Thursday December 21, 2017
By: Amany Zayed
“Maturity comes at a cost.” — Prateek Singh
The stress and responsibilities we encounter on daily basis often make us want to run and hide, or worse, escape entirely while looking for balance and inner peace. On our journey through life, it is important to adopt new habits and embrace change to make our lives more enjoyable. Over the past 12 months, I learned new practices that helped me improve the quality of my life, and made it better.
Here are the 7 habits and practices that made my year better:
1- Spend time alone
It was difficult for me at the beginning to find the time, and to spend it alone. Once I got used to it, it became part of my daily rituals, almost an addiction!
If you are not sure about the best time to spend alone, try different hours and choose what suits you best, depending on your schedule and your mind set. For me, early morning was the best time of the day. I set aside that specific time, daily, even if it was just for 10 minutes. I spent this time in silence, with no distractions, no phone calls, no television, and no people around. Just Me myself and I! You can journal during this time or take notes about things you want to do later.
Spending time alone drives away the useless noise in my life. I get to know myself better. It helps me manage my life, set priorities, and refresh my mind.
If you don’t exercise or have fallen off the exercise wagon, all you have to do is start or get back on track. You won’t regret it.
Once I decided to start exercising, I picked a place and a time and I engaged myself in a program to work out 3 times a week for 6 weeks. And I did it. I fell in love with exercise. It made me happy and I didn’t want to stop. So, after the program ended I enrolled into another program. I haven’t stopped exercising since then.
The magic that happens in your body once you start working out is unbelievable. Oxygen gets in, stress gets out. Exercise elevates your adrenaline level. It drops your blood pressure and improves your cardiovascular. Your body simply feels alive!
3- Develop healthy eating habits
You are what you eat. Everything you eat affects your body, your mood and your skin. It is important to be selective with your food intake.
I cut sugar, fast food and fried food from my diet. I also minimized my intake of carbs and caffeine.
On the other hand, I introduced more fruits, vegetables, water and balanced small meals to my diet. If I crave something, I don’t deprive myself from it. I eat it moderately or save it for special occasions. Changing my eating habits made me feel lighter, more energetic and it definitely improved both my health and my shape.
4- Pray / Meditate
If you have a peaceful mind and a healthy body you still need a beautiful heart and soul. Spiritual exercise and meditation protect and shield you from envy, hatred and negative feelings. Once you are connected to God, things seem more logical. You feel a sense of satisfaction and inner peace.
5- Spend time with people in need
Dedicate some of your time to help others in need; a child, an elderly, a poor, an orphan, or a sick person. They will appreciate the time you spend with them and it will get you out of the bubble you live in. It will give your life meaning. It will make you feel that your existence makes a difference in this world. It will reward you with joy and gratitude.
6- Clean up your space
I got rid of useless things I have been keeping for years; clothes I never wear, old books I don’t read, and appliances that are not functioning. With the less clutter, my house now looks more spacious than before.
Whether it’s your house, car or office, keep it neat and clean. Always make sure your eye falls on pleasant surroundings.
Let the sun in. Let the fresh air in. Feel the positive energy knocking your door.
7- Learn something new
People should never stop learning. Don’t believe you are old to learn. Think about something you wished to learn earlier in life, and didn’t have the chance to. Now is the time to start.
Today’s technology makes learning even easier. With just a click of a button, you have access to online courses; from learning new languages to piano lessons.
Anything new you learn gives you hope. It also shows you that no matter how much knowledge you have, there’s still a lot to learn.
As we are saying good bye to another year, it is time to recall the lessons learned, the goals achieved, the gains and losses and the people who played a role in it. Start the new year with better practices to improve the quality of your lives.
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