A Good life begins with you

A Good life begins with you

We often ask ourselves “How to live a good life?”, “Hitting an adversity, we often think how to rethink life?’. Answer to this no way novel yet the only one. We are the architects of our life. Just like a good building is sustained with servicing, a good life is sustained with owning fulfilling nutriments. I have highlighted some of them below:

Own Positive Emotions:
Moods fluctuate but one can still enrich life with positive emotions. As good diet is to physical health, a dose of positive emotions is to psychosocial health.Fredrickson (2001) theorizes “when we experience positive emotions, our thought-action repertoires widens which in turn builds our physical, intellectual and psycho-social resources”. And all of this is fundamental to lead a good life. Benefits of positive emotions on well-being has been well-documented in research studies (Ackerman, 2020).

  • Reduces stress
  • Induces resilience.
  • Helps us to maintain our relationships.
  •  Improves our work life.
  • Helps us to opt for healthy choices.

Ways to experience positive emotions:

  • Adopt an attitude of gratefulness.
  • Practice relaxation. Be it meditation or nature walks etc.
  • Choose an exercise and workout.
  • Spend time with loved ones.
  • Reclaim your hobby.
  • Indulge yourself in play.
  • Listen to good music

Own Good Health
A sound health helps us to deal with adversities. The current pandemic has increased the importance of health over wealth or other goals. Help yourself by owing a good health.

Prioritize following:

  • Adopt nutrient rich eating-habits.
  • Get plenty of oxygen by BREATHING IN – BREATHING OUT.
  • Maintain an exercise routine (Yoga, Walk, Strength-training etc.)
  •  Go for routine body-check-ups.

Own Your Strengths
Each one of us holds some strong and some weak spots. ‘Strengths’ are simply those ‘spots we are best at’ and ‘we are most passionate about’. We need to tap on, appreciate and nourish our strengths to lead a satisfying life. What drives us to achieve our dreams? Our Strengths. The field of positive psychology puts a lot of emphasis on adopting strength-based approach in life. Linley (2008) defined strengths “as our built-in capacities for particular ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving”. Peterson and Seligman (2004) identified 24 core strengths known as “Character Strengths” to empower people towards virtues. Heaps of evidence indicates focusing on one’s character strengths is positively linked to boosting overall wellbeing (Hofer et al., 2019; VanderWeele, 2019).Here are simple steps to adopt a strength-based approach in life:

  • Know your strengths. (You can also explore your strengths with authentic and widely used tool “VIA Character Strengths Inventory”).
  •  Give prominence to your top strengths.
  • Set small daily actions to enhance your strengths.
  • Give your best by applying your strengths

Own Your Connections:
Our willingness and desire to be with our loved ones is embedded in our genes and evolution. Warm, caring and supportive social connections make us feel good and happy. They drive us to live when we age. When we stay withdrawn from our tribe or the so-called ‘social life’, we feel out of synch. Seppala (2016) identified several benefits of having high social connections in life:

  • Increase longevity.
  • Boosts immunity.
  • Reduces rates of anxiety and depression.
  • Enhances self-esteem and empathy.
  • Improves emotion regulation skills.
  • Maintain social, emotional and physical well-being.

Here are some ways to build and sustain bonding with companions:

  • Connect with loved ones in person - face to face/ ear to ear/ voice to voice.
  •  Forgive often.
  •  Appreciate often.
  • Count on each other in stressful times; help wherever you can.
  • Share and listen.
  • Judge less, empathize and offer compassion
  • Offer kindness.
  • Meetup for meals/coffee.
  • Plan a vacation together.
  • Do some activity together.

Own Growth Mindset
Train your mindset to sees possibilities. To be adaptable:

  • Accept mistakes as exceptional learnings.
  • Brainstorm potential solutions when you get stuck in life.
  • Keep going with perseverance and hopeful outlook.
  • Celebrate your successes.

Own Positive Affirmations
The Latin word “affirmare” is “to strengthen”, “to confirm”. When we use positive words, we strengthen our mindset and empower ourselves to stay motivated. Neuroscientific evidence sug­gests practicing affirmations miraculously acti­vate reward centers –ventral striatum and ven­tromedial prefrontal cortex of brain (Cascio et al. 2015). Evidence has suggested a strong connec­tion between practicing positive affirmations and increasing self-esteem (Cohen & Sherman, 2014), in reducing stress (Critcher & Dunning, 2015), enhancing academic achievement (Layous et al., 2017), and enhancing physical wellbeing (Hay, 1984). In “Healing Your Life”, she writes “Life Is Really Very Simple. What We Give Out, We Get Back What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe that everyone, myself in­cluded, is responsible for everything in our lives, the best and the worst. Every thought we think is creating our future. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings. The thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experiences." Set afloat a good life by practicing positive statements. To us all, positive words can encourage, support and coach.

Example of positive affirmations are shared below:

  • I am in perfect health.
  • I am growing.
  • I am flowing with energy.
  • I am courageous.
  • I am learning from mistakes.
  • I am resilent.

Own Your Goals
To taste success, set small, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals and act upon.

  • Identify small daily goals and get started.
  • Maintain a hopeful outlook and visualize your dreams come true.
  • The journey won’t be smooth, accept twists and turns but keep moving with enthusiasm. * Look for good and rub off perfectionism.
  • Keep your spirits high.
  • Celebrate your little as well as big achievements.

Own Your Weekends:
Look forward to your weekends. After a busy week at work, you deserve a break. Ways to enjoy your most-awaited days:

  • Connect with nature.
  • Connect with family and friends.
  • Replenish your bodily needs; sleep well, eat well and relax.
  • Add some entertainment activity.

When our life is rich with above, we believe that we own a good life.

About the Author

Harshmeet Kaur
Mental Health Coach.

I'm author of the article a Good life begins with you!

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