Posts for tag: Happiness
Our environment, on a global, community, and home-base level, directly affects our physical and emotional wellness, which in turn affects all other dimensions of our wellness. Environmental wellness is dependent upon the way that we take care of our environment. The idea is to live consciously, mindfully, and harmoniously with the Earth, and to also care for the spaces that we create.
What’s good for the planet is good for us. Living an environmentally-well life is having respect for the Earth and respect for yourself through your choices and actions. The same way that we are only given one body for the entirety of our life, we are collectively only given one Earth. We must take care of our environment so that our environment can take care of us.
- Using re-useable bags and bottles, instead of single-use plastics
- Saying no to plastic straws, coffee cups and lids, to-go containers, and any other type of plastic that you use for mere minutes and then throw away
- Turning off the lights, fans, TV, and other electricity-dependent things when you are not using them
- Buying and eating locally-sourced fruits and vegetables
- Buying organic and fair-trade goods
- Eating more plant-based verses animal-based diets
- Limiting or eliminating red meat
- Walking or biking instead of driving when possible
- Using environmentally-friendly products including sunscreen and cleaning supplies
- Supporting or volunteering with causes that you are passionate about
Taking care of your environmental wellbeing also includes:
- Keeping a clean house (excessive trash, mold, dirt, dust, and clutter are detrimental to your health)
- Making your home a sanctuary (a place where you feel safe, comfortable, and at peace in)
- Surrounding yourself with positive people
- Spending more time outdoors and in nature
- Walking barefoot more (stay tuned for a post about “earthing”)
- Protecting yourself against environmental hazards such as harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, secondhand smoke, chemicals, air pollution, contaminated water, and even too much noise
We are responsible for the space we live in and we must be respectful of the space that others, including all living beings not just humans, live in. Our living environment should reflect the way we want to feel, which of course is happy and healthy.
Last week, we introduced the seven dimensions of wellness from a holistic approach to health and wellness. The seven dimensions are spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, and occupational. At Parker Dentistry, aside from being an advocate for preventative healthcare, we are also a strong believer in holistic health, meaning that we believe all parts of our physical and emotional being are connected and shouldn’t be viewed or treated as mere parts.
For example, periodontal disease is detrimental to more than just our gums and teeth; it has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. In this example, our oral health is connected to our cardiovascular health. The seven dimensions of wellness are all interconnected and in order to obtain optimal wellness, we must take care of all seven dimensions.
The first dimension of wellness that we will take a closer look at is our spiritual wellness.
“Spiritual wellness is a process of understanding beliefs, values, and ethics that help guide your life. Whatever your preferred approach, spending time asking and exploring your spiritual life can be an important part of your overall wellbeing.”
While spirituality can be obtained through religion, it isn’t necessarily dependent on a religious belief or practice. Our spiritual life is the life that we live internally. Research has shown that when we learn to and practice introspection, mindfulness, forgiveness, compassion, and gratitude, we are more likely to be able to achieve sustained feelings of peace, calmness, and joy, as well as a decrease in our stress, anxiety, and depression levels.
One of the most important relationships of our entire lives is the relationship that we build and nurture with ourselves. Practices like yoga, meditation, journaling, arts and crafts, walking, gