It’s hard to be happy when you’re not employing healthy habits in your life. It’s so easy to skip the healthy habits and focus on the urgent matters of day to day living. Yet, that choice has diminishing returns. Pushing yourself can create a down cycle which means you have to push harder and harder. This leads to burn out and potentially even illness.

When you are in a down cycle it’s difficult to be happy and engaged. Yet, happiness makes a big difference in your ability to connect with the people in your life. It affects your productivity. It impacts your ability to think clearly. To minimize the down cycles and maximize your happiness, optimism and mental energy, I recommend you take your MEDS. No… Not medication!! MEDS is an acronym for meditation, exercise, diet, and sleep.

Meditation

People who meditate every single day are more balanced and peaceful throughout their day. Meditation engages the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is where HGH is released into your body, which gives you all kinds of good feelings. It’s shown that people who meditate are more relaxed. They’re more peaceful, and when you’re relaxed and peaceful, it’s a lot easier to be happy. If you would like to download my free meditations featured in my book Quiet Mind Epic Life, please download here: MatthewFerry.com/Motives

Exercise

Exercise is known to release endorphins into your body, and dopamine, both of which make you feel incredible. They make you feel high, and people just want to feel high. They want to feel up and elevated. If you are having troubles getting your exercise on track, consider lowering the bar until it becomes a no brainer. For more inspiration, read my post on how I lowered the bar to create the habit of daily yoga here. At the time of this update, I’ve missed one day in the last 900.

Diet

You have to get your diet to the right place! When you have a poor diet, you keep knocking yourself into a degraded state. Too much sugar, for example, is going to cause you to go up for a moment, and then nosedive. Too much caffeine, too much fat, too much of anything, really, is what can cause problems, so finding that combination that works for you is going to be absolutely critical. There is no right or wrong way to eat. Don’t listen to anyone like they know the truth. Listen like they have suggestions for you to test. Keep testing to see what works for you.

Sleep

You need to figure out what your sleep cycle is. There’s a great app on the iPhone for tracking your sleep cycles and it helps you to understand what your sleep rhythms so that you can wake up refreshed. I’d recommend that you figure out what works for you. There is no right answer. I just completed an 18-month experiment pushing myself to sleep as long as I felt like sleeping. I averaged 9 or more hours a day. But sometimes I slept for 10 or even 11 hours. I didn’t realize how tired I was after pushing myself for 30 years to be a morning person. That said, I have concluded that I do best at about 8.5 hours a day with a wake up at 7am to start my morning routine. You might need to sleep nine and a half or ten hours to feel good. Maybe you only need six or seven. Rearrange life to be able to fit that kind of sleep in. Everybody’s different. You need to find out for yourself what it is, and then, you’ve got to stick to a regimen where you are getting the sleep that you need.

Take your MEDS daily: Meditation, exercise, diet, and sleep. This very simple set of disciplines will increase your energy, happiness, and optimism. I am personally devoted to being as conscious, alert and present as I can be each day. If I skip taking my MEDS, I notice a dip in my cognitive abilities and my overall well being.