Making simple, conscious decisions about your everyday LIFE can influence your physical and mental well-being. Following through on the right resolutions about your health and lifestyle choices is not difficult, especially if you have a firm idea of areas you want to improve, and understand that small, gradual steps typically have better results than cold-turkey or all-or- nothing approaches. Take some time today to consider areas of your LIFE you would like to improve. You may want to be healthier, more generous, less stressed, or just more optimistic. Once you determine your goals, create a timeline and attach some simple steps. Consider your strengths and how they can help you on your path, as well as your weaknesses and ways you can work around and with them. If, during your progress, you take a step backward, keep looking forward. Most goals are reached with both good and bad days playing a part!
When it comes down to it, friends, family, loved ones and acquaintances who make you feel more alive, happier, and more optimistic are some of the most important treasures in LIFE. All the money and power you can imagine are not likely to be as satisfying as good conversation, trust, dependability, and laughter. Today take a moment to think about the special people in your LIFE, and ways you can keep those relationships strong. Make it a priority to spend some time each week with at least one of them – whether by phone, e-mail, in person, or through a letter. Human connectedness is a powerful healer, one we should all share in.
Forgiveness is beneficial not only mentally but physically as well. People who forgive tend to be less angry, depressed, stressed out and anxious, and have lower blood pressure and heart rates than those who hold grudges. If you tend to have a hard time letting go of a grievance, consider that forgiveness does not mean you have to forget an incident, but rather that you can place a limit on how it affects you and your relationship with another, and that you benefit from the process as much as the person you have the grudge with.
Multiple commitments and hectic schedules can cause upsets to your daily LIFE. To stay balanced, relaxed, and calm, it’s necessary every so often to regroup and decompress. Read a book, start an art project, work in the garden, or treat yourself to a massage.
If you find that the demands on your time are overwhelming, don’t be afraid to politely say “no” when someone asks you to do something. Learn your limits. You can’t do it all and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Be a little selfish once in a while by scheduling “me time”—it will help keep you in touch with yourself in the year ahead.
Been feeling stressed out after watching or reading the news lately? Then you need a “news fast”—avoiding news on the television, newspaper or the Internet for a few days or even a week—may help renew your spirits. It is a good way to gauge how you react to and process news, and how the news affects you.
Before I end this chapter on Love and LIFE, I will answer a question that someone once asked me and that I made a promise to answer. They asked, What’s more important, money or love? Here is my answer. Money is a necessity to live LIFE; love is not. While love is wonderful, a feeling like no other, it doesn’t put food in your belly or shelter over your head. In LIFE, both money and love are very desirable, but money is the one our society requires us to have in order to get by. However, I believe that love is most important. Money can be acquired through effort, but money doesn’t amount to anything without love in your LIFE. Money can buy you things, but love can support you in spiritual, mental, and emotional areas of your LIFE. You can have all the money in the world but you truly aren’t happy if you don’t have love. Yes, money is important, but love is more important; love is the reason you and I exist. While I value love more than money, that is not to say I don’t value money. But I care about money only to the extent that it allows me to live a relatively comfortable LIFE. I believe that when I’m on my deathbed looking back on my LIFE, I will feel complete knowing that I have lived a LIFE full of love, a LIFE that was more satisfying than a LIFE spent pursuing money.
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