Seven keys to happiness

By Heidi Scanlon,
Certified Reiki Master/instructor

It’s that time of year — the holidays! A time when you are supposed to be feeling happy — but are you? Many dread the holiday season. They could be lonely, missing a loved one, or they don’t have the financial means to purchase the presents they want to buy. If you or a loved one are feeling less than happy, here are some suggestions to lift your spirits.

Be grateful — Having an attitude of gratitude can help lighten your energy. Focusing on the positive attracts more good to you. Keeping a daily gratitude journal helps you focus on what’s good in your life.

Go outside to exercise — Just being in nature can be uplifting. Going outside and taking a walk or run can release certain brain chemicals that create feelings of peace and joy.

Eat whole foods — While we wish food could make us happy, certain foods like fresh fruits and vegetables can elevate your mood.The occasional piece of chocolate is also a mood lifter.

Help others — Being in service to others helps you to feel good in the knowing you are doing something positive to help another human being.

Give a hug — When we hug someone oxytocin, a feel-good hormone, is released making us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Hugging is also a natural stress reliever by reducing cortisol, an adrenal hormone, often called the “stress hormone.” Cortisol influences and regulates many of the changes that occur in the body in response to stress.

Listen to uplifting music — Music has a healing effect and can lift your spirits. For example: Pharrell Williams’ upbeat song “Happy” actually makes a person feel happy. If you’ve had a stressful day, relaxing music can help you feel calmer. Making a playlist of music that relates to happy times could elevate your mood.

Have better energy — Your energy is everything and the most important component of happiness. It’s often been said that energy is the currency of success. What your energy puts out into the world is what you attract to you. If you are not feeling your best emotionally or physically, you are not functioning at your best, which may make it hard for you to attempt the six previous steps. Many happy people keep their mind and body in harmony by having Reiki sessions. Reiki is a healing practice that helps to improve the energy flow within and around the body. People report feeling happier, lighter in spirit and calmer after a Reiki session. Many times people come for sessions, and after seeing the benefits, want to learn Reiki so they can do self-Reiki on a daily basis.

Make sure your spine — especially the vertebrae in the neck — are in proper alignment, moving well, and not irritating the nerves that exit from them. Numerous studies support the effectiveness of upper cervical (neck) chiropractic care for depression and anxiety.The study found a reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms and reduction in overall psychological distress among individuals with mild to severe depression, anxiety or both. I know from firsthand experience that if I am out of alignment, it affects my mood and disposition. I work in the office of Dr. Ken Freedman, and I have witnessed many positive transformations in people who were unable to get help elsewhere. For the past 15 years I have been helping people feel happier and less stressed through Reiki. Reiki has the ability to transform your life. I recently worked with a woman who was grieving and also a caretaker. She was under so much stress and wasn’t able to heal her emotions. Reiki helped her to shed the heaviness she felt. It gave her a renewed sense of purpose and put the bounce back in her step.

By following these seven steps, you can feel more joy for the holidays and every day! Find out how you can be happier by calling 732-254-6011 for Reiki sessions or 732-254- 6070 for Reiki classes.

Heidi Scanlon is a Certified Reiki Master. Her practice is at Freedman Chiropractic Center LLC, located at Brier Hill Court D- 6, East Brunswick. She is also director and co-owner of New Jersey School of Reiki LLC, which is at the same location. Day, evening and weekend hours are available and all major credit cards are accepted. For more information about sessions, see and for classes