Saturday, March 15, 2014

the happiness project: january (part 1 of 2)

I'm sure I've mentioned a bajillion times already how much of an OC freak I am. But if you haven't digested that fact yet, I am telling you again --! Got that now? It's not clinical though, so nothing to worry about.

Why am I telling you this? Because The Happiness Project's focus for the month of January is Boost Energy and of course, organization is a vital part of it. Ang galing talaga nitong si mareng Gretchen eh, alam na alam kung paano ako mahu-hook. And yes, feeling ko sinulat nya 'to para sa 'kin. Haha! Ang kapal ko.

Sige na nga, let's get a little serious. According to the book, research shows that having more energy makes it easier for a person to engage in activities. In return those activities, say socializing or exercise, boost happiness. On the other hand, when a person is constantly feeling tired, everything seems to be overwhelming. Sobrang nakakatamad bumangon, much more prepare for work or for school {hello, baby girl!}. In my case, a bum for more than a year already, it's so dragging to help with household chores, edit photos & blog, or go out with friends. Lahat yan mahirap, all because you're not energetic! And if you're still not convinced that being energetic is important consider this: feeling energetic rises self-esteem. Ohh, gusto nyo 'yun dba? So were settled, the first step to genuine and overflowing happiness is to be energetic.

She tackled both physical and mental aspects. Physical: sleep and enough exercise. Mental: tackle apartment & office and clear metaphorical clutter {crossing off tasks from your to-do list}. Lastly, she added "act the way I want to feel." You'll find out more about it as we continue.


You still with me? Yes, yes?? Good! This one's simple, go to sleep early and have enough of it.  The book didn't exactly say how many hours of sleep a person needs but I've been reading it's 7 to 9 hours for adults. {Update 03.30.2014 My bad. She mentioned somewhere, it's 7 to 8 pala.} Going back, study revealed that along with tight work deadlines {eww}, a bad night's sleep was one of the top two factors that upset daily mood. So dapat pala, magbiro ka na sa lasing wag lang sa puyat. Acheche! Hehehe! Lame, noh? One more point, although people adjust to feeling sleepy, sleep deprivation impairs memory, weakens the immune system, slows metabolism and might foster weight gain. So even if we're okay with 5 to 6 hours of sleep, still, it silently damages us. We may not feel the consequences instantly but in the long run, we will.

Of course, it isn't fair to tell you that you need to sleep early and not share Gretchen's tips on how you can do so. Brace yourselves. (1) Get ready for bed BEFORE bedtime. We all have to agree with this one: It's the prebed work that makes us prefer staying up over sleeping. Aminin natin, when we're too tired, we tend to procrastinate on our night rituals -- taking out contact lenses, freeing our face from makeup, brushing our teeth and taking a shower. So if we do all these earlier than our actual bedtime, nothing can delay us from jumping right into our beds. (2) Near your bedtime, don't do any work that requires alert thinking. (3) Keep your bedroom slightly chilly. (4) Do a few prebed stretches. (5) Keep your light low around bedtime and make sure your room is very dark when the lights are out. But to be honest, I didn't give this part much attention because I never had a problem sleeping. I can sleep whenever, wherever I want to. My family and friends can attest to that. Ha! Take that insomniacs! ✌

Okaaay, I was kidding. :) Here are more tips for when you wake up in the middle of the night. (1) Breathe deeply and slowly until you couldn't stand it anymore. (2) When your mind is swamped with things to do,write everything down. It will give a clearer picture of how much you really have on your plate and how you can accomplish them the next day. (3) Pretend as if you have to wake up in a few minutes. You'll end up savoring your last few tick tocks before your morning rituals.

Once you're able to improve your sleeping habits, you'll notice that (1) You're more energetic and cheerful. (2) You won't have the urge to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon. (3) Getting out of bed is no longer a torture and you wake up early naturally. Personally, whenever I wake up early and given I made the most out of the morning {you know, accomplished lotsa things} I become lighthearted. Yung tipong parang walang problema ang mundo at nakamtam na natin ang world peace. Hehehe! Please tell me you get the feeling I was trying to get across.


I bet we all know that the better half of sleep is exercise. Believe it or not, regular exercise boosts energy, especially in sedentary people. Whutt people?? Sedentary people, or in layman's term, couch potatoes. Bato, bato sa langit! Arayy, natamaan ako. Hahaha! :P Just by exercising twenty minutes a day three days a week for six weeks, persistently tired people boosted their energy. So I've decided, starting on Monday, I'll go back to working out regularly. The thing is, I can get too obsessed with working out {aero kae bo or zumba, whatever I feel like doing} to the point I'll tire myself everyday, or I won't completely. There's nothing in between. Now I have to have the discipline to follow what's recommended. Wish me luck?

Again, I highlighted {as in literally} a couple of lines that made an impact to me. Walking; the repetitive activity of walking, studies show, triggers the body's relaxation response and so helps reduce stress. Even a quick ten-minute walk provides an immediate energy boost and improves mood. Unfortunately, from where I live now, there's no convenient place where I can walk or jog. And right now, I am judging myself as to why I never used the treadmill in my then condo. Ugh!! Must live in Eastwood again when I get back to work. Hehe, saying that as if sa Eastwood lang may treadmill. :P

Strength training; lifting weights increases muscle mass, strengthens bones, firms the core, and improves shape. People who work out with weights maintain more muscle and gain less fat as they age. My sister already told me about that last line -- the more muscles you have in a particular part of your body, the more difficult for that part to get fat. It was a kaya pala moment. That explains why everytime I get fat, it is more evident in my tummy. While I never had abs, my arms on the other hand are more 'toned'. I have these muscles in my biceps and I don't even have an idea where they came from. Hehehe! Now I'm seriously considering borrowing mommy's ab rocket. Hmm. Let's see.

Lastly, the importance of light, err, sunlight. Light deprivation is one reason that people feel tired. Even five minutes of daylight stimulates production of serotonin and dopamine, brain chemicals that improve mood. Kaya naman from now on, I'll see it to that I get enough sunlight and Vitamin D.Wait guyss, magpapaaraw lang ako. Haha! ✌

to be continued..


Shayne ♥ said...

huhu i want to sleep early! but #2 talaga is really hard for me. for some reason my brain is most active at night time =\

Melgie Campbell said...

I work late all the time so sleeping early is not option but ill make bawi nalng by sleeping in during the day. Im following you back via instagram. Thanks!

Glamour ZONE said...

great post dear,should also try sleeping early because my sleeping habits are worse.I sleep at around 3am just surfing and wake up at around 10am.
Have a great sunday
keep intouch

Apple Borbon said...

@shayne. i used to think too that my brain is at its best during the wee hours of the morning, turned out, parehas din pala if I wake up really early. sanayan lang siguro, sis! :)

@melgie. thank you! :)

@glamour zone. used to be like that too! all of a sudden i realized it's high time to take care of my health. you might wanna consider gretchen's tips. :)

SunnyToast said...

sleeping i wish I can do it but I'm all awake the whole nite sleeping for me in any other time of the day is a luxury and if its more than 8 hours:) hahahaha