June 11, 2015

How to Lead a Happy Life

Health is wealth. Leading a happy life is as important and even more significant than leading a luxurious or famous life. What is fame or wealth when one is neither healthy nor physically fit enough to enjoy the riches of life?

In the mad rush of the modern world, we tend to forget the true meaning of life. A peep into any household in the mornings could serve as an eye-opener.

Getting up at dawn, running about fixing breakfast and lunch of which you  have no time to even take a bite, putting sleepy kids out of their beds and rushing them off to school, pushing the lunch packet  into your hubby’s hands and running to your job is your usual daily routine.

There is always the ever-present race against time, the running to meet schedules, the striving to keep deadlines – all with mounting anxiety and tension. In this chaos, the meaning of life is lost. Before we realise it, time takes its toll.

Heart attacks which were largely afflicting men above 40 or 50 years have started attacking even those in their 20’s. Stress-induced illnesses like peptic ulcers which were largely confined to men have now started troubling women as well.

Not any of us escape hypertension, anxiety neurosis and other disorders related to stress.
The need of the hour is for men and women to relax and enjoy life. Here are some simple techniques of stress-avoidance and relaxation that can help ease one’s daily tensions – to keep good health and enjoy fruits of life.

Psychiatrists say that most victims of stress suffer from an inability to accept their problem. Say, you are a career-cum-family woman. You are over-worked at home and at office. Also yours is a thankells job. Your work at both fronts suffers and you found fault with everywhere.

Sit calmly and analyse the problem. Do you think it is worth risking your health and earning the displeasure of your family by continuing work? If you honestly decide to quit your job, fine. But if you still want to continue work, accept this also. It is your way of life. Don’t sit and lament, “I am over-worked. Nobody appreciates me.”

Try to convince yourself that you have to work. Once your mind accepts the fact, you’ll really be surprised to see the various tacticts you can come up with to meet your “everyday emergencies”.

No problem is as big or terrifying as your mind imagines. Repeated brooding only serves to magnify things.

For instance, if there are frequent thefts of valuable in your colony, you have to find ways and means to keep your valuables safe.

This in itself should not trigger off a though-worry-stress cycle. Then each time you go out, you tend to worry. “Did I lock the front door well? How safe is the lock? Most of the neighbours are absent during the day. Who will notice a thief entering my house?”

This train of thought not only harms yoru health bu tserves no useful purpose.

Try reasoning naturally. “I must get a locker in the bank for the safekeeping of my jewellery. WE should shift our new LED TV and reinforce the built-in door lock with another lock. We can also engage a reliable watchman for the colony”

Desires should be expressed in a subtle way so that they are fulfilled.
Never bottle up for your feelings: Express your desires and needs in a subtle way to see that they are fulfilled. How can your spouse guess that you wish to visit your parents unless you at least give him a hint? Instead, if you keep brooding, “It is 10 months since we got married but my hubby has not once asked me if I would like to visit my mother.” It will only lead to a stress situation.

Learn to forgive: All of us commit mistakes. We may try to mask our feelings of anger against a mistake committed by others. But it will only linger inside, get magnified and erupt in other unexpected ways. It is best for you to forgive than harbour ill-feelings and anger.

Spare time for yourself. Give yourself the luxury of a scented bath and dress in pleasing outfits even while at home. Don’t neglect a bath after work. Get into a comfortable house-coat. You’ll feel the strain of work leaving you.

Pursue hobbies:  An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Engage yourself in some interesting hobby – read good books,  listen to music, try your hand at interior decoration, prepare a new dish. REad Hobbies add spice to life. If there is enough time and space, go in for gardening. As you do these things for pleasure, you’ll notice that you relax subconsciously while involved in a hobby. Also read Fight Stress with leisure.

Avoid solitude:  It has been observed in many psychological studies that extroverts are less affected by ailments like depression as compared to introverts.

