We often take people, places, our health, everyday existence and life itself for granted. It is not until we lose something that we realise its importance. Remember to let your friends know how much you value them; your parents, children and pets – yes, all the love that can be found in your surroundings. None of this can be taken for granted so we should praise and nurture what matters to us every day.
We all have talents and human qualities. When we feel vulnerable it can do wonders to say our three major qualities out loud, several times in a row. This method boosts our confidence and our belief that we are valuable and deserve all good things.
Too much energy goes into thinking about the past or worrying about the future. This is often the cause of stress and anxiety. Children are born with the ability to live in the present. During the turmoil of the teenage years, the present often slips out of one’s reach and this can soon become a habitual situation. We forget ourselves many times a day – slipping into the future or the past. The best way to stay connected is to be present. Life becomes simpler when you are present. The mind can be compared to an aircraft carrier where your thoughts are like airplanes. When planes are constantly taking off and landing, and the barrage of thoughts is unrelenting, it is difficult to be present, making you vulnerable to stress and anxiety. The message of the Serenity Prayer is important in this context.
Times have changed. A sedentary lifestyle is increasingly common while the speed and stress of modern existence has increased. That is why exercise has never been more important. By exercising regularly, you can reduce stress and increase your quality of life. Allow the seasons to influence your choice. Don’t overreach yourself and don’t hesitate to ask for guidance or assistance. Exercise with others as often as you can. Use music if you find it encouraging or relaxing. Find the time that suits you best and remember the importance of breathing during exercise. Respect your body. Don’t get caught up in altering it according to external criteria but rather focus on what’s within. Research has shown that exercise has a positive effect on mental health.
Older people who have had a happy life often say, when asked about the mysteries of life, that they have never stopped learning or being curious and that they can always find something surprising in their environment. This attitude is inspiring, and it is important not to get stuck in everyday routines. We are never too old for anything, including our wildest dreams. It is a life-long project to get to know yourself and your reactions.
Our life is increasingly dominated by electronics. Our access to information through electronic screens and our almost compulsive "need" for the information they offer affects our well-being. It does not take scientific research to tell us that "screen life" is a major cause of sleep deprivation. This gives us no choice but to boycott the device for a while before going to bed. A good book is always a good idea. It will do no worse than put us to sleep, in which case we have achieved our goal. Good night, good book.
Research has shown that people are happier when they strive to be grateful for what they have. This is one example of how true happiness lies in simplifying your life. It is good to take regular note of what you have and be grateful for it. Even better is to to express it in some way. It is the nature of consumer societies to focus on the things that are lacking or things that you think you need. It is often said that the market generates constant dissatisfaction with ourselves, our lives and our bodies. In many ways, our attitudes are shaped by the development and values that matter to us. Our worth. What is our worth? Is our worth shaped by human or material value? Have we fallen into the pitfall of defining who we are as human beings according to the material things we have?
Everyone is talented at something and it is important that we look for our talents and cultivate them. When our talents are put to good use, we work to the best of our ability. We are all good at something. Where does your passion lie and where can your talents and abilities thrive? By directing your vital force to something you are good at and passionate about, you can achieve peace of mind and a positive flow to create well-being. When do you come into your own, in what situations do you forget yourself and feel that you enjoy and control what you are doing? Do more of this and become even better.
We grow, strengthen, and improve the most in new circumstances, but these circumstances don’t have to be exotic or complex to be fruitful. It's enough to decide to taste new food, read something outside your area of interest or meet people that you don’t think you are compatible with. Say yes to a strange suggestion, take a risk, try something new – it's safe for you to go beyond your comfort zone and experience something unexpected.
A sense of humor helps us to see ourselves and others in a different and more positive light, and allows us to be content with the things that are beyond our control. Try to use humor to turn irritation into lightheartedness. When you feel that stress or anxiety is overtaking you, try to smile, not broadly but just enough for the lips to turn upwards for a moment. Practice laughing at your mistakes and shortcomings to improve your self-esteem. That way, you can prevent negative thoughts. If you make it your habit to smile regularly at yourself, you will find it easier to be tolerant towards yourself and others.