My Top 10 Tips for a Healthier Happier You
28 January 2016
I used to live for validation. Constantly needing approval from others that I was good enough, attractive enough, thin enough, worthy enough and so on. Coupled with this was my relentless desire to build up the “perfect future”, and believing I will only be happy once my “perfect future” comes into fruition. Have you ever sat thinking to yourself, “I’ll be happy when I weigh this much”, or I’ll be happy when I have a significant other, or even “I’ll be happy when I make more money”? I was desperately looking to the outside world to fulfil my inner world. And guess what?!
It didn't work.
I’m sure we all look to the external world for happiness at point or another but I can tell you this much, that if you believe that your happiness lies in your exterior environment then you will never be happy, because you are setting conditions for your happiness.
I realised that in order to be happy, in order to be healthy, and in order to be more myself than ever, I needed to look inward – I needed to change my perceptions about life and so rebuild my reality from a completely new viewpoint. After all, the way we think – what we give attention to - determines our reality.
Well it’s a process. You need to have patience with yourself, and allow yourself space and openness to experience a new way of looking at life:
1. Don't internalize the negative.
We all have our own issues that we're working through, so it's good to remember that negativity from others toward you has absolutely nothing to do with you. It's simply the other person trying to work through his or her own stuff. In other words, that person is projecting their stuff onto you, but that doesn’t mean you have to hold on to it. Use it as an opportunity to stay grounded and centred in your own person and to show compassion and most importantly, to grow.
2. Embrace Challenge
We change, we grow, and we learn some of our most important lessons when we're challenged. They shape who we are and make us human. If everything were always easy and perfect life would be pretty boring and you wouldn’t become a better person. The purpose of life is to deepen our understanding of ourselves and our experiences, and to derive wisdom and meaning from pain.
3. Get to Know Nature
Before modern day civilisation, we were all children of the earth – living off the land and interacting with nature. As we have progressed, our connection with nature has been severed. We have lost touch of our deep connection to nature, and our ability to communicate with our surroundings beyond mere words. Nature connects your soul with the universe on a whole new level. In nature, we feel at peace, breathe fresh air, and move our bodies. There's no other feeling like it. When you open yourself up and realize that there is something far bigger out there than you, that notion brings about both comfort and reassurance. You will be surprised at how much you learn about yourself just spending time in nature,
4. Nourish your Body with Care
Your physical external state is a direct reflection of your internal state (both physically and mentally). Your body is not a dumping ground, so don’t treat it that way! Eat with love and care for your body. It is your home. Ditching all the processed foods, and opting instead for wholesome vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean meats, eggs and wholegrains will help you cleanse and reset from the inside out.
5. Fall in Love with Movement, and do it Often!
Our bodies aren't meant to be punished by exercise. Our bodies are meant to feel empowered by exercise. And we're meant to feel connected to our bodies (in a loving way) through movement. Enjoyable movement is like therapy for the soul. It becomes a way to disconnect from the external world and to focus within. It is a way to get to know your body all over again and to connect to it – to synchronise with it and re-establish the powerful channels of communication that run between body, mind and soul.
6. Show your Truth
Letting the people in your life know how you feel is so important. It's the only way any relationship can deepen, evolve and grow. You may feel vulnerable (and a little awkward at first), but your level of honesty will open your heart in a whole new way you haven't felt before. Live your truth and it will set you free.
7. Have a daily soul practice.
There's something so grounding in little daily actions that nurture your soul. Whether it's a walk, meditation, journal writing, affirmations, mantras, a morning coffee with your best friend, setting an intention for the day, yoga, reading, or quiet time with a cup of tea, these small yet powerful actions help us savour the moment, feel centred, and give us the "me time" we so crave.
8. Let Go
Forgive others (that means yourself too), so you can move forward and become unstuck. Holding on to that painful energy can eat at you. Forgiveness doesn't mean you agree, but it means you're willing to accept what happened, learn what you needed to learn, and move forward.
9. Practice living for the moment.
Focus on doing the best you can with where you are (even if you don't like it) with what you have now. That's how you'll evolve into the most powerful you. Stop worrying about the past, or future – leave it where it belongs (i.e: in the past or in the future). Focus on your now – embrace it and live it! Let go of worry, let go of pain…let go, surrender, and just be.
10. Honour what your body is telling you.
There's something so amazingly simple yet profound that happens when you start listening to your body. Put down work and go to bed early because your body is aching for sleep. Or, decide to go on a restorative walk instead of an intense interval class because that's just what you needed that day. Open the channels to listening to what your body truly needs in the moment, and see how that nurturing decision opens your mind-body-soul connection.
Yours in Health Always,