1. Have a sense of purpose in life:
– Studies have found, those people who feel they have a sense of purpose in life, live longer healthier lives. Research indicates, those people who feel their life has meaning, to be less likely to develop sleep problems, have a heart attack, and live longer lives overall. Nevertheless, if you are asking yourself what does living a meaningful life entail? Well everyone might interpret meaningful in their own way. However, the consensus is, the idea that your life makes sense, and you were put in this earth for a reason. Regularly reminding yourself of your awareness of a sense of purpose can help you reduce stress, improve coping, & promote health improving behaviors (i.e. exercising, eating healthier, etc.).
2. Indulge in positive self-talk:
– As humans, we are wired to be extremely critical of ourselves in every situation. However, to be able to live healthier lives we must learn to turn this internal critic into a supportive cheerleader. We must begin by developing a newer and kinder relationship with ourselves. Instead of bashing ourselves and kicking ourselves when were down, we must turn that inner critic into a supportive one, through positive self-talk. For example, let’s say we had a bad day and did very poorly at work or in an exam. The moment you hear your internal critic saying things like, “you’re so stupid,” or “you got an F you’ll never amount to anything.” Pause and realize that this is our internal critic trying to bring us down. Instead of succumbing to the criticism realize it and turn him into a complimentary. For instance, once you notice a critic coming find a positive thing to say about yourself and say it, even if you don’t believe it! By doing this you’re taking your power back and leaving your criticizer powerless. Additionally, indulge in positive self-talk throughout your day by constantly reminding your inner-self that you can do this, that you believe in yourself! Don’t allow your internal dialog to distort your thinking.
3. Do something generous for someone:
– Research indicates, a correlation between happiness and acts of kindness. If we examine this from an evolutionary perspective, It makes sense. As Civil societies benefit when everyone is cooperative and generous to some extent. Not only is generosity good for our happiness, but it is also a quality people look for in their mates. Research also shows, those people who spent money on others, rather than on themselves, reported higher levels of happiness. With that being said, you don’t have to sacrifice yourself to feel happy, just being a little more generous than usual will suffice.
4. Strengthen your face-to-face relationships.
– In a time when we are all glued to our phones 24-7, it is more important than ever to have meaningful real life relationships. Studies have found, community social bond to accurately predicted a person’s mortality rate. Meaning, those people who had very strong face-to-face relationships were more likely to survive to old age. Strong face-to-face relationships can be formed by frequently gathering with friends/families, religious group, through athletic commitments, such as, hiking, boot camp classes etc. Additionally, quantity is not what matter but quality is. Having a a lot of friends won’t do you any good if your bond with them is not a close one.
5. Get yourself a furry friend.
– Whoever coined the term “dog is a man’s best friend,” was on to something. Research shows, just staring into your pet’s eyes can lower your heart rate. For instance, a cat’s purr has been associated with triggering a sense of calmness in humans. Dogs are often trained to recognize an oncoming panic attack in veterans suffering with anxiety. In Equine-facilitated therapy, horses work with troubled teens and suffering adults to help them overcome their adversities. Animals have the ability to heal wounds us humans are not capable of healing. They are there for us when we are lonely, they are often lifelines fulling our need for company, to be loved, and most importantly to love. So if you don’t have one yet, run and get yourself a furry friend!
Meet my furry friend, his name is Oreo the Turkish Van Cat!