Today is the day to have a great day. The world is waiting. The universe is changing. Experience the experience you are having. Live the life you “are living. Comprehend all of the sensations that are taking place. Today is the day to become who you want to become.”
It seems as though everyone is searching for happiness. We search, we find, we lose, we fail, we strive for it like it is some long-lost treasure, buried under years of stress and conditioning. But what is happiness really? Happiness is a range of positive emotions and a mental state of well-being. But more importantly happiness can be whatever you want it to be. Happiness is not some long-lost treasure, and if we treat it as such, we will never be happy. Here are some things that I have learnt about happiness:
1. … being in the moment. Enjoying your life, who you are, what you are doing right now.
2. …loving yourself.
3. …when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
4. …loving the people around you, for the good and the bad.
5. … is an experience, not a demonstration.
6. …finding the beauty in your everyday life.
7. …transcendent and ever-changing. It is universal and ever-present.
8. … appreciating sadness. Without sadness we would never know happiness. Feel it, appreciate it, then let it go to make room for happiness.
9. …being genuine and kind to those around you.
10. …your choice.
I stumbled upon meditation as I began to practice yoga. I had been a smoker for over ten years, drank almost every weekend and lived a really cluttered life. My mind was all over the place. Then I began to practice meditation, and my life changed. For the first time I really believed I could quit smoking, drinking and I could take control of my life.
It was really overwhelming at first. When I thought about meditation my mind conjured up images of floating monks and endless chanting. But as I researched it further, and began to practice, I realised that meditation was not as overwhelming as I had first thought. Now I meditate everyday, whenever I feel the need to calm my mind, dull a smoke craving, or feel an emotion that I’m struggling to come to terms with. Here is a guide on how to approach and begin on your meditation journey.
First of all, it is important to remember than anyone can meditate anywhere. You do not need fancy candles, music, or chanting, however if those things help you then by all means use them. You can meditate whilst on the bus, waiting in line, or at your desk. It is as simple as closing your eyes and breathing . That’s it. When I first began, I felt really anxious because I could not stop my thoughts from coming, but then I realised, that’s ok. Appreciate the thoughts you have whilst in meditation, and then let them go. Don’t put pressure on yourself to calm your thoughts, after more practice it will come naturally.
Start by sitting comfortably, even lying down. Close your eyes and breathe. Every person is different, the most important thing is to find out what position and breathing style works for you. Focus your attention on your breath, if you want you can recite a mantra (words that are positive in order to transform your thoughts and feelings). When your mind feels calm and relaxed bring yourself back to reality, open your eyes and continue your day with a fresh perspective.
Meditation will help you to gain a clearer perspective in your life, and help you to fulfil your true potential. Meditation can range from relaxed peaceful down time, to a focused exercise in self-reflection. I have been smoke free for almost two months, I don’t drink anymore and I find it easier to cope with anxiety and stress. I have realised my true dreams and potential and have a new-found lust and excitement for my life.
Give it a go, you never know, it might just change your life.
People look for a quick fix, that fad diet, the next best thing, but the truth is that good health is not a quick fix, it is a lifestyle choice. Your decisions and actions define you. If you choose a fad diet, you will experience short-term unfulfilling results. However, if you make healthy choices in your life, you will be just that – healthy.
Here are some ways that you can start changing your mindset and start improving your health today!
1. EXERCISE – No, I’m not talking about hitting the gym for an hour everyday, I mean small things such as taking the stairs, walking instead of driving. Stretch for 15 minutes. Anything, start getting more active.
2. Reduce your portion size – In general, we eat too much. This is one of the main reasons we are facing a worldwide obesity problem. Eat smaller portions throughout the day.
3. Drink water – Drinking water is key to good health. Replace fizzy drinks, high calorie juice and milk with water.
4. Eat more fruits and vegetables – Fruits and veg are a great source of nutrition. Replace things such as meat, rice and bread with fruit and veg and feel the difference.
5. Breathe right – Breathe in slowly through your nose, and slowly out through your nose. Breathing right is key to supplying the body with enough oxygen. Many studies have shown that correct breathing can actually help the body repair damage in our bodies.
6. LAUGH – Seriously, laugh, be happy, it releases endorphins and makes you feel good. It relieves stress and contributes to your health overall!
7. Don’t live to eat – EAT TO LIVE – The choices that you make in terms of food are vital to your health. Constantly choosing chips, chocolates, oily and fatty food means that you are living to eat. Replace these with whole foods, natural, organic and raw! You will not believe the difference felt after replacing bad foods with raw and wholesome foods.
8. CUT THE BAD HABITS, smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, sugar, junk food and so on. It’s not good for your mind or body.
9. Practice being MINDFULL – Just think about what you’re doing in the moment. By being mindful of our actions and words, we can become aware of our bodies and our true feelings. You will be able to tell when you’re really hungry, and know when you’re hungry because you’re bored, or emotional. Meditation can help find insight into your thoughts and actions.
10. LOVE, BE KIND AND COMPASSIONATE – Letting go of negative feelings, anger, hate, frustration and insecurity will help make room for more positive emotions. Love, kindness and compassion. When we experience positive emotion, we rid ourselves of emotional eating and stress related diseases.
So laugh, have fun, be kind and look after yourself. Peace out!
Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food – Hippocrates