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:


Secrets of happiness
Washington Post (blog)
There have been several fine pieces of writing recently about happiness, including one this weekend in the Times, by Arthur C. Brooks, headlined “Love People, Not Pleasure.” He argues that the pursuit of fame, money, sexual conquests, etc., will more ...


Charlottesville named America's happiest city
Roanoke Times
“Our research indicates that people care about more than happiness alone, so other factors may encourage them to stay in a city despite their unhappiness,” said Joshua Gottlieb, the study's co-author and a professor at the University of British ...
Map: The happiest places in AmericaVox
DC and Virginia Are the Happiest Areas in the Country, but DC is BetterIn The Capital

all 5 news articles »

WND.com

Unhappiest city says 'happiness schmappiness'
Crain's New York Business
A screaming match on the subway or angry motorists yelling at pedestrians might feed the stereotype of the abrupt, impatient, unhappy New Yorker. Now, according to a team of researchers, there's some truth to the stereotype. In a working paper entitled ...
Our Opinion: Scranton region's dour ranking in happiness study not a total bummerWilkes Barre Times-Leader
Big cities trade happiness for money: survey showsYahoo Finance (blog)
These Are the 10 Unhappiest Cities in AmericaTIME
Daily Mail -WND.com -RedOrbit
all 65 news articles »

Danish People Are Genetically Programmed For Happiness
Mashable
The Danish are consistently ranked as the world's happiest people, and a new study shows that the key may be found in their DNA. Researchers at the University of Warwick's Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy wanted to find out why ...

and more »

We Got This Covered

Watch: New US Trailer For 'Hector And The Search for Happiness' Starring ...
Indie Wire (blog)
If nothing else, the adaptation of Francois Lelord's novel will be reuniting “The World's End” co-stars Pegg and Rosamund Pike, only with 100% less aliens. Watch the U.S. trailer for “Hector and the Search for Happiness” below. And keep your eyes on ...
'Hector and the Search for Happiness' Trailer Teases a Win for Simon PeggFilm School Rejects
Simon Pegg Pursues Pure Joy In Hector And The Search For Happiness TrailerWe Got This Covered
Simon Pegg Tries To Find A Purpose In 'Hector and the Search for Happiness'andPOP

all 4 news articles »

How Understanding Happiness Will Be Crucial to Developing 'Good' Technologies
Huffington Post
It's argued that we as human beings take nearly all of our actions so that we can have a desirable result on our own sense of well-being, yet an understanding of the science of happiness and well-being seems lacking in the creation of the technologies ...

and more »

Lafayette, Baton Rouge among the top 5 happiest places in the US, report says
The Times-Picayune
Economists at Harvard University and the University of British Columbia set out to study happiness in American cities, and how it affects how people decide where to build their lives. They took survey data from the Centers for Disease Control, which ...


Washington Post

Gruden on relationship with RG3: 'Happiness comes with wins'
Comcast SportsNet Washington (blog)
RICHMOND—No Hollywood couple has a relationship that has been more heavily scrutinized this year than the one between Jay Gruden and Robert Griffin III. In 2013 it became apparent that the relationship between head coach Mike Shanahan and Griffin ...
Jay Gruden on RG III: Make him comfortableESPN (blog)

all 147 news articles »

eTurboNews

Color your life with Happiness Thailand Happiness: Mega event in Bangkok will ...
eTurboNews
Colour your life with happiness. The Tourism Authority of Thailand invites to this mega event on July 25 and July 26 from 15.00-24.00h in Bangkok at Ratchaprasong area: Ratchadamri Road linked with Rama I Road and CentralWorld Square, Parc Paragon, ...
TAT ready to kick off “Thailand Happiness Street Festival”Thailand National News Bureau

all 4 news articles »

Marjorie Ferrone | From Russia with love (and happiness)
The Daily Pennsylvanian
I have lived a month in Moscow now on my parents' dime. Besides the cultural chasm that matches the physical one, the experience has been just slightly less exciting than Sean Connery's performance as Agent 007. And his ally's cunning quip in the film ...

Google News

The American Dream ? At What Cost?

When people are asked, "How many of you are content... Read More

How to Be Happy!

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

Norman Rockwell ? The Man Who Created His Own Reality

In preparation for a class I taught today, I spent... Read More

Emotional Baggage

We all have them. It has many faces. We carry... Read More

Where is Your Happiness? Past, Present, or Future??

Achieving a level of personal happiness previously unknown is closer... Read More

What is the Ultimate Lifestyle?

Since the mission of this newsletter is to help you... Read More

Happy Talk and 3 Simple Secrets to Happiness

What is the one thing you want more than anything... Read More

Are You Hooked On Love?

When you're in love your eyes and your face light... Read More

Acts of Kindness Benefit Everyone

Do you really want to be happy? Everyone says yes,... Read More

Divining Your Karmic Number

Your karmic number interpretation tells you what you need to... Read More

Self Identity: Who Are You?

Self-identity? Who are you really? We identify with many things,... Read More

Who Is More Likely To Be Happy?

Here's a multiple choice question for you. Who is more... Read More

Life Purpose: How To Be in Love with Life

Falling In Love with LifeThere is no feeling in the... Read More

Seven Steps to a Better Day

Are you tired of the same routine day after day?... Read More

Forgive to Succeed - Im Talking to the You Behind Your Eyes

If your blood is still pumping through your veins, you... Read More

What is Happiness and How to Achieve It?

True happiness is such a rare commodity that the whole... Read More

Suffering

Since wisdom is the art of coping with suffering, it... Read More

Colors: How Do They Make You Feel?

One of the most important colors in advertising is the... Read More

What Is Happiness?

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

Flow as in Flower

The seeds you sow determine the crop you reap. This... Read More

You...Your Emotions...Your Relations...Your Happiness and Your Life...

We are living in an era, where relations' management is... Read More

Principles of Human Misery / Happiness

Sometimes we are so occupied with our daily routine in... Read More

Suffering and Happiness

The one feature that sets life on Earth apart from... Read More

The Most Beautiful Flowers

The most beautiful flowers, in conjunction with their design and... Read More

Are You Getting in the Way?

Getting out of our busy mode and into our heart... Read More