Posts for: April, 2016
Way #8: Learn to savor ordinary, but pleasurable moments throughout your day.
Hana Matt insists, and with good reason, that one of the proven ways to joy is to “wholly live in the present, be mindful of it, and completely enjoy it.”
We reside in a fast paced world. Most of us have almost every hour accounted for due to some sort of daily schedule. We do what is necessary to make money, take care of our families, and inch closer to our long-term goals. We are busy people. However, adhering to this way of life is bound to become monotonous. You might even have days that feel exactly like the day before; a groundhog’s day realization. Do you feel stuck sometimes? Is it a heavy thought that this is the rest of your life?
It doesn’t have to be this way! There is actually a simple fix to this mundane way of existing. When you get into a routine, especially one that has been the same for a long period of time, it is easy to overlook the small pleasures of your day to day life. However, it is the simple things that are capable of delivering great joy; we just have to remember to recognize and embrace them.
Hana Matt rightfully states that, “the ability to relish the ordinary experiences of your life is one of the most important creators of happiness.” Whether it is taking notice of the stillness in the air during your morning walk with your dog, singing in your car on the way to work to uplift your spirit, savoring that afternoon dirty chai latte, listening to the birds congregating in the trees at dusk, or feeling the tiny bubbles pop around you during an evening bath-these are the little things worth savoring.
You might be surprised, once you start paying attention, how many of these types of moments are occurring throughout your day. You will eventually become tuned in to all the small pleasures that surround you, and as a result will feel more joyous. This is a call to slow down and look around. There is no moment like the present moment.
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
How Invisalign orthodontic treatment can give you a perfect smile
When you look at celebrities on television, do you wish you had their smile? You look at their perfect, straight teeth and wonder if you can have perfect, straight teeth too? Well, now you can! It’s time to consider Invisalign, the virtually invisible, modern way to straighten your teeth. Your dentists at Parker Dentistry in Hollywood, Florida, want to help you explore what Invisalign can do for you.
Your dentists at Parker Dentistry want you to know that besides being virtually invisible, Invisalign has many advantages compared to conventional orthodontic treatments like metal braces. According to the makers of Invisalign, when you choose Invisalign you can count on a greater level of:
- Convenience, because you can remove the appliance to clean it
- Comfort, because the appliance is smooth plastic, with no metal parts
- Confidence, because Invisalign is clear and cosmetically attractive
- Satisfaction, because you can eat the foods you love without worry
- Oral health, because you can brush and floss normally
Your dentists at Parker Dentistry begin your Invisalign treatment by creating a set of aligners, which are clear plastic trays. You wear these trays for two weeks and switch to a new set. You receive a new set of aligners to wear every two weeks as your teeth gradually shift into correct position. You will have a celebrity smile in nine to fifteen months!
With Invisalign, there are no metal brackets or wires to irritate your cheeks and gums. You can also clean your teeth normally and not have to use cumbersome floss threaders or other devices. You will love Invisalign because only you and your dentists at Parker Dentistry will know about your treatment.
Invisalign doesn’t just correct tooth alignment. You can also correct major bite issues like open bite, crossbite, underbite, and overbite. You can also close gaps between your teeth, fix crowding and overlapped teeth.
When you choose Invisalign, you are choosing the most comfortable, discreet method available to straighten your teeth. Isn’t it time you have the celebrity smile you’ve been waiting for? Of course it is! It’s time to call your dentists at Parker Dentistry in Hollywood, Florida. Get started on your celebrity smile by calling today!
Way #7: Appreciate yourself.
“This causes dopamine to surge and build new dopamine circuits, which produce joy again and again. Self-esteem and self-honoring are crucial for the joy biochemicals to be released. Every brain longs for you to be appreciated, and if you don’t meet that need in healthy ways you will not release joy biochemicals. Your brain will continually long for and look for respect-so give it to yourself. Don’t waste the potential serotonin-dopamine booster by not applauding yourself, or feeling pride in what you did or your qualities. Express pride in yourself and in something you’ve done, once a day. Say to yourself, “Look what I have done.” Look for reasons to acknowledge yourself and pat yourself on the back. It is just a spark, but if you do it every day for 45 days, you will be your own best spark plug. Score at least one small goal or victory each day. Commit to finding it and enjoying it for a few moments. Celebrating small steps triggers more dopamine than saving it all up for one big achievement.” –Hana Matt
In a society that puts a great emphasis on the value of beauty, thinness, fashion, material ownership, and money, it is easy to fall victim to self-depreciation when you do not “fit the mold.” We often look to the opinions of others to define our own self-worth. We want to be loved so that we can love ourselves. We want to force our bodies into unnatural shapes and forms to fit into a size we were never meant to be. Why do we do continually do this and expect to find true happiness at the same time?
Every single person possesses a beauty, a light, and a love that is just waiting to shine through given the opportunity. It is time to break free from the chains of judgement, expectation, and the opinions of others. It is a waste of time to compare one’s self to another because there are no two people who are exactly the same. We are supposed to all be different. It would be boring otherwise. The sooner we accept who we are, the sooner we can learn to embrace and love that person. You must love, appreciate, admire, respect, and honor the person who are you. You are a gift to the world that is waiting to be unwrapped.
