There’s no magic bullet or single “to-do” list that can get you to a place where you feel your best, both mentally and emotionally. The process itself is unique to every person. If there was a specific series of steps to follow, each one of us would have already achieved a state of sustained contentment. Yet few of us, if any, are actually there. Instead, we’re all on our own individual journey toward becoming the happiest we can be.
That said, there are a few important principles to keep in mind along your own path. A bit more attention to these areas can get you off to a solid start toward reducing stress and maximizing feelings of overall wellbeing.
Try to achieve equilibrium in as many areas of your life as possible. It means not overdoing it on any one thing: whether it be eating, stressful thoughts or withdrawing when you feel overwhelmed. Review the list of areas in your life that require an active balancing act. In which of these areas can you achieve greater stability?
- Physically active time vs. restful time
- Alone time vs. time spent with family and friends
- Work activities vs. recreational activities
- Fresh, healthy foods vs. fast food or pre-packaged food
- Waking time vs. asleep
- Giving to others vs. receiving for yourself
To achieve greater mental and emotional wellbeing, be mindful of the areas where you’re lowering your standards, ignoring consequences, or putting the needs of others before your own. At our wellness retreats, we view wellbeing holistically. We believe that true wellbeing is a reflection of the balance between your body, mind, and spirit. Apply this outlook on your own as you bring your daily life into greater balance.
Just as the body needs fuel to grow, so does the psyche. Fill your mind and spirit with things that arouse your sense of curiosity and bring you excitement. Greet new challenges with enthusiasm. Default to “Sure, I’ll try that,” instead of, “No way!” At VeraVia’s wellness retreats, guests are always faced with trying something new, whether it be healthy foods they’ve never tried, outdoor activities they’ve never attempted, or sharing their feelings openly and honestly with new friends. Embracing your own flow of new experiences helps settle the fear of the unknown and brings fresh opportunity to increase your own emotional wellness.
It’s easy to become stuck in the rut of everyday life and take so much around you for granted. But if you make it a practice to genuinely express gratitude whenever you feel it, you’ll find that the practice becomes easier. Soon you’ll have no trouble finding things around you to appreciate.
Start with the small stuff. Things like your car, a hot shower, another sunny day. Then make it a practice to express gratitude to other people. Tell friends, coworkers, and family why you appreciate them–and mean it. Your gratitude can reflect something significant or something minor. By filling your mind with thoughts of thankfulness, you push out the inner complaints and anxieties that erode your emotional wellness. Soon you’ll find that your default habit is to look for the best in every situation, no matter what.
Throughout all this, remember to be kind to yourself. Pay attention to your inner dialogue—if that old critic starts rearing its head, actively shift your thoughts elsewhere. Meditation can help. Remember that lasting emotional wellness is not an overnight accomplishment. It’s an ongoing commitment to choose what feels good, and in doing so, minimize negative feelings and expectations. The bottom line is: you deserve to be happy.