People often overlook the connection between an upbeat attitude, a healthy body and a sense of wellbeing. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly feel better, and that those who feel better tend to live longer. That’s good reason for establishing a healthy, more active lifestyle in 2018. Feeling good gives you energy, which makes it easier to overcome difficulties and deal with stress and anxiety. It also motivates you to try new things, which brings personal growth and boosts confidence. As you look forward to a new year, remember that the connection between health and happiness is no mere conjecture: it’s scientific fact. When you’re smiling, when you’re appreciative of what you have, and when you’re taking life in stride you’re making a real investment in your mental and physical health.
Live in the now
Indulging in regrets about the past and worrying about the future are tremendous wastes of emotional energy. Practice focusing on what’s in front of you and be mindful of the present. That can be difficult to achieve unless you’re prepared to take responsibility for past actions (or inaction), learn from mistakes and move forward with confidence. Accepting responsibility is self-empowering because it’s an acknowledgment that you have the power to address and rectify mistakes. It also makes it possible for individuals to make peace with themselves, to forgive themselves for past transgressions.
Focus on your strengths
Playing to your strengths is an important path to happiness and wellbeing. Getting there begins with identifying and accepting those abilities that make you special and give you the tools to be successful. This year, instead of doubting yourself and coming up with excuses, act on your personal strengths. Pursue a job that emphasizes what you do best rather than one that fulfills your employer’s expectations. If you’ve always wanted to develop an innate writing ability, consider taking a class or starting a blog that will help you develop that skill. Taking the first step, and following through on it, is an empowering and self-actualizing act.
Learn a foreign language
This year, try taking on a new challenge, something you’ve always wanted to do but weren’t sure you could succeed. Learning a new language builds confidence and offers numerous mental/cognitive benefits. The complexity of language learning builds new neural pathways, and improves overall brain functioning. People who learn a second language tend to be better at organizing and planning, are more reflective and critical, and have a higher level of overall intelligence. Learning a foreign language will also improve your ability to concentrate and enhance your memory.
The hectic pace and unpredictability of day-to-day living makes it difficult to maintain the health-wellness connection. A stressful work environment and the challenges of family life can fill you with doubt and erode one’s sense of self-worth. That’s why it’s important to achieve inner-peace and serenity. Meditation gives you control over feelings and bolsters emotional responses to external stimuli by teaching you to regulate emotions with your mind. It imparts self-awareness, which helps you maintain a healthy perspective when things don’t go your way.
There are mental and emotional benefits to learning a musical instrument. A University of Kansas study recently found that musicians possess better cognitive skills than non-musicians, and that playing an instrument engages different parts of the brain simultaneously. Music improves hand-eye coordination and reduces cortisol levels in the body, which causes stress. Before you begin, it’s important to find the right instrument for your skill level and long-term objectives. If you’re interested in the trumpet, bear in mind that there’s a wide range, from the flugelhorn to the high-pitched piccolo trumpet.
Making the connection
Boosting one’s sense of wellbeing is about making a strong connection between physical and mental health and maintaining a positive outlook. Science has shown that there is a close link between good health, wellbeing, and a longer, happier life. Why not begin the new year by making that connection in your own life?