Maintain an active social life. Try to go out and meet people. This will offer you a refreshing change. Solitude only increases your grim mood and turns molehills into mountains.

Meeting people also offers you an insight into their problems and worries. You’ll then realize that you are not alone and that there are others who are sailng in the same boat. In fact,  you may even feel that you are better placed than many in life and this will teach you to be thankful and content.

Also read Cultivate that inner beauty with better mental health.

Introduce changes:  Plan small surprises for the family. Try to bring in some variation into your dull and drab routine. Keep your mind off problems by thinking up some exciting event and plan for it.

Yoga and meditation: Good techniques are real life-savers for stress-afflicted individuals. Learn Yoga and meditation.

Choose a calm place, preferably well-ventilated and sit down in a comfortable posture. Start the breathing exercises. Inhale carefully and exhale slowly. Concentrate on your breathing alone. (Read Pranayama- Breathing Exercise & An easy-peasy Pranayama to release stress.) Slowly, you’ll find that your mind shuts off other thoughts. Your body gradually tends to relax. Your muscles lose their rigid postures. Start doing meditation 5 minutes a day initially and slowly increase the time span. You can do meditation twice a day too with positive results.

The minute you step out of your work place, forget its troubles and problems. Even as you travel back home by public transport, try to appreciate the little things in life. See the children with their enthusiastic expressions returning gaily from school. On your walk back from the bus-stop or the railway station, watch the brightly colored butterfly flit past you from bush to blossom. Look at the sky with its ornaments – the full moon and millions of stars – and let out a sigh. Breathe the fragrance of flowers and see the dew drops on the grass. Life has so much to offer from its vast potential of joy and beauty. All you have to do is to reach out and explore it.

Try to enjoy work: Whatever be the nature of your work – cooking, washing or sewing – enjoy it. Do it because you like it. Never believe that a particular work has been forced on you against your wish. This will only double your workload and also your stress.

Laugh wherever you can: Humour in life is a real blessing. Many of us have the habit of carrying home small incidents that caused us displeasure and sharing them with the family. “Did you know how the bus conductor behaved towards me this morning? I just can’t digest the language these fellows use when I enter the bus without the correct change for the fare,” and other such gripes will no tonly keep us tense but increase the stress of our family members as well.

How many of us recall and narrate interesting or humorous events of the day at home? Try it from now on. Laugh along with your loved ones. You’ll feel all the strain fleeing from your body.

Get good sleep: Before bed-time try to meditate. Or at least dispel all ill thoughts from the mind. Recall, some exciting news, something nice that can happen in a near future – a holiday, perhaps, or the children’s birthday party. Go to sleep in a happy frame of mind. Make sure to gt your full quota of sleep. You’ll definitely feel fresh and recharged the next day and fully relaxed. Instead of thinking of things that you don’t have, start counting your blessings. You’ll then realize that life has, indeed, been kind to you. (Try this acupressure tip to fall asleep quickly.)

Have a refreshing change by maintain an active social life.
Believe that you’ll succeed. Hatred and resentment only attract misfortune. Develop a positive mental attitude towards life.

Haven’t we all heard of the saying, “I was blaming fate that I had no proper shoes to wear until I met a man who had no legs?” Happiness is a state of mind that no amount of money, riches, name, fame or power can buy. Even a person in the slum can be happy if he succeeds in adopting positive thoughts.

Steer clear of false relaxation methods like smoking, drinking or drugs. These may look like short-cuts to relax oneself, but remember there are no short-cuts through the path of life. Getting addicted to these vices is the road to misery, squalidness and ill-health.

Let us adopt stress-avoidance and relaxation techniques to keep our body and mind healthy.
The face being the index of the mind, we can watch unsightly dark circles around the eyes, wrinkles and lack-luster eyes clearing when our mind is calm and content. Why not try these techniques and lead a relaxed, tension-free existence to live a long and health life?

(Contributed by Krutika D.)

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