10 Essential Zen Habits to Start This Year 130

zen habits

Let’s make this year full of joy, mindfulness, tranquility and harmony by developing the right zen habits.

It’s a new year. And contrary to the many people who feel a bit depressed and upset because of that, I’m excited.

Why?

Well, we have the chance to improve, for a start. And instead of feeling bad about everything we did wrong and what we didn’t achieve last year, we can motivate ourselves to actually do it this time.

We have more experience and knowledge now, know what doesn’t work and that gets us much closer to what does.

But what we all need more of is peace and contentment. Without these two ingredients happiness is not an option. We just lead lives of stress and boredom, anxiety and haste.

Instead, we can make this year the most peaceful and simple one yet. Here are some zen habits you’ll want to build for more contentment:

10 Zen Habits for Peace and Harmony

  1. Be present.

Let’s leave the past behind, once and for all, together with the uncertain future. We don’t have anything to do there.

The only place we should be at is the present moment.

  1. Forgive.

Forgiveness is the ultimate salvation and an amazing zen habit. While holding grudges makes us unhappy.

So forgive others for everything they’ve done wrong, take the burden of the past mistakes off your shoulders (and off theirs too). Free yourself from carrying that into your present and future and make room for better things.

Also, forgive yourself. For the things you didn’t do, for the bad words you said, for the times you weren’t compassionate or kind to yourself or others.

That will make you enter every next year as a free person.

Related: How to Let Go of Grudges

  1. Focus on what’s important.

We do and pay attention to way too many things daily. And thus lose focus and forget about what matters the most.

It’s the people we love, the things we enjoy doing, the opportunities in front of us, the chances to learn and grow all the time. So define what’s most important for you in your life and dedicate more time and energy to it. After all, that’s what deserves your attention. Everything else is a distraction.

  1. Meditate.

If you haven’t given it a try yet, now’s the right time.

The only people who have made meditation a permanent part of their daily life are the successful ones and those who are contented. Everyone else is still trying to find a shortcut to removing stress.

Meditating helps you calm down, empty your mind, be still and alert. In the long term, it improves your health, mood, energy level and ability to solve problems.

That’s the easiest way to bring some peace and clarity to your days and one of the best zen habits you can start. So begin doing it first thing in the morning and you’ll feel its profound effect for the rest of the day.

Related: How Daily Meditation Can Change Your Life

  1. Have a zen morning.

morning routine infographic

Why not combine all of these, plus more simple actions and changes and create a peaceful morning routine for yourself?

Imagine spending the first hour of your day in creative activities, connecting with your true self, being full of appreciation and joy.

This will be your sacred time, with solitude, inspiration and clarity. You can even turn drinking your coffee into a whole ritual.

Related: How to Create e Zen Morning Ritual

  1. Stop trying to change others.

One of the things that brings us discontent in life is our constant desire to change the ones around us, to make them answer our expectations and behave the way we want them to.

That’s selfish and pointless as this way you don’t appreciate and accept them for who they are and want to turn them into new versions, just like the ones in your fantasies.

But if you think about it, will you really be happy with who they become, knowing it’s not their real face?!

Related: How to Stop Trying to Change Someone

  1. Keep a gratitude journal.

Being positive and thanking for each day is something we all know we should be doing. But are we doing it?

An easy way to remember to count your blessings and find reasons to smile daily is to keep such a journal. Just write down five things you’re grateful for each morning as a step towards building better zen habits.

The written word is powerful. And sometimes that simple act makes you realize what you have. In the long term you can find yourself living in abundance without changing anything.

  1. Be okay with change.

Fearing it is not the answer.

We’re changing all the time, anyways. Accept the fact that every morning we wake up a little different, that everything in life is changing and is a process.

This will help you adapt easier and even take control so that you can make this change positive.

  1. Make inspiration a habit.

How to Be Passionate in Both Your Career and Personal Life

Most people think they need to do something to get inspired, or just wait for it to come. But that’s not the case.

Truth is inspiration is everywhere around you already. You just need to open your eyes. It comes with appreciation and being present.

Related: How to Be Inspired All The Time

  1. Be excited about the future.

The new year isn’t about what was, it’s about what’s to come. And that’s the beauty of it. You don’t really know and there’s a high chance it can be your best year so far.

So look forward to it, be excited. And in the meantime, take daily action towards achieving your goals so that you can help the process.

All these zen habits are simple and easy, right?

If you really want to make this year more peaceful and find contentment, then work on each. But focus on one at a time and take tiny steps.

That’s how change happens and that’s how we can avoid being overburdened and just enjoy the journey.

What do you think? Which of these 10 habits would you like to develop first and why? What other changes can we all make to find peace this year?

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Facts on Saturated Fat and How it Affects Women’s Health 12

Facts on Saturated Fat and How it Affects Women's Health

If you’re confused about what food are good for you today, but bad for you tomorrow, you’re not alone.

Take fat, for example. One day, all fats are bad. Then we’re told we need healthy fats. Another day, the perception of what’s considered ‘healthy’ fat is under scrutiny. Here’s the skinny on saturated fat.

The Truth About Saturated Fat

Just a few decades ago, fat was the enemy, especially saturated fat as found in butter and other animal-based food products. They’re the kind of fats that solidify at room temperature, which is due to their atomic makeup; the carbon cells are completely covered, or saturated, by the hydrogen cells.

Foods that contain saturated fats include:

– Red meat
– Eggs
– Cheese and other dairy products
– Poultry
– Pork
– Palm and coconut oil

Saturated fat was thought to cause high cholesterol and ailments like heart disease. However, new research has shown that a diet that includes saturated fat and reduces carbohydrates actually has the opposite effect, especially in women over the age of 50. This has led to the rise of low carb and paleo diets.

The benefits of saturated fat has been studied by researchers, dietitians and journalists like Nina Teicholz, whose book, The Big Fat Surprise, summarizes nine years of research on the subject of saturated fat and women’s health.

The conclusions reached by many who’ve viewed the data are that there is no conclusive evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease or obesity when eaten as part of a balanced diet. In fact, over the period between the first recommendations by the American Heart Association demonizing fat in 1961 and now, heart disease, obesity and related conditions have increased.

How Did Saturated Fat Become the Enemy?

The big turning point came after the release of the so-called “Seven Countries” study conducted by Ancel Keys. This research – and false conclusions – looked at diets around the world. Keys determined that the seven countries with the highest rate of heart disease also consumed the highest amounts of saturated fat.

What the study overlooked, and what turned out to be the real cause of adverse health effects, was that people in these countries also ate the highest amounts of processed carbohydrates and sugar. The problem was that Keys went in with a hypothesis about the correlation between fat consumption and heart disease, and rejected any findings that didn’t support his theories.

What’s it All Mean?

We’re not suggesting that fat doesn’t raise cholesterol, which is a contributing factor in heart disease. However, certain kinds of cholesterol are beneficial, even necessary, to good health.

Adding modest amounts of saturated fat and reducing sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption increases the HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol. The trick is to choose the right kinds of saturated fats, not deprivation.

Food With Beneficial Saturated Fat

The right levels of saturated fat in your diet allows you to enjoy eating again. Food tastes better and is more filling, which means less temptation to binge and less over-eating. Choose saturated fat from healthier foods like coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, and grass-fed beef over grain-fed.

If you’ve been depriving yourself and avoiding ‘real’ foods like red meat, cheese and butter, this is good news. The best diet for anyone is one that uses moderation without necessarily excluding entire food groups.