We cannot control everything in life; however, I genuinely believe we can do little things as human beings and dancers to live happier and satisfied with ourselves.
These little things you can change, like rituals, can completely transform your life if you repeat them consistently.
Be your best friend and apply these simple tips to live a happier life today.
1. I am choosing happiness
It is as simple as that. There is no secret to being happy; you must want it, invite pure joy into your life every day. As I said earlier, we cannot control certain things, such as death, disease, how people react, or the weather; nevertheless, we can control how we respond to things.
Choose to be happy by seeing the bright side in any situation. Always remain positive, and you will see the blessings before you.
Decide to be happy in the life you have, make up your own rules and do what you love, meet with people you cherish the most, appreciate your family, your friends, and all those little things that make life so precious. Live with a big L by choosing to be happy as much as you can; this is the most crucial decision in your life.
People seriously underestimate the benefits of a restful night. Everyone needs nice beauty sleep, and trust me; it is not only about looking good here. You feel energised, strong, and so positive. Good sleep permit your muscles to recover faster after long days in rehearsal, teaching, or shows. It is also great for your skin, hair and it is essential to boost your metabolism.
I had sleep deprivation a few times in my life due to late nights at work and early training afterwards, and it quickly escalated. Dancers are athletes, and a lack of sleep can also have harmful consequences to your body and cause serious injuries. Did you know that it also affects your weight? If it continues, lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to severe medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), and diabetes.
And finally, it changes you. You are just in a terrible mood when you are tired! You become impatient, agitated, and quite grumpy.
Take your sleep very seriously.
By the way, it is nearly midnight here, and I should go to bed.
3. Eat Whole Foods
Easy to say, I know how difficult it can be, but it is possible.
I am so passionate about this topic, and to fully understand it, you must read about how I transformed my life with the proper diet, based on eating predominantly food from our dear Mother Earth:
Have you heard the quote: We are what we eat, or your body is a temple? I cannot agree more with that! Eating well will allow you to stay in good shape, and paired with regular physical activities, you will also be more competitive at an audition. You will also deliver way better performances, and therefore you will be more successful in your career. That's a fact. It is more profound than that though, most importantly, it's about how you feel!
Acquire the right mindset to do what is right for you; eating healthy will significantly contribute to that.
Consuming unhealthy food impact your mood and productivity in many ways; people don't realise that it creates dissatisfaction; it indeed does.
Stick to this simple tip; eat whole food! Avoid processed meals and refined sugar as much as you can.
4. Fresh Air And Sunshine
Oh, I just love that: Sunbathing, a nice walk in the forest, a day at the lake or the mountain.
There is nothing better than being one with nature.
I remember that winter; I felt so sad and tired, and I couldn't understand why until I spoke about it to my doctor. It was a hectic period, and I was spending entire days in the studio, always indoors. It wasn't difficult for my Dr to know where the issue was; I lacked vitamin D, I was in depression, and I didn't know it! It had never happened to me before.
Depression can happen in many forms; it was back when I was still eating lots of refined sugar, and it's undoubtedly one of the reasons.
So the diagnosis established I had just started to take Vitamins and Zinc, and I stayed in the sun for at least 10 mins every day; I stopped spending my days indoors and enjoyed the nature around me more. I quickly felt much better. I didn't expect that, but we underestimate the benefits of nature on us; we need sunlight at least 10 mins a day; even if it's cloudy, you can still feel the effect of the sun on your skin.
These past years I have been enjoying nature more, and I never felt happier and healthier in my entire life. The benefits are enormous on your body but also your mind.
So, to stay happy, don't forget to enjoy a great walk in the park and get your daily exposure to the sun to feel the benefits instantly!
Even better, dance and nature! Find a great spot and create your next choreography under the sun, the best pairing you can get!
