GIVE

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This post was inspired a week ago as I was roaming around in the city, and thought about how can I make a contribution to our community. How can I give back in a small way. I’ve volunteered in the past, and it is a great way to give back to the community. But that day, I was more interested to brighten someone’s day. To be the reason for someone’s happiness. Nothing huge, yet something small. I am sure many of you can relate to this feeling. When was the last time you helped someone out without any selfish reasons. What I mean by helping someone out is to give, but not expect anything in return. To help out without selfish motives. Is that possible though? Can we be absolutely sure that we are not expecting anything in return. Even if there are no expectations, we do expect something in return- God’s blessings, or expect a reward for our good deeds. I am not saying there is anything wrong in that, I guess we need a motivation to do good. Whatever the reason be, we shouldn’t stop helping out.

Recently, I distributed baked goods and pastries to homeless people in the area. Sometimes, I would give away my small change (if I have any), but that particular day I distributed pastries from a local store. I ended up saving the last piece as a treat for myself. And I broke my fast with it.

How do you help others in a small way?

 

 

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The Gift of Giving: Gratitude and Happiness

What is the connection between happiness and gratitude? Do we need to be grateful in order to be happy? We are all seeking the one thing, and yet we are also very different in our approach. I watched this TED talk on happiness and gratitude not very long ago, and it made me reflect – Is happiness born from gratitude? Can we start experiencing more happiness when we start appreciating little things in life? The next few paragraphs are my random thoughts, so bear with me.

As I have been told every moment is an opportunity, and that is the key to happiness. I have yet to discover things for myself, but the minute I started being thankful for little things in my life…feelings of joy started to flow into my life. We are not born with this mind-set ofcourse, but we can make it a habit. I also think there is a joy in gift of giving. The more you give out, you receive triple the amount back.

What we imagine, we become, and what we think, we create. Hence, I truly believe that our thoughts and our minds are powerful tool in shaping us into who we want to become. If I am in charge and in control of my thoughts then I am in control of my well-being. While people are aware of the importance of physical health (we look after our body, we go for our routine check, and we spend endless hours in the gym to be healthy), attitudes toward mental health are different. Why aren’t we as concerned? Why is physical health given more importance than mental health? I keep raising this question, and it is amazing to see that people are now acknowledging it as well.

I think it boils down to one thing: Change the way you think about things. We miss out on every little things in life, and beautiful moments pass by if we are not present in the moment. We show gratitude towards people, and appreciate sweet gestures when we start to make a mental notice of our surroundings. So take a moment to appreciate when someone does something good for you, next time. Never take things for granted! You may not show them in words (as not everyone can be expressive), but accept it in your heart, and be thankful.

And when you are happy and show love to the things you want, you don’t just attract them, but will have no room for fear, insecurity, resentment, envy, and doubt. If you fear that what you are aiming for is impossible then just believe in your vision, imagine it and enjoy the process. Don’t worry about the outcome, as everything will fall into place. Just BELIEVE it. ENVISION it. And dream big! Many people are confused, not because they don’t know what they want, but because they are fearful and may question their ability whether they can or cannot. And they may or may not overcome it.

I also read an interesting research on health and happiness. I think it is no surprise that when we are fully energised, we get a lot of things done. Hence the point of the research was that in order to increase our level of energy, we need to be getting enough sleep and exercise, as the two are the predictors of wellbeing.

Research also showed happier people are more interested in the problems of the world, and in the problems of the people. They are more often and willingly to offer help. If you are asking well then, what might bring you happiness? – It is different to each one of us, but novelty and challenge contribute to people’s happiness. What is challenging for you might not be challenging for someone else, so you have to know what is right for you.

Recently, as I have learned, outcome does not matter as much. Just enjoy the process. I hope some can relate to this post or hoping that you can take something positive out of it.

 

 

How to Improve our Quality of Life and Productivity

7-Habits-of-a-Healthy-LifestyleFollowing from my last blog, which was about motivation, goal setting and dreams, this week I want to address the impact of healthy diet on our overall well-being. How to improve the quality of our lives and productivity? With so much going on in our lives, such as dealing with school, work and family life, sometimes we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. We start to take our body and mind for granted. What we should be really doing is focusing on ourselves first and foremost.
There is no magic to a healthy living. This is what worked for me, and I hope it does for you too.

  • Eating healthy
  • Exercise regularly
  • Peace of mind
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Meditation

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Eating healthy involves consuming more fruits, vegetables and less fatty foods. Cutting down on the  carbohydrates or having it less than you normally would. Things that have worked for me in the past include:

  •  Green tea– it stimulates the body’s metabolism and can also suppress the absorption of fat. And drinking it daily aids in weight loss.
  • Olive oil has many benefits; the main benefit is that it lowers the bad cholesterol and raises the good cholesterol.
  • LemonTry drinking lemon water as it is refreshing and has Vitamin C. It is best to reduce your intake of sugar, no pop, alcohol or canned fruit drinks!
  • And lastly, Chicken is the best way to lose weight. This white meat is less fat, making it a good source of meat protein.

Exercise – I can’t stress enough the importance of exercising and its endless benefits. You don’t have to go to the gym to be able to do your exercise, simply by being active such as joining a sports club, a good walk, jog, and yoga does the job. I have personally gained a lot of benefits from doing yoga during my undergraduate years. It helped in maintaining my weight, reduced stress, and calms my mind.

And yes drink plenty of water—8 glasses of water is what the doctors suggest, and five to six glasses are fine too for starters. Keep a bottle of water in your purse, bag pack, in your car, so that it is easily reachable. -And make sure you have a glass of water every morning before breakfast as it helps in reducing weight.

Lastly, meditation helps with our mental well-being; it improves concentration levels and helps us to stay better focused in achieving our goals. Spare some time for yourself only. And spend time alone with yourself, where you can reflect on the past events and daily activities.

Some factors that are important for maintaining well-being include:

  • good interpersonal relationships – a supportive relationship with at least one person – having good social support, good family relationships
  • connectedness – having friends and social/cultural networks within the community
  • purpose – having meaningful activity in life such as work, academic, sporting and spiritual pursuits

Next week’s topic will cover the importance of having a positive frame of mind until then stay tuned!

click here for healthy eating and foods for a flat belly.