In Praise and Celebration of Life

When life seems to slip through our fingers and time seems to fly by, here is what you can do to savor each moment.

By Jenny Dsouza ~

Celebration of Life

Do you sometimes feel that life is passing you by? Days, weeks, months, and even years seem to fly by in a flash, like sand through our fingers. And when we try to get a grasp of it, the sheer intensity of this feeling overwhelms us, leaving us feeling disappointed and powerless because we couldn’t check certain boxes on our plan of life.

What we often tend to forget is that life is a full circle. We’ve all experienced that at some point in our lives. What goes around, comes around.

This is true with the littlest of things. What do you think about constantly, every day? Are your thoughts happy? Are you constantly whining or complaining? Filled with guilt? Then it's likely that the remainder of your lives are also going to reflect that.

We are in constant struggle with ourselves. Our lives appear to center around chasing materialistic pleasures and instant gratifications to verify our existence. We are so hard on ourselves because we are not living the life we think we should be. Have you ever stopped and wondered- is that your sole purpose in life? Is that why you were brought into being? Surely, hurtling from one job to another cannot be our raison d'etre.

In her famous quote, Oprah Winfrey, says,

Quote by Oprah Winfrey on Celebrating Life - Lifeism

Albeit simple (and overused), these words hold a lot of meaning. If we know what goes around comes back to us, that is sure to apply to our happiness as well, right? Instead of feeling disheartened with what we don’t have, shouldn’t we feel grateful for everything that we have?

It really does not matter what big or small thing you praise or celebrate. What's important is to stay in a state of gratitude, even when you are not feeling up to it. Just like practicing a skill, happiness and gratitude are enhanced with daily practice.

To help you get started, here are some easy to implement techniques to focus on the bright side:

Wake up with a smile

When was the last time you didn’t check your phone the moment you opened your eyes? The initial moments of waking up are crucial to setting the tone of the entire day. The moments when our mind and body are relaxed and ready to absorb good energy, we scroll through social media and “get on top” of our inbox.

Try starting the day by gently waking up (set the alarm a few minutes earlier than usual if needed, it really helps to avoid rushing out of bed), sit up, and take a moment to examine how you’re feeling. And just smile! Think about how great it is that you are waking up to a new day, full of new opportunities. You’ve been gifted 1440 minutes to create great memories, accomplish awesome things, and experience happiness. It’s a good life :)

Rub your palms together, place them on your eyelids for a few seconds. Scientific studies have shown that rubbing your palms and placing them on your eyelids awakens the whole nervous system since our palms have numerous nerve endings that get charged up when you rub them together. The idea is to awaken your mind before you move your body.

Build a morning ritual

Aside from being the buzzwords right now, Morning rituals are not the same as morning routines. A routine would be working out > showering > breakfast; however, rituals are beyond routines. Rituals add additional value to merely getting through a task, like making us feel energized, clearing our mind, centering us for the day. They are a great way to add some self-care and meaningfulness to our fast stepped lives.

If you feel like your mornings are rushed and you’re feeling drained before the day even begins, try to commit to a morning ritual. Here are a few examples to spark ideas that work for you. The idea is to add activities which are not ‘tasks’, and appreciate their process as they add value to your day.

  1. Quick meditation when you wake up – You don’t have to commit to longer meditations if you’re just starting out. You can use an app like Headspace to help you get started with guided meditations and breathing practices.
  2. Stretching exercises or Yoga – Stretching is really beneficial after a night’s rest. It can help increase flexibility, increase blood flow and prevent any future injuries.
  3. Gratitude journal – Gratitude journaling has recently gained popularity but has been around for a while. Spare a few undistracted minutes every morning and write down just 5 things that you are grateful for. They can be simple things that bring you joy. Here’s a list of our team’s top ones to help you get started.
  4. Have a mindful breakfast – So often, we are dashing out the door in the morning and grabbing a bite on our way to work. Build a routine to have a nutritious, peaceful breakfast before you get on with the day. It doesn’t have to be fancy, you can prep it the night before (overnight oats) or make it in the morning (eggs, smoothies, take a few minutes to whip up). Try to stay away from using your tech in the morning. A freshly made breakfast not only good for your health and, but also fuels you up in a good way to conquer the day.

Take mindful breaks

In our brisk and buzzing day to day life, we let go of achievements without giving them another thought. We are so harsh on ourselves that no achievement feels adequate enough to celebrate. But true happiness comes when we take a moment to actually experience all that we have accomplished and celebrate our strength, ability and skill. By no means it needs to be a pomp and show, but a quiet moment of self reflection would definitely lift your spirit, and reenergize you.

So instead of checking your social media during a break, take a few minutes, sit with your thoughts, and reflect on everything you’ve achieved. You’ve lived another day, carried your responsibilities with grace, you’ve come so far because of your talent and skills. Take vacations before you burn out, appreciate life.

Do one thing you like everyday

This is really as simple as it sounds. We’re zooming through our days, from one task to another, from one meeting to one deadline. We are all busy bees. But just like we make time for our duties, we need to make room for one thing that we love each day. Doing something you love reconnects you to your inner self, triggers happy hormones, and soothes anxiety. Draw, paint, play your favorite instrument, take a long soak, tend to plants, play make-believe with kids – just pick what your heart desires and make time for it.

Express your feelings to others

One of the crucial parts of a happy and meaningful life is to connect with people we love and care about. A majority of our happiest memories include people. Relationships open us up to feel deeply and allow us to be vulnerable. We are part of a community that can support us and encourages us when we feel low.

This is why they are worth celebrating. Open up and communicate how much you appreciate your friends, your spouse, and your family. Experiences are enriched when we share our feelings of affection. Don’t let feelings go unnoticed, drop them a note, call up to check in on them, be there for them even if as a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on.

A nightcap of happiness

Celebrate the little pleasures in life. Celebrate that you are fortunate to experience another day, meet new people, make a difference in someone’s life. Reward yourself and have fun, dance like no one is watching, share a family meal, make new memories. End the day with a soulful meal, let your hair down, journal moments you’d like to cherish. Just like a nightcap, these will warm your heart and soothe you to a restful sleep.

These habits bring a small shift of perspective, help us look for the good in everyday lives. With daily practice, life can become truly joyful and worth celebrating. Each moment that we get to experience is a celebration of life. Remind yourself of its value, enjoy the micro-moments, and choose happiness :)

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