10 Ways to Bring Meaning to Your Life

My life always appears to be so hectic. It's as if I purposely overload myself with more things than I could possibly ever accomplish. As I'm going to sleep I think about all the things I need to get done And when I'm awake during the day I think about all the things that need to get done. Take a shower, make coffee, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, go to work, etc... It's almost as if at the end of the day I can truly ask myself, "where did the day go?" Enough of these and I can ask myself the same questions in weeks, months, or even years!

So when I feel like these questions are coming up, I do some brief exercises that help bring me to the present moment and remind myself that I'm living.

1. For 5 minutes: Whatever you are doing, just do it slightly slower. At work we are all given tasks to do. One time per day, for 5 minutes do that task a little bit slower. Do not do the task in slow motion, or take breaks from the task, simply do it a little bit slower.

2. Take 5 minutes at lunch to notice what you're eating. You can actually do this at an meal, or anytime you eat. You are going to notice what your food looks like, how it smells, feels, and tastes. As you pick up your food, notice the texture of it, is it bumpy, smooth, wet? Notice what you smell. As you take it in your mouth notice how it feels in your mouth, notice the tastes that are coming out of it, how your teeth break it down. As you swallow it, notice it going down your throat. Do the same with the drink.

3. Take 3 minutes to just sit and notice your breath. Sit in a place of your choice, could be behind your desk, or anywhere. Close your eyes. For 3 minutes simply pay attention to your breath. For these 3 minutes your breath gets your undivided attention. If you notice yourself thinking about something, even the thought "why am I doing this stupid exercise", just notice that your're thinking that and then gently bring your attention back to your breath.

4. Wash the Dishes. If you're not used to doing dishes, there will be many benefits to this one. As you begin to wash the dishes, notice the texture of the plate and the warmth of the water on your hands. Inhale and notice if there is any scent. Listen to hear the rush of the water or any other sounds that are happening around you. Not only will you be able to practice being in the moment, but many of your family and friends will be thrilled with you.

5. Take a Bath or Shower. Preferably a bath if you have one, but even with a shower, you can take your moment in the shower or bath to feel the warmth of the water or feel how your body is immersed in the water. How does your skin feel? Do you notice any smells? Is your hair wet. Just be in the moment and notice all your senses....breathe.

6. Make Love Slightly Slower for a few moments. As you are making love to your significant other, take a moment to purposely move slightly slower. As you do this begin to mentally feel over all parts of your body. How your skin feels when touching his/hers, how are you breathing? Are you sweating? Is there a scent in the air. Take a moment and really be there making love.

7. Smell a flower for an extra breath. This one I love. Often times I will be passing by a flower and if I remember to smell it, I take an extra inhalation to really get the full experience of the scent. You will be surprised how much that extra inhalation makes a difference in the experience.

8. Be Silly. I'm serious;). Being silly allows your creative juices to flow and your creative juices is what life is all about. Letting yourself be silly can also be very relaxing and create joyful situations that are full of meaning.

9. Write a letter to someone close to you... telling them how much you appreciate them. This is not a new idea by any stretch yet it is always worth mentioning since it is so meaningful. A letter that that person will always cherish.

10. Remind yourself that you are a miracle. This may be the most important. How they heck did any of us get here? When we break it down to nanotechnology and quantum physics, scientists are stumped to figure out the great mystery of us physically being here and interacting and creating symbols and concepts and communicating.

It's boggling. That's why our moments on this earth are so precious and it is a wonderful gift to attempt to cultivate those moments in life that you consider to be sacred.

You get the idea... try it out.

Elisha Goldstein holds an M.A. in Psychology and is a 4th year doctoral student at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto. He is currently exploring how the cultivation of sacred moments in daily life affects well-being and stress. If you would consider participating in this invaluable study, please go to http://sacredmomentstudy.blogspot.com You can also check out http://mindfulmoments.blogspot.com

In The News:


USA TODAY

A corporate correlation to happiness?
USA TODAY
"If you're happy and you know it …" invest some cash. Yes, it's hard to sing and, according to the jingle, you're supposed to clap your hands. But it turns out that happy people do more than just clap their hands, stomp their feet and shout " Hurrah!

and more »

Do these exercises for two minutes a day and you'll immediately feel happier ...
Washington Post
To those who think of happiness as a “nice to have” luxury or something that comes after a lifetime of sacrifice of single-mindedly driving to achieve a goal, happiness researcher Shawn Achor, head of Goodthink and author of “The Happiness Advantage ...

and more »

Entrepreneur

Why Workplace Flexibility Is The Linchpin To Employee Happiness
Forbes
Employees are still happy despite work burnout because they have come to terms with the new realities of the workplace. As more and more companies allow for flexible hours, employees will become happier and more engaged. Here are some ways that ...
5 Ways to Make Your Employees Happier and More ProductiveEntrepreneur
Longer hours, lower wages, but happy? It's the new work-life blendToday.com
Americans Are Overworked, but Still Surprisingly Happy on the JobInc.com
CNNMoney -The Globe and Mail (subscription)
all 15 news articles »

KSDK

SLU philosopher awarded $5.1M to study happiness, well-being
KSDK
LOUIS -- A St. Louis University professor of philosophy has been awarded a $5.1 million grant to study happiness and well-being. The grant funds a three-year project spearheaded by Daniel M. Haybron, Ph.D. He will be leading a team of 14 researchers ...


