To enable a conversation around mental health and positive psychology, we invited Life and Happiness Coach Shireena Shroff Manchharam to host an Ask Me Anything session on Malini’s Girl Tribe. From tips on increasing motivation to daily practices that can help one stay positive, from ways to be mindful to tips on cultivating gratitude—she answered all the questions the Tribe had. Read on to know her tips and secrets on improving one’s quality of life!
Q. I’ve read that practising gratitude increases happiness. What are the ways one can practice gratitude daily?
The best way to practice gratitude is to list down three things you’re grateful for every night before going to bed. They don’t have to be huge things, and you shouldn’t stress and worry about them, but as you keep doing it, it will become easier to notice even the small things, like the beautiful blue sky, or a kind message from someone, or the ability to enjoy a good cup of coffee at home. If you have children, encourage them to write them down every night before they sleep too, or share it together as a family.
Q. How to let go of the resentment incurred in past relationships and be open to a new relationship?
It’s often hard when we try to let go of something in our past. Look at the past relationship and ask yourself—can I change anything about it? Can I make changes to what went wrong or why it didn’t work? If you can’t, then you can tell yourself to let it go. Being mindful is really the practice of focusing on the present, and letting go of the past which we cannot change. As well as not thinking too much about the future which we can’t always predict. So, ask yourself, if the resentment you are holding on too: 1) Is making you happy to hold on to it? 2) Can you create some habits to learn to let it go? 3) What have you learned from the old relationship that you won’t repeat in the new one?
Q. How to let go of the hurt for which you never received an apology?
This definitely makes me think of myself and how I would also have a hard time letting go of pain when I was younger. I would hold on to the pain and be baffled by the fact that people couldn’t just apologise. But I realised I was holding onto something I couldn’t control. You can’t control if or when someone will apologise. Maybe it’s too late once they do; maybe they never realise they should apologise at all. What helped me was realising I was putting all my happiness in their hands. It can’t be in someone else’s power to make us feel better. We need to find ways to focus on what we have versus on what we don’t, or doing random acts of kindness towards others, or standing up for ourself in front of those who hurt us…and then choose to move on. Focus on your amazing self and on what actually makes you happy.
Q. How to be happy from inside without depending on someone? How can I motivate myself? I’m feeling really hurt, neglected and frustrated.
We have to learn to shift the mindset from ‘poor me’. Of course, it’s not easy and takes intention and effort. Forgiving someone is hard, and it comes down to not putting all the hope into someone else’s hand to come forth and apologise and treat you better. Life is hard, and people are not perfect. We can’t change people and nor can we force them to treat us better, we just can’t. We can only control how we deal with people. Can we block them out, can we incorporate practices like meditation that calm our mind and reduce the release of cortisol (stress hormone)? What can you do for yourself that makes you a little happier and motivated? What are you doing for yourself and where are you spending the energy? I think we focus and spend so much of our energy and thoughts on things we can’t control. When we compare our lives to others, there is always someone in a better situation, and always someone who is worse off. Think about your reference point and start by listing out what all you have in your life and focus on that.
Q. What are the top three daily activities that you would suggest we should practice to aptly use the law of attraction and manifest feelings of contentment and mindfully align our actions with our goals, especially in unfavourable circumstances?
First, in the morning, set your intention for the day. Think of your goal for the day. Maybe it’s to not fight with a family member or communicate with the person you love with more kindness. Setting an intention each morning can help dictate and direct your day. Second, stay away from social comparison. Using social media and comparing what someone has compared to you, can easily bring you down. We tend to forget when we are scrolling mindlessly that there is always someone more attractive, richer, and apparently happier than us. And, we fall into the blues so fast by doing that. Allow yourself the perspective that someone’s life can be worse off than yours too. Third, ask yourself what isn’t and what is out of your control. That which is out of your control, learn to let go of and move on. I know it’s easier said than done, so try and keep your focus on your goals. What are your dreams, what have you always wanted, can you create some actions around them to achieve what you want?
How do you practice mindfulness? Please share it with us in the comments below!
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