Almost a week into the new year and no talk of resolutions, wishes, desires? I had been a stickler for the New Year routine for years when I realised that all I was doing was making the same list over and over again, narrowing or expanding the scope. That made me give up on resolutions.
Still there are times when life needs a course correction, when things become dull or uninspiring, when everything seems jaded. How then to find joy and contentment in daily life even when I am not climbing mountains or clinching that deal?
Here are some of my mantras for constant self-renewal.
Change your surroundings
Tackle your immediate environment first. Clutter can cause a lot of stress. Getting rid of the unnecessary gives you a priceless commodity-freed up space. Cherish that and feel the calm descend.
Another way is to go for a walk or a drive to an area you usually do not frequent. It may not be always possible to travel or to go on a vacation. The stimulus of being in a different place would bring in fresh ideas.
Do not draw from the same well
When feeling stuck in a rut, try to do things differently. Be creative in other areas. If you normally find your creative outlet in painting, try sculpting. If you write, try music as a way to get your creative juices flowing again. You need not even take rest or a break. Turning from one creative activity to another is a great way to rejuvenate your mind.
Examine your life script
Forget star alignments or God’s will or destiny. Much of that happens to us is governed by our minds-our perceptions, our imagination, our expectations and our vision. Analyse how you perceive yourself. Think about how you expect your life to turn out. Enumerate the things that are holding you back. Then, try to understand why you are not living your life the way you would really want to. Frequently, we are the ones holding ourselves back. We all can write our life script and work towards making it happen.
Stay fit physically
Physical fitness is a precursor to mental agility. Working out, taking care of what you eat, staying active make you feel good and in control. A healthy mind resides in an active body.
Connect with nature
Living an artificial lifestyle leads to stress and dissatisfaction deep inside. Spending some time communicating with nature brings on a sense of calm. It may not mean spending time in hills or near the sea as that may not be possible. Going for a walk in the relative quiet of the morning, taking up gardening or even contemplating with your own potted plants are great ways to feel closer to nature and yourself.
Expressing Gratitude on a regular basis brings an amazing amount of positivity into your life. Start a Gratitude Journal, keep a Gratitude Jar, count your blessings with beads, enumerating your blessings every morning are great ways to keep negativity in check. If you are unable to let go of your negative thoughts, replace one consistent negative thought with a strong positive one. It would soon work wonders in your life.
Seek out new connections
Seek out new people in your life for they would bring an element of newness and expand your mental horizons. Make friends with people of different age groups and social background. It is as important to interact with an eight year old than with an eighty year old. Make connections with people from diverse professions.
Review your Identity
We cannot and do not change what we are essentially, but we do change our habits, hobbies, even professions over a period of time. Give more time and thought to the direction you would like to move in and the person you would want to become.
Rejoice in the wonderful gift of life that has been handed to you!