There is a definite connection between body and soul. Be happy, feel better. Share kindness, win friends, and feel good. On the other hand, when you are stressed or miss your work out, it is not always easy to turn the other cheek. Common sense confirms recent studies that caring for others improves both the wellbeing of those you helped and your own!
I have struggled to learn this lesson over my 50+ years. I am naturally an intense person and a bit of a curmudgeon. A person that is sometimes not kind to others and in particular myself. Driven to achieve, I sometimes drive other people out and beat myself up. This often led to regret, guilt and more often then not an eating binge. A happy person is a healthy person and visa versa.
That is why when I started on my weight loss journey two years ago, it was just as important to cleanse my soul as my body. I took several measures to help me improve my disposition and correspondingly my health. This is what I did.
- Write in my Kindness Journal – I journal six minutes a day in a Kindness Journal. It sets my goals for the day on how to be a better person and helps me vision the person I want to become. It also provides me a place to recognize those items the day before for which I was most pleased (being kind to myself) and reflect on those that were kind to me. Lastly, I set my intention on one kind or beneficial act that I will do to make the world better for others. I use this particular journal but you can use another Kindness Journal
- Record happy thoughts in HappyFeed – Besides writing in my Kindness Journal, I record three things each day that I am happy about. I use the iOS application HappyFeed. You do not always have to write something earth shattering. Sometimes I write something like “I got 8 hours of sleep last night!”. The key is to dwell on what makes you happy whether than what makes you stressed.
- Pray, Meditate and Give Thanks – When you are thankful, there is no room for worry. You feel better about yourself and also those around you. Also the Power of Thanksgiving can break through even the darkest hour. I spoke to this in the following blog. The Power of Thanksgiving
- Help Others – Helping others has benefits for those you help and others. First, when you help others, you focus on them and not the issues that you are facing. Also, you are so preoccupied with the task at hand whether it is building a house for Habitat for Humanity or walking to raise funds to combat cancer, that you often do not have time to overeat.
- Smile – The simple act of smiling lightens your mood and that of others. Better yet laugh, it is the best medicine as they say.