“The doctor diagnosed me with a mild case of depression.” Wow! Those were the words that you never want to hear from the people you love. I nearly had a heart attack when my sister told me. Being a mother hen that I was, I automatically went into the “how could I not look after her better” mode. Blaming myself won’t solve anything, so I tried to refocus and figured out what I could do to help and support her to overcome this tough time. As I worked through the issues to helped my sister and she opened up to me about what led her to this path, I recognized that I also experienced some of those issues but I just masked the issues and ignored the warning signs harder than my sister. Way to go, Karen!
Somehow, both of us ended up at the cross road of our life and at the same time. We both came to a realization that we were not always happy. The more money we earned, the harder life become and more stress we had. Exhausted by work, finance, and family stress, we both started to question did we make the right choices in life. What does it mean to have a happier life anyway? What will make us happy and content? Do we have the right idea about what it means to be successful and what success means for each of us?
With all these questions, and no answers we started to do a lot of soul searching. We tried many things to refocus our life and really tried to find the crucial missing pieces in life that would put a smile on our faces. We tried and failed many time. But at last, we were able to identify those important things that have been making our life happier. We also decided to start this blog to share with other women our journey to find a balance and blissful life. We don’t have all the answers yet but we want to share with you our big breakthroughs that we have discovered so far.
So let me ask you this question: Are you happy? Do you struggle to find happiness? You are not alone. In today world, too many of us living our lives with the ridiculous and life-restrictive “either or” mindset. Do you see that too? Most people think that they can’t have success in all areas of health, wealth and happiness. They believe it’s either one or the other. Maybe it is the endless business talks about trade-off costs that we are constantly being told by the so-call experts. I came across this article on cnbc. “There are 168 hours in a week. You should be working most of them,” said the self-made millionaire Grant Cardone who works on an average of 95 hours a week.
Gee! Does this guy have time to breath or spend time with people he loves? Earth to Grant! Can a human body handle a 95 hours work week for an extended period of time? Does the money worth one’s health and relationship that can enrich one’s life? The answer for Grant Cardone surely is: Yes, wealth is everything. Grant Cardone is not alone in this thinking. Many believe that money is everything. Some believe that happiness is all you need and nothing else matters while others are of a mindset that good health is all you need to live a fulfilling life. Therefore, we have become saturated with conflicting and self-oppressive beliefs that preventing us from reaching our full potential and living our lives to the fullest. And this is really unfortunate because this way of thinking (“either or) is the root cause for much of the suffering and struggling for many people, myself include.
“Well, I only have so many hours in a day, so I pick and choose my battle” is something I have been hearing a lot from my circle of friends, colleagues and family. It is very common that people focus their effort on one or two areas of their lives and ignore the others. We don’t take the time to evaluate the areas of instability or worse we choose to totally disregard them. Due to the imbalance, people will continuously struggle to achieve true happiness and fulfillment. If prolong, the unstable and imbalance mental mindset often results in sadness, anxiety and depression. Believe me, you don’t want to get there.
Are you depressed at these thoughts? It is not my intention to depress you. I simply want to point out that imbalance is not healthy. It should be deal with and it can be done! In our humble opinion and “Try and Truth” life experience, it’s vital to achieve a correlative balance of health, wealth and of course happiness itself. Each of these three areas of our life is supportive and dependent on the other. If one or more areas of our life are restricted or not optimal, it will impact other aspect of our life. Take my sister for example. For a long time, she wasn’t happy at work. The root cause of her unhappiness was a “Devil wears Panda boss”. To make a long story short, her former manager made her work life a living hell because she was a jealous maniac with zero empathy and sense of fashion. My sister earned a good salary that ensured a comfortable life for her. She had and still does a stable and ‘’drama free” family and personal life. And she had good health. Believing that she could handle the work stress, my sister continued to work in a toxic work environment for years. Eventually, the unbalance caught up to her and she was diagnosed with a mild depression. I am thankful to say that she is doing well and living a much more balance and happier life. But that took a lot of works and self-reflecting to understand: 1) what were the real issues? And what are things that most important to her?
7 steps to equilibrium of a blissful and happy life – Wealth, Health and Mind
Now that I sufficiently depress and scare you with these thoughts, I want to light up the mood. If you are truly serious about living your life to the fullest, then it is vital that Wealth, Health and Mind are in equilibrium in your life.
The importance of a happy mind
Can you image living without any happiness? Well, thank you very much for putting such depressing thought out there in the universe, Karen. But seriously, how your life would be without happiness? There is a good chance that you will suffer mentally, become lost and consume with negativity, anxiety and depression. When you are emotionally drained, there is no doubt that it will prevent you from achieving your true potential. Forget about your chance of living life to the fullest, you won’t be able to function much. Thus, all of us need to have a happy and balance mind.
The importance of health
Can you image trying to live your life to the fullest without good health? Probably not. When your health is deteriorated, you will likely experience restrictions in your lives and lose your confidence and ambition to succeed. Good health has strong correlation to the state of happy and peaceful mind. Well, how can you have happy and peaceful mind when your body is deteriorated? Needless to say, good health can help you to be successful and fulfilling your dreams and desires.
The important of wealth
Money, money and money! Just to be clear! I don’t value money above all, but money gives me and you the purchasing power that we need to live our life in comfort. You can have good health and happy mind, but without wealth to feed, clothe and have shelter, how can we live? Wealth enables us to have the basic needs meet. The lack of wealth can put tremendous stress on a healthy and happy person and drives us to the brink of depression if not manage or address.
