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One Happiness Expert’s 5 Tricks To Make Running Fun

Kristi Ling spent 10 years researching happiness; now she's sharing her tips for finding joy in every run.

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Photo Credit, Benjamin Hisoler at Legacy 10 Photo

Life coach, inspirational speaker and get-happy strategist Kristi Ling is full of tips for how to make life more fulfilling and fun. In her own life, Ling has turned personal tragedy into reasons to discover joy. In her upcoming book, Operation Happiness, which releases on March 1, Ling shares the lessons she learned over the course of a decade-long journey to decode happiness.

It just so happens that Ling’s a runner as well. The author explains she started running a few years ago when a friend asked her to participate in a 5K for charity. It took one race and she was hooked. Ling says, “Running is also my go-to activity when I’m having a tough day or navigating some of life’s inevitable twists and turns. When I was going through a big loss a few years ago, I went trail running several times a week. It helped me to focus on the positive, kept me healthy during a stressful time, and served as a great release for built up emotions.”

Running may help boost your mood, but Ling admits it’s not always a blissful experience. If you’re having trouble finding the joy in your runs, try this tips from the happiness queen herself.

Kristi Ling’s Run Happy Tips

1)  Try making a list in your mind of things you’re grateful for while you’re running. Gratitude is a powerful way to amp up joy, and combining this practice with running is the perfect way to create a blast of great positive energy.

2)  Set and think about a happy goal you have while you’re running. Visualize accomplishing the goal and tap into exactly how you’ll feel when you reach it. Think of one step you’ll take toward that goal as soon as you’re done with your run. It could be a phone call, sending an email, or writing a brief outline for that book you want to write.

3)  Give yourself the credit you deserve. It may sound small, but sometimes it’s tempting to go through our regular routines, including running, without pausing to pat ourselves on the back for making things happen. During your run, take a minute to think about how awesome it is that you’re actually doing it!

4)  Try skipping a bit now and then during your run to add some playful energy. We had fun with it when we were kids, why not now?

5)  Reward yourself after returning from your run with a bit of extra self care. A delicious smoothie, a few minutes to flip through a favorite magazine, or a quick 3-minute meditation focusing on happy thoughts can put you in a great place. And, it gives you something to enjoy looking forward to during your run.