5. Be Kind And Share
Be nice to people, and most of the time, they will be nice to you. Be positive, smile, send good vibes around you to attract positivity and joy! I believe in Karma, I tested it many times in my life, and it does work that way. Be incorrect, mistreat someone, do bad things to people, a way or another; it comes back at you! I always wanted to succeed, and I have this golden rule:
I do not harm others on my journey to get what I want.
No one is perfect, and sometimes we can hurt people without knowing it. I certainly did; as most of us, the key is not doing bad stuff intentionally, simply staying away from such behaviour; it is paramount in our small industry because everyone knows each other!
Be kind to live in a kind world.
The pleasure of giving and sharing what you have is one of the most satisfying things you can do. Sharing gives people joy and happiness. Witnessing these moments gives you pure pleasure; making someone else happy can only make you happier.
Give when you can, support the people around you, even a simple gesture such as helping someone carry a heavy suitcase is a gift, the gift of kindness and it makes everyone happy including you.
What about the small shop around the corner? Every time you buy from them you are also giving joy this way. Choose where you spend your money; if you can support your community and give satisfaction around you, why not? It's more blessings for you. Be constantly grateful to be able to spend and even more if it's on a loved one.
The essence of dance is a gift. Do you take the time to watch people in the eyes sometimes when you perform? Did you notice the sparkles in their eyes? You are giving the gift of dance every day.
If you are a teacher, each correction, compliment, or encouraging words are also a gift and highly valued by those who receive them.
Does your friend have a lovely new haircut? Compliment them about it. Has someone been working out a lot and transformed their body? Acknowledge that and compliment them too!
These are gifts! You share your joy, your appreciation, you make them happy, and it makes you happy too! As simple as that.
Find your way to give back sometimes, anything, there are no rules, and it doesn't need to be money.
A gift comes in many forms.
6. Regular Physical Activity
Having a simple workout from time to time is very healthy and brings a lot of happiness to your life. I do not feel the same after an excellent workout at the gym. I cannot compare it with dance; it is different. It's like I sculpted my own body!
This simple act of working out is a beautiful feeling of satisfaction, I genuinely love it, and it makes me feel complete as a dancer.
Working with each part of your physique, every single muscle, and see the change in the mirror is as satisfying as seeing your leg getting higher in a developpe!
Lifting weight regularly is a very healthy habit to have, and it also prepares your body for the resistance and strength required in our regular dance training.
HIIT training is perfect for focusing on weight loss and maintaining a summer body all year long if you prefer intense and short workouts! I do HIIT training regularly, and It is an invaluable plus, in my opinion.
Staying in shape because you are working out is the ultimate feeling of appreciation you can have.
Your body is like a blank piece of paper; you are painting on it every day, adding different colors and patterns, targeting specific areas, and one day you are amazed by the creation you have made! You did it yourself, you put some precious time into it, and it's finally paying off.
What's the result: HAPPINESS! It makes you happy, and this is priceless.
If you are sad about the way you look or feel constantly tired, perhaps add a few workouts into your weekly routine; trust me, you will see the benefits quickly, physically, and mentally!
It seems pretty obvious, but we sometimes forget why we started our dance journey in the first place.
We love dancing! We love the feeling of freedom and joy in our hearts every time we dance; this feeling amplifies when performing on a stage. Lucky you if you can dance! Lucky you if you can perform regularly and live off your passion!
It is a precious present that you must cherish every day.
For a dancer, not expressing themselves is an absolute nightmare so if you can don't forget to do just that!
Do you still have butterflies in the stomach every time you are about to perform? Are you still enjoying it? Ask yourself all these questions; a dancer will not need much to be happy as long as you keep dancing.
If you are a dance teacher, this applies to you too! It would help if you found a way to dance for yourself sometimes.
Or do like this great teacher I know:
Sometimes, at the end of a long teaching day, she found a studio just for herself to dance for a few minutes, which is an excellent idea! Therefore dance is still making her happy. Sometimes going back to the essential in complete simplicity is the best remedy you can find.
