If you are reading this, you likely have an interest in wellness and understand that wellness goes far beyond what we eat and how much exercise we get. I do write about diet and exercise, but I know that you can get a good amount of decent information related to those two things on the web, in magazines, and in books. (I have found that most of it is incomplete and inaccurate, which is why I do still write about those things.) However, I like to get into some deeper, less understood and appreciated aspects that affect wellness. And it is those topics from which I get the most feedback.
One area of wellness that is critically important if you strive to live a truly balanced and well lifestyle is emotional wellness. When it comes to emotional wellness and stability, it can be tough because there are so many factors, events, and circumstances that are out of our control. When those things hit, you’ll hear me say something like… “it’s not what happens to us that matters most, it’s how we respond to what happens that makes the difference.” Today I don’t want to talk about responding to the things that are out of our control, but rather the things that we can control.
Here are five things that you CAN control… 1. How you treat others; 2. Your daily habits; 3. Whether or not you quit; 4. The people you surround yourself with; 5. Your level of gratitude.
1. Every interaction with others is an opportunity to enrich the lives of others. You may have a certain skill set, or prestigious position at work, or be worth more money than others, but that could change in an instant. Treat others the way you would like to be treated (Ever hear that before???).
2. Your daily habits may seem out of your control, but they were created by you, therefore can be changed by you. Making an effort to eliminate bad habits and form new, better habits starts with you deciding to do it… then starting to do it.
3. As you make the effort each day to make change and improve your life, it can be easy to quit. Quitting happens when YOU decide that you have had enough and will not continue trying. Instead… decide NOT to quit. It is often that last little push, right before giving up, that makes the difference.
4. Who you surround yourself with is absolutely within your control. Stop going to lunch or talking on the phone with those friends who bring you down, complain all the time, or make you feel bad about yourself. And start hanging out with the people you admire and bring out the best in you. It has been said that your income is roughly equal to the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Think about it. It’s usually true. And it’s true in more areas than just money. Surround yourself with winners and avoid those that suck the life out of you.
5. Each day there are things that happen in our lives for which we can be grateful. Gratitude is foundational for success and happiness. Each morning or night, think of three things you are grateful for. No matter what is going on in your life, there are things to be grateful for. You can deliberately increase gratitude in your life. Decide to be thankful for all that you have and have had.
This list could have been longer, but it’s a start. As you get the feeling that everything is out of your control, look at this list and take charge of these five things. You can’t control everything, but there is so much that you can control that will instantly boost the quality of your life.