BY LOUISA LOPEZ
Experience the transformative power of starting your day with a short walk, which not only improves your mood, reduces anxiety, and benefits you physically, but is also supported by scientific research, including the discovery of the desensitizing effects of eye movements by Dr. Francine Shapiro, leading to the development of the therapy technique EMDR, widely effective in treating PTSD and depression.
Nature has a profound impact on our well-being, as supported by scientific research worldwide, with even small doses of greenery or virtual nature through VR providing significant happiness benefits, reinforcing our innate connection to the outdoors that modern lifestyles often overlook.
Going outside for a walk provides essential sun exposure and vitamin D, as studies reveal that even ample sunlight through windows falls short in comparison, making it crucial to prioritize outdoor time, especially for those in colder climates who may consider Vitamin D supplements under medical guidance.
Overcoming the resistance to fulfilling commitments and pushing oneself to engage in activities like walking or socializing not only brings a sense of accomplishment and endorphin boost but also opens doors to new experiences and opportunities that wouldn't have been possible by giving in to the desire to stay indoors.
Nurturing social connections through friendships and group activities not only helps build stronger bonds and make new acquaintances, but it also plays a vital role in maintaining well-being and happiness, as highlighted by scientific research on the positive impact of love and friendship, making it worthwhile to prioritize socializing despite the busyness of life.
Showing compassion and performing kind acts for both friends and strangers not only has the power to make our world a better place but also brings personal fulfillment, as neuroscience reveals that compassion activates specific brain regions and can be strengthened through regular practice, motivating us to engage in various thoughtful actions like assisting someone with a baby, smiling at a stranger, or leaving surprise notes of encouragement.
Cultivating gratitude, similar to developing compassion, is a proven pathway to happiness, as engaging in kind gestures can evoke gratitude and noticing simple, everyday things with intention can enhance feelings of gratitude and happiness, as experienced by many.
Discovering alternative approaches to meditation, such as guided meditations, active practices like Yoga or Tai Chi, joining a meditation group, using mantras or repetitive instruments, finding unique ways to enter the alpha state, or simply taking a mindful walk in nature, can make the practice more accessible and enjoyable, especially for those who find traditional meditation challenging.