LIFE SOLUTIONS MEDIA

Simple Solutions to Create Happiness in Your Life

3 Reasons Why Being Kind to Others is Good For You

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“Because that’s what kindness is. It’s not doing something for someone else because they can’t, but because you can.”

I came across this quote today and it sent me down the memory lane…….

I had just moved to Pittsburgh and was still getting used to driving on the curved roads and hilly terrain. I wasn’t very confident in my driving skills either, so I would just stick to the familiar areas and roads.

One day I went to the doctor’s office for a physical, I knew the road well, how to get there and back.  It was a glorious spring day with flowers blooming everywhere, and fragrance in the air. In the spring, along with flowers, comes the construction season. On my way back I saw that the portion of the road, I took to get home, was closed due to construction, with no detour posted. I was forced to turn the other way, very nervous, not knowing where to go. I saw a post office and pulled in the parking lot.

Looking around for someone to ask for help, I saw a man about to get in his car. I approached him and asked for directions, and explained that the usual route is closed. He said, “Follow me.” As I followed him, through traffic lights, and stop signs, he made sure that I was behind him. After driving for about five miles he pulled into a gas station close to where I lived and asked, “You think you can manage from here on your own?” I said, “Yes, thank you very much! Do you live around here?”  He said,”No, I live near the post office.” Before I could say anything more, he was gone.

It has been 18 years and I still think about the kindness of the stranger who went out of his way to help me. He could have just given me the directions, but probably he sensed my nervousness, or maybe he was just a kind soul.

In order to be kind to others you may not even have to spend a penny, it can be something as simple as a smile or a kind word.

It is one of the beautiful compensations in this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Research has shown many benefits of being kind to others. Here are three ways being kind to others can help you.

1.It will make you healthy

 

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Kindness towards others makes you feel good about yourself. You feel happy and it puts you in a better mood. It may also help reduce your stress level.

According to Lara Honos-Webb Ph.D. being nice to others can even change your brain. It gives your brain a serotonin boost. “Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that gives us the feeling of satisfaction and well-being. Most of the anti-depressant medications work by increasing the amount of serotonin available to your brain. All of this means that doing nice things for other people changes your brain in ways that make you feel better.”

The advantages of kindness towards others do not stop at mental health but also extend to physical health. People who are kind tend to live a longer healthier life. Being nice to others may help you lower your blood pressure and may reduce aches and pains in older people. It may also improve your immune system.

By helping others you not only enrich their life but also your own because it helps you boost your self-confidence and overall well-being.

2. It will improve your relationships

 

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“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

 Imagine a member of your household seems a little irritated and snaps at you, and you snap right back at them, and the whole situation just escalates. Instead if you show some kindness to them and try and understand if there is something bothering them, that is a whole different scenario. And maybe next time when something is bothering you they will show the same kindness towards you. You are more likely to be surrounded by true friends, and family.

The same thing applies to work relationships too. Being kind to your

Co-workers will go a long way in forging healthy and beneficial relationships in workplace.

3. It will boost your productivity

 

Charts and analytical data on the tablet screen with a cup of coffee and a telephone in the background

As the saying goes “What goes around comes around”, when you are kind to others, they are more likely to return the kindness. It will be easier for you to get things done as there will be many willing people who would like to return the favor.

Also, when you are healthy and happy you can get things done quicker, and in a much more efficient way.  Being in a better mood helps boost your productivity, because you can focus better.

When you are nice to others you will have the support required from your family and co-workers to thrive in your workplace.

While we are on the topic of kindness, we need to remember that along with being kind to others it is very important to be kind to ourselves too. We need to take care of ourselves first, before we can take care of others.

Being too selfless and altruistic can sometimes lead to resentments. It may result in people taking you for granted and assuming that it is your weakness. It is ultimately a balance between being kind, and at the same time setting boundaries so that you do not get run over by others.

Do you have a special story about kindness? Please share it in the comments below.

Live Your Dreams…..

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We all have dreams big and small. Some dreams are easily  attainable, some not so much.  I want to visit the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.  This is something possibly I will do this summer.

