Our last "get happy" post covered ways to get happier instantly. It was filled with tips you can use right now. This post covers three ways to get happier in the long run -- ways to become a happier and healthier person. If you're feeling a little down thanks to your work, or anything else, read on for some fresh ideas.
Because a happy lawyer is a better lawyer.
Get In Shape -- It's Easier Than You Think
Okay, advising you getting in shape isn't that fresh. You hear it all the time, but here's your fresh motivation: exercise eases symptoms of depression and anxiety. Higher aerobic fitness is associated with less anger, depression and pain.
The problem is that when you're feeling down, exercise can be the last thing you want to do. Luckily, getting in shape doesn't have to be as hard as you think. Just walking at an light pace for fifteen minutes a day will have fitness benefits. An easy way to fit that in is to get a treadmill desk. If you want to read for work while you exercise, a recumbent bike might be just the thing.
Or get out and walk, even if it's just for one minute a day. Once you start doing it, it'll easily become a habit and you'll find yourself walking more and more.
Get Off Drugs -- Including Alcohol, Pot and Caffeine
Alcohol, pot and caffeine might seem like pick-me-ups, but they can turn into put-me-downs.
Sometimes people turn to alcohol to drown their sorrows (or just relax), but there is a strong link between depression and serious alcohol use. The stereotypical stoner is mellow, but studies show a link between using cannabis every day and violent behavior. And a violent person is not a happy person. Even our beloved caffeine is linked to depression in some individuals, possibly because caffeine can disrupt healthful sleep patterns.
If you need to relax, try getting a massage as an alternative. In place of caffeine, try a brisk walk out in the sun.
Get Rid of Junk Food -- Including "Healthy Grains"
You know junk food is bad for you, but did you know that whole foods like fruits and vegetables have been proven to promote good moods? And preparing them doesn't need to be a hassle. There are plenty of places that will deliver healthy foods to your door. If you're willing to spend the money on yourself, people happy to help.
When you think of whole foods, though, don't think whole grains. Grains are wonderful, life-giving foods that do a great job of keeping populations alive. But they are survival food -- they pack a lot of calories in a small space, they are cheap and they store well -- but they do not provide optimal nutrition. There is also some association between depression and gluten, a protein found in grains.
Are you ready to get happy?
Lawyers often have more time than money. We are driven and focused on our jobs and sometimes don't pay enough attention to our own emotional state. Hopefully these ideas will inspire you to do the things that will set the stage for long-term happiness.
Are you a happy lawyer? Do you have any ideas to share so you can help other lawyers? Please join the discussion on Facebook.