Living happy

A new year has begun and the time is ripe for making a lifestyle change

A new year has begun and the time is ripe for making a lifestyle change. While it can be quite a challenging task that requires bravery and the ability to stick to one’s resolve, all it takes is a healthy change in attitude. Just by setting a few reasonable and achievable goals and making a few small changes, you can make a real difference to your physical, mental and emotional health. Begin by making a list of priorities and maintain a clear focus on your goals. It’s also important to strike a healthy balance between your professional and personal life, by de-stressing regularly and spending quality time with family.

‘Youngsters, Re-organise your priorities’

Every age group has the potential for positive change, so it’s important to set reasonable and realistic goals that can be achieved within a stipulated period. For instance, adults between the age group of 20 and 30 should focus on balancing careers as well as increasing their responsibilities at home. As Dr T. Nagalaksmi, consultant psychiatrist at Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital, advises, “Youngsters must focus on self-discovery and character building instead of blending their identities with friends. They need to re-organise their priorities and pay more attention to education, experiment and explore various job roles, and invest in the selection of a life partner. Shying away from experimenting at this stage can lead to regret later.”

For adults between the age group of 30 and 40, the top priority is staying connected with professional work and fulfilling obligations toward family and society. For those in their 40s and 50s, it’s important to maintain healthy life patterns and also identify limitations associated with growing older. Dr Nagalakshmi explains, “Setting reasonable goals is very important in the present times, as there are too many flashy and flamboyant distractions due to social media. These give rise to aspirations that may not always be feasible, so it’s important to stay grounded and accept what is good for you.”

Identify balance, maintain equilibrium

  • Identify and work towards your responsibility both at home and work.
  • Do not be afraid of change.
  • Work towards your goal diligently.
  • Identify your abilities and make the most of them.

‘Learn to celebrate small things’

We spend too much time waiting for the big things in life to happen, and as a result, we often ignore the beauty of ‘today’. With life divided into various compartments of profession, family, friends and ‘me time’, managing each can be quite a task. Yet one should try to appreciate and enjoy the small moments of life.

As clinical psychologist, Chhaya Sinha Goel of Care Hospitals, points out, “Emotional health is also determined by how you contribute towards your life partner, family and parents. We often find professionals at crossroads as they are not able to spend that required time. Being already stressed with work, they find it difficult to manage relationships. But there are simple ways of spending quality time like dropping the kids to the bus stop or school, walking with the family after dinner, or watching a comedy serial together. Or you can help your spouse with cleaning up after dinner, as it will give you enough time to talk to each other. Taking out time from hectic work schedules can be difficult but small steps can go a long way.”

Exercise both body and brain

For a healthy body, it is very important to exercise as it releases chemicals or endorphins in your brain making you feel good. Regular exercise also boosts self-esteem and helps you concentrate, sleep well and feel better. While physical exercise results in body flexibility, maintaining good mental health helps you concentrate and also sharpens your memory, which tends to undergo age-related wear and tear.

Dr Mayurnath Reddy, psychiatrist at Indian Institute of Mental Health, says, “Brain teasers help to improve concentration and attention. A lot of professionals tend to suffer from stress-related memory loss. To tackle this, they can solve puzzles and crosswords and also indulge in memory-strengthening games and exercises. Recalling good memories from the past also makes one feel good.”

Mental exercise also helps manage the advent of early stages of dementia for those in their mid-40s. Along with exercise, it is also very important to sleep well for both physical as well as mental health.

( Source : dc )
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