Well-being, or a state of comfortability, happiness and/or contentment seems easy, yet many people struggle with “getting more balance in my life” or “taking care of myself better”. As a psychologist, I hear statements such as these all the time. When I think of “well-being”, I consider my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Mostly because when any of those – my body, my mind or my heart is shaken, the others are ultimately affected. Ever have the flu and feel anti- social? Or end a relationship and stop eating? Or have some terrible event occur that rocks your core such that you question everything you know and believe? I have.
Sometimes we think, ‘if I was only in X relationship’ or ‘if I had Y job’ I’d be happier. But well-being is independent of your job, your relationship, your children, the exams you have, or the errands you’re doing. Well-being is about your relationship with yourself and how you take care of you. Only you are in control of your own well- being, and when you are happy and content, you are that way in all situations, regardless of the state of your relationships, friendships, or work/school situation. Yes, stress has an impact on your well being- but when you are taking care of yourself properly, the effects of stress have less of an impact.
Where do you get your joy? Whether it is spending time with your children or your friends, dancing, or exercising, identifying what brings you the most happiness allows you to do more of it every day. The more joyful you are, the less likely you are to react negatively in a stressful situation. And while it is not always possible to go dancing every night, or get a massage every day, you can certainly reserve 10-15 minutes each day doing something that brings you joy. Joy feels good, is motivating, radiates happiness to others, and is healthy. There is a reason the saying “laughter is the best medicine” holds. Even in difficult times, laughter feeds the mind, body, and soul. During the most difficult times of my life, such as when I was hospitalized during my twenties due to illness, laughing and feeling joy while attached to IV drips and morphine pumps, is what made me joyful and helped me get through that difficult time.
What are you grateful for? Whether it is your health, your family and friends, your pets, or an event you attended or a place you vacationed, giving thanks and appreciation isn’t just an attitude. When practiced regularly, it becomes part of your being, of who you are. It is a way of perceiving life situations from a positive manner. And yes, I know too well it is difficult to see a glass half full if you typically see the glass half empty. Appreciation and thankfulness are more than saying words to yourself -it’s a loving feeling in your heart for whatever or whoever it is you feel thankful. I have kept gratitude journals for years, and on my most stressful days, I read what I have written in the past, to remind myself I am grateful for my ability to see the positives. It doesn’t change the stress of my day, but it becomes much easier to cope with, because I am reminded of all the good in my life.
Ten Tips For Greater Well Being
Spend ten to fifteen minutes a day bringing more joy and gratitude in your life. How? Only you know what makes you happy, which parts of your life are unbalanced, but here are some suggestions.