The Power of Rituals: Why Meaningful Routines Improve Your Wellbeing | The Health Sessions

The Power of Rituals: Why Meaningful Routines Improve Your Wellbeing

One of the reasons why people love the holiday season is because it’s filled with traditions. From getting together for Thanksgiving dinner to decorating the Christmas tree, December feels like one long series of comforting rituals.

Rituals are often associated with religious customs and the cultural ways we celebrate birth, marriage and death. But did you know that simple rituals like lazy brunches on Sunday and reading bedtime stories each night have powerful benefits for your wellbeing?

A ritual is a set series of actions that you perform regularly. But unlike routine behaviors such as brushing your teeth, rituals are meaningful acts you do with intent. Rituals embody what matters to you by putting your values into practice. That in itself will probably make you happier, but performing simple rituals has more perks for your wellbeing.

Have a look at 5 reasons why rituals have a powerful impact on your health and happiness.  

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5 Positive Psychology Books for a Happy Fulfilling Life | The Health Sessions

5 Positive Psychology Books for a Happy, Fulfilling Life

For most of its history, the main goal of the field of psychology was to prevent and treat mental health problems. It wasn’t until twenty years ago that prominent psychologists shifted their attention from reducing suffering to studying how people can lead a good and happy life. Instead of trying to get depressed and anxious patients back to a neutral state, this new area of research focused on what a person would need to flourish – to go from feeling “OK” about life to finding fulfillment.

Positive psychology is the scientific study of optimal human functioning, searching for the factors that allow individuals to thrive. With an ever-growing body of research, positive psychology wants to build a bridge between the academic theories and the self-help movement. Because how do we define happiness? What do we need to be happy and how can we put the results from all those studies into practice?

Have a look at these 5 must-read positive psychology books from the leading experts on happiness.

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The Art of Savouring: 21 Ideas to Fully Enjoy Everyday Moments | The Health Sessions

The Art of Savouring: 21 Ideas to Fully Enjoy Every Day

That feeling when you kick back, relax and contently take in everything that’s happening around you.

When you relish the taste of a piece of good chocolate or bask in the beauty of nature.

Savouring is the art of consciously enjoying wonderful moments. It’s about noticing and appreciating the good things in life, by consciously paying attention to pleasurable experiences. By being aware of what you feel, sense and see, you actively construct vivid memories and prolong good experiences.

According to Fred Bryant and Joseph Veroff, authors of Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience, savouring intensifies and lengthens positive emotions. Research suggests that those positive feelings elicited by savouring protect against the negative effects of poor health by reducing stress and increasing optimism. Practicing savouring also leads to more life satisfaction, stronger relationships and better performance.

And the good news is: you can easily enhance your wellbeing with savouring. Have a look at these 21 ideas to make the most of everyday moments. 

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How to Flourish in the Face of Adversity | The Health Sessions

How to Flourish in the Face of Adversity

It’s an age-old question: is it possible to thrive, not just survive, in the face of adversity?

Countless of best-selling books and blockbuster movies have been made about unexpected heroes, people who succeeded despite the obstacles in their way. But how exactly can you flourish when you’re living with chronic illness, financial troubles or strained relationships?

For decades, the field of psychology focused mostly on preventing and treating mental health problems. But when you’re trying to fix problems and reduce suffering, by definition you’re working to get people to a neutral state, to “zero”. It wasn’t until twenty years ago that renowned psychologists started to investigate how you can lead a good and happy life – how you can get from a mediocre “5” to a blooming “8”.

Flourishing means you’re living in the optimal range of human functioning, where you experience positive emotions, find fulfillment and accomplish meaningful tasks, most of the time. It’s not the same as simply being happy. When people are asked how satisfied they are with their lives, their answer depends strongly on their current mood. But a ‘good’ life depends on more than fleeting feelings of happiness.

In his book ‘Flourish’,  Martin Seligman, the pioneer of positive psychology, states that you need 5 elements for optimal wellbeing: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment. This PERMA-model is a good template for how to flourish in life, but how do you put these pillars into action, especially during tough times?

Have a look at these 32 actionable strategies from the world’s experts on how to flourish.

Read more >How to Flourish in the Face of Adversity