Dance in your class, take classes regularly. Today, you can even do that online from anywhere you may be. Distance is no longer an issue.
That is why we provide our Horton and Graham videos at M-Intensive University; it is all about dance in the end!
Do you believe in something? In God? If you pray, this is already a form of meditation! As I pray regularly, the transition was easy for me, and I sincerely recommend any form of meditation to anyone.
I need it. Every morning, I get up early while everyone else is still asleep, and I meditate peacefully. I also love a good meditation in the middle of nature. I go to the park and find a nice spot, choose one in plain sight though to remain safe; you can easily find a big garden and many empty areas right in the middle; therefore you are on your own, but people can still see you, you are safe. On holiday I go to the beach very early in the morning, and I meditate right in front of the sea, and it is so amazing!
If you are not keen to do it outdoors, you can do it at home as I regularly do, I have a fantastic playlist for meditation on YouTube, and I meditate for at least 10 mins. If you are too busy in the morning, you can also do it in the evening, right after your shower. I am more a morning person, but if I have to do it in the evening, I do it in my bedroom on my bed, and it works wonderfully.
Meditation will give you the right mindset to achieve anything; you are giving some nice rest to your brain, it is like a gentle workout for the mind, and it allows you to use it at its full potential. You can also visualise, focus on your goals, and feel how it feels to live the life you dream of for 10 or 15 minutes. Meditation is another path to real happiness.
Are you too busy to meditate for 10 mins? Well, as I heard once:
"If you can't find 10 mins for yourself in a day, you have no life!"
Think about it.
9. Take Care Of Your Appearance
I won't be long with that one. If you want to feel happy, treat yourself the best you can.
Moisturize daily, dress well, get a nice haircut, wear your favourite clothes, wear perfume, do whatever it takes TO FEEL GOOD. That's the key! To feel good in your shoes, feel satisfied with how you present yourself to the world.
It is not about pleasing others. It is about pleasing you!
Learn to love yourself, to appreciate a little something you have. It could be your hair, legs, eyes, or arms; whatever it is, I want you to find it. Be satisfied with one thing, the one thing you love about yourself, and work around it.
Every time you go to an audition or even take a class, make sure to look the part because we never know who's coming that day; who knows? You might bump into this famous director! Be always ready to make an excellent first impression.
In the end, beauty is very subjective; you do not need people's approval; you are just boosting your confidence by doing so.
Feel Beautiful, Look Beautiful, Celebrate Yourself Every Day!
10. Find Your Purpose?
To be happy, you need to put the time into it. It is like a workout, you got to do it in the morning, and it's off your to-do list. I am fortunate that I found my purpose quite early in my journey, I knew that dance would be my everything, and it truly opened the doors to many opportunities in my life.
You don't need to search for it though, most of the time it will come on its own, there are big chances if you are reading these words that dance is your way of life too and I am so happy for you if that's the case. What I mean by finding your purpose is defining what touches you deep in your heart, what will make you wake up every day hopeful, full of energy, and positive.
That is one of the most excellent ways to help yourself because there is nothing worse than waking up and doing something we sincerely hate every day. Some people keep making the same mistakes over and over again until it kills their spirits ultimately. Staying in a job you hate is entirely down to you. You can make anything happen in your life.
Do not listen up too much to friends or family; sometimes, people mean well by telling you that you can't do that or this; it is their fears of failure, and you can't let their fears dictate your life.
Once you find your purpose, you will know it.
You will feel it under your skin, deep in your heart.
11. Write Down Your Goals
There is no better way to keep track of your progress than writing them all down. By doing so regularly, you send a strong subliminal message to your brain and your deepest desire to succeed in the Universe. Do you believe in the law of attraction? If you are not aware of such a thing, you should read my previous article and who knows? You might already be using the law of attraction without knowing it! Once you have written down your goal, I will highly suggest you hang the piece of paper somewhere in your house; it might be in the kitchen, by your bed, or in your living room; make sure to see it every day.
