Live Mindfully to Live Happily: My Beginner’s Guide
It’s no secret that we live in the land of convenience. As technology has advanced, we have become accustomed to getting what we want, when we want and have been conditioned to think this is a good thing. However, this mindless approach to life leaves many of us feeling unsatisfied and unhappy. I invite you to consider the negative effects of ‘instant gratification’ habits and learn how to overcome them.
What is ‘instant gratification’?
We live in the golden age where convenience meets technology. Think of everything that is available at the snap of your fingers: Delicious food, entertainment, Internet, TV, drink, online shopping – you name it. We are conditioned to believe convenience is good. Why should we wait? Enjoy your life, right? Carpe diem!
It’s difficult to see the positive side of control and restraint when it is valued so little by our society. That is, until you are overcome by debt, poor health and mindlessness. When you want to make a positive change – improve your health or quit smoking, for instance –the value of such control becomes apparent.
Take back your control…and happiness
Living well means five basic things to me: being physically active, eating well, getting quality sleep, managing my stress and maintaining a positive social environment. This conscious way of living leads to simplicity, health, focus, achievement and happiness.
Here are five simple steps to avoid falling into the trap of instant gratification and live a happier, healthier life:
1. Recognize your urges. We all have urges to indulge in unhealthy activities such as check our social media, eat something sweet, our find mindless distractions. They are natural and almost unconscious. Recognize when they arise and do your best to follow a plan to deal with them in a healthy way.
2. Delay. Instead of acting on the urge right away, pause. Don’t act right away. Put some space between the urge and your action. Let your body calm down. Will power is like a muscle. The more you practice it, the stronger it will get.
3. Create a new habit. When the urge to indulge in a bad habit arises, rather than trying to resist completely try to replace the habit with a new, healthier one. For example, if you have an urge for a sweet treat after dinner, try to replace it with eating fruit. Overtime, you will crave the success you feel after the action and will be encouraged to repeat the good habit.
4. Remain positive. Your mind is like a powerful magnet. It attracts into you life what you think about most. A consistent positive attitude makes it much easier to add new good habits to reinforce your positive self-image.
5. Practice meditation. Studies show that meditation actually changes the brain structure in the areas of attention and impulse control. Just like willpower, mindfulness is a muscle that can be strengthened. It is the best solution to erasing bad habits based on the desire for instant gratification.
– Carine Coulm, CEO, Belty by Emiota
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