Imbibe New habits in New year

Shivani Prabhakar
Let us welcome the new year 2023 with a vision to make improvements in our lives and the lives of others, by imbibing some new habits which can infuse in our life: love, beauty, grace, health, happiness and prosperity. These few habits, among others, are as follows:
Be Grateful: Try to be grateful for the things you have. Be grateful for your eyes which can see well, your ears which can hear well, your body which is working fine; your family, kids, parents, friends and relatives; your food, your pay check, home, car, bike etc. There is always enough for ones need but there is never enough for ones greed. We always have more than enough. So just be grateful for what you have and always repeat the mantra in your mind, ‘I have more than enough’. Whenever you feel discouraged or unhappy, make a list of gratitude by writing down the things you can be grateful of and you will feel elated and happy.
Meditate daily: Let’s pledge to meditate for some time daily. When we pray, we speak to God and when we meditate, God speaks to us. Meditation can bring calmness, peace, harmony, clarity of mind and vision to live life deeply and meaningfully. With meditation, one gains confidence to change the things one cannot accept and to accept the things one cannot change. Meditation is meeting your inner self. Meditation can provide solutions to your problems which nobody else can provide. Meditation increases focus and concentration.
Be Mindful: Mindfulness helps us to align the body and the mind. Our body and mind work separately, which creates many problems. Accidents are an example of mind and body working separately. As when driving a car, our body is driving a car, but our mind is thinking something else. By being mindful, we involve our body and mind into the activity we perform such as, while driving, we involve both the body and mind in the activity of driving.While eating food, we eat our food with full focus on eating the food and relishing it. Mindfulness is a practise which is required to be learned. So, learn and practise mindfulness.
Live in the present moment: Try to live in the present moment which is the only moment to live. Past is gone, future is not yet here. So, live in the present moment. Living in the present moment means; no regrets of past and no worries of the future. Future is uncertain. Just plan for the future but not worry about it. Mindfulness helps us to live in the present. Just be mindful of whatever you are doing. We can do this just being aware of ourselves and our surroundings. If we can live well in this moment, it is guaranteed that we will live well in the future as well since by living in the present moment, we have learned the art of living.
Cherish your loved ones: Let’s resolve to cherish our loved ones, our family and friends. Let us be with our loved ones with our body and mind aligned, in the present moment. Give a hug to your kid when you reach home. Talk to your parents, children, friends and the loved ones. Accept your spouses the way they are and not what we expect them to be. Just accept everyone as the way they are including ourselves and cherish them.
Be compassionate: Nothing can be more satiating than being compassionate towards others. Helping and caring others who genuinely needs your help is really satisfying. These activities will actually give meaning to our lives. Doing so we can experience immense joy more than we can drive by any other activities which we are generally done to gratify our senses. Being compassionate is learning to understand the others’ feeling. Being compassionate is to understand the reason for someone’s anger and/or frustration. It also means to understand; why someone is behaving in such a manner. Compassion is also to make contribution to make our world a little better.
Create a social cause: Let us work for a social cause.It can be uplifting the down trodden strata of our society.It can be spreading awareness of issues important for improvement of society.It can be sharing your resources with someone in need. Make a smallest contribution possible towards a social cause, but please do. Never think,what your small contribution can do?Dalai Lama has said that ‘if you think you are too small to make a difference,try sleeping with a mosquito’, then you would realize how one small contribution can make a big difference. So, contribute towards the wellbeing of others. What matters is your pure and kind intentions. Your small contribution can make a big difference for someone.
Be happy now: Happiness is a habit. Happiness is a choice. Nobody can make you happy. Only you can make yourself happy. Happiness is created and to create happiness, you need to smile in awareness.Sometime joy is the source of your smile and sometimes smile is the source of your joy.When you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides to help fight off stress. Then other neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and endorphins come into play too. The endorphins act as a mild pain reliever, whereas the serotonin is an antidepressant. That is why, smiling can trick your brain into happiness.
Let us take this new year 2023 as an opportunity to improve our lives and the lives of others. Let us introspect and realise our true selves, nature, the higher purpose and deeper meaning of our lives. Let us be happy without any reason. Let us keep smiling and laughing. Let us work and create causes which will give our next generations a better world to live. By doing so, our lives will become meaningful and we will be able to live a truly satisfying and happylife.
(The author is a Psychologist & Life Coach)