But, then there are dreams which are little out of reach, but with some effort and planning I know I can achieve them. For example I want to visit Brazil.  I would like to go to Manaus and visit the Amazon Rainforest, spend a few days in Rio De Janeiro, go hang gliding, hang out at  Ipanema beach. Spend a few days in Pantanal. See Iguassu falls, before crossing into Argentina.

I have been dreaming about this vacation for a few years now, but for various reasons it has been eluding me. Meanwhile, when the urge strikes I do something which gives me a little taste of Brazil.  Sometimes I watch a movie set in Brazil, or visit the local churrascaria and sample the Brazilian cuisine. When that is not possible I just spend some time on internet reading about other travelers experiences in Brazil, which helps me live it before actually living it.

This strategy helps me keep my dream alive, and keeping the excitement going. This can be applied to any dream which is out of reach right now but you don’t want to let it go. In hustle bustle of our daily lives we tend to put our dreams on back burner. Living them on a smaller scale helps me keep the right framework of mind to achieve my dreams. May be you want to own a fancy luxury car but have to wait for that to happen. You can rent one for a weekend and have the joy and the real life experience of driving your dream car.  It certainly works in your favor, especially, if you like to visualize your dreams, because it is so much easier to visualize something that you have already experienced.

A friend of mine loves to travel, but cannot do it as often as she would like, because she has school age children. Every couple of months she and her family drives a few hours to visit  some place where they have never been before. They eat at  local restaurants, check in a hotel for a night or two and drive back home  after exploring the new place a little bit, or catching a local event. She says that gives her a sense of adventure and the same feeling she gets when visiting a far away locale. That is a great way of pleasing the explorer in you.

Is there a dream that is out of reach for you right now? Is there a way you can live it on a smaller scale while you get there?

Pebble in your shoe…..

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Every day I go for a walk on the trail near my house. The round trip walk is about three miles. As I started walking yesterday about a mile down the road a small pebble got in my shoe. At first it didn’t bother me much, but as I walked further down it became more noticeable.

I just decided to ignore it, thinking to myself I am already half way through. I kept walking. But after some time the feeling of that pebble in my shoe became very bothersome. I started looking if there was something around, like a rock or a tree trunk where I can sit down and take my shoe off to get the pebble out. I could not find anything, I continued to walk.

Finally I came to a point where I could not take it anymore . I just leaned against a tree, took my shoe off and got the pebble out. I could not believe how tiny it was. I put the shoe on and continued walking; suddenly I realized I had walked past my favorite part of the trail, where there is a pond with water lilies, and birds. Normally I just slow down there and take in the view, listen to the birds call. On this particular day a small nuisance had taken over my mind so much that I did not notice the beauty of the surroundings.

It made me think, why didn’t I just stop and take action when I first felt that pebble in my shoe? Why did I wait till the pain became unbearable?

Don’t we sometimes go through our life with situations that are uncomfortable, hoping that it will be ok, and not take any action? We wait for the situation to really become unbearable, and in the bargain miss some beautiful moments in our life. Then finally we take action and wonder why I didn’t do this sooner.

So, why wait?

Do you have a pebble in your shoe? It may be a relationship that is not working or it can be your own habit which you know you need to get rid of. Don’t wait for the pain to become unbearable. Take action now, and enjoy your life!

Is Your Life on Autopilot?

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So often I hear people say “time flies”. They say is it Christmas already? Feels as if we just had a New Year’s party! Some people say it feels so, because when we are having fun time flies. But I do not agree, we feel as if time flies not because we are having a lot of fun, but because we are living on autopilot.

Most people spend a majority of their time “zoned out”. They go through their day while being in some kind of mental fog, and if they do think, it is about anything but about what they are currently doing.

They get up in the morning, get ready, go to work, drive home, have dinner, watch TV and go to bed. The next day same cycle repeats. They think about work when at home, and think about other things that need to be done, or some other personal matter while at work. While driving they may be thinking about bills that need to be paid, watch TV while eating.

How many times do you really focus and are truly present when you do something? How much do you really focus on task at hand, and savor the moment however ordinary it is?

Life is too precious to be spent living in a haze, without being present. Savor each and every moment, experience it to the fullest!

Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift that’s why it is called the present. – Bil Keane

Learn to Forgive

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Forgive others and yourself, for anything that happened in the past. Holding grudges against others just robs you of happiness. You cannot hold a grudge against someone and be happy at the same time. By holding grudge against someone you are giving them power over you. The person not only hurt you at one time, but continues to do so. When the incident actually happened may be you had no control over it but now certainly you do have control in not letting them hurt you.

Sometimes it is even harder for us to forgive ourselves, for something that we did or did not do. The question to ask here is how is it helping me? Whatever happened cannot be changed but what we can change is how we behave now and what we do now. So, let go of whatever grudges or bad feelings that you have towards others or yourself.

 

Happiness is within us, we need not search for happiness outside. Nothing or no one can make us happy. We cannot control the outside world, or others’ actions but we can most certainly control our reaction to it and control how we decide to feel about it.

Surround yourself with happy, positive minded people

Do you have a friend who always corrects you, points out your mistakes, “for your good” or because he or she “cares about you”? You worry what your next “mistake” is going to be. Being in company of such people drains our energy and makes us unhappy. Surround yourself with positive, happy people who share your values, around whom you feel comfortable and at ease. These people create an environment of trust and happiness. Give genuine compliments to others, praise any good actions, and be open to be on the receiving end of compliments and praise. Next time when your coworker compliments you for your pretty blouse, smile and say thank you. Don’t say something like “I know, but it makes me look fat”

Be Grateful

We often tend to focus on negative situations more than positive ones. We brood on negative events, and ignore things that just go smoothly.

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have. Irrespective of current situation everyone definitely has a lot of things to be grateful for. You can look at your glass as half empty or half full, it’s all about the attitude.

People with children sometimes take their children for granted, but ask a person who cannot have children and you will know how fortunate you are…..have you ever heard the quote ”I complained that I did not have shoes, till I saw a man who had no feet”

Find things to be grateful for, that perfect cup of coffee in the morning, a beautiful sunny day, people in your life and experiences they bring you, which help you learn and grow. You can always find things to be grateful for. Being grateful, being appreciative of what you have makes you feel happier.

This one ritual has been helping me a lot. When I retire to bed at night, I go over everything that I am grateful for, the people in my life, material things that I have and my experiences. Next morning I wake up fully rested and feeling great. I am sure you will agree with me, it is way better than going to bed all stressed about what did not get done.

Moments

“NOW” is all we have, everything always happens in “NOW”. These indeed are beautiful moments……

Be kind to others and yourself

Small, random acts of kindness bring us happiness that money cannot buy. It may mean letting a car merge ahead of you in traffic jam, holding the elevator door for the stranger who is trying to make a mad dash to the elevator. Let your co-worker save her face when you know she made a mistake.

Volunteer; help others, give your time, resources, and money, whatever you can share. These actions bring deep and long-lasting happiness.

If you are anything like an average person, then you are your worst critic. You criticize yourself for something that you did, did not do or did not do quite right. You criticize yourself more than anyone else has ever done. You constantly tell yourself, you are not pretty enough, good enough, smart enough. These types of constant thoughts in your mind sabotage your happiness. Imagine if your co-worker or best friend did that you day in and day out, would you put up with it? Then why don’t you do something about it? Yes, you can! You can control your thoughts by being vigilant about thoughts that pop in your mind. Just being aware of your thoughts gives you so much control. You can say to yourself “There you go, you have started criticizing again, and I don’t want to hear any of that so please STOP” Observing your thoughts can be very powerful exercise in getting over the thoughts which bring you pain and unhappiness and take you a step closer to being happy.

Live in the moment

You might have heard this phrase countless number of times “live in the moment”, but what does live in the moment exactly mean? Most of our lives are spent either living in the past or the future. We regret, feel sorry, feel angry, about what we did or, the incidents that happened, something that someone did to us, said to us. We relive the unpleasant moments countless number of times. We worry about the future, the uncertainties. What we fail to understand is that this thinking does not do us any good. It just brings more pain and unhappiness. What is done is done and cannot be undone, so what is the benefit of torturing yourself with it? If your unhappiness is created by the thoughts, about some unfortunate future event that may occur, then take some action to remedy it. If there is nothing you can do about it now then decide to deal with it when the time comes. So, there is absolutely no reason for you to be unhappy right now

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