4 Key Steps to Cultivating Your Own Well-being

4 Key Steps to Cultivating Your Own Well-being

how to be happy

For as long as you can remember, you’ve probably been told time and again how to be happy. Our parents, the media, and our government all want us to conform to what they think is the key to our happiness.


However, scientific research has recently pinpointed what actually makes you happy and it’s got nothing to do with how big your bank account is or how famous you are. Your happiness mainly depends on the choices you make and the habits you keep. Albeit, there is a fair amount that also depends on genes—and also your circumstances—but the way you approach life is what ultimately dictates your happiness.


First, let’s go back a little to define “well-being.” What does it actually mean? Think of a time when you were at peace with yourself and the world around you, a time when you were content. When you felt that things were blissfully going your way in all areas of your life and when you were aware of your potential and had an ambitious plan to reach your goals.

That’s “well-being.”


For each and every one of
us, there are 5 areas in our lives that help determine our state of well-being.
If one area is affected negatively, it affects the rest of the areas.


  • your social circle, which includes
    family and friends

  • the community in which you’re a
    part of

  • your finances

  • you physical health

  • the state of your career


The World Health
Organization divides well-being into 2 categories: subjective and objective.
Subjective well-being is derived from your own life experiences. Objective well-being
is derived from how your personal life circumstances compare with social
values, expectations, and norms.


A genuine state of
well-being must be based on the following:


  • eating a well-balanced diet

  • getting good quality sleep

  • exercising regularly

  • being able to cope with stress

  • balancing emotions


So how can you be happy?
Most of us draw up a list in our minds of all the things that will make us
happy. Even though each list may be unique in terms of the details, most lists
will indubitably include the following:


  • a successful career

  • lots of money

  • physical beauty

  • a powerful position

  • fame

  • love


Moreover, there’s nothing
wrong with having goals to strive for. The problem is that once you reach one
or all of these goals, your feeling of happiness starts to wane because what
was once new and exciting is suddenly the norm. It’s a basic human
characteristic; it happens to all of us. However, the good news is that this
means that your happiness is constantly evolving, which makes you evolve and
grow with it.


There are many things you
can do to ensure a constant state of balanced emotions. You shouldn’t despair
when things don’t go your way. Here are 4 tips to nurture your well-being:


  1. Amp
    up Your Positivity


This doesn’t mean you
overlook all the negative things that happen around you. It just means you
acknowledge that something bad happened that set you back, and then you find a
way to step back up and learn from it. Positive people look for the value in
negative situations. They have a resilient and centered perspective on things.
They realize that it could’ve easily been much worse. They also make it a point
to get compensation after they’ve been through a stressful situation. This can
be in the form of some materialistic compensation, or it can mean that they
simply search within for inner peace and tranquility.


You probably think that
this is something innate; that people are simply born resilient and buoyant. However,
the truth is they’re not. Our thinking patterns generate our emotional patterns.
So, for example, if you keep thinking you’re no good at a certain job – you’ll
be emotionally unable to accept yourself in that job. Moreover, emotions are
powerful things that can dictate how our lives turn out, if we let them. The
way we feel is even responsible for how certain chemicals increase or decrease
in our brains. Positive people learn—by practice—how to enjoy their lives, be
productive, and flourish.


They realize that the world
doesn’t come to an end when bad things happen. They still keep a supply of
healthy coping mechanisms that have been previously tried and tested at their
disposal, just in case.




Whenever you’re depressed
or worried, you’re either beating yourself up about something that happened to
you in the past or worrying about something may or may not take place in the


Why not switch to the
present for a change? When you practice mindfulness, you focus on what’s
happening around you right this very second; any sound, any smell, any feeling
you have in your body – you get the idea. When you are pulled in so many
directions, you lose focus on the little things that happen throughout the day.


Many studies have been carried
out on the effects of mindfulness and they have shown that this practice is a
vital step to happiness and well-being. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that
happy people don’t let the small things that happen throughout their day go
overlooked and underappreciated. They’re observant and grateful. When people
are focused on the now, they’re more likely to feel peaceful, centered
and happy.


Even if you’re not into
meditation, you can practice mindfulness by simply sitting in a chair that is
in a room with very low light and no distractions. Close your eyes and focus on
your breathing. Just five minutes a day will reduce your stress levels, boost
your sense of inner peace, and help you to be satisfied with your own self. If
you’ve never tried meditation and would like some tips, there are many sites
that tell you exactly what to expect, like this meditation technique that can
be done anywhere in under 5 minutes.


Get to
Know and Use Your Unique Talents


A wonderfully empowering way
to find your own sense of well-being is to tap into your strengths. This will
help you to boost your level of self-esteem because you’ll be spending time doing
something extremely well and with lots of love. That spirit will show on your
demeanor, on your facial expressions, and in the way you deal with people. You will
become more comfortable with who you are.


When you feel confident, others
find you more approachable. You also become better at dealing with others—both
the people you know and strangers. You become more accepting and less judgmental.
You also start to avoid comparing yourself to others or over-thinking.


However, realizing what
your talent actually is may not be as simple as it sounds. To help with this
dilemma, Tom Rath has released a book, Strengths Finder 2.0. This book contains
hundreds of strategies to help you get to know your inner strengths so you can
put them to good use.


The flip side is that once
you’ve become familiar with your own talents and strengths, then it’s time to
go out and learn something new. Learning new things helps to motivate you and to
boost your self-confidence. It also piques your curiosity and keeps you
mentally alert. You don’t have to take night classes or apply for a diploma.
You can learn new things by going to a Zumba class, learning to paint, or
joining a club.


Stay Fit and


If you don’t take care of your
body by eating right, sleeping well, and exercising regularly, then it’ll be
difficult to maintain a healthy mental outlook on life. We each have four forms
of energy:


  • physical

  • mental

  • emotional

  • spiritual


When one of these is out of tune, things don’t well for the other


Consistent exercise
increases the release of feel-good hormones in the brain and decreases stress levels as well as blood pressure and
cholesterol levels. It also helps strengthen memory and concentration, which
can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Try working out for an hour, 3-5
days a week. It really doesn’t matter what type of activity you do as long as
you’re having fun.


Moreover, if you sleep less
than 7 hours a night that means you’re depriving yourself of some much-needed
sleep. This directly affects your happiness and emotional stress. Likewise, it
affects your ability to make rational decisions, to think, or to focus for even
a short amount of time.


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Rod Stone
Publisher and Supplier of Healthy Living information and products to improve
your life.

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