This is a guest post from Spirit Charger, a new online guide to wellness that will inspire you mind, body and spirit!
It’s that time of the year again! It is time to form New Year resolutions, pin them on the refrigerator door, and share them on Facebook. So what did you resolve to achieve this year? Quit smoking. Shed a few unwanted pounds. Shop less. Save more. Pay off the debts. That’s an impressive list.
But, wait! Weren’t these your resolutions for last year? And the year before that? Didn’t you follow through with these resolutions? You didn’t.
Unfortunately, it is likely that you fail this year too.
No, nothing is the matter with you. Your New Year resolutions demand that you do a radical reboot of your life, attitudes, behavior patterns, and habits. That is a tall order unless you are a spiritually evolved person who can tame his mind, ward off distractions, and sustain a healthy habit.
So this New Year, form just 7 resolutions that will help you take charge of and improve every sphere of your life. This New Year, challenge your mind to fulfill these resolutions.
Make a conscious effort to breathe deeply a few times every day. Deep breathing is good for your body and calms your mind. In our hectic, stressful lives, taking time to breathe deeply lets you pause and find perspective. Take a few deep breaths before you shoot out an angry mail or respond in a heated argument, so you don’t end up repenting your words later. Take a few breaths when the day’s tasks seem to overwhelm you, so you don’t lose sight of your priorities.
Breathe deeply whenever you can make time to tap into an oasis of calm and peace in the midst of the mad frenzy called life.
You probably knew this was coming somewhere in the list. But the crux of the matter is that you cannot attain any spiritual goal if you cannot still your mind.
The “monkey” mind is mischievous; it bogs you down with negative emotions like fear, self-doubt, hopelessness, and depression. The mind is restless; it loves to take you on emotional rollercoaster rides that leave you stressed out in the end. It constantly chatters and drowns your soul’s voice. It holds on to past hurts, bears grudges, is biased, gets taken in by illusions, and harbors many misconceptions. Worse, your mind makes you “see” reality through its jaundiced eyes. Does it surprise you that you are always on the edge?
This year, resolve to meditate daily for at least 5 minutes to calm the monkey mind and make it obey you instead of you marching to its tunes.
3. Be in the moment.
Being in the moment is living mindfully, not just when you meditate but at every moment in your life. Pay conscious attention to what is happening in the present moment without worrying about outcomes. Focus on what you are doing now instead of ruing a past you cannot change or planning for a future that you cannot control.
When you work on your presentation, do not pay attention to what your friends are posting on Instagram. Concentrate on the task at hand.
When you eat, don’t watch TV. Appreciate the food.
When you speak on the phone, do not surf the Internet. When you speak to someone in front of you, look him in the eye, watch his gestures, and try to gauge his emotions. Give him the gift of your presence.
4. Slow down.
Pause and live slowly. This gives you the chance to appreciate the little joys that make up life.
Eat slowly instead of gulping down your food on the run, so you can appreciate the texture, aroma, and flavor of the food. Travel slowly instead of rushing from monuments to museums, so you can immerse yourself in the unique culture of a destination. Work slowly but mindfully, so you do not overlook details. Put the brakes on socializing, both in the real and virtual worlds, so you can enjoy the time you spend with your near and dear ones.
Remember, quality always wins over quantity. Here are 7 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions (that don’t involve the gym!).
5. Practice minimalism.
Disclaimer: Minimalism is NOT deprivation.
A minimalist lifestyle is good for your body, mind, and wallet. Reduce your physical wants, so you can take a break from working just for money and instead do what stirs your heart. Declutter your mind, toss out all negative emotions, and resolve never to feel jealous, revengeful, or frustrated, so you can be more loving and compassionate. Declutter your house, so you do not have to waste time cleaning, managing, and searching for lost stuff.
A minimalist lifestyle is living a life pared down to the essentials, so you can devote your physical energies and financial resources to pursuits that are after your heart. A minimalist mind is stripped of all negative and self-defeating thoughts and attitudes, so you can concentrate on being more loving, courageous, and inspiring.
6. Be grateful.
Look around you. Pore over the newspapers. Watch the news on TV. Realize that you have blessed with much. Be thankful for the roof above your head, a job that lets you put food on the table and pay your bills, a loving family to come back to at the end of the day, and friends who have your back. Do you need anything more to be happy?
Gratitude lets you tide over misfortunes and gives you the courage to pick up the pieces and carry on. Gratitude makes you more loving, compassionate, and empathetic, so you can be a better parent, a responsible child, and an inspiring friend. Gratitude lets you be at peace with your lot.
7. Believe in your Higher Self.
We are much more than our physical bodies. We are more than what our bones and muscles make up. Your physical being is part of a Higher Self, which is the seat of infinite wisdom and boundless reserves of spiritual energy. Your Higher Self guides you as you move through life and leads you to fulfill your true purpose. Happiness is in being your authentic Self.
Keep faith that your Higher Self will lead you to what is good for you. Pay heed to your instincts, gut feelings, and that small voice in the head. Let your dreams and passions guide you. Look for directions from your Higher Self in synchronicities. Do not hush up your intuition; the sixth sense is always right.
This New Year, begin life on a clean spiritual slate. Follow the above spiritual practices to build a strong, resilient, calm, wise, and compassionate mind that is eventually healthy for your body and makes you more productive in every sphere of your life.
This post was contributed by Yasmin Ali on behalf of Spirit Charger, an innovative website aimed at inspiring the mind, body and spirit. You can find Spirit Charger on Facebook.
Bookworm. Movie buff. Trekker. Balcony and window sill gardener. Yasmin is also a regular contributor at Spirit Charger. When she is not reading, writing, gardening, watching movies, or is up in the mountains, she loves playing with her cats.