Being reminded of your own goals daily will stimulate you so much; it is a natural source of inspiration and motivation. Every time you achieve a plan, make sure to take it off the list to see your progression, which is so motivating!
One day a friend told me:
"Why are you not using your computer to make your list?"
Because it is not the same thing, writing every word on your piece of paper is like writing these words in your subconscious; you are absorbing your goals, triggering many emotions, setting them in stone, and making them more effective.
It could be anything: You want a role in this new show, you want to travel the world while performing on a beautiful cruise ship, or perhaps you want to teach in this great school!
Give it a go, and start writing down your goals and see how you will take action into building your dreams.
If you want to learn more about the law of attraction, add this article to your to-do list and read it when you have a minute: How to stay motivated? The Art of Visualization!
12. Managing Your Money
Oh my, that one is quite interesting to me, and I am not going to lie, I was quite terrible with my money when I was younger. I have made many mistakes along the way. I did earn my life quite regularly, always working and busy; I sincerely can't complain. However, I was in a horrible cycle:
Earning + Spending + Spending = No savings
I genuinely lived too long that way, far too long until enlightenment!
I had enough of living paycheck to paycheck, and one day I decided to make something about it. The biggest problem wasn't earning as I was ok with that; I couldn't cope with the following part; I simply wasn't reasonable. It wasn't my fault though, how can you deal with money if you have received no education about it?!
Did you realise that we learned nothing about managing our finances at school? Nothing!
My parents always worked hard, and I guess they didn't learn about it themselves, so they never really talked to me about managing my finances. It wasn't their fault either; they did the best they knew. Telling your kids: "Get a job and work hard" isn't enough; you must learn about money the same way you've learned technique during your dance training.
So, that's what I did. I educated myself about finances, about everything I could for two years. I read so many books on the topic, watched many tutorials on YouTube, read blogs, and I lived in a "Managing your money for dummies" bubble for years. We live in a world where you can learn anything on the internet, A-NY-THING! Isn't that amazing? So I read, and read again and again, and here are my precious tips to be better with your finances:
If you are making money, well done! That is a significant first step.
We all need to pay our bills and eat, so your ability to earn is important.
Once you've got your money, do not spend it straight away; stay calm and take a big breath. I know this feeling of seeing your hard-earned money in your account at the beginning of the month; you want to celebrate that! You want to spend it, to have fun! Take a big breath indeed and first make a budget.
You live without a budget if you do not know how much you spend to maintain your monthly lifestyle.
That is your first mistake. You must know how much your life costs:
Rent, bills, entertainment, public transport, car, etc. Take a pen and a piece of paper and write it all down; it's the best way to start living a healthier financial life. We can pause here if you wish, get a paper, and do it. It takes just a few minutes.
Now you know the cost of your life each month, and according to how much you earn, you can start making a budget.
Next, I will ask you to put aside some money, ideally 10% of your earnings. Here is another tip that works: Save at the beginning of the month, before you even pay your bills. Before paying anyone else: Pay yourself! If you can't put 10% aside it's ok, try 5% or even less, the key is to find the right amount, it shouldn't be a burden, you shouldn't miss it, set aside something you won't spend so don't be too greedy the first time, make it works for you.
If you are a dancer or a dance teacher working as a freelancer, you might probably earn money across the entire month and apply the same rule every time you get paid. Set aside 5 to 20 % at all times, and your savings will grow in no time!
Once you have set aside your money, pay your bills. Another tip is to pay your bills on the same day if it's possible. If you have a few direct debits in place, make sure to put them all on the same date; therefore, you can pay it all at the same time, and you are good to go for the rest of the month.
So, you have some savings aside, you have paid your bills, and you have a budget to spend on your food for the entire month. If you live in a big city you perhaps need to allocate a certain amount to use the public transport, or you drive, either way, make sure to cover that.
