As the New Year begins many of us look back and reevaluate who we were the year prior. We may find that there are some things that we would like to change in our lives that weren’t so fulfilling. There are those who determine that their lives would improve if they change their physical appearance, and begin drastic diets, in order to change their identity and redefine who they are. The truth is that changing the physical does not help us find who we are, and distracts us from something that we need to really face but are too afraid to. Changing the physical is more of a temporary cover-up, and does not last. As the trends change, so will we, and we will never be satisfied as we continually search for the next hott look that will make us happy.
Improving your life does not have to be so complicated and un-fulfilling. It takes the effort of working towards identifying who we truly are, what we truly value, and what we want out of life in order to start improving. The effort it takes does not involve any drastic changes, but maybe some minor alterations in the way we live and the way we look at life.
Here are some ways that may help you get back in touch with your true self, and start improving your life in the simplest ways.
Read more! I mean in a therapeutic sense and not surfing through articles, wiki pages, or excerpts online. This means real books, with pages (or you could use your reader). I don’t care what you read. It could be a memoir, an informational book, or even better, a novel. There are unbelievable benefits to tapping into your imagination and getting lost in a world you create. The point of this is to connect to the topic, rather than clicking mindlessly on a sea of links. Reading is more calm and focused. It doesn’t take much, and even reading just a few pages a day shows improvement in your brainpower.
Or you could give a little more. If you’re tight on money, which I understand many of us are after the holidays, volunteering is a great way to give. Many of us don’t think about volunteering. It’s something people do during the holidays and it’s time consuming, but it’s outside the holiday season that there is a greater need for assistance and if you make it part of your schedule it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. If you don’t know where, or how to volunteer, think about who and what you like to be around. This could be animals, children, elderly, or even special events like a fundraising marathon. Once you find something that you really enjoy doing, the time commitment is the last thing on your mind. Plus, there is no feeling that is matched to the feeling of helping where you can.
I love this one, COOK AT HOME! I find it very therapeutic to cook, especially when it’s for others. This may sound odd at first, but you may have experience what I’m about to say. If you have ever had a meal made with love, or had all of the part of the meal carefully, lovingly created and served to you, you can feel how that meal feeds your body along with your spirit. Cooking from home is the perfect environment to prepare food in the presence of love, and you can avoid negative influences and energies that you may take in when you eat away from your home. Infusing love into your food can cause it to be more flavorful, and when you prepare food with love and eat with love, you will feel a warm kindness radiate through you as you eat and after you have completed your meal. You can’t get that from take-out.
Have you noticed that you get angry often? Try sympathizing more. When you sympathize, you are still allowing anger to arise, but your choosing not to react. I wont deny that there will be times that you will come in contact with frustrating or unfair people or situations, but it’s how you chose to react that makes the difference. I like to look from both perspectives of a situation, before I make a decision on how to react. I try to understand why that may have happened, and I’m able to walk away from the situation, or person, with calm. You don’t know what that person is going through. Give people the benefit of doubt. Assume that they are trying their best they can, in the current situation they are dealing with, even if they may not show it the best way.
There is something more meaningful about talking to others, rather than texting. Hearing the other person’s voice strengthens your connection with that person, because they feel real that way. Texting is impersonal, cold, and disconnected. It’s a way to talk to people without giving away how you truly feel. You can’t pick up tone in text, so those that you may be communicating with may miss what you were truly trying to say. Talking in person, or on the phone, there is less room for interpretation of what was really meant in the message. It not only will strengthen relationships, but it might also avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary conflict. .
Don’t be so hard on yourself, and learn to forgive. I’m sure you have been there. We all have. It may have come in the form of eating a whole pint of ice cream and telling yourself that you will start a juice cleans the next day. Then you wake up the next day and realize you are hungry and you want actual food. Or it may have come from an awkward social interaction with someone, and you tell yourself that you’ll never talk again. By making such high demands and expectations on yourself, you’re setting yourself up for failure and an habitual cycle. There are times when I may sit and overanalyze an awkward interaction with someone, but then I remember it’s all said and done, so just bounce back and move on!
Leave your phone at home! You’ll appreciate it. I don’t understand how so many people can walk around and not look at anything, or anyone else, but their phone. There is so much they are missing out on. Yes you can look it up on an app, on your phone, but there is nothing like experiencing the fresh air and your surroundings in person. I will even go to a restaurant, and there is always at least one table full of people staring down at their laps and not engaging each other. It’s sad to see so many people missing out on so much of life, because of a little screen that they are fully capable of getting back to later.
They always say “The early bird, catches the worm”, and there is a lot of truth to that. Being late all the of the time, is not a good quality to have, and reflects other unbecoming qualities such as lack of self-discipline, organizations, and even common sense. It might not hurt to set your alarm clock ahead a few minutes, and actually listen when it goes off. When you allow yourself enough time to get ready and go somewhere, it helps decrease stress and anxiety, and allows you enough time to settle in once you have arrived.
Experience the great outdoors. I’m not saying that you have to go on a wilderness hike to find who you truly are, although I have heard great things. I’m saying get outside more. Yes it’s cold now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get the same benefits of the sun shining on your face as you do during the spring and summer. Being outside gives you the opportunity to connect to something so much more. Give yourself the gift of connecting with nature more often. You may find a smile coming to your face more often, and a lasting calming presence in your daily life.
Finally, do your part for the environment. It not only is beneficial for Mother Nature, but you also get a greater sense of purpose. Leave reusable bags in your car, just in case you take an unplanned trip to the store. Or, remember to shut the water off when you brush your teeth, and the lights off when you leave a room.
Most of the time, the only thing between you and your best self is your priorities. Take care of your emotional and spiritual well-being. People, who are happy, have no battles in their diet or how they appear. They listen to what their bodies tell them about what, or how much they need. Listening yourself is the best way to find who you are, and improve your life. By implementing some of these suggestions in your daily life, you will be more open and accepting to your true identity and a fulfilled life.
If you would like to learn more ways to improve your life in a simple way, contact the Inner Door Center at 248-336-2868 for more information on our treatment programs or visit www.innerdoorcenter.com