Essential Habit #2 : Wellness
Another important ritual of happiness and fulfillment is to develop wellness. Wellness means doing anything to enhance your body and overall health. For example, being engaged in any activities of self-pampering is of paramount importance for mental health and happiness. This could include one or a combination of the following: meditating, getting a hot bath, getting sufficient sleep, drinking plenty of water, taking your vitamins, eating food that are both nourishing and healthy, getting a massage and many more.
Happiness, vitality and emotional stability is directly affected when you’re sleep deprived. It is of paramount importance to get quality sleep every night in order to be productive, think creatively, and make wise decisions. Sleep scientists stated that the average person needs at least 7.5 – 9 hours every night. Apart from getting sufficient sleep, the practice of meditation is one of the most effective technique to live a happier life. Meditation is an effective ancient practice that helps us to control our mind and thoughts as well as enjoy living in the moment. In other words, meditation is a kind of exercise for the brain. When meditation is practiced regularly, part of the brain filled with negative thoughts, anxiety and depression is reduced whereas the other part of the brain filled with joy, fulfillment, and peace is increased. It also boosts parts of the brain responsible in controlling emotions and managing attention.
Furthermore, being mindful enables you to be more entirely involved in your surroundings and hence more aware and appreciative of everything. To meditate, its not necessary to be religious or even spiritual to reap its advantages. No pan flutes, chanting, or yoga pants are needed during meditation. Mindfulness meditation is a simple task which can be carried out by anyone, anywhere and anytime. It is not necessary to sit on a mountain and say a mantra in order to meditate.
To begin, there are a several mindfulness exercises for you to practice such as body scanning, walking meditation and mindful eating. Through body scanning, mindfulness is cultivated by paying attention on your different body parts. To do this, you should focus on your feet first and slowly move upwards like progressive muscle relaxation. Rather than relaxing and tensing your muscles, you should concentrate on the feelings obtained from every part of your body without judging them as either “pleasant” or “unpleasant”. Meditation should be made a habit or a daily ritual, as the poet John Dryden once said “We first make our habits and then our habits make us.” Meditation also does not need you to be in a sitting posture or still. Mindfulness in walking meditation includes focusing on every step you take – how you feel when your feet touches the ground, your flow of breath while you move, and when the wind blows against your face.
Next, if you hunt for food especially when you’re stressed out or swallow your food down hurrily, you should attempt to eat mindfully. All you have to do is take a seat at the table and give undivided attention to your food without any distractions from television, newspaper and others. Take your time to eat slowly so that you can enjoy fully and focus on every bite. If you are able to implement a practice of mindfulness meditation, you will eventually start to realize and savor life’s pleasures more.
Essential Habit #3 : Develop Positive Thinking
The third essential habit that leads to fulfillment and happiness is to emphasize on cultivating positivity. Our brains tend to be more aware of something unpleasant that has happened rather than the good things. Therefore, our brains should be trained to develop positive thinking. However, this does not mean wearing a fake smile everyday or sing a happy song regardless of what is happening. You should not ignore reality and act like everything is amazing even when things are not going your way. Mulling over negative things contributes to anxiety and depression whereas deciding to observe, appreciate and expect positivity is a strong cheerfulness booster.
Allowing yourself to feel grateful can make a big impact in your total happiness. Research has shown that gratitude helps to trigger positive feelings, have a good feeling about yourself, build better relationships and enhance the immune system of your body. A new study proves that gratitude causes you to be more penny-wise on things you spend on. There are multiple simple tasks you can benefit from to boost and develop an attitude of gratitude. Firstly, you should learn to thank others sincerely. When someone lends u a hand and ease your day, be fast to thank them and show your appreciation no matter how big or small the favour is. It does not only cause the person to be happy as you will also gain a happiness lift from it. It becomes an immediate reward to observe how an expression of gratitude can make a positive change in someone else’s day. Then, you will realize that there’s a connection between humans and the things we do to each other matters.
According to research, owning a gratitude diary is an effective way to make you feel more contented right away as you will feel more connection with other people and become genuinely appreciative. It is also important to make a mental list of the things you appreciate about your life, whether small or big, as well as counting your blessings. Make a routine to reflect on everything you are thankful for regularly, notice all the wonderful people you’ve come across in life who have taught you valuable lessons, your past experiences whether good and bad as well as the things you have in your life now. It is of paramount importance to accept the negative event from your past as you can gain positive lessons from even the most painful experiences. You will definitely be happier and more grateful when you can find meaning in even the bad things you’ve experienced.
Other than that, a letter of gratitude can brighten up someone’s day too. Write a thoughtful gratitude letter to someone who has done something that affected your life in a good way whom you never have to chance to thank properly. In the letter, you should express the positive impact that this person brings to your life and how much it means to you and then mail the letter. Martin Seligman, a positive psychology expert states that reading a letter of gratitude can cause a boost in happiness. The importance of developing positive thinking aside, it is essential to surround ourselves with positive people too. It’s true that we can’t make everybody happy meaning that we can’t be friends with some people either. In other words, we should cut contact with those who constantly let us down by injecting negativity into our lives. The key to happiness and fulfillment is to to spend quality time with positive minded people who can influence us positively.