There’s a movement underway in Ottawa. If you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s worth getting on board with. Something fundamental to your every day life, your health, your relationship with yourself and with others and with the planet!
It’s about your happiness!
Three Ottawa-based women want to help cultivate it through a new project called HappinessHabits613. It’s based on the premise that it takes 21 days to form a habit, and that living a happy life is a habit that can be cultivated through gratitude and intentions. The initiative is lead by Amy Longard, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and plant-based chef; Manal Nemr, a certified life coach; and yogi Kate Durie.
“Happiness is contagious,” says Amy. “Together, as a community, we can realign our actions with our values. Because taking action with support and community is so much more powerful. HappinessHabits613 is about acting with intention together every single day.”
If you want to connect to this movement, there are a few things you need to do:
First, sign up for a free account to track activity at TOVIFIT (Special code is HH613). The site has activities and tips as well as a calendar of events throughout the month of August. For example, there’s a goal setting workshop, a picnic, and a juice happy hour, among other activities.
Second, learn and practice the foundational principles of HappinessHabits613. The three ladies have come up with these fantastic guidelines.
1. Gratitude: Write down three things you are grateful for a day. Apparently our brains have a negative bias, and a gratitude practice overtime turns negative thoughts into positive ones.
2. Meaningful experiences/purpose: Write down your meaningful experiences, which will help you identify what makes you feel enthusiastic and help you see where there’s flow in your life.
3. Meditation/Mindfulness: Did you know that practising meditation can change the pathways of the brain and increase kindness and happiness? Focusing on the present moment can reduce stress, depression and anxiety. It also increases self-awareness and emotional intelligence to cope with challenges and negative thoughts.
4. Movement: Find exercise that you like to do every day. Expounding the benefits of exercise is nothing new — its effects on mental health and wellness are well-documented.
5. Nutrition: Foods help heal the body. They impact moods and they help us achieve balanced energy levels and mental clarity, which are foundations for a happy life.
6. Altruism: Together, as a community, we can realign our actions with our values. Giving back releases endorphins and helps cultivate our sense of purpose and connection to community.
7. Simplifying: Bring awareness to your environment and the things you already have in your life. Your physical belongings, your relationships, your mind/body, home, your job, people, pets, food, etc. Owning ‘stuff’ can become a burden, and your physical space can impact how you process information and your feelings. The lighter the space, the lighter the mind.
8. Connection to Nature: It is scientifically proven that simply looking at a tree can positively shift your mood. A connection to nature, or simply spending time outside, can enhance your productivity, creativity and mood.
9. Social Investment/Connection: Spend time with family and friends and connect with others, those you know, and those you don’t know (yet). Find your tribe by intentionally cultivating meaningful experiences! While our society praises individualism, we are social beings and connecting with others can have a profound effect on our mental and physical health and even help us live longer!