Everyone desires to live well. Living well means our body, mind and emotions are in harmony and our family, work, and social life bring happiness and joy. But not everyone is in that state. If you are trying to better your day to day living, here are some tips to harmonize the body, mind and spirit for an enriching life.
1) Expressing gratitude: Write down 2 to 3 things you are grateful for each day. Just expressing gratitude dissolves the irritation or disappointments of expectation not being met. Studies show that people who are grateful have better relationships, sleep well, and experience fewer aches and pains. This practice helps rewire the brain for greater happiness.
2) Exercise regularly: We all know that regular exercise is good is for the body, mind and soul. Harvard research has found that even 15 minutes of physical activity a day improves life span by three years. An additional perk is that people who exercise regularly look a lot younger than their actual age and are much happier.
3) Focus on the breath: Take short breaks a few times in the day to focus on your breath. Simply close your eyes and breathe deeply. If your mind is straying, then bring your attention back to the breath. This not only relieves stress, but also leaves you feeling happier.
4) Have a sense of purpose: In a study published in May 2019, it was found that people with a sense of purpose were happier and lived longer. It does not matter what the purpose is as long as you have one. The purpose could be taking care of your children, volunteering for non profits, working towards your career and financial success etc.
5) Spending less: Imagine that you will die today and ask yourself “what is important to me?”. Usually it is family, relationships and happiness. Material goals like expensive cars, big home, the best electronics all fade in significance. This practice cuts down on wasteful expenditure and you learn to be happy with what you really have. In the long run chances are high that you will also save enough for your retirement.
6) Skip a meal: Recent studies have shown that cutting down on meal portion significantly improves longevity. It can also prevent the onset of harmful disease like cancer, diabetes, alzheimers etc. Skipping one meal a day or reducing eating portion considerably will ensure a long, healthy and happy life.
7) Be in the right company: Having friends who care about you, stand by and support you through tough situations will enrich your life. Choose people that will motivate you to better yourself, so you accomplish more in life.
8) Volunteer: Serving those in need of help is a very satisfying and fulfilling experience. Serving in a soup kitchen, helping in senior homes, tutoring kids, helping build homes as part of habitat for humanity are good for the soul. Volunteering keeps one happy and healthy for years to come.
9) Find a hobby: Keeping your mind active by learning a new skill sharpens the brain. A study conducted of older people who had to learn a complex skill showed improved memory and cognitive function. So get curious and grow a hobby. It will help you stay mentally alert and prevents boredom.
10) Have a good diet: Get into the habit of eating healthy wholesome meal that includes fresh fruits, dark leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, lentils etc. Eat freshly cooked food as much as possible. If cooking is not your thing, then put on some music that you love, get into the mood and make simple dishes that you enjoy eating.
11) Get fresh air: Make it a point to step outside and breathe fresh air daily. Getting into the habit of being in the natural elements for about 20 minutes daily calms the mind and relaxes the body. Learn to be with nature without being distracted by electronics. Breathing the fresh air, feeling the warm sun and look at the sky rejuvenates the mind and body. Studies have found spending time outdoor increases life satisfaction, because it reinforces our connection to nature.
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