The 3-Step Road To Finding Peace And Joy In Life
People have been searching for the secret to happiness since the dawn of time. The great irony is that deep down, most people know what they need to do to be happy; what they’re searching for is a “magic bullet” that will instantly deliver happiness to them effortlessly. The bad news is that the magic bullet to happiness doesn’t exist. The good news is that the path to happiness very much does! And chances are, you already know what its main components are: becoming healthier, cutting down on stress, and setting positive, achievable goals.
1) Healthy living
Living a healthy life will not only improve your quality of life, but it should improve your quantity as well, in that you’re more likely to live a longer lifetime. Healthy living has a different definition for everyone. Some people choose to abstain from meat, alcohol, or sugar. Others feel that moderation is the key to a good diet and a healthy lifestyle. These are all legitimate and potentially very helpful. The trick is to find a plan that works for you, and that you’re able to stick to.
It’s a scientific fact that physical fitness and health have a direct correlation to happiness. Exercise releases endorphins and raises dopamine levels. And if your body is working properly, without the inefficiency of high blood pressure, stress on joints from excess weight, or pain from over-exertion, you’ll have much less to worry about!
2) Managing stress
Speaking of worrying, stress is often a straight road to an unhealthy life. Look, a certain amount of stress is unavoidable. Most major life events come with built-in stress, and even happy, healthy activities like family vacations or preparing for the holidays require lots of stressful work on their front end. Your goal shouldn’t be the impossible task of removing all stressors from your life, rather, you should set out to manage it in the best way possible.
For many people, stress can be mitigated through relaxation-based techniques and exercises like yoga, Pilates, meditation, or deep breathing. The science checks out on these too, being in tune with your body, breathing in more healthy oxygen, and slowing down your heart all alleviate the pressures of day-to-day life. Sometimes, though, we run headfirst into situations that are immediately stressful and require immediate action. In these circumstances, you need to avoid a knee-jerk, impulsive reaction that can lead to deeper conflict and make things worse. So how can you do this in real-time, where you can’t call a time-out? Well, you may not be able to stop time, but you can at least take a deep breath to buy yourself a few seconds, compose yourself, and choose your next words carefully.
These are all examples of situational stress, but what about the kind of stress that accumulates over time? Let’s say you’re a busy person with a demanding job. It doesn’t take long for the pressures of work to weigh anyone down. It’s important to set time aside for yourself, whether it’s a short period every day, or a few hours or a day once a week. Shut workout, do something you love, and refresh. If it can involve the outdoors, with fresh air and sunlight, so much the better!
3) Setting positive goals
The last component forces you to be forward-thinking. Big or small, everyone should set goals that motivate and propel them forward. It can be anything: finishing a book you’ve always wanted to read, tackling the household project you haven’t been able to get to, losing weight, visiting a foreign country…the possibilities are limitless. But setting unrealistic, impossible, or vague goals is a recipe for failure. Make your goals measurable and attainable. If you want to lose weight, say you want to lose 10 pounds in three months, not 100 pounds in a week!
Stay healthy, manage stress, and make time to get better at (or do more of) the things you love. It may not be a magic bullet to happiness, but it’s close!
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