“A healthy outside starts from the inside.” Robert Urich
A lovely summer is slowly coming to an end. I realized this last night when I actually needed a thicker blanket and felt how the air and warmth of the sunlight changed. There are many things I am very grateful for these days and not many things I need in my life because all I need is …. actually less. When I cut out the things I don’t need, I leave room for the positive and beneficial things I want to focus on. The same principle helps me to strip away the, for example, unhealthy elements of my diet and replace them with nutritious alternatives or to identify some weirdness in my relationships with people and put them behind me. By learning to prioritize and pare things down I fell the benefits across all areas of my life. So, I want to share how I found my pleasure dome:
- I worry less and take action instead. I meditate. I lighten the load by chatting with the people who matter in my life. I write about what worries and bothers me.
- I get active. Physical exercise is an effective way to de-stress quickly as it releases endorphins (Oh yeah, I forgot, I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist: -> endorphins are “feel-good hormones” that make one calmer). I love to run, swim and practice Yoga.
- I rationalize my worries and be realistic. I don’t let my worries take control so they can get blown up out of proportion. Honestly, if it is pretty unlikely to happen, I focus on the present instead and decide then if I will actually cross that bridge if it (ever) comes to me.
- I don’t dwell on decisions. I trust my instinct, bite the bullet, and decide. I commit to my plan and take action. With the right partner, this is even easier.
- I let go of control. There are some things in life I can control and others that I just can’t. I leave for work on time but I cannot prevent the train from not running due to construction. I can always control the way I react to these situations though.
- I have less clutter. I have access to so much stuff. I can purchase things with a mouse-click. But what do I really need? Most unnecessary things, instead of making me feel happy, have a detrimental effect on my mood. I love a clutter-free home because it is calm, relaxed, and creates a happy haven. When I moved from Canada to Austria, I thought about decluttering my home as therapy, rather than a tedious task. It instantly boosted my mood and encouraged me to go on and score in other areas of my life. I was realistic about what to keep because everything my son and I could take was supposed to fit into two suitcases each.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris
- I rethink my gifting. I consider giving time or experiences instead of items. Tickets to the Opera (For some who might not know – Vienna has an Opera), a hot-air balloon ride, a trip to some awesome place, or a SPA-afternoon. For kids: ONE gift that they really want.
- I take myself on a date. I take along my favorite book, eat something awesome, visit a museum after or see a movie.
- I declutter “beauty” products because there are so many additives and chemicals in those that are easily absorbed through the skin. I make my products or switch to the ones as natural as possible.
- I detoxed my friendship group. My free time is precious and it is important to spend it with positive people. My friends should boost me, encourage me, and make me feel better and valued. And I should do the same for them. I trust my gut instinct. If I am dreading a meeting with someone, I don’t do it unless I have to.
- I always make time for loved ones.
- I practice seeing someone. I find a peaceful space and stand or sit cross-legged toe-to-toe with my partner, then simply look into their eyes silently for at least a minute. There are always the initial giggles but once I relax I find that letting someone “see” me in this way is very powerful and I feel equally honored to see my partner, too. It brings us much closer together.
“Bring awareness to the many subtle sounds of nature: The rustling of leaves in the wind, raindrops falling, the humming of an insect, the first birdsong at dawn.” – Eckhart Tolle
- I don’t take things personally anymore. If people have behaved badly toward me, it is not a personal vendetta but just a sign that they were not able to handle things better. Issues like this are almost always about the other person, rather than me. I might never know exactly why people have behaved in a certain way, but they are motivated by their own fears and are a victim of their own weakness. I rise above these situations and don’t become embroiled in analyzing why they have happened. Life is tricky enough without picking up another person’s baggage. And in the midst of movement, chaos, insanity, and more, I am able to keep stillness inside because solitude has its own very strange beauty to it.
Stay Sane. Stay Happy. Stay Healthy.