Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Cultivating Well-being: 5 Basic Ideas to Pursue

Did you know that well-being is a skill that can be cultivated? 

How interesting it is to see that mindfulness, which means being aware of our thoughts and feelings in the present moment; together with psychology, neuroscience, and genetics are finding common grounds. 

In neuroplasticity findings show that the brain changes in response to experience and training. In epigenetics, gene expression has been fount to be modified through mental practice. There's also the connection between body and brain. Brain can regulate the body and body can alter the brain. Physical health and exercise has never been so backed up by science in relation to our overall well-being.

Basic ideas you need to know to cultivate well-being:

1) Our thoughts can regulate our life. We can change the way we experience things through feeding our mind with benevolent, positive thoughts. You can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Help yourself by focusing on the good, or on what you can do to improve things that go wrong.

2) Limit negative thoughts and worrying. I love this quote by Corrie ten Boom,

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength."

3) Train yourself to increase altruistic human qualities. Feelings of compassion, benevolence, resilience, loving kindness, courage, inner peace, inner freedom, a sense of direction in life, a purpose. Once you increase these qualities you will be equipped with unbeatable resources to deal with the ups and downs of life. Meditation is gaining lots of adepts, religious and not, benefits have been measured and backed by scientist. Also, there are studies that show that pregnant women that prayed during their pregnancy regularly had better deliveries. Do you meditate? Do you pray?

4) Help others and connect with family and friends. Taking the focus off yourself and helping others is such a powerful tool to increase personal well-being and resilience. Paradoxically you help yourself when helping others. Recent studies show that babies of 6 months of age have a preference for altruistic choices. We come into the world with an innate basic goodness that if increased and nurtured will actually increase our overall well-being.    

5) The power of now. 47 % of average American adults spend their waking life not paying attention to what they are doing. People that were paying attention were happier than those that were thinking of the future or the past.

"Be happy in the moment, that's enough. Each moment is all we need, not more." Mother Teresa.

"If you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are 
anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present." Lao Tsu. 

What are you thinking right now? :)

P.S. Five tips that help you beat anxiety and What is Well-being? Well-being posts every Tuesday this month! 

Cultivating Well-Being #3 (An Antidote To Anxiety)

*Painting by Martha Belén (aka mom)

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