9 Life-Changing Gifts You Can Give Yourself

New scientific research offers surprising ways to shower yourself with tranquility, creativity, longevity and more.

1. Optimism.

Look for the silver lining…

Buddy DeSylva’s upbeat lyrics to Jerome Kern’s lovely tune provide an appealing call to a positive outlook on life, even in the face of adversity. Indeed, a cheerful disposition can help you get through the tough patches that cloud every life, but do people who see the glass half-full also enjoy better health than gloomy types who see it half-empty?

According to a series of studies from the U.S. and Europe, the answer is yes. Optimism helps people cope with disease and recover from surgery. Even more impressive is the impact of a positive outlook on overall health and longevity. Research tells us that an optimistic outlook early in life can predict better health and a lower rate of death during follow-up periods of 15 to 40 years.

What is Optimistic and How to Be More Optimistic

2.Peace of mind.

Everything is temporary; nothing lasts forever.

When you give yourself permission to befriend what is, instead of what you think it should be, you’ll realize that the best thing you can do is to focus on the present and count your blessings.

There’s no need to worry incessantly, for you can’t control the future, or what others think for that matter. Most of the time people are self-absorbed, going through their own things, not even aware of how their actions and reactions may have come across to you.

Worrying doesn’t accomplish anything; it only takes away today’s peace.

When you are at the moment, just do what you can do. Sometimes it may be nothing, and it’s okay.

Have faith that everything will work out for the best. After all, you have found a way to survive your ‘bad’ choices thus far. So going forward, why not trust yourself? You’ve got the proof that you are capable of more than you know.

3. Creative Thinking.

I believe we are all creative in some way; we just need to figure out what floats our creative boat. Creativity generates a ‘flow’ state and when we flow we are totally present and in the moment, we are not worrying about the past or the future, we are in the moment and connected to life! Find a creative outlet this year and make it part of your life. Make a list of ideas today!

4. Time for yourself.

We often put ourselves last on our to-do list.

But it’s important to take care of your well-being and to recharge your batteries first in order to be at your best to give to others.

Find ways to you nurture your body and nourish you mind. Take the rest you need to not burn yourself out. After all, you are the caretaker of your body and life. No one can do this for you.

When you allow yourself to have moments to unwind, de-stress, and reconnect with yourself, you will be more productive, have more energy, and feel happier, which will result in fostering better relationships while reducing your stress levels.

5. Better Sex.

A recent survey by the Kinsey Institute of 1,009 committed heterosexual couples reveals just how important it is for couples to be physically affectionate, especially in long-term relationships. Scientists found women were more likely to be sexually satisfied overall if they were frequently cuddled with and were kissed by their partner—even if sex didn’t immediately follow.

6. Vitality

Tired? Draggy? Stuck in your office? Picture yourself outside beneath an arching sky and canopied branches. Daydreaming about nature is energizing, according to a new study. And if you can go outdoors, even better: As little as 20 minutes in a natural setting demonstrably increased people’s energy levels for the day.

Walking Meditation

7. Longevity.

Using data from about 10,000 adults tracked over 50 years, scientists discovered that volunteering, especially for altruistic motives, can be a lifesaver. People who reported giving their time because they wanted to help others outlived those who didn’t volunteer at all, as well as those who did so mostly for their own satisfaction.

8. Forgiveness.

“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.” ~Unknown

We often have a hard time forgiving ourselves for our mistakes. Instead of beating ourselves up, we need to appreciate the lessons we’ve learned from our unwise choices.

Recognize that you did your best with what you understood back then. You are not defined by your past.

The fact that you are upset and holding yourself accountable shows that you care and that you have reflected and grown from the experience. So it’s time to stop berating yourself and judging your actions.

Forgive yourself like you would with a friend or a loved one. When you forgive and let go of the guilt and shame, you give yourself the power to change your story.

Last but not least, be your own best friend! Give yourself the gift of being the kind of person you would most like to spend the time with.

When you catch yourself talking negatively, change it to a more positive and supportive voice. Be nice to yourself.

You deserve it.

How To Be Yourself: Accept Yourself As You Are

9. A Healthier Diet

To make better choices at the grocery store, bring dollar bills, a revelatory study shows. Analyzing 1,000 households, researchers found that shoppers who paid by credit card tended to select chips, cookies, and other junk food. The theory: Shelling out cash is more psychologically painful, so people are less likely to spend it on unhealthy goods.

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