THE BLOG
01/28/2014 01:58 pm ET | Updated Mar 30, 2014

Finding Your Bliss

shutterstock

"A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are for what you have." -- Unknown

Finding time each day to focus on you is important. You can find your bliss by being in charge of your health and well-being. Be an empowered individual and learn to step away daily for a brief moment to do things that bring you pleasure, calmness and serenity.

Here are nine very simple and practical ways to find bliss.

1. Just breathe
Focus on your breath. Inhale deeply and exhale. Harvard Health Publications offers information on proper breathing to reduce stress: "As you inhale, try saying this phrase to yourself: "Breathing in peace and calm." And as you exhale, say: "Breathing out tension and anxiety." When you first start, aim for 10 minutes of deep breathing. Gradually add time until your sessions are 15- to 20-minutes long." Andrew Weil, M.D. also offers valuable information on breathing. Dr. Weil's three breathing exercises include: The Stimulating Breath (Bellows Breath); The 4-7-8 Exercise (Relaxing Breath); and Breath Counting. Find the specifics, here.

2. Listen to your favorite joyful soothing music
Research shows that listening to joyful music is good for your health. Research has found that listening to soothing music can decrease blood pressure and anxiety levels in patients with certain heart conditions. Research from the University of Maryland Medical Center found that listening to joyful music can have a healthy effect on blood vessel function, and most of the participants in the study stated that country music is their favorite type of music that evokes joy.

3. Get outside
Choose what you love to do. Surround yourself with beauty of the outdoors. Have calming positive thoughts as you let nature in as you move.

4. Mediate
Meditation can help decrease negative emotions and help you manage stress. Try transcendental meditation. You can practice this meditation twice daily for 15 to 20 minutes, or you can even just find a few minutes in the day for sweet escape to totally eliminate your thoughts in stillness. According to the Mayo Clinic, "spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace."

5. Write in a gratitude or bliss journal
Every day, write down things you are grateful for. Write down things that bring you pleasure. Write down things you love. Focus on the positive things in your life, and write them in your bliss journal.

6. Read a book
Choose whatever you love. Fantasy, mystery, romance, business, health -- whatever you enjoy -- read.

7. Take a warm bath
Soak and let the stillness of the water and the silence of the room bring you inner peace and tranquility. A hot bath can relax muscles and counteract the physical symptoms of stress. (Quick tip: Before you get into the bathtub, test the water with your hand. The Burn Foundation recommends that you move your hand rapidly through the water for several seconds to make sure it's not too hot before getting in. And the temperature should not exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 39 degrees Celsius)

8. Pay yourself a compliment
Leave the negative self-talk behind and create positive thoughts. Focus on you. What did you do today that deserves your attention? Did you check an item off your "to-do" list, start a new project, or give back in some way? Whatever it is that makes you shine -- acknowledge it and own it. You deserve it. Well done!

9. Fill in the blank
"I am in charge of my health, I find my bliss everyday when I ____________." (We'd love to hear from you in the comment section below. Thank you for your time.)

Be blissful, be curious and be in charge of your health and take time out of the day just for you. Find a sweet escape, a sweet spot and find your bliss.

Your turn
How do you find your bliss? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. As always, thank you for your time.

Connect with Barbara | Stay in touch
Visit Healthin30
Follow Barbara on Twitter
Like Healthin30
Visit Barbara Ficarra on Facebook
Become a Fan and Like Barbara Ficarra on The Huffington Post

("Find Your Bliss" by Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA -- published on DoctorOz.com -- The Oz Blog.)