Integration for Life Harmony
Balance. It's a nice word but the reality is hard to pin down. It may not even put us on the right track in our quest for fulfillment and happiness. Today we will talk more about "work-play integration".
Let's think about integration, which means bringing the various pieces of our lives into a cohesive whole. We each have many roles, goals, responsibilities and life plans. We have to consider all of those aspects globally and identify clear priorities.
Experience shows people best at balancing their lives are ones who have very clear priorities and their own clear definition of success. They know what's most important in their lives. These are people who can say, before it happens: if I have to make a choice between different activities, I know what my biggest priority is.
Recognize the Choices You're Making
Sometimes we fall into going through life feeling like we don't have a choice. We let the new promotion or the new demands of the job dictate what we do. This is not a balanced life road. We need to stop and reflect, communicate more with your significant other and your manager at work...basically be more pro-active and take charge.
Take Time to Unplug
It's easy to find we have too much to do. Technology has changed things and made people accessible 24 hours a day, encroaching on the peaceful "unplugged" time people used to have. Yet some things don't change. We still have 24 hours a day. We all have the same amount of time, and how we use it comes down to a personal choice.
Use Management Skills in All Areas of Your Life
For a balanced life, basic management skills have to be used at home as well as in the workplace. One of the reasons why many people prefer going out to work to working at home is that we're very organized in the workplace. We use time management there, and then we come home and just ride the waves, allowing the latest problem that has cropped up to dictate our time. Instead, try bringing some organization into your home life. Plan a weekly dinner with friends or a family game night. Schedule an activity for yourself from time to time as an opportunity to take care of yourself and re-energize.
Day 20 of my book, 21 Days to Happiness, focuses on creating happiness at work through the use of our strengths and talents. Check it out, and let me know which chapter helps you most!
Smiling is a simple thing to do, but it can make a huge difference in how we feel and how we're perceived by the people around us. Here are some great reasons to give us a grin.
1. Our smile shows others people that we are likeable and helps us connect.
If a stranger or new coworker approaches you and gains eye contact with you and then treats you to a smile, you'll have a fairly good idea that they are friendly and likeable. Which type of person do you prefer? A person that has a tired or overly serious face; an expression that may reflect their inner thoughts of boredom and worry; or would you prefer someone who is usually smiling and shows that they have an enthusiastic passion for life? Few of us would choose a miserable person to talk to whether it's in our work or personal lives. Let's face it-- we all prefer someone who is going to be positive.
2. A smile can make people feel happy and is infectious.
When someone smiles at you, even a stranger, you usually smile back. For that moment you enjoy a flash of positive communication without saying a word. It's hard to feel unhappy, negative or sad while you're smiling. Smiling gives you enthusiasm and drive. It is also habit-forming. When you spend a lot of time in the company of someone who smiles often, you will probably find that smile contagious. It is hard not to return a smile; most of us do it at a subliminal level without thinking. So don't wait for someone to start the happiness epidemic. Be the first to offer a happy face!
3. A smile makes you look far more attractive and memorable to others.
You don’t see many celebrities or media personalities that are not smiling. If you did, it is fairly certain their popularity would quickly start to drop! Have you noticed you remember smiling people more than those that are not? It is a fact that you are three times more likely to remember a smiling person over the one wearing a negative or neutral features.
4. The effects of smiling can last for hours.
Whatever problems and challenges you have in your life, smiling temporary puts them on hold. You can choose to see opportunities and become solution-oriented, and while you are in a positive state, you have far more potential and power to advance and improve your life.
5. Most importantly, smiling is good for your health.
When you are smiling, you may find whatever you are doing far easier. It releases stress, worry and tension that you may have built up throughout the day. Long term, developing the smiling habit will be one of the smartest things that you can do to improve your life.
Also, smiling is FREE!
You are never going to run short of smiles and will always have enough to go around. When you weigh the positive points of smiling, it's a no-brainer decision to do far more smiling and share them with as many people as possible.
For more information on quick ways to improve your personal happiness in just a few minutes each day, click the button below. You'll find a whole chapter on smiling and laughing in my book, 21 Days to Happiness.
Ms. Ingrid Kelada is an experienced psychologist and happiness expert in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She is a speaker and has facilitated over 1000 workshops all over the world.
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