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:


How Gratitude and Kindness Go Together for Brain-Changing Happiness
Huffington Post
I have been testing the science in my own life for some time now, and I know that my brain is changing for the better. So too are my feelings of happiness (or if you prefer, my "well-being"). And my ability to regain my balance sooner and with less ...

and more »

The 30-Day No-Fail Happiness Challenge
POPSUGAR (blog)
Ask anyone what their ultimate goal in life is, and no matter what their answer is — be it a job, a relationship, or something else — it all boils down to one basic want: happiness. However, most of us are doing happiness all wrong. It's not really ...


6 Things You Must Know About Money And Happiness
Huffington Post
You've surely heard that money can't buy happiness, but it can certainly get you closer to an enjoyable life, right? Yes and no, says Elizabeth Dunn, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and author of Happy ...


The Guardian

Happiness by Design by Paul Dolan and How We Are by Vincent Deary – review
The Guardian
The "science of happiness", he starts by pointing out, is full of bizarre and contradictory findings. Parents report that parenting makes life much more meaningful, yet seem to experience no more pleasure than non-parents; more money doesn't lead to ...


How To Instill Happiness In Each And Every Day Of Your Life
Huffington Post
It's ironic that during August, Happiness Happens month, Robin Williams, one of our most poignant and memorable American comedians has committed suicide. On my Facebook page each day this month, I'm sharing suggestion on how to instill happiness in ...
Questing for happinessMilford Mirror

all 2 news articles »

Fox News

Happiness study draws frowns from critics
Fox News
A high-profile 2013 study that concluded that different kinds of happiness are associated with dramatically different patterns of gene activity is fatally flawed, according to an analysis published on Monday which tore into its target with language ...
Happiness study gets bashing from criticsAngle Chronicle

all 21 news articles »

Telegraph.co.uk

Body image drags English girls down world happiness league
Telegraph.co.uk
Overall England was ranked ninth out of the 11 countries, based on children's responses to a series of questions about happiness and sources of stress, with only South Korea and Uganda scoring lower on average. But while in many countries appearance ...
England ranked ninth out of 11 countries for children's wellbeingThe Guardian
Childhood blues: English kids among world's unhappiestRT (blog)
English kids less happy than children in developing countriesParentdish

all 19 news articles »

Pope Francis: 10 practical tips for achieving happiness
Pueblo Chieftain
St. Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) added that happiness was achieved in direct proportion to one's relationship with God. Recently, Pope Francis offered 10 practical tips for achieving happiness and greater union with spirit. Live and let live. Everyone ...

and more »

The Companies With The Biggest Jumps In Employee Happiness
Forbes
Mention “workplace happiness” these days and you'll probably conjure images of Silicon Valley tech companies with funky workspace designs, midday ping-pong, and stock option-incentivized scavenger hunts. As it turns out, happy employees want much ...


Fast Company

How To Rewire Your Brain For Greater Happiness
Fast Company
Science has shown we actually can thanks to a phenomenon called experience-dependent neuroplasticity. "It's a fancy term to say the brain learns from our experiences," says Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and author of the book Hardwiring Happiness.

Google News

Being Happy

How can one be happy? Is it a tough question?... Read More

Happiness Increases Longevity...Where Do We Find This Gift of Life?

According to U.S. research, you can add seven and a... Read More

7 Surprising Keys to Happiness

Have you ever had one of those days where you... Read More

The Gift is in the Giving

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

The Science of Laughter

The title I chose for this article makes me smile.... Read More

It Costs Nothing To Smile

I like to be around positive people, people who tend... Read More

Guess Who Else Has a Problem With Confidence?

When I tell you what I heard you'll be able... Read More

What Does It Take To Be Happy?

What does it take to be happy? In our age... Read More

Spiritual and Sexual Healing

Couple issues such as spirituality and sexuality rank higher than... Read More

There is a Cure for the Summertime Blues

I have never lived anywhere else where when you walk... Read More

10 Ideas to Jump Start Your Self-Confidence

To begin feeling that first spark of self-confidence within you,... Read More

Boosting Your Success with Six Easy Happiness Tips

In what areas of your life would you like to... Read More

Develop a Guiding Philosophy for Happiness

Groundedness is one of the most important components of a... Read More

Have You Ever Tasted The Fruit Of Pure Happiness?

Have you ever been really happy? Have you ever tasted... Read More

How To Be Happy

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

Ten Ways to Eliminate Guilt From Your Life

1. Say "Yes" Only When You Want ToYou want to... Read More

Its All About Me: Why Its Good to Be Selfish

I started thinking about this topic during a discussion of... Read More

Do You Love Yourelf?

Learning to love yourself isn't easy - especially if you... Read More

Creating Happiness

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

Self Identity: Who Are You?

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

King Solomons Mind

"Don't you understand, everything in this life is meaningless," cautioned... Read More

Simplify - and Be Happy

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

What NOT To Do To Feel Good About Yourself - 10 Tips

From the moment we wake in the morning our heads... Read More

Dont Let Life Happen to You

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

Norman Rockwell ? The Man Who Created His Own Reality

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