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10 Forgotten Truths About Happiness

10 Forgotten Truths About Happiness

All of us would like to be happy. We would like to find joy, exhilaration and satisfaction in everything we do and in the lives we lead everyday. In the crazy, sophisticated world of today, many of us seem to have forgotten how amazingly easy it is to make the constant choice of being happy. Just to remind this amazing, busy and sometimes happiness-yearning 21st century world, here are ten forgotten truths about happiness.

1. Gratefulness for how lucky we are despite the challenges we face is the key to reaching true happiness.

Last year, I conducted leadership campaigns for several children of an orphanage in my hometown in India. I was surprised to see how happy the children were though they had never known their parents and though more than 40 of them shared a single room for living space. Their optimism and immense will to keep hoping and dreaming taught me that the obstacles in our life, however daunting they seem, are irrelevant if we have the courage to be grateful for everything we already have. The fact that we are living to breathe this moment and that we have senses to read this article is a proof of how tremendously privileged we are and all the things we should be thankful for. Thankfulness inevitably brings happiness.

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2. Long lasting happiness is usually got from our experiences and  memories, not material things.

Clothes, booze, mansions, cars and all the material luxuries that money can buy us often only serve as a palliative to numb the desire for true happiness. To be really happy, we should invest in experiences and build memories doing the things that exhilarate us and with the people with whom we share the greatest love.

3. Happiness can be found in slowing down, listening to others and reconnecting with nature (and perhaps with God, if you are a believer).

In the totally crazy and absolutely busy world of today we often overlook the simple pleasures our surroundings can offer us. It could be the fragrance of flowers on the street side, a laughing baby in the neighborhood, deep meditation, travelling or perhaps, prayer. Some people, like me, find real happiness connecting with nature and some others, like my mom, find happiness by connecting with God through prayer. We all have different ways of tuning into our inner selves and giving ourselves a break. Finding what our ‘way’ is and doing it is key to finding our unique happiness.

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4. Peace+love=happiness.

In the words of a song in Barbie the island princess “love knows, love grows bigger than before…in your heart there’s always more”. When we choose to care more deeply and for more people, our capacity to love expands, because we always have more to give. Often loving others is the key to being loved and this cycle often has a cyclic effect of giving us joy. Peace, got from pursuing what we love, and love, gained by sharing and caring for people, add up to give guaranteed happiness.

5. On our deathbeds, many of us are going to wish that we had let ourselves be happier.

According to an article published in The Mind Unleashed, one of the top five regrets people have on their deathbeds is that they hadn’t chosen to be happier, more often. So let yourself be happier. Choose to do what gets you there.

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6. Tuning into upbeat media when things seem dismal is a better shot at rediscovering joy.

Self-pity is not going to help heal our melancholy. Looking up to sources of hope and optimism-upbeat songs, optimistic books, rom-com movies etc.- in depressing times can help us much better in rediscovering the way of joy than drowning ourselves deeper in the well of tragedies.

7. Following the Cinderella motto, having courage and being kind is a sure-shot way to make us feel happy.

Have courage under to face all circumstances, and be kind to others and even more importantly, to yourself. You’re not perfect and life is not perfect. Serving others and exercising regularly are universal keys to feeling happy and good about ourselves.

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8. Don’t let regret swallow the precious times in which you could feel happy instead.

Don’t blame or give yourself negative pep-talks-remember you’re only human and it’s okay to make mistakes- just learn to forgive yourself, to learn from your mistakes and move on.

9. Smile.

Forcing a “genuine” smile and holding it for two minutes can actually make you feel happier by boosting the levels of your ‘happy hormones’ like serotonin, according to a research published in psychology today.

10. Happiness doesn’t occur by chance, it’s a constant choice we have to make, every second of every day.

Every time we feel happy, it is firstly because we choose to and not because of the events that are happening around us. If we have the will to be happy every moment, we will find a way to get there regardless of our circumstances.

Featured photo credit: Jonathan Kos-Read via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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