Amidst all of our daily challenges – at work, at home, and in our health – it is important to keep focused on staying centered and happy. This focus allows you to avoid unnecessary stress, depression or anxiety and helps you make the most of every moment. A positive outlook trumps a negative outlook any day of the week, and it paves the way for better outcomes in life. It’s called staying on the highway to happiness. The entrance is right in front of you.
US Family Health Plan – a TRICARE Prime health option – has a goal to help all of our members maintain maximum health and happiness. Happiness, no matter what the circumstances, can be an enduring element throughout your life. Will there be bumps in the road along the way? Of course! But each temporary problem is just that – temporary – something you encounter that can be maneuvered around and/or completely solved. At the end of the day, you want to always come full circle back a state of fulfillment and happiness – no matter what challenges you may have faced.
Today, we have 4 useful tips about how get on and stay on the highway to happiness. Here they are:
- Find your "flow." Choose activities that you love to do. These are the activities where you are most like to find your “flow”. "Flow" is a state of mind that suspends the passage of time and where you are completely immersed in a project. Things as simple as lawn maintenance, rock-climbing, washing your car, cooking, or just great conversation all can bring you into that state of mind. Creative pursuits like drawing, coloring, or writing, can have the same effect. A state of “flow” helps our creativity shine and highlights our strengths. Afterwards, we feel a real sense of accomplishment and bask in the after-glow of achievement. Choosing activities that bring you into “flow” is one of the keys to maintaining enduring happiness.
- Engage in random acts of kindness on a daily basis. Practicing the art of being kind can payoff in many ways. It produces lasting joy as opposed to the momentary enjoyment of a trip to the mall or a walk in the park. The act of giving enables you to build up a stockpile of joy, and memories that can last a lifetime. Give to your loved ones and even to people you may not know well. Take time out each day to perform one simple act of kindness. It will add up to a lifetime of happiness!
- Practice mindfulness meditation, especially during stressful moments. Mindful meditation helps you completely submerge yourself in the present moment. This is one of the keys to enduring happiness, both every day and when confronting any kind of stressful situation. Mindfulness allows you to stay present in the moment. When stress surrounds you, it gives you time to center yourself before taking thoughtful actions. Mindfulness helps us stay aware of what is happening in the here and now --- the most important time to focus on. Techniques include practicing yoga, guided mediation, controlled breathing, or an outdoor run.
- Embrace gratitude. When you feel and express gratitude, you acknowledge that life is good and that you are the recipient of life’s bounty. There are so many things to be appreciated – your family, a meaningful career achievement, successfully completed projects, great friends, or even a good meal. This ability to appreciate life helps you cultivate an optimistic mindset. And an optimistic attitude will attract more positive moments into your life. More positive moments add up to enduring happiness.
Today, take this map, and make plans to get on the nearest highway entrance marked happiness. And remember to avoid all the negative streets and alleys. Once you’re on the highway, put your car on cruise control, get into flow, and just keep going. The destination is a good one. It’s called enduring satisfaction. We at US Family Health Plan have only one last thing to say –Enjoy your trip!