Find meaning and purpose in the new year and experience a happier and healthier you
“The first wealth is health” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Just like an ocean tide unquestionably comes and goes, so too will a new year. And it’s around this time that we feel optimistic, hopeful and inspired to be a better version of ourselves and to do something bigger and better than the year before. So, whether you’ve experienced a not-so-good year this year, or a great one – there is always room to grow, and to give and receive more love.
This time of year, we’re focusing on new year’s resolutions that are actually attainable and that will bring about positive and constructive change in your life. Our wish for you for the upcoming year, is to create small yet powerful changes so that you can achieve them effortlessly while reaping the benefits. How can you do this?
We will look at simple changes that can improve and boost your:
- Mental Health
- Existence in the world
- Physical Health
We are big advocates of meditation because engaging in this practice, even if for a mere two minutes a day, helps to clear your mind and bring you back to the here and now. And the good news is, engaging in meditation can be done anywhere – the subway, in bed, sitting outside in the sunshine…you name it.
Simply close your eyes and make yourself aware of your surroundings. What can you hear, smell, feel? By doing this, you’re letting go of immediate stress and anxiety, and taking a moment to just breathe.
This daily routine has proven to have even more benefits if you do it in the morning. This is because it gives you a reason to wake up early and is a platform for you to have a productive day. We recommend waking up earlier to avoid feeling rushed or stressed, taking a cold shower, and setting yourself up to meditate.
Another way in which to give yourself a mental boost, is to practice positive self-talk. You can achieve this by:
- Referring to yourself using positive adjectives and descriptions
- Writing journal entries that allow you to see patterns in the way you feel
- Creating small goals that are achievable
- Practicing the Law of Attraction
You are creating a life that you want and deserve with optimism.
Additionally, by making small changes in the space where you live, you can have a positive effect on your mind. Perhaps you’ve heard of the expression, “tidy home, tidy mind.” This statement is true for a number of reasons.
Maybe you’ll notice that your quality of sleep changes. Did you know that clutter actually hinders sleep? This is because your brain recognizes mess and clutter as unfinished work or a task that needs to be completed.
An astonishing 75% of people in a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation said that they slept better when their immediate space and their bedding was clean. This, naturally, leads to a happier and more productive person.
Be Kind to You
How you treat yourself plays a big part in your self-esteem and self-love. Duke professor, Dan Ariely gives an invaluable piece of advice stating that when we treat ourselves as we would a best friend or family member, we’re more likely to do the right thing. This is because, the chances of you giving your loved one bad, rash or stupid advice is very slim.
He calls this the “outside perspective,” and it is as simple as asking yourself, “What would you do if you made the recommendation for another person?” By doing this, you’re able to look at any situation from a more objective and less emotional perspective. This leads to more rational problem solving.
Be a part of Something Bigger
We encourage you to be bold and adventuresome in your approach and to take on new and exciting challenges this year that’ll build you up and allow you to see what potential you hold in the bigger scheme of things.
The Hero with a Thousand Faces, a book written by Joseph Campbell, and later adapted into how to start and complete great things in 12 steps, is a great way in which to do this. By following the steps, you will take yourself on a journey of self-exploration going from a known world to an unknown one, while developing skills you never knew they had in order to achieve personal or communal success.
It’s also true that we feel better, happier and healthier when we are able to help others and contribute to something bigger than ourselves.
Here’s another little trick on how you can achieve this:
Every month, pick a word to live by. Choose words that are positive, upbeat and that have positive connotations such as ‘friendly’ or ‘wholesome’ or ‘sharing’. Then, apply to it your daily life.
If your word is ‘sharing’, you can invite your friends over for a meal that you prepared. Or, you can offer your seat to someone on public transport. You’re making others feel loved and appreciated, giving you a little boost along the way.
In fact, a study conducted by Duke University and the University of Singapore on 3,200 middle-aged Americans found that those who participated in volunteer work felt like their life had more purpose and experienced more well being than their counterpart who did not engage in those types of activities.
People all over the world set new year’s resolutions about weight loss and starting a diet. We want you to eliminate the word ‘diet’ from your vocabulary. Instead, focus on a lifestyle change.
Eat more of the foods that are good for you rather than limiting yourself when it comes to guilty pleasures. The key to achieving a healthy lifestyle is to keep everything you want and need, in moderation.
It’s been proven time and time again that cutting out your favorite ‘junk food’ completely oftentimes makes you crave that food even more while feeling deprived, which ultimately leads to binge eating. Don’t limit yourself, but indulge in food modestly to keep a healthy balance.
Perhaps you usually eat dinner right before bed. Maybe it doesn’t contain any vegetables. Start off by eating one hour earlier and incorporating one or two of your favorite vegetables a few times a week, slowly building on that number so that you can enjoy a healthy dose of nutrients every evening. Or, if you are prone to eating three chocolate cookies at night whilst watching TV, try to eat one cookie instead – earlier rather than later.
It’s the small changes that add up to bigger things, and in this case, slow and steady always wins the race.
There is so much more to a holistic lifestyle than what you eat. When you start your journey to healthier living, there seems to be so much information to weed through. It can be confusing and difficult to determine what you should focus on first.
That’s why we’ve developed a short 15 Point Guide to Essential Health. Take charge of your own health. With a little help, you’ll be living a healthier more fulfilled life in no time.
To sum up, we encourage you to:
- Spend a few minutes in the morning each day in meditation
- Keep a tidy and clean space
- Treat yourself as you would a best friend
- Choose one positive word each month that can benefit not only you, but others too
- Eat mindfully and in moderation
Our wish for you in the new year is to be happier and healthier and to enjoy the beautiful gift of life we’ve all been lucky enough to receive.
Happy new year!