Taking time to focus on your own wants and needs can feel selfish, but doing so is actually an act of genuine selflessness. Don’t buy into the fallacy that the only way to find true happiness in life is by pouring into others, because it’s just not that simple.
Sure, in theory, it’s a great concept, but too often we do things like volunteering or giving sacrificially in hopes of actually feeding a part of ourselves that is lacking. Being generous with our resources is certainly an important aspect of living a happy, connected life, but let’s be real honest for a moment. If we’re not genuinely in tune with ourselves, we’ll never truly be able to pour into others.
So, here are three simple things you can start doing today that will fill your soul and allow you to pour into others, without an expectation of a return on your soulful investment.
Getting silent and letting your mind go blank might seem counterproductive, but I guarantee you that meditation will do just the opposite. Some of my most creative breakthroughs and deeply insightful revelations were born out of quiet time with myself. Meditation has a power to unlock parts of our minds and our souls that we might have never tapped in to, but that have been waiting to be discovered.
Not only can meditating reduce stress, improve your mood and fill your happy tank, its effects are IMMEDIATE! We live in a fast-paced world where instant gratification is the only way to keep many of us from throwing in the towel and moving on to the next quick fix, so that’s great news! Also, there are so many free apps and videos on YouTube of all sorts of guided meditations that you can find exactly what you’re looking to work on and turn your life around this very moment! There’s nothing more instant than that.
2. Get Outside
It’s amazing to think that every human being on the planet has been gifted with such an enormously powerful resource, but the power of nature cannot be overstated.
When I am feeling down or uninspired, I find myself outdoors. Something special happens whenever I make the decision to step away from the noise of my daily life and listen to the beautiful symphony mother nature is playing for our FREE enjoyment 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
If it’s warm outside, go for a walk. If it’s snowing outside, bundle up and let the cold, crisp air fill your lungs. If you’re lucky enough to live near the ocean, jump in and let the saltwater work its magic on your soul and remind yourself that we are all connected to Mother Earth and she wants us to check in from time to time…mom’s are funny like that.
Turn off your phone, step away from social media and just listen to your soul for a moment. Technology can be a great tool for connecting with others, but not the best when it comes to connecting with our inner selves, so shut it down.
Studies have shown that too much social media exposure leads to anxiety, depression and causes us to place unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Start by blocking out an hour or two of your day where you are not allowed to check your phone or computer AT ALL and go from there.
Personally, when I’m feeling disconnected from myself, I put into practice a helpful tool that I like to call my “sacred time,” meaning that for the first 30 minutes and last 30 minutes of every day, I disconnect from ALL technology and instead, check in with myself or engage a friend in conversation. This small life hack not only has an immediate positive impact on my mood, but sets up my day and helps me get a more restful night sleep every single time.
None of these hacks cost a penny, but the benefits to your life will be priceless. When you reconnect with yourself, your ability to pour into others will multiply exponentially, making you a more open, more generous human being and who doesn’t want to connect with that person!