Like most people, I used to be on the lookout for quick, easy ways to increase my wellness quotient. Over time, I have come to realize that wellness is like a delicate plant that needs constant nurturing to grow over time. There are no easy short-cuts!
What helps is investing time and effort in cultivating daily habits that nourish us—body, mind and soul. Here are 5 such Worthwhile Habits:
1. Breathe Mindfully
Our breath nourishes us. Yet, how many of us are even aware of our breath? The truth is the quality of our breath is intimately linked to the quality of our wellbeing. So, it certainly pays to be mindful of our breath.
Try this—take your attention to your breath right now. Notice your in-breath as it enters; now notice your out-breath as it leaves your body. Just pay attention without trying to control your breathing pattern. Do this for a few minutes.
Notice how you feel—are you calmer? Spend at least 5 minutes with your breath in the morning and if possible during the day as well—it is the best stress-buster!
2. Be Totally Present
As you read this, you are likely to have at least five other things vying for your attention. But it is vital to learn to switch off and focus on whatever it is we are doing in the present moment —when you work, be completely present at work; when you are with your family, be with them fully; when you are watching a movie, get lost in it
Practice right now by telling yourself —“I allow myself to focus completely on reading this. I will get to the other items on my check-list in a bit; it is safe not to think about them right now.”
As you live every moment to the fullest, and give your hundred percent to everything you do, life will become more fulfilling and engaging.
3. Befriend Yourself
Let’s face it—we come into this world alone and leave alone. Yeah, this does sound grim; but the good news is—we are never alone, we always have ourselves!
Once we begin to like, love, respect, and trust ourselves, we discover a surprising freedom and inner security like never before!
Why not set aside some time at the end of every day (or at least once a week), where you have an honest conversation with yourself as you would with a dear friend—try to understand your deepest beliefs and core values, listen compassionately to your nagging fears and doubts and nurture your self-belief and self-worth.
4. Allow Yourself to Say ‘No’
Defining and honouring our personal boundaries is as vital for our wellbeing as the quality of air we breathe— if we don’t say “No” when we should, we end up feeling suffocated and lifeless.
Unfortunately, we can often end up saying ‘Yes’ when we really want to say ‘No’ due to fear, obligation or guilt of the other person’s reaction. But it is not possible to please everybody, all the time.
Therefore, it’s best to stop being a people-pleaser by learning to say ‘No’ graciously yet assertively. This is a skill that can be learnt and goes a long way in improving one’s quality of life. Those who matter will understand and respect your ‘No’ and those who don’t shouldn’t matter anyway.
We are bombarded with a million stimuli every day. No surprise then that our minds are constantly swarming with thoughts not allowing us much-needed rest even when we get into bed at night.
By starting a daily meditation practice, you will sow the seeds for cultivating a tranquil, clear mind. If you don’t know how to meditate, simply sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, relax and watch your thoughts without judgment for ten minutes. The act of observation itself will quiet the mind.
Changing habits and learning new ones is a challenging process. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes persistence.
So be easy on yourself as you get started and don’t forget to notice the subtle signs of change—more smiles, fewer emotional upsets and a sense of lightness and wellbeing.
What habits have helped you on your wellness journey? Do write-in, I would love to hear from you…
Here’s a downloadable poster on these 5 habits ..