mild symptoms of depression, memory challenges or focus. Here are some of my favorite go-to natural mental health support supplements.


When it comes to essential nutritional support for health, it doesn’t really get more essential than probiotics. These friendly microflora are a much needed addition to our diet, however it isn’t likely we could ever get enough of the good bugs in our gut simply by eating yogurt and kimchi.

When it comes to the effectiveness of supplemental probiotics, you’ll want to look for one that has well studied strains, is shelf stable and has a delivery method that will guarantee delivery to the lower intestine where the little buggers can go to work. I have fallen in love with the ones I use! They not only improve digestive health, but mental wellness and immunity, too.

Omega 3 oil

Fish oil has been studied for decades and the benefits are well known. Besides being beneficial for heart health, omega-3s are great for our brains. Think about it: our brains are made up of 60% fat, so even the simple fact that it is a like substance makes sense. 

Fish oil is the most common source of these healthy fats, but they can be obtained from vegetarian sources such as flax seed, chia seeds, algae or walnuts. Those may not contain the full spectrum (DHA & EPA) but they are still beneficial.

It can even be difficult to get enough omega 3s from eating fish, especially if you have concerns about the potential contamination. I take an ultra-pure high quality fish oil supplement on a daily basis, and I even give some to my doggy. When I remember, I take more. It’s good for joint mobility, too.

B complex vitamins

The B vitamin family is one of the most thoroughly studied groups of vitamins. Everyone has heard of B12 for energy, and some even go out and get injections of the stuff. I did it way back in the day, and frankly that didn’t do much for me.

Since then, I’ve discovered that the Bs are better together. I have my preferred brand and I take my B complex daily.


This ancient herb comes out of the Ayurvedic tradition of alternative medicine from India. If you believe what you read on the internet, ashwagandha is going to do everything from fixing male virility issues to lowering cholesterol to curing cancer! I can’t vouch for the validity of those claims.

The effect I’m particularly interested in is ashwagandha’s ability to help reduce stress and anxiety. And it may give kids and elderly adults a memory boost. That I could use!


Guarana extract can help with focus, memory, attention and mood. When combined with some B vitamins, this can be very effective. You’ll want to watch out for guarana supplements that don’t really have the standardized extract of the Amazonian plant, but are basically full of caffeine. I’m not demonizing caffeine; it has its own helpful and healthful properties. It’s just not guarana.

St. John’s Wort

Most people have heard of St. John’s Wort and the tradition of using the herb to help improve mood. It can be helpful when used consistently, but it should never be used in conjunction with pharmaceutical drugs you may have been prescribed.

Ginkgo Biloba 

This is another well known, ancient traditional remedy5 coming from the leaf of one of the oldest living tree species with origins in Japan and China. Ginkgo has been shown to be effective in reducing depressive symptoms. It’s also been used traditionally to treat ringing in the ears. What?! 😉

You’ll find many more articles and videos on these and other wellness topics in my wellness center a.k.a. Your Wellness Project. If you like, I invite you to create an account and I’ll send you a weekly email with more great info. You can sign up here at bit.ly/maura-wellness

I appreciate you taking the time to read my post.




I’m not a doctor, nor a certified health coach. I don’t even play one on TV. That said, I have learned that you don’t have to be an expert in this stuff to gain some benefits.

  1. Alternate Nostril Breathing 101: https://www.doyouyoga.com/a-basic-intro-to-alternate-nostril-breathing/
  2. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has some great resources here: https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/NAMI-HelpLine/Top-HelpLine-Resources
  3. This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page has some good tips for parents, teens and school personnel. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/copingwith-stresstips.html
  4. Pregnant or nursing moms should always consult with their doctor before using herbal supplements.
  5. I always use the term ‘remedy’ loosely, and I will never claim that my suggestions are tantamount to a cure. I talk about what has helped me or others. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. My comments are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you believe you may be seriously ill, especially if you are having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of doing harm to others, please see a medical professional or go to a hospital emergency room.

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