Today is the day to bring upon a change of self-perception and learn to appreciate your unique facets and qualities. You might be surprised at the transformation that takes place within you when you start to honor and commend yourself for your daily accomplishments. When you learn to love yourself, you are simultaneously opening your heart to the world. You cannot find happiness or love in others, without finding happiness and love within yourself first.
Similar to the other six proven ways to joy that we have previously discussed (exercise, positive thought transformation, the avoidance of social comparison, the practice of compassion, and the cultivation of gratitude), it is in our power to change our habits and behaviors in order to activate and release our joy biochemicals. This is a process of shifting our thoughts and actions. You are responsible for your own happiness. Parker Wellness, with the guidance of Hana Matt’s outline, is here to help show you the way.
Thank you for sharing a smile with us!
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes your way, and give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Way #6: Cultivate appreciation, gratitude, and thankfulness.
If you are capable of reading this article from your computer, then consider yourself fortunate. Only around 4-5% of the world’s populations owns a computer. We have a lot to be thankful for: a bed to sleep in each night, a stomach that doesn’t constantly rumble in hunger, clean drinking water, proper medical care, and an abundance of other simple luxuries that we often consider necessities in our lives. It’s important to be thankful for the things that are not material or tangible, as well. Do you have people in your life that you love and care about, and who love and care about you? Are you physically able to engage in the activities that you enjoy doing? Do you feel safe in your environment? Do you find yourself smiling at least once a day? The list could go on and on, but the point it, we truly have a lot to be grateful for.
Oftentimes though, we get caught up in our day to day lives and forget to stop and smell the roses. We forget to take the time to watch the sunrise or set, to admire something beautiful in nature like the springtime blooms, or even to hug someone who is always there for you. It is easy to take things for granted when you don’t take the time to appreciate what you have. When you really stop though and think about your life, you might be surprised by how much you really have to be thankful for. This realization is what will help bring consistent joy into your life. When you practice gratitude, your biochemistry will shift to one of joy.
One simple practice that you can incorporate into your daily life in an effort to help cultivate appreciation, gratitude, and thankfulness is by taking the time to write five things for which you are grateful for each day. This practice should take no more than a few minutes, but will produce long lasting and joyous results. Hana Matt talks about a study of this practice and how it resulted in the following outcomes amongst the participants. It should be noted that hundreds of studies have been completed over the past twenty years regarding this specific proven way to joy.
Those who made it a daily habit to write down five things in which they are grateful for, experience the following results.
- They experienced far fewer symptoms of physical illness and complaints of discomfort. They also suffered less stress and depression.
- They rated far more favorably, their life as a whole, reported better well-being appraisals, and more optimism concerning the upcoming week. Those who took the time to do this each day claimed to be more satisfied with their lives.
- They took better care of themselves with a good diet and a lot more exercise than the other group who did not partake in this daily writing practice.
- Their sleep quality was better and deeper. They slept more hours each night and awoke more refreshed each morning.
- They had higher ratings of happiness.
- They were more likely to help someone with a problem or give emotional support to others.
- They felt more connected with others, and less isolated.
- They had more positive emotions. They experienced more energy, attentiveness, determination, enthusiasm, strength, excitement, alertness, and calmness. They were also more forgiving, hopeful, active, and interested.
- They had reductions in negatives feelings. They had less irritability, distress, shame, guilt, and fear. They felt less tired, upset, and nervous.
- They were more likely, compared to the nonparticipating group, to have made progress toward important personal goals.
Parker Wellness encourages you to take a few moments out of you day and try this practice. In combination with the previous five proven ways to joy (movement, positive thoughts, avoidance of social comparison, and practicing compassion), you are on your way to cultivating consistent joy in your life. So, what you are thankful for today?
Thank you for sharing a smile with us!
Way # 5: “Practice acts of kindness and compassion. Research studies show that this gives you a “helper’s high.” People’s pleasure-joy centers in the brain light up when they do kind things for others. We have a wired-in need for connectedness, interdependence, and cooperation. It releases oxytocin.” –Hana Matt
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”-Dalai Lama
On a macro and micro scale, the fate of humanity rests on the ability of the world population to practice love, kindness, and compassion toward one another, animals, and the environment. Everything is cyclical. The common cliché that you had probably heard multiple times throughout your childhood has a timeless truth to it; what comes around goes around.
When was the last time you did something altruistic? Or that someone acted out of sheer kindness toward you? How did that make you feel when you brightened someone’s day? Some might describe the feeling as warm and fuzzy, rewarding, fulfilling, or heartwarming. When acts of kindness and compassion are directed toward you, you might feel surprised, loved, thankful, touched, or dare we say, joyous. The commonality between both sides of the coin is that whether you are giving or receiving, the effects are truly positive and long lasting.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”-Dalai Lama
A part of our happiness relies on our ability to connect with others. Connections are made between two people when there is a shared interest, a physical or emotional attraction, and/or an exchange of kindness, compassion, trust, and sincerity. We build relationships by being good to one another. We want to spend our time with those who are genuine, caring, and supportive. In order to find people that possess those important qualities, we ourselves must possess those desirable and necessary qualities too.
A little kindness can go a long way! Find joy in the joy of others.
Thanks for sharing a smile with us this week!