Now you know how much you have left for entertainment and do not live above your means.
Some people will hate that idea, they will tell you: "This is not life" and blah blah blah, well, neither living above your means! Do not listen to them because I lived an extended part of my life this way, and unless you inherit money or are born in a wealthy family, you must work to make money as no one will do it for you.
It is all about balance. You can have fun, travel, live life to the fullest and still be reasonable and save money for your future regularly. There is nothing wrong with that.
Avoid being broke; it just ruins your energy, you are upset, you can't stop thinking about it, you live in fear, and you can't live this way forever.
If you are blessed with regular work but have no savings and end up with 0 in your bank account every end of the month, you have problems with money.
Apply my tips and start educating yourself about managing your finances.
I can't do it for you; no one can, like eating healthy. That's a road you decide to take on your own. You must put the first stone on the wall, and then you will find lots of help along the way.
There are millions of resources available to you in the world, so go for it.
Money won't make you happy; that is the truth. However, not worrying about it every day will make you a happier person.
Forgiveness. I admit that it is not always easy to forgive. Sometimes it is even safer to keep certain people out of your life for your good. However, you can still forgive in your heart then move on. Forgiveness will keep you at peace; holding to anger is never really healthy, and it can affect you way more than you think; it is like a stain in your heart, and you do not want it to get bigger. You want to get rid of it.
People will hurt you in life, they certainly did, and as I said before, I don't recommend you to keep them in your life if their actions threaten your well-being dangerously. Remember to protect your light. It is all about finding the right balance and how you can forgive in your heart. Forgiveness can bring wonderful people back onto your journey; it could be a close friend you haven't seen for years for a silly reason or a family member you deeply loved. It can truly bring you peace and joy in the end.
If you are in this situation and you are missing someone so bad, don't lose the opportunity to reconnect; let it go, get rid of fears or your ego, and forget about it. Reach out; there is nothing wrong with being the first. On the contrary, it is healthy.
Do you need to forgive someone? Do you need to forgive a friend or a family member? It is easier than you think; reach out, there is nothing to lose, at least you have tried, and this simple gesture could give you that peace of mind you need.
14. Are You Upset? Clean Up!
Funny right? It works. Your life is full of rituals, and cleaning up has a deeper meaning than you think. I am human, and like everybody else, I get upset sometimes. My first reaction: I do the dishes! I feel so much better afterwards. I have been doing that for long years until I put words on this phenomenon; it is my "banishing ritual." I am upset, and it's uncomfortable to feel like that; therefore, I search for an escape, and the first thing I do if I am home when it happens, I clean up!
By cleaning up, you are cleansing the atmosphere in your place. You are getting rid of all the negative energies around you, especially the bad vibes you have accumulated after an argument or after getting bad news, it is a great cure, and I genuinely encourage you to give it a go.
So, instead of arguing, even more, emptying the fridge, or getting drunk, which can aggravate the situation, grab the broom and clean up!
Are you still here? Excellent, I have a nice bonus for you.
15. The 1 min rule
The rule is simple: If you can finish a task in one minute or less, it should be done straight away, like washing a dish, answering an email, sending an invoice after a great show, or picking up a few things on the floor. I use this rule every single day, and it's so productive.
Avoid procrastination and get things done; that will also make you happier!
Live a happy, healthy, and dancy life.
I hope these tips were helpful and that my list of steps will get you closer to happiness.
In the end, there are no secret recipes to be happy, and it doesn't cost anything; it is simply a question of point of view. Some will need lots of things to be satisfied, material possessions, the last tech, or some will find joy in a beautiful romance, while others will be content to live off their passion because they have followed their childhood dream. It is entirely up to you.
There is no right or wrong in here. Do what is right to make YOU happy.
If you read this article, it is probably because you genuinely want to be happier; isn't that the first step?
Thank You For Reading; please Share With Your Friends And Family!
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