The Key to Happiness: Be Selfish
In a world where it is all too easy to get sucked into a vortex of drama, work exhaustion, and a to-do list a mile long, a little selfish attention, aka self-care, is a wise and worthy investment to your health and overall wellbeing.
Self-care includes anything you do that benefits or nurtures YOU. This also includes compassion for self. It’s knowing when to unplug and recharge from the external world before your batteries are drained. Self-care provides you with long-term benefits of happiness and health. This is unlike pacifying oneself with the temporary fix of food, drugs, or alcohol which do not benefit you in the long term.
Benefits of being selfish (self-care)
You are more productive. When you learn how to say no or avoid things that would typically overwhelm you, you begin to have more time to fill with the things you love. You begin to feel more accomplished. You begin to focus on things you never had time or energy for, things that inspire you. Time seems to open up and become more available to you. This will energize you.
You will have better self-esteem. When you take the time to be good to yourself, you send a message to your subconscious. Some might initially feel guilty, but it is worth every effort to push through and disconnect from that negative inner voice. Because you will feel better, you will hold your head a little higher. People will notice, compliment the change and your greater sense of happiness, and wonder what you are doing (or what medication you have been placed on).
Enjoy better health. When you dedicate time to yourself, your body tends to rest and restore better. Energy will increase and your immune system will improve. You will be less likely to suffer from colds and other viral outbreaks. There are many studies to support that happy people live longer and are generally healthier than their unhappy counterparts.
A benefit to your surroundings. When you are good to yourself, you are potentiating your ability to be compassionate to others. Being supportive and compassionate is very different from being a martyr, as martyrs rarely give themselves compassion and self-love and are easily and often overwhelmed.
How to be more selfish
Live in the moment. When you learn to appreciate and be grateful in the moment, inner peace can be realized. Many individuals dwell on the past. If that’s the case, they are living there and, in a sense, stuck and unable to move forward. Conversely, always worrying about the future pulls us from seeing joy in the moment. Make a conscious effort to smell the roses as you will begin to see more and more everyday.
Think and do what makes you happy. If you intentionally focus on what makes you happy, you raise your vibration and begin to have less room for negativity in your life. Feeling good becomes addictive and you crave being in this happy state. You become much more sensitive to bad days and will become well versed in turning things around.
Give yourself time each day for exercise, even twenty minutes. I’m not talking about the gym (unless you love it), but a walk, yoga, meditation (mental exercise). Allow yourself time to have an activity that you love. Walk a dog, ride a bike. If tired, give yourself permission to nap without feeling guilty. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep per night. These are the things that promote vitality, quality of life, and longevity.
Connect spiritually. People who feel a spiritual connection tend to live happier lives. Being spiritual may or may not correspond with being religious. Find what brings you peace. Do you pray? Meditate? If you feel a little lost in this area, there is an abundance of self-help books on the topic.
A sense of purpose. There is no purpose in life too big or too small. Each of us can make a difference in some way. It can be as simple as helping an elderly person cross the street or holding the door open for someone. These, and other small acts of kindness, nourish and feed our souls, at no cost.
Connect with people who bring you joy. By intentionally socializing and making the time for people who make you laugh and are just good to be around, you become less vulnerable or consumed by the parasites in your life. In fact, when you stop giving so much attention to the negative people in your life, they tend to move on, looking for another host to attach to.
Your purpose here on this planet is to live a joyous life. By exercising a little self-care and selfishness, you may be surprised by the added happiness.
Catherine Stack (RN, ND) is a practicing Doctor of Naturopathy, Certified Nurse Midwife, and the founder and CEO of Journey II Health Center for Rejuvenation. Her book, Free Yourself from a CONSTIPATED Life, is available on Amazon. Visit her website at journeyiihealth.com or email journeyIIhealth@gmail.com.