Susan Nefzger – The Importance Of Simplicity To Achieving Happiness
With so much getting jammed into our day now, how do you make time for happiness? As a professional marketer and an author, I have learned that there are many distractions in a given day, which begin as soon as you awaken.
If we ourselves don’t make the time to create space to cultivate our passions, which bring us happiness, well then, no one else will. You have to find a way to make yourself the priority, in order to cultivate and maintain happiness.
The various aspects of our lives will come crashing down on us if we are unable to manage our obligations in any given moment, right? Whether that consists of a virtual job, children, a husband, or wife, and other family members, you see where I am going with this train of thought. Now, with many still working from home, it is even more important to make time for self care, which leads to feeling prioritized at least in one respect. You’re probably thinking, if only I had time! Have faith, you do have time, although it can take time to figure it out. Even if it’s just getting up a little earlier to have a quiet cup of coffee or tea outside, or being in silence. Not to worry, it is do-able.
Finally, without making time for ourselves by creating space in our day for inner silence and space, we won’t hear our intuition or feel our own desires or basically, we may not know when to stop.
Here are a five simple ways you can begin to practice self care to discover ourselves, so we can understand what we need to feel happy:
- Self-Perception Activity
Try to sit in a quiet place and visualize by daydreaming of what your perfect world looks like.
See this without editing for others involved in your life. Next, assemble images from magazines or even online, that depict an ideal world for you. Try not to overanalyze it. Use whatever colors, scenes, places or people call to you.
After you have an album of images, see how much better you feel by changing it around and playing with it, to reflect your inner happiness. See how specific changes to the album reflect your feelings. For example, if you add a waterfall does it make you happier? Or if you take away a sailboat do you feel that something is missing? Pay attention to your inner discourse and afterwards, journal it. It will assist you in clarifying your needs and thereby knowing yourself better. You may be surprised with what your final product looks like!
- Create Space in Your Day
Create space in your daily life that brings you to awareness.
Allowing for silence and deep breathing creates stillness. It anchors you in the present. Go further by using affirmations, meditation, or even by the practice of recognizing the commitments in your daily life. When you have relaxed quietly for a few minutes take out your calendar and look at your daily commitments. It forces us to review our responsibility to ourselves and others with calmness and patience prior to any issues arising. We then see with objectivity, what may cause a problem later on in the day or month and we can reconcile it by rescheduling or cancelling, having understood that you are not obligated to say yes to everything!
Self-care is most important because in order to care for others we must be happy and healthy. If not, we cannot fulfill our commitments to our family, friends and colleagues. a) Put your needs first by recognizing them. b) Then put those needs ahead of any other. What is it that starts your day off on the right foot? A cup of coffee on the porch, a walk in the park, meditating for 15 minutes, and listening to your favorite music? Do it. Like being thirsty for water, being thirsty in your soul can lead to unhappiness.
Consider for a moment, how your continued unhappiness affects others in your life. Do you get cranky or impatient? Or do you withdraw? This practice is called, being self-aware. Practicing self-care daily leads to enhanced energy and greater happiness. Try it and see what changes occur, and journal it. Track how it affects your day through your journal.
- Mindfulness Exercise
Take a walk outside, or step out onto your balcony or patio. Do you notice what surrounds you?
Try describing to yourself what appears in the present moment. See the blue sky, gray sky, green grass, hot air, buildings or trees. We can only be alive right now in the present. It is all we have. Being aware of the present allows us to be open to all possibilities. When we are living in the moment, flow occurs and we allow for letting go of thinking we must be in control of everything.
Try it without electronics or technology or being preoccupied by the future. Do it for 15 minutes then longer, as your progress in mindful awareness. Note how you feel afterwards.
- Committing to Awareness
If you feel that something is missing in your life, then begin to apply a few of these practices.
Opportunities for awareness present themselves in many forms. Be open to change! Stay alert to what makes you feel excited, happy and grateful. Whatever leaves you feeling positive and contributing to something greater than yourself, pay attention. That is the beginning of knowing. Begin by investing in our own personal happiness, first knowing what it is that meets our needs, and practicing simple steps toward our ideal. We can’t beat ourselves up if we aren’t reaching the goal daily. It can take time to get to a happy medium of balance. Trust in the process. Be motivated by joy and appreciation. Look at the things in your current life that you are grateful for and expand on those.
What is it that leaves you feeling happy and up-lifted? Let us know!
About The Author
Susan Nefzger is the author of “A Practical Guide to Awareness”, “Putting Awareness Into Practice” and a contributor to “Believe You Can Live a Life You Love After 50+”, a collaboration with 30 other women ages 50-90 and their inspiring stories.
In my book, “A Practical Guide to Awareness,” a primary tenet is self care. It is a step by step guide to finding fulfillment through self-awareness. What does self care have to do with happiness? Well, if we are not aware of our needs as a person, or unaware of what inspires us or leaves us feeling relaxed and uncared for, we begin to feel resentment toward others and ourselves. Knowing your self is the key to happiness.
A veteran public relations professional over a highly substantive 30 year career, Susan traveled around the world seeking answers on her quest.
During a writing retreat in Glastonbury, England, Susan became inspired to write and complete the books, having tapped a previously unknown force that transformed her life.
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