In life, it's important to make sure that we feel rooted in who we are and how we want to live. While it can certainly be hard to deal with life's challenges, if we feel positive about our place amidst the chaos and how we present ourselves with others, then we will feel empowered to appreciate every moment and love life to its fullest.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on loving their lives, even the low moments. If you focus on the positives, as a whole, you'll be better able to stay happy despite rough moments (or bounce back easier and faster) and be more mindful of the present and staying alive and energized throughout. There are so many things we should feel grateful for in life, and if we think of how far we have come to get to the point of existence and how well we have built up our social networks and roles at work, we can understand how important each second of our hard-earned life really is. Being negative or thinking of other things instead of being present can make us feel lost, isolated and dissatisfied, which can lower overall happiness. Use these eleven tips to feel more connected and happier in life in order to reap the long-term health benefits.
1. Don't Compare Yourself To Others
"There is research to prove that despite levels of self-esteem, comparing most often results in negative feelings, which can also have an impact on mood," says licensed marriage and family therapist, Erika Fay, LMFT, over email correspondence with Bustle. Instead, "take inventory of what you value about your life and relationships. Call to mind some of your individual strengths and spend a few moments feeling gratitude for the life you have created," she suggests.
2. Connect With Strangers
We don't all have access to friends, family and co-workers each day, so connecting with strangers can be a real blessing for feeling connected to the world. "Set an intention each day to smile at whoever looks in your eyes while walking down the street or when going about your day," says Fay. "This is a small gesture but can help us feel connected as we all go about our busy lives," she adds.
3. Lend A Helping Hand
Helping others in need can make us feel more alive, valuable and connected to the world. "Look for people to help during the day. Maybe it is a woman struggling with groceries or simply holding the door for someone walking into or out of a building," advises Fay. "When we make it a point to help someone, we automatically increase a sense of community, which combats feelings of loneliness and isolation," she adds.
4. Do What You Love
"Do what you love," says holistic health coach and personal trainer Jen Bruno with J.B. Fitness and Nutrition, over email with Bustle. Make sure that your job is in line with what you value and love about your life. If you go to work each day feeling sad, not purposeful or excited to be where you are for the majority of the day, then you will have a limited quality of life. Boost quality with a career that resonates with you and brings you joy.
5. Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously
According to Bruno, taking yourself too seriously can cause stress and dissatisfaction with life, while being more forgiving, lighthearted and kinder in spirit can make us feel happier and healthier during the day. If we are easier on ourselves, we will be in a better position to love our lives, our role within it, and our surroundings. Plus, we're more likely to be connected to others.
6. Give Compliments
Giving compliments to those around you and yourself can be uplifting and make us feel more connected to those around us and to our actions and thoughts each day. "Compliment yourself out loud," says Bruno. "Speak loving and positive words to and about yourself," she adds, is a great way to boost positivity. Also, provide others with compliments to boost personal interactions each day.
7. Reflect On Your Accomplishments
We work hard each day to feel accomplished and proud, and so we deserve to relish in our delight when deserved. "Spend a few moments and reflect on recent successes," advises Bruno. She says, "take a break from technology," and dig deep into your emotions and self-love. Give yourself a hug, list your accomplishments, say "thank you" for being awesome. Do whatever makes you feel alive and connected.
8. Stop Trying To Always Be There For Others
You can't be everything. While supporting others is the best way to maintain solid relationships and find reciprocation, sometimes you can't always sacrifice your needs to help or be there when needed. Life happens; don't beat yourself up over it. Instead, focus on being the best "you" you can be and focus on doing things for yourself first. Once your needs are met, you can help others better.
9. Have A Positive Network
Experts say that surrounding yourself with good, positive people can better our health and love of life, while avoiding toxic relationships can also keep us better rooted in the world. Eliminate toxic relationships and focus on being around those who encourage and uplift you. If you have friends who are discouraging towards your goals and desires, it's time to rethink the relationships and move on.
10. Allow For Spontaneity
Being adventurous and enjoying surprises can make life more fun and exciting. Let yourself be spontaneous and carefree, as such positive energy and willingness for adventure can boost happiness and health. Impromptu manicure during lunch? A unplanned weekend getaway to a winery or beach? Think of fun ways to shake up a routine and be more open to life's greatest gifts.
11. Be Open To Love
Closing yourself off to opportunities for love can be isolating, and while it might seem uncommon, it's actually fairly common amongst busy people who don't necessarily have enough time to put in adequate work for a romantic relationship. Whether you are short on time or lack trust, it's important to realize that you are lovable. You are awesome, and people will be attracted to your inner beauty. Allow love to flood through, and be ready to give some back.
No matter how great or poor your day might be going, don't forget to take a step back and remember to love your place in the world and be grateful for all the things that you get to enjoy. Savoring each moment and realizing how amazing life can be will allow you to open your mind to new relationships, adventures, and opportunities to feel connected to the world and more confident.
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