Risk & Business Magazine JGS Insurance - Summer 2020 - Page 15

LIVE HAPPIER Here are three ways you can live a happier, brighter, more balanced life starting today: 1. SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY Spend time with people who care about you and lift your spirits. Sounds simple, but it isn’t easy. We have so many things pulling at us. We need to schedule our personal life just like we schedule our business life. If you are brave, track how you are currently spending your time… what seems to be the first thing that is cut when you are time deprived? Yep, friends and family. We take for granted they will always be there as we rush to the next pressing item. I love spending time with my family and friends more than anything, and I know you do as well. Even just hanging out with a friend you haven’t had time for and sharing experiences with them will make your day feel much more meaningful. Did you know that one of the top traits of people that live to be 100 years old is their strong, large network of friends? Sometimes, you have to step back from your busy daily schedule and think about how you should really be spending your time. I once saw a rusty sign nailed to a tree on the side of the road that said, “Rotary Club meets every Thursday 12-1.” I loved the fact that long before social media, there was a simple sign to inform community members about social events. So simple, yet so powerful. Every Thursday for decades the community would meet at the same location, at the same time. This sign inspired me to set up a monthly event with my own network of friends. At noon on the last Friday of every month, I now have a standing Super Friends lunch. This lunch gives us a designated time to connect and has evolved into a coveted tradition. I always make sure I’m there, no matter what the circumstances are. A few of the Super Friends even fly across the U.S. to attend this lunch, which shows how valuable it is to take time out of our hectic lives to catch up. 2. FOCUS = HAPPINESS When I focus on the important things in life, I am happier. What are you focusing on? Sometimes we need to shift our focus to experience joy, instead of success. Evaluate what’s out of place in your schedule and remove items from your to-do list that are preventing you from working on the important feats that matter the most to you. Plus, feelings of control reduce stress. Another way to help is to move items from your to-do-list to your not-yet-list. 3. HUG FIVE TIMES A DAY Texting and social media can sometimes make us antisocial. Ironic, no? Although these tools have made our lives more convenient, interpersonal interactions are important, especially with the people we love. Did you know getting a hug five times a day for four weeks increases happiness? And that you're more likely to remember a person’s name when you shake their hand? Touching increases your levels of oxytocin; positive chemicals that give us energy throughout the day. This is why face-to-face cannot be replaced. Also, remember to be thankful for the people that have carried you this far in life. A random act of kindness can go a long way, such as a “thank you” or a simple phone call. Gratitude toward others increases activity in our dopamine circuits, which makes social interactions more enjoyable. Maintaining relationships and balancing different aspects of our daily routine will lead to a less stressed, more focused, happier life. And remember that your goals can work in harmony with your life. For example, I have a goal of only being away from my family for 52 nights during the year. When you schedule your personal life like your business life, you’ll soon be living the good life. + No. 1 Best-selling Author and Motivational Speaker Erik Qualman has performed in over 50 countries and reached over 30 million people in the last decade. His Socialnomics work has been featured on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the second Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter’s J.K. Rowling. Qualman was formerly a sitting professor at Harvard and MIT’s edX labs. Equalman.com *Reprinted with Permission 15