How do we live a happier life?
When we sit down and write out what we are grateful for, it almost always requires a moment of pause to think about what is pursuant to family, friends, and your relationship with God (if you’re religious). The old saying goes, “You never truly appreciate what you have until it’s gone.” Imagine losing everything: your possessions, your friends and loved ones, perhaps even your health and independence. Now imagine slowly getting all of those things back one at a time. How grateful would you be?
My point is, you should not have to lose things that matter in order to be grateful for them. Unfortunately, most of us are consistently in a state of reaction. Instead of being grateful for all of the positivity in our lives, we react and look for anything to bring harm to our way of life. Gratitude is tied directly to happiness.
Many of my clients take their health and independence for granted. As both a physical therapist and a business owner, I see this all too often. It can take up to one year to recover from a spinal fusion surgery or a joint replacement. Do clients truly appreciate getting into and out of their retirement sports cars or spending a weekend hiking with their grandchildren on Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire? Probably not, until those activities are put on hold for 365 days. My point is to appreciate what you have, because tomorrow it could be gone!
We have the most control over our own happiness. Instead of external pursuits and seeking happiness from material belongings, my suggestion is to look from within. What can you change about your perspective in order to enjoy life more today?
Long-term happiness does not come from things which we can not control, such as the stock market, jobs, relationships, or life-changing events, good or bad. Happiness is grounded in what you are able to control; namely your perspective on the world and your relationship to everything in it.
My two principles of happiness are:
- Stay grounded in the present.
- Have a positive outlook on the world.
By focusing on well-being and personal fulfillment (instead of wealth and power, for instance) you will be well on your way to living a healthier life. The good news is that wherever you are on your journey, it is relatively easy to focus on your well being and personal fulfillment. Just choose one or two activities you love and make sure you practice them on a weekly basis. You might take pleasure in going to church, traveling, gardening, or playing tennis or pickleball. Whatever your hobby is, please choose something and stick to it! Make a time-block for your favorite hobby, put it on your schedule, and guard it with your life. For instance, I time block my Tuesday afternoons for golf. Golf allows me to enjoy the outdoors and clear my head, while giving me a fresh perspective on patient care and business goals.
We all have one or two things we love to do. The hard part (amazingly!) is putting our passion into practice in order to improve our lives. Like any habit, the longer we stick to something, the better the effect. Please allow 60 -70 days to form your habit.
I encourage you to take my advice: Find your passion and enjoy life a little bit. You never know what a fresh perspective and gratitude may do for your personal well-being. Want to chat more about how physical therapy can help, click here to contact us!
What others are saying about us:
“I’ve been a patient at Concierge PT for close to 6 weeks because of a sports related overuse injury…. it’s been a wonderful experience at Concierge….the team is talented and patient-centered…they greet you with a smile and positivity. My pain has reduced from 7/10 to almost 0 at times. I’m learning more about my body and how it responds. Thank you to my PT team!”