My emotional vulnerability is lessened when I am engaged in a lifestyle that is healthy. To maintain a healthy body, I can engage in good nutrition, exercise, avoid addictions, sleep well, and take care of physical illness.
For my own health, a consistent sleep schedule is critical. I take a range of vitamins that are a good balance for me. I try to eat lots of fruits and vegetable. I exercise in the morning for 20-30 minutes and maintain an active lifestyle.
I only exercise 10 minutes a day right now—but I can do that consistently and so I keep at it instead of worrying about the fact that other people do more.
But more than that, I need a lifestyle that is intentional and simple. My habits should include steps to reduce stress and foster more connections with others. To really declutter my emotional life, this can include not being so busy but still engaged in meaningful projects. It is easy to get too busy, and easy to also get too bored. I strive to balance my activities so that I feel I have a healthy mix of engaging projects, time for play, and time to take care of myself and others entrusted to my care.
One day as I was on a walk, I had the serendipitous opportunity to visit with a friend. Although the visit was enjoyable, it also threw off my whole schedule for the morning. After talking to myself, I realized I never want to be so busy that I don’t have time to talk to a friend.
Schedules and goals are so helpful and necessary—but they should never get in the way of your purpose.
I need connection with others. I need my family and friends, and opportunities to serve and help them. My life is better with others because others bring love. Part of this connection can include physical touch. Sometimes, there is nothing better in life than a hug.
When I’m striving to develop connection with others, it is always more effective if I’m looking outward. If I wait for others to come to me, I am bound to be disappointed. There isn’t always someone to give me the hug I want or to converse about a subject I enjoy or give me a compliment.
But there are always people out there who need a hug, who could use a kind word or would appreciate the small act of service I give. We do need each other, and I need to make sure I’m a part of the community I live in, that I’m contributing and doing what I can.
I try to develop attitudes and habits that bring long-term joy. This includes gratitude, service, and happiness. Happiness is:
- Choosing not to worry
- Keeping a good outlook and perspective
- Controlling my thoughts in a positive direction
- Doing things that I like to do
- Focus on my accomplishments and victories
- Helping others
- Being inspired
- Being happy for others and being with people who are happy
- Mindfulness during hard times
- Not having regrets
Happiness involves looking at the good things I can do and focusing on that instead of what is lacking or other things I cannot control. I am optimistic, for I know that God is in control and everything will work out.
My life can also be filled with a connection to God. A relationship with God is the source of all love and happiness. Prayer is powerful and can help through the hardest times, and make happy times even more meaningful.
It is good to have time for play, for enjoying beauty and nature, and taking advantage of opportunities that might not ever come again. Life is meant to be enjoyed with the people I love, and sometimes the only thing getting in my way is myself. There are opportunities to have fun, to just be happy, to dance, sing, and do things that might look silly to others, but fill me with life.
There are simple habits I can develop to increase my enjoyment of life. Enjoy good smells, and bring new smells into my life such as baking or cutting fresh flower. Listen to music that fills me with energy, or sing or play the music myself. Laugh, and find harmless things that I find amusing.
And breathe. Learn to relax and not be tight and high-strung. Find relaxation over fun: try a massage, learn to meditate, learn to just sit quietly and breathe deeply of fresh air. Enjoy going outside and finding beauty in the natural world. Live life today, now, and live it calmly.
- Determine one healthy habit that you want to develop
- Schedule it, set an alarm, and hold yourself to this new habit.