Happiness and how to live well

Happiness is taking time to live well.  You know the old adage ‘live to work’ not ‘work to live’.  Well one thing’s for certain, when you are approaching the end of your life the one thing people are unlikely to say is that they wish they had spent more time at the office.

But what does living well mean in real terms?  For me it’s all about balance.  I believe our whole approach to life needs to become more balanced:

  • enough work balanced with enough leisure
  • enough stress balanced with enough relaxation
  • enough need balanced with enough money to meet your needs
  • enough of the right, healthy foods balanced with enough of the occasional dietary indiscretion
  • enough sleep balanced with….well you’ve probably got it by now!

When we achieve the right balance between the things in our lives we can truly take time to ‘live well’.

Read my six tips to developing a more balanced life below:

Worklife:

Accept your desire to achieve for what it is.  Probably it’s either connected to what gets you up in the morning i.e. your passion or it’s your desire to be seen well of by others.  Understanding why you are so driven to achieve is the first step to changing this.

Take responsibility for your choices and actions.  Learn to set yourself realistic timeframes for delivery so you don’t become over burdened by other people’s expectations of you.

Homelife:

Understand the need to respect and honour yourself.  Do not habitually put yourself last on the list.  You have the right to free time as much as anyone else in the family/workplace.  Make a conscious effort to leave work on time.

Giving yourself permission to make time for self care gives others permission to do the same for themselves.  Net result – you will reduce your own stress and the level of ‘free floating’ tension within your environment.  It’s a WIN/WIN for everyone.

Developing hobbies and interests that promote balance:   

Dare to dream.  What would your life be like if you achieved some of the things the younger you aspired to have, do or be?  Make a list of all the things you have put off until this point.  Ask yourself if they are legitimate reasons or if they are just excuses.  Are you trying to blame others for your missed opportunities?

Recognise we are what we eat:

Make conscious choices about what you eat and drink.  If it doesn’t support you to live well then learn to choose something different.  Start menu planning and avoid the quick fix of ready meals and takeaways.  Instead reconnect your appetite with foods that delight your senses, real natural foods like wholegrains, fruit and vegetables containing essential minerals and vitamins.  Avoid too much alcohol, salt, sugar and processed food – they will only drain your energy and add unwanted inches.

Balance intimacy with solitude:

Time spent alone can be just as energising as time spent in the company of others.  Take steps to develop a network of supportive relationships.  You can read more about this in our blog post ‘Balancing intimacy with solitude’ .  Let go of any relationships that drain you.

Practice positive, can-do thinking:

Adopt this type of thinking and you will find you can make things happen.  Remember ‘possible in the world is possible for me’ – it really is only a matter of how.  Doing nothing is not an option.  Create the life you deserve.  Start taking action – NOW.  And remember a 1% improvement every day equates to a 365% improvement over the year.  Wouldn’t you want some of that?

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