Happiness is such an important element of our lives. Most of us strive for happiness, feeling content when we achieve it and feeling discontent when we struggle to grasp it. But so few of us make an active effort to let ourselves be happy. This is bizarre. Sure, there are things we need to focus on each day in order to survive – providing ourselves with shelter and the essentials – catering to those we’re responsible for, and more. But you should also place high importance on boosting your own happiness wherever possible. Here are some steps that can help you to achieve this.
Take Some You-Time
Most of our lives revolve around activities and commitments concerning others. We need to go to work. We need to visit family and friends. We need to care for those we’re responsible for. This is, of course, all-important. But you shouldn’t consistently put yourself on the backburner. Instead, you need to make sure that you’re regularly making time for yourself. You-time involves doing exactly what you want every now and then. This could be anything. It could be sitting back and relaxing, grabbing a hot drink, running a bath, or watching a favorite TV series or film. It could be attending a hobby that you enjoy. It could be going for a walk to clear your head. It could be learning a new skill, such as a language or an instrument. The opportunities are endless. What is important is that you simply enjoy some time doing the things you want to do.
Create a Good Work-Life Balance
Way too many of us have poor management skills when it comes to our work-life balance. This is understandable for a number of reasons. Some of us are deeply invested in our work and enjoy the projects we’re working on, so keep returning to the outside of working hours. Some of us work for companies that set unachievable targets and place pressure on overtime. Some of us want to prove ourselves to maintain our positions and make ourselves eligible for promotion or pay rise. Creating a good work-life balance is still important in all of these scenarios. When you work too much, you impede your personal time for activities such as relaxation, socializing, and generally disconnecting. This can result in issues such as burnout, depression, anxiety, and more. It really is important that you set yourself strict boundaries when it comes to your work. Stick to your ascribed working hours and make sure to clock out when you’re meant to. Discuss boundaries with your workplace and ensure you’re only contacted outside of working hours for emergency purposes.
Build Your Own Confidence
Confidence can play a major role in happiness. The more confident and comfortable you feel in yourself, the happier you are likely to be. Now, we live in a world that is built to constantly chip away at your confidence. Companies constantly portray dream worlds and lifestyles to make us discontent with our own to the poi t that we pay for their products. It’s up to you to weigh up what will make you feel more confident and is genuinely worth the investment and what you don’t really need and could happily get by without. You could tackle image issues with a healthy balanced diet, exercise, skincare routines, hair care routines or specialist treatments like finasteride. You could tackle confidence issues such as shyness by challenging yourself and pushing yourself slowly beyond your comfort zone. There are all sorts of steps you can take, as long as they are right for you.
Work On Your Relationships
Our relationships with others have a huge sway on how we experience the world. You can always work on yours to improve them and to leave yourself and the people you regularly engage with happier. Make sure to learn how to properly and healthily resolve conflict. Distance yourself from those who drain you or make you feel bad. Spend more time with those who make you feel good about yourself in a healthy way. Practice introspection. Always work to improve yourself and your ways of communicating. This will help you to grow as a person and can improve your day-to-day existence immeasurably. If you are having ongoing issues with a particular person but don’t want to walk away from them, you could benefit from counseling or pairs counseling.
These are just a few starting points, but each can make all the difference when it comes to improving your daily existence. Give them a go and incorporate them into your lifestyle where necessary!
Meditation is so beneficial for your mental and spiritual health, but many people find it daunting. The idea of sitting quietly and focusing on your breath without any outside distractions can seem quite alien to us because we live in a world that is filled with constant stimulation.
Meditation is a skill that you have to learn, and holding your focus without being distracted can be difficult, which is why many people give up after a few sessions.
Source – Pixabay CCO License
However, there are a few simple ways that you can improve your focus while meditating.
Choose A Focus For Your Meditation
The first thing to consider is what you want your focus to be.
There are lots of different meditation styles, each focusing your attention on something different. You can meditate on the breath, sounds, or even an object like a candle flame. Having a specific aspect of your life to focus on during meditation also gives you more direction. For example, focusing on gratitude is a great way to channel your meditation and see tangible results at the end.
