2020 was a very challenging year for the majority of people, but we deserve to acquire better habits in 2021 to live a happier life. When I say habits, I don’t mean setting unrealistic expectations that eventually lead to complete disappointment, rather certain tasks that help to improve your mind and body day by day. The habits I will be mentioning is something that allowed me to grow as a person and to love myself more. If this sounds like something you need in your life, then I highly recommend you to continue to read and check out our website and other posts about self-improvements.
I’m hoping some of these practices and suggestions will present ideas for what you can begin to create the habits to regularly to show yourself the love you deserve.
5 Habits to Improve Your Mind, Body, and Soul in 2021
Master the art of listening
Epictetus, a Greek philosopher once said “You have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Listening is an important skill, and if you can master it, you will achieve a lot more in many aspects of your life. Being an active listener will not only allow you to gather all the information you need before responding, but you understand the situation better.
You will find yourself saying “Wait, what?” A LOT LESS than usual. Trust me.
You build a connection with your friends, families, and colleagues when you have meaningful conversations. You are showing that you are capable of engaging in a two-way conversation that is not solely based on your thoughts.
Don’t get me wrong, It is great to show excitement while interacting with others, but sometimes it’s better to slow down and be present in the moment instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next. By demonstrating that you are listening, you present yourself as somebody who is welcoming and approachable.
You may have many great ideas to share, but slowing down allows you to engage in a worthwhile conversation. Quit thinking about what you want to eat, or what tasks you need to complete. Give the same respect you would want others showing you while speaking, and give your undivided attention to the speaker.
I have to admit that I am somewhat guilty of this because I am an extremely bubbly person, and my mind is always overflowing with thoughts and ideas. However, I am realizing that I have become a happier person simply by talking less and listening more. You will absorb much more information, and it will give you enough time to collect the phrases and process them efficiently.
Everyone has different perspectives. What you may believe to be “fine” may be “rude” or “inconsiderate” to others. That doesn’t mean change yourself to please others, but rather be more mindful of your surroundings and recognize how your words affect different people.
Set good intentions. Always.
Learn to say “No”
On a scale from 1-10, how likely are you to turn down someone who is asking for a favor?
Well, that kind of depends on what the favor is, and whether you have the resources to fulfill their desires or not, am I right?
Rejecting someone is never a good feeling because you probably understand how it feels to be rejected too. You may feel even worse when the person asking you for a favor is someone you’re close to like a friend or a family member.
The thing is, you can never please everybody in your life. You have to get in the habit of understanding that your needs are far more significant than going out of your way to gratify someone else.
I have found myself feeling bad because I believed that saying “No” would stir up negative emotions and guilt. But the reality is, I can’t always put everybody first and myself last. That is just unfair. It is unhealthy to say “Yes” when you simply don’t feel like it because you are honestly making yourself feel miserable.
If you are afraid of saying no simply out of the fear that the other person would feel uncomfortable, perhaps take it personally, or even stop associating with you, should you be around those types of individuals? Why surround yourself with people who are incapable of respecting the fact that you simply choose not to do certain things?
Yes, it is very important to be helpful and to use your abilities to bring positive changes around you. The act of giving is scientifically proven to boost your happiness and sense of well being. But setting boundaries will bring you just as much happiness and a sense of well being. Knowing when to draw the line only makes your mind stronger.
It is never selfish to put yourself first.
Where do I even begin? We all know how chaotic 2020 was for everybody all around the globe. I think we all deserve to take 15-20 minutes out of our busy days to relax and just breathe, to be honest. I began meditating during the start of quarantine, and I cannot describe how much peace and awareness it has brought into my life. There are so many factors that have positively impacted my life as a result of meditation.
Meditation has made me more creative, energetic, and it has decreased my overthinking. I have also noticed a decrease in stress and anxiety. This allows me to sleep better at night. My overall mental and physical health has improved and my concentration has enhanced.
How I meditate is, I usually get in a comfortable position, play relaxing music in the background, close my eyes, and put my entire focus on my breathing. It helps me calm my mind, be present at the moment, and release any negativity from my body. You can start meditating for even 5 minutes per day and slowly build up the amount of time you meditate. Being connected to our soul through meditation releases pain. Meditation heals the soul.
I promise you will not regret it.
5 by 5 Rule
As the new year comes closer, I think it is about time we learn to release the anger, frustration, embarrassment, guilt, annoyance, blame, and resentment going into 2021. Our lives are way too short to be reminiscing about what could’ve been. Stop thinking about the time you did something embarrassing in front of your peers, or when you failed that test. The truth is, none of these things matter. I guarantee you that nobody is taking notes on how you are not “perfect.” Nobody is perfect.
You have to accept that you are in control of your reality. Our reactions to the situations we encounter are what creates our reality. As Charles R. Swindoll mentioned, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
You are fully in control of your words, actions, mistakes, ideas, and behavior. What you are not in control of other people’s reactions, feelings, behavior, and their play. Quit pulling yourself down and losing sleep over the things you have zero control over.
Remain honest to yourself. Take the time to reflect on what happened, and how you can avoid dealing with similar situations in the future.
Train your mind to see the good in everything, and watch how happier you will become. Do not try to be liked by everybody, because you know very well that you don’t even like everybody. 2021 needs to be filled with positive energy and a healthy mindset.
Next time you worry about something, ask yourself first. “Will this matter in 5 years?” and if the answer is no, you know what not to spend your energy on.
My journal and the dozens of diaries I keep on my nightstand are truly my best friends. It helps me to track the ongoing events in my life, plan my day, or even be something I turn to when I need to get some things off my chest. It is not something I consider to be a task, but rather something I enjoy and is pleasurable to me. Journaling allows me to balance my emotions, I use it as a way to let go of the things that do not serve me anymore, and to just pour out my frustration at times.
I view journaling as a form of therapy. FREE THERAPY! It becomes quite helpful when I need to rant, but don’t feel like telling anyone how I feel. I remain honest with myself, and I keep it very personal and messy.
One thing to realize about journaling is that you have to keep your expectations very realistic. Don’t think that you have to write pages every single time you pick up your pen. Also, don’t try to believe it has to be grammatically correct, or your punctuations have to be perfect. Keep in mind that a short and simple paragraph goes a long way. As you start writing, you will notice that you are pouring your thoughts and feelings just like that. It is something that will come to your mind naturally.
Whenever you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, write away. When you go back and read those things, you will probably come to realize that things are not as bad as it seems.
Get creative with it. Grab a few colored pens and use your creativity to keep it enjoyable.
Maybe you can try journaling as soon as you roll out of bed. Write down your affirmations, how you want to spend the day, and what you hope to achieve. Or maybe you can journal right before bed. Reflect on how your day went, what you’re grateful for, or whatever comes to mind.
You decide what works for you.
Promoting these habits requires determination, lots of persistence, and consistent discipline. It might take just a few weeks or maybe a couple of months. Regardless, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to build the habit as long as you remain true to yourself and are willing to do whatever it takes to improve your mind, body, and soul.