THE TWELVE KEYS TO WELLBEING AND HAPPINESS
By Melisa Marzett
All the research conducted on this topic over the years confirms one thing: we don’t get the welfare all at once. It is day after day combination of small, but essential details.
Make gifts for yourself and others. Change your sight angle to see events from a new perspective. Show gratitude. Sleep well. Do not forget to smile. It is unlikely that this is what we think in the first place when it comes to happiness. And yet we can feel better by changing some ideas and habits.
The primary condition for happiness is not the possession of certain benefits, but a lifestyle that combines self-care and openness to others. The good news is that it is never too late to start following this style.
Speaking of happiness, we often think about our own feelings and ways of thinking. But the best stimulant of happiness is physical activity. So, is it time to walk? On foot, jogging, cycling. Take up gardening. Hit the ball, the shuttlecock, dance.
Exercise will allow you to feel fit, protect yourself from depression and stress, and improve both your physical and mental abilities. Find a lesson you like and fit your form. And do not limit yourself to the gym, go out!
Those who spend 6–8 hours a day do better than those who sleep less than six or more than nine hours. People who sleep “optimally” are less likely to develop symptoms of depression; they quickly establish relationships with others and establish closer contact with their being.
How many times a day do you smile? Do not wait for the occasion to appear. Researchers recently confirmed what Darwin assumed as early as the 19th century: when we demonstrate emotions, they increase – whether we frown, or lift the corners of the lips. Indeed, with a smile, the muscles of the face are activated, sending a signal to the brain to produce endorphins – “hormones of happiness.” The more you smile, the happier you feel!
4. Stay in touch
Build relationships with other people: family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors. These connections are the cornerstones of your life, invest in them every day and enrich them. One of the distinguishing features of a human being is the need for belonging. Meeting this need fills us with positive emotions, while long periods of loneliness can knock you down.
Relationships, exceptionally close and friendly, are excellent indicators of happiness. A good social support network strengthens the immune system, slows the destruction of the brain with age and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
5. Live for the moment
Focus on the outside world and your feelings. Realize what is unusual about them. Appreciate beauty when you see it. Enjoy the moment, paying attention to every sense: touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell. Stretch the moment, delving into this feeling, no matter how simple it is: the astringent flavor of wine on the tip of your tongue, the soft hair of the cat under the palm of your hand, the ever-new-color of the sky.
6. Express your gratitude
Going to bed, before falling asleep, think about the three points of the last day for which you feel appreciated. It does not matter if it is a trifle or something vital. Ask yourself about each one of them: what is your gratitude? Say thanks to a colleague who helped you today, or send him an email. Acknowledgment is one of the most effective ways to do good.
7. Continue to learn
What skills have you recently mastered? Whether you learn from a book, video or lecture, go back to your old hobby, or start something entirely new, this increases your self-confidence and a sense of pleasure from life.
8. Develop strengths
This feeling of being deep inside is your strength. Where does it come from? Think about it for a minute. What are you proud of? Knowing your strengths, talents, using them, developing them – this is one of the surest ways of personal and professional growth. The positive effects of such development will be long-term and will help in case of depression.
9. Change perspective
Are you one for whom the glass is half empty or half full? Are you looking at the positive aspects of life or pointing out something that is not going well? Events are rarely “completely white” or “completely black,” but in most cases, it is more useful to consider their positive sides.
Here is a simple exercise in realizing this principle: if something unpleasant happens to you, try to find at least something good about the situation (even if it seems artificial to you), treating it as if it did not concern you, correctly helps to look at what happened from the side!
10. Accept life
Henceforth, the beneficence of acceptance is scientifically confirmed. No one is perfect, and there is an excellent chance that you, too, do not accept about yourself (or about others) some character traits or some actions. Sometimes it comes to obsession. However, a fierce attitude to their weaknesses does not help anything, quite the contrary. While learning to accept and forgive ourselves, we will increase flexibility, resistance, and satisfaction with life. And this will allow you to become more tolerant of others.
11. Devote time to yourself
Studies show that we feel happier when we have the feeling that we manage time. One of the ways to achieve this is to devote time to yourself, a little bit every day. And to do at such moments everything that we please: to walk along the streets or through the woods, relax on the cafe terrace, read the newspaper, listen to music with headphones. The main thing is to be alone with yourself for a while.
Do something that will not bring you any benefits. Tell a friend or a stranger a kind word. Join a mutual help association. Research shows that generosity and kindness stimulate the brain areas responsible for the release of endorphins. By sharing time and attention, we not only reward ourselves chemically but also establish relationships. Trust is the key to peace with yourself and with others.
Building a peaceful, democratic and inclusive country is a long term challenge which requires systemic changes to face the roots of our problems.
How do you feed yourself? I am a foodie, hands down. I do not eat out of hunger alone; rather, I take enormous pleasure in savouring all the flavours in the meal in front of me.
“Our project started with research—deep conversations with people working for and leading social change.”
“To care for the teacher is to love the learner” Lao Tzu, founder of Daoism
Teaching is one of the best jobs in the world. Watching our students grow and blossom is the reward for our efforts.