It doesn't seem that long ago that the amount of money and possessions you accumulated were considered the sole indicators of your success.
Today, people are seeking deeper meaning, connections, and well-being in their lives.
In fact, I've coined the phrase "Well-being is the new success" as a reminder to myself and others that how we feel is much more important than the status we accumulate.
Mahatma Gandhi said, "Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny."
As Gandhi explained, our thoughts ultimately create our destinies. It's important to remember that our lives are limited only by our own thoughts.
In the book You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter, Dr. Joe Dispenza writes that in order to change some aspect of our reality, we need to learn to think, feel, and act in new ways.
Much like the renowned author Napoleon Hill, Dr. Dispenza suggests that you need to hold clear, focused thoughts about what you want coupled with heightened emotional energy. By combining the two, you put out a stronger vibration that pulls you toward the potential reality that you deeply desire.
If our emotions are linked to our neurology, immune, and endocrine system, then it makes sense that when we feel something, it creates a physical change. We then have a choice: We can allow that emotion to take control or use mindfulness to work toward replacing it with positive thoughts and feelings.
Here are three tips that will enable you to maintain your well-being every day:
1. Become friends with your emotions.
Take a couple of minutes to sit quietly with no distractions; focus on your breathing. Follow the rhythm of your breath and notice what thoughts or emotions grab your attention. Allow them to rise. As they do, imagine capturing each thought or emotion in a bubble.
Once your mind is quiet, visualize blowing that bubble away. Watch it drift upward, higher and higher, until it's no longer a part of you; then bring your attention back to your breath. Is your breathing now deeper? Slower, perhaps? Allow yourself a few moments to sink into this feeling of peacefulness and connect with your breathing.
Remember, your thoughts and emotions can be best friends. They play off each other and define the attitude you take into each day. At some point, whether our alarm fails to go off or we stub our toe getting out of bed, our thoughts spiral downward. We then begin worrying about that meeting with the boss or the fight we had with our partner last night. These thoughts become our attitude for the day and will follow us around like a magnet attracting other bad things.
2. Develop a gratitude practice.
When waking up or before going to sleep, run through a list of 10 things for which you are grateful. You'll be surprised how easy it is once you slow down, observe, and awaken your senses. We rush through so much of our lives that we miss out on the opportunity to appreciate the little things that contribute to well-being.
Here are some examples of things you might feel grateful for:
- Hearing the birds chirping
- A good night's sleep
- A comfortable bed
- Stretching your body (feeling healthy)
- Drinking a freshly brewed cup of coffee
- Receiving and giving "good morning" hugs to family members
- Snuggling with a pet
- The sun glistening through the trees
- Arriving at work with no traffic jams
- Smiling at a stranger on the street and having them return the smile
- Making and selecting nutritious food that you love
I keep a notebook near my bed so that immediately upon waking, I can go straight into writing down thoughts of gratitude. The thoughts don't have to be associated with something that has happened within the past 24 hours. You can think about a dear friend that you haven't seen in months and experience feelings of deep appreciation and love.
If you want to take it a step further, practice feeling gratitude for things in your life that have not yet happened. For example, let's say you're working on becoming a published author. Take a few moments to feel gratitude for having become a published author; in other words, feel as if what you are dreaming about has happened.
I think you'll be surprised at how much this gratitude practice will affect your future.
3. Connect with nature.
Go outside. Even five minutes during a lunch break will do. Find a patch of grass and remove your shoes. Stand upright and visualize, sense, or imagine you have roots growing out of the soles of your feet, connecting deeply with the earth. With each breath, feel the energy drawing up from the earth, spreading all the way through your body until you feel it flowing out of your fingertips.
Now visualize, sense, or imagine your heart overflowing with gratitude and send that love back down through your feet into the earth. As you are doing this, concentrate on your breathing, become aware of your senses, feel the warmth of the sun on your face, the cool breeze on your skin, the songs of the birds. Expand your awareness and drink in the connection you are creating between your mind, body, and spirit.
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