We can all agree that Wealth, Health and Mind are important for our happiness. No need for Karen, the sergeant to go thru this drill again. The big question is now for you to accurately define how much do you need in wealth, mind and health to live a happy and blissful life? The answer will be different for each of us on how much that will satisfy our need. I encourage you to take a hard look at your current state of your health, wealth and happiness. Self-identify the areas in your life that are not satisfactory, especially those areas that are creating limitations and emotional turmoil.
For my sister, it was her “Devil wears Panda Boss” for a long time. Well, she learns her lesson. It is all about balancing and letting go before it was too late. Good paying job is great but it should not be at the benefit of one’s mental health. Focus your energy on achieving the personal growth and life-enhancing changes that will create a proper balance in your overall life. Strive to achieve a balance that will allow you to live life to the fullest. I can’t emphasize enough: balance! It is the key deciding factor. If you have too much wealth, but not enough health or peaceful mind to enjoy it, then you will not truly live a happy life. If you lean too far to the mind and health but have little wealth, the financial stress will eventually get to you. You get my point right? I will stop now.
Here are the 7 things that I now do consistently to keep my life in balance and allowing me to live a happier life
1. Do what you love
Make time to do what you love. Do what you love sound much better than forcing yourself to do something you hate, right? Now, you have to balance out Wealth as well. If what you love to do isn’t enough to pay your bills, then consider having it as a hobby. Take me for example. I need my full time job as a finance professional because my job pays well. Being a blogger (though, it will be a lot more fun than being a boring banker) won’t give me the income that I need to provide for my family. So blogging is my hobby. Writing on these topics isn’t a job for me because I have a lot of fun writing about financial literacy topics. I come to a realization that I actually love personal finance. Darn, I am a boring banker! But seriously, I love to provide people with the information they need to make better financial choices. This hobby provides me with an outlet that my fulltime job can’t give me and I love doing it. So, explore what kind of work or interest will put a smile on your face and JUST DO IT! Even if it is for free.
2. Lot more laughter and smile
I am not kidding here people! A simple laugh can chase away a lot of mental stress. Practice smiling more and see how it affects you internally, as well as those around you. You can always afford to give a smile. It won’t cost you anything. When you laugh, your body starts to release endorphins (the happy hormone) which will then reduce the stress response, relax muscle which soothe the tension in your body. Laughter can also improve your immune system and mood. So, when you feel down, find things that can crack you up with a hearty laugh. I vote for Korean variety shows. Have you heard of a show calls: Same bed different dreams? It is seriously funny. All married couples should watch this show. You will laugh. It is a guarantee.
3. Move your body
Many studies have demonstrated the benefits of exercise to reduce stress. Physically, when you exercise your body will start to pump up endorphins. Yep! It is the same old “feel good” hormone that will boost up your mental and physical state. This is true. Look it up! More than the physical boost, able to exercise is also an ego boost for you when you are at the low point because you show that you can achieve something. So, whenever you feel sad, get off the couch and find a way to move your body. You don’t need to go a gym to exercise, check out my sister’s post on home gym. It is a low cost and feel good option that you may need.
4. Out with the negative thinking. Focus on the positive things in life
You already know that negative thinking will bring you down. So how do you stop it? Become more aware of it and try replacing your negative thoughts with some positive ones. Spend less time with negative people and more time with positive people in your life. Being around positivity will lift your spirit and mind.
Don’t let stress or negativity rob you of your birthright to be happy.
5. Eat healthy
How can you be happy when your body is not healthy? So, a big part of making your life a happy and blissful one is about keeping your body healthy. The food you consume directly fuels your body, thus it is not a surprise that people consumer lot of unhealthy foods will be more likely to have health issues. Health issues will impact your wealth, mind and health. Needless to say, be smart and eat healthy. Your body, mind and wallet will thank you.
6. Take control of your personal finance
Well, this is not new to me. I have always been a finance hawk. If you read my post on “Every woman should be the boss of her finance”, you know my view on Wealth topic. Money is not everything but it is an important piece in your life. This is becoming a Karen’s song. But seriously, money is serious matter so I encourage you to take control of it. I have come to a realization that it is not how much you earn; it is all about how much you can invest and save. There is no way that I could grow my assets without having some investment knowledge. So keep learning on personal finance topics and take better care of your wealth.
7. Take a leap of faith
By moving forward and allowing new experiences, new energy, and new people into your life, you will have to let go of whatever isn’t working for you. It does take confidence and self-belief, but this is where banishing the old beliefs and replacing your old negative thoughts with positive ones comes in. Like physical exercise, you need to commit to it. Eventually, this will create the self-worth and self-reliance needed to make that leap of faith. My sister and I held hands and jumped into a new business venture because we don’t want to be corporate workers for the rest of our lives. It took a lot of thinking and evaluating, but we are doing it! We don’t want to have any regret on our death beds but more importantly, we don’t want to spend the next chapter of our lives in living misery. So, jump, speed walk or just stroll toward the new experience, people or things that will make you feel happy in and out!
About a year ago, I started this path to re-focus my life priorities and I am happy to say that I am happier. Not totally blissful and ecstatic yet but I believe that I will get there. As long as I have a balance between Wealth, Health and Mind, I can live a happy and blissful life. The key is about balance. The 7 steps are what enable me to have the balance that I need to have it all. I hope this has been useful to you. Share with me your journey to happiness. I love to know.