Copyright Nim Gholkar 2015 All Rights Reserved
Modern life is stressful…there’s no denying that. We’re all busy with so many things that we find little time to truly relax. Yes, in our ‘down’ time, we ‘think’ we’re relaxing by watching a movie, or reading a book or checking our Facebook notifications. But is that relaxing in the real sense? Are we at peace with ourselves, with our surroundings, with life?
Inner peace is something that doesn’t come merely by willing it. We need to actively practise the art of finding happiness. Here are a few tips that may help:
This is knowing how to be fully present in the moment….being aware. In our hectic lives, we rarely practise mindfulness. When we’re talking to someone, are we fully listening? Or are we busy thinking about our own response? When we’re out at dinner, are we enjoying the ambience, or are we busy being distracted by Facebook pings? This morning, I spent just 2 minutes watching a little parrot prancing around on a nearby tree. I concentrated on its movements….a trapeze artist in action. I noted its beautiful colours….red and orange and green and yellow…watched it take tiny steps as it jumped from one end of the branch to another…just 120 seconds out of my life, but it brought me so much peace. Live in the moment. It’ll bring you a world of joy.
Make a Gratitude List
We forget easily all the little things we need to be grateful about. Human nature is such that we take much for granted. We’re constantly striving for and working towards what we don’t have….a promotion at work or a much needed holiday or that new microwave we’ve been saving up for. How often do we stop and think about the little things that really matter? Company of our loved ones…cherished friends who will move mountains for us… a decent meal on the table…a roof over our heads….the sound of rain against the window sill….the chirping of birds as they wake up in the morning….the golden sunrise….When was the last time you actually saw the sun rise?
Comparison is one of the biggest causes for unhappiness. When we think thoughts like: ‘oh, they have a bigger house than we do’ or ‘why am I driving this old bomb and she has that fancy car?’ or ‘I wish I had a glamourous job like he does’, we’re actually filling our soul with negative thoughts which leads to us sending out negative vibes into the universe. By all means, aspire for bigger and better things. But at the same time, practise the art of contentment in what you have in the given moment.
Don’t hold grudges
When we hold a grudge about something someone said or did long ago, we are giving the other person far more importance and space in our minds than required. While we are sulking, the other person is busy enjoying his or her life. Our thoughts are what shape us. Ask yourself what harm you are doing to your own peace of mind when you hold on to old grudges. In any given day, we all have only 24 hours. There’s so much to do and so much to achieve and such little time in which to achieve it. Ask yourself if it’s really worth sparing any of this precious time sulking about something that happened long ago. Make a conscious decision to focus on things that matter. As they say, don’t sweat the small stuff.
Connect with Nature
Do something daily, for however short a time, that brings you closer to nature. This could be something as simple as taking a short walk around the block first thing in the morning. Or simply sitting at your window with a cup of coffee and watching the trees….without being distracted by social media or your mobile phone. Just a few minutes….that’s all it takes to feel refreshed and re-charged.
Reduce your future regrets
When you have a few spare moments in your busy schedule, think of all the things you’ll regret not having done when you look back on your life. And make sure you make time for those things. Whether it is re-connecting with a long-lost friend or spending time chatting with you old grandmother…whether it is learning how to belly dance (something you’ve always wanted to do) or trying your hand at pottery….actively make time for these things. Like Mark Twain said: “20 years from now, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.