Try CBD Oil
Research has shown that CBD oil can help you stay calm and focused throughout the day. If you suffer from anxiety or hyperactivity, CBD oil could be a good solution for your problems. People often find meditation hard because they cannot quiet their minds, and their anxieties get in the way. But if you use some CBD oil before your session, it can relax your mind and body and help you stay focused a lot better.
Start With Short Sessions
Meditation can be challenging because you are not used to being still and quiet for long periods of time. But when done correctly meditations are a simple way to improve focus and relieve stress.
But as meditation enthusiasts will no doubt tell you, the benefits outweigh the difficulties by far. One of the best things that beginners can do is start with short sessions and slowly build up. Start with five or ten minutes per session before gradually increasing the time.
Another option is to meditate at the same time every day so that it becomes a habit. Once you’re used to meditating, you will often find your mind wandering less and less, making meditation much easier.
Use Guided Meditation Videos
One of the best ways to learn meditation is using guided meditation videos because they do all the hard work.
Many people think that meditation has to be done in silence, but this isn’t true. You can use a guide, and this helps with your focus and also helps your mind relax. If you’re struggling with finding peace to meditate, then guided meditation videos can be a great option for you. You can find loads of great free ones on Youtube, and there are some great apps like Headspace that can help too. And don’t forget on HopeZvara.com we have customized meditations available and ready to download just for you.
Follow these simple steps, and you will see an improvement in your focus when meditating. It might not happen overnight, but if you stick with it, you’ll soon find that the length of time you spend focused during meditation increases, which leads to the benefits.
Practical Tips to Boost Your Positivity
Your perception about life determines your attitude towards yourself and others, making it imperative to practice positivity. Besides, it reduces your depression and distress levels and increases your coping skills for more challenging times. What’s more, it lowers your cardiovascular disease risks and improves your physical well-being. Despite its many benefits, only 14% of Americans have a positive outlook on their lives. However, you can build your optimism with the following tips.
Embrace positive affirmations
Positive affirmations help you challenge and overcome negative thoughts and self-sabotage, leading to a more positive mentality. Besides, researchers have revealed that reminding yourself about your best qualities before an important meeting can increase your confidence and calm your nerves. Therefore, you may want to affirm yourself to enhance your positive outlook. Therefore, you may set aside three to five minutes to speak positively about yourself and maintain consistency until you see significant results. You can leverage a mirror and speak to yourself to increase its efficiency.
Although you may not have all that you wished for, other things make your life worthwhile. Therefore, it’s prudent to practice gratitude for the beautiful things you have. Not only does it boost your immune system and mental health, but it also enhances your positivity level and healthy relationships. Fortunately, you can create a gratitude journal or map to record the beautiful things you experience daily. You can also admire nature’s beauty and find the good things in everything that happens to you. These steps will boost your happiness levels and improve your outlook on life.
Don’t neglect your physical health
It might be challenging to maintain a positive outlook when your health is compromised, making it necessary to prioritize your health. Moreover, healthy living reduces your risks of developing diseases while improving your mental health and mood. What’s more, it builds your confidence and, ultimately, your optimism about life. Fortunately, you can adopt certain lifestyle practices to enhance your overall well-being. For instance, you can eat a balanced diet while eliminating junk food and other unhealthy meal options. It’s also prudent to get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep and stay hydrated throughout the day. You may also leverage exercises like the butt lift workout or pilates to keep your body in excellent form.
Don’t shy away from criticisms
Most people may avoid criticisms to avoid hurtful feelings. What’s worse, some may refuse to try something new due to the opinions of others. However, you may want to handle criticisms healthily to live a positive life. For instance, you shouldn’t reply to the criticism immediately when angry; instead, you should process what you’ve heard while taking deep breaths. It’s also best to address them from an objective perspective to determine their usefulness and let it go if they were made from spite. Sometimes, people lash out when they’re angry, so it’s best not to take everything personally. Moreover, you can build your self-esteem so that people’s words would not bring you down.
Positivity is achievable once you know the proper steps to take. Hopefully, you’ll adopt these tips for a more optimistic outlook on life.
It’s Motivation Monday, and I am bringing you 5 Life-Changing ways to be Content, an adaptation on a blog that I wrote back in 2012 for MindBodyGreen. ALL of these concepts are timeless and relevant. A lot of us are searching for Contentment in our lives, whether through our careers, our families, or our passions. Today, we can all stand to learn from and grow with Santosha.
Santosha (sometimes spelled Santosa) is yoga’s second Niyama (our attitude and relationship with the world) which utterly means Contentment.
1. Santosha is contentment from the inside out,
Meaning that contentment must come from within. It is a development of our inner-most being. We all have been in that place, where we act content and say we are content, but really we are far from it. We may not even know what it truly means. To find Contentment is to dig deep and discover that even when lacking, we can be content. We can be satisfied with what we have been given or not given. And to me, part of
Santosha is also admitting that at this moment we may not be totally happy, but we are working to get there and learning to be content. There is a level of honesty that comes with the second Niyama.
2. Contentment is a great way to look at the world in which we live and say “these are opportunities to grow.”
So now the question is: “Are you ready and willing to grow?” We often make the decision to “grow” on our own terms, when the time is right. The truth is, the time is right – right now! Yoga has taught me that if we pick and choose when to grow, we will continue to wonder why we are so unhappy. We will feel that our happiness is temporary. Contentment doesn’t necessarily mean we have to suffer, but the opposite. Contentment teaches us that there is a world full of opportunities out there just waiting for us… As soon as we stop waiting for the “right time.”
I often tell my students, myself, and now my young children, “What can you learn from this?” There is an opportunity to grow in everything. You can learn something from everyone and everything – you have to make it a priority. It’s as simple as a yoga class: you find yourself in a class that is “not up to your caliber” and all you think about is leaving or how bad it is. Well, maybe that class is destined for you to discover something about yourself that you would not otherwise notice. The question now becomes… “Do you chose to learn Contentment and grow or not?”
3. There is always something better….But there is also something much worse.
Seeing both sides of the spectrum is a healthy way to stop feeling sorry for yourself and discover Santosha. I struggled for ten years with a wide variety of eating disorders, depression, and social anxiety. I had a constantly recurring thought pattern that was always about failure… what Alcoholics Anonymous calls relapsing. I had found myself there many times, and each time I would fall I would only see failure. I would imagine having to start over again at the beginning. Once yoga taught me to be content with the fact that I may have acted inappropriately, I was then able to actually accept my place in that moment, in my recovery, and in my life. Yeah, I wasn’t quite out of the red, but I wasn’t anywhere close to where I use to be. In those many moments, I learned to be okay with that.
4. Stop seeking and start living, contentment in every situation, not just when things are going good, but when you are challenged and when you have to work and truly open.
I remember back to high school, a quote that had made my school’s yearbook. It was like a part of me that had always been there and had finally spoken up: “I will continue to stand up even if I am standing alone.” Santosha begs us to be content with what we have and what we don’t. It asks us to stand up and speak out, knowing that there will be someone that doesn’t like you or who doesn’t agree with you. Know that they too are searching for their own contentment. You may be part of that process for them, as they are for you. So be happy when things are going good, but be even more delighted when things aren’t going so good. Because it’s the not-so-good times that really teach us contentment.
5. The moment is complete and you can’t add to it, even if you tried, you can only be a part of it.
How do we become the moment? Yogis often say “live in the moment,” but what about actually being the moment. On a very basic level, we are asked to fully immerse ourselves into what is presented to us. A delayed flight to an important meeting, an angry spouse, a rude checkout clerk, a homeless person in a coffee shop; these things teach us to “be the moment” just as much as the perfect wedding day, a smile from a stranger, or an unexpected gift from a friend. Santosha offers the idea that in becoming the moment, we don’t choose. We take each one as it comes and offer gratitude for each experience. Each moment is necessary for us to accept the next. One not being any more important than the previous or the next, just as it should be in this very amazing sacred experience.
If you often feel like you are struggling to find contentment, don’t lose hope. I went from a place of being depressed and anxious and used yoga to help me find a place of confidence in myself. Several of the courses that I have created are based on the strategies that I used to become a healthier version of myself. Join me in my Mindful Movement Online Studio for unlimited access to simple yoga routines and meditations that anyone can use. See you there!