Trevor here to talk all about mental health and how to be happy. These pointers have subconsciously helped me stay positive and in a good mental place over the years (woah, that rhymed). Admittedly, I’ve never been one to live life by a strict set of rules. I’m very go with the flow, almost to a fault. I simply follow my gut. So, when Shylah asked me to do a guest blog on mental health I started thinking, “shit, how do I stay happy and permanently stoked?” Well, after doing some thinking I’ve reverse engineered my happiness to come to the reasons why I’m (generally) a mentally healthy person.
I’ll start by saying I am in no way shape or form qualified to be talking on the subject. I’m simply sharing my experience on mental health and what has worked for me. Matter of fact, you may be worse off after listening to my advice… jk, probably not. Lets get into it – how to be happy.
- WATER. DRINK IT.
Seems simple right? Drink water. We all do it… but most likely you don’t do it enough. If I don’t drink 3 liters of water a day I can FEEL IT. I’m a little more grumpy, my energy is low, brain gets foggy, I don’t sleep as well, heachaches pop up, my body doesn’t work as well, and my mental health starts to slip.
I recently transitioned to a hydro flask because of, ya know, the earth. But what keeps me hydrated is always having a 1L Smart Water nearby. I buy one when I get gas and keep filling it up and reusing it until I lose it.
How much water should you drink? Start with .5 oz of water per 1 pound of body weight (or half of your body weight in ounces). So if you weigh 210 pounds (like I do), you should drink 105 oz of water a day, or 3.11 liters. Start there and you just see what happens. A sudden onset of happiness may occur. You can totally drink more water a day, that is just a baseline.
2. NATURE. GET IN IT.
Man oh man do I love the good outdoors. Most of us do. And there’s a reason why: it’s in our blood! Living in sick ass houses, apartments, and high rises is new to the human race. We weren’t designed to be indoors all day breathing air conditioned air and avoiding the sun. I’m no scientist, but we’re probably missing out on some crucial vitamins from being indoors all day… bro logic? Maybe, but sit around a camp fire and tell me it doesn’t feel right.
Our desire to be outdoors is a real thing, and people smarter than me call it Biophilia – the idea that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.
I get my nature fix when I go surfing, but you can achieve this by mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding, camping or bringing more plants into your home. My parents run a plant company if interested (plantscapers.com) 🙂
3. ALWAYS BE LEARNING
I think it is super important to always be working towards mastering something. Positive momentum is a real thing and when you can experience improvement in an area of your life, it does wonders to your mental health and happiness. Currently, I’m mastering the ukulele, video editing is a constant challenge I’m trying to master, and film photography is a new one. Once you can see yourself getting better at something, it feels super cool. I have some life long ventures that I’ll always be working towards – surfing, fitness, photography, music, etc.
4. CONNECT WITH STRANGERS
I know what you’re thinking, ‘you’re off on this one Trev… My mom always told me to not talk to strangers.’ Well I’m here to tell you that your mom is wrong! Unless the stranger is a creepy dude in a truck, there are some Taken vibes going on, or if you’re under like 10 years old. But for most of us adults looking to better our mental health, mix it up with some randos!
There’s something about the randomness of two people crossing paths, having a positive interaction, then never seeing eachother again that is fuckin cool. You almost regain faith in humanity after one positive interaction with a stranger. In those moments, you can be whoever you want, crack a joke, give someone a compliment, pet someone’s dog, or ask someone how their day is going. Tell me that shit doesn’t feel good when you’re done!
We’re so isolated on our devices (especially during a pandemic), that actual face to face interactions with humans has almost become a rush haha. And when you come out the other side unscathed it feels great.
If you’re like me, the workout routine has majorly slipped during 2020. Prior to March, I was going hard at the NOX (Equinox) 5 days a week absolutely CRUSHING IT. Now, if I do 50 pushups in a day it’s considered a win haha.
But one thing I’ve made sure to do is just MOVE. Shylah is the biggest walker on earth so we’ve been walking a ton. As much as I hate it (prior to getting my ass up and walking), it’s actually pretty nice and helps with clearing up your thoughts. Outside of that, I get my movement in by surfing, yoga, or skating around and taking photos.
I always go back and forth on the topic of sleep.
The entrepreneurial side of me wants to grind through the night, chase my dreams, and sleep when I’m old. And the logical side of me wants to get my 9 hours of sleep so I can optimize the time I have while I’m awake. And for the sake of mental health, when I get my 9 hours I’m a completely different person than when I’m sleep deprived… ask Shylah hahah.
I hate to be THAT DUDE, but I listened to a Joe Rogan podcast with a sleep expert and it freaked me out (in a good way). It will blow your mind. Check it out here .
Now, I know you breathe. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t. But do you use your breath as a tool to supercharge your brain? If you don’t, give it a shot and see how it works for you. I can’t tell you how important breathing is for your mental health and overall happiness.
There are tons of great breathing exercises out there. I like the Wim Hof method. It really helps me destress my brain and increase my energy overall. You can learn the technique HERE.
Shylah will always hear me breathing ‘weird’ and be like “is everything okay?” haha yes… but if I don’t breathe like this, things will not be okay. When in doubt, breathe it out!
8. Let Shit Go
If you asked me my #1 key to happiness, it is probably my ability to let stuff slide off of my back. Lets call it something like “unbotheredness,” or the Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck, etc. I make a conscious effort to really not let things get under my skin, especially if it is out of my control. I think this ‘superpower’ is something that everyone should world towards to a certain degree. Here’s why: For the first time in human history, EVERYONE has a platform to share their opinions on social media, no idea too stupid and no opinion too insensitive. There is no shortage of stuff to get upset about. If you live in a reactionary state and allow other people’s statements/opinions dictate your life, you will never achieve a state of happiness… or if you do, leave it up to Betty on Facebook to fuck it up with a stupid post.
Alright, there you have it. Trevor, an unqualified person‘s take on how to keep your mental health and happiness in tip top shape. Want to achieve max stokeness? Hit all 8 steps in one day and tell me you don’t feel great!
Here’s how you do it: Start with a great night’s sleep (#6 – Sleep). I’m talking 10 hours of sleep and maybe 8 hours in precious REM sleep. Wake up to a big glass of water (#1 – Water) and keep slamming that magic liquid on your way to a morning surf (#2 Nature, #5 – Move, & #3 – Always Be Learning). While you are out in the water mastering your craft, chat it up with another surfer (#4 – Connect with Strangers). Hit him with the classic surfing convo starter – “How’s It? Catch any fun ones?” and you’ll be off to the races. When you’re over the convo, just catch a wave and dip. After some tasty waves, head on into the office/home office to grind away whatever you do to make some dough. Make sure you take some nice deep breaths throughout your day to supercharge your brain (#7 – Breath). It will also help you brush stuff off and (#8 – Let Shit Go). End your day by tapping into #3 once again, Always Be Learning. Learn how to play a new song, learn the stock market, learn how to paint, roller blade, dance, skip, do a backflip; shit, type “How To” into Youtube and see what happens.
Speaking of learning, drop your mental health tips in the comments below so I can try some new stuff 🙂 Thanks for reading.
Comment below if you would like more guest posts by Trevor 😉