'Happy' Fourth: Orchestra to play 'Pursuit of Happiness' during fireworks show
NewsOK.com
The hour-long program, called “The Pursuit of Happiness,” will begin at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Meadowlake Park and lead into a firework show by Western Enterprises, according to the press release. Douglas Newell, the orchestra's musical director, said ...

and more »

Business Insider

Dalai Lama urges happiness and peace at Glastonbury
Business Insider
Glastonbury (United Kingdom) (AFP) - The Dalai Lama made his first appearance at Glastonbury, spending an hour in the rain addressing festival-goers on how the world could be a happier place. The Tibetan spiritual leader called for a more "holistic ...
Glastonbury: Dalai Lama urges happiness and peace; Lionel Ritchie leads mass ...ABC Online

all 680 news articles »

Triangle Business Journal

Is happiness at work overrated?
Triangle Business Journal
Any entrepreneur can appreciate the concept that things happen in the course of business that they cannot control. But what if how you react to those situations versus the situations themselves matter more? Jeff Goins, in this excerpt of his book, The ...

and more »

LaMarcus Aldridge, Money, and Happiness: What Goes Into a Free Agent ...
Blazer's Edge
Whatever you're missing, you just purchase something to substitute for it. When you have $180 million you've already purchased most of the things that money can buy. You start weighing other types of happiness against the utility of $20 million more ...

and more »

Money and Happiness: What's the Connection to Stress?
ChicagoNow (blog)
One of the articles that Dr. Pope shared was from the Wall Street Journal, “Can Money Buy You Happiness?” As a stress coach and therapist, a human being, friend, idealist, and author, I've often heard this question and have often asked it. People often ...


TIME

How to Find Happiness: 3 Secrets From Science
TIME
Eric Barker writes Barking Up the Wrong Tree. You've probably read a lot of stuff on the internet about how to find happiness… but you're still not jumping for joy. Some of the tips feel corny… so you don't actually do them. Others stop working after ...

and more »
Google News

Conditions of Happiness: Happy vs. Unhappy - Do We Have A Choice?

Everyone is in the process of seeking greater happiness. We... Read More

Health and Medical Advice on the Internet: Use it Wisely to Overcome Illness and Find More Happiness

I've got a bit of a problem with depression and... Read More

How To Be Happy

Happiness is a state of mind, so your state of... Read More

Getting Connected

"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise... Read More

How To Live Happily Ever After

In life, many of us simply plunge ahead, only to... Read More

7 Unique Ways To Make Someone Smile

Do you want to put a smile on someone's face?... Read More

Letting Go of Anger and Awaken to Lifes Grand Aventures

Anger can make us feel good and enlivened for a... Read More

Wisdom

What is wisdom? But first, what are the conditions that... Read More

Keys to Happiness

"Happiness is the whole aim and end of human... Read More

Simplify - and Be Happy

People's lives today are jam-packed with great projects, ideas, to-do... Read More

A Model of Happiness

Everyone I've ever met considers happiness to be desirable. There... Read More

Finding Your Life Purpose

You have a purpose in life. You have a unique... Read More

Laughter and Your Health

Did you know that according to research, children laugh about... Read More

What Is Happiness?

What is it that everyone is seeking? Happiness with no... Read More

Dont Let Life Happen to You

Don't Let Life Happen To You ... Read More

What The Bleep Are You So Happy About?

Could you stand to have a lot more happiness in... Read More

Follow Your Bliss

Gail was a quiet, shy, young lady. She has been... Read More

The Gift is in the Giving

I have to be honest. I made the woman cashier... Read More

Looking In The Eyes Of Happiness

From what you see around you in your daily lives,... Read More

Love and Laughter ? Celebrating the Gift of Life

Only you can call me into aliveness. Each time... Read More

Creating Happiness

Whatever we want in life, a partner, more money, good... Read More

You Can?t See Your Own Eyes

My friend called me this morning from her favorite coffee... Read More

Impractical Magic

Witchcraft is a messy, expensive, time-consuming, and inefficient way to... Read More

Gratitude For Dummies

Yes, it might feel great to win the lottery. Money,... Read More

How to Be Happy!

How would you like to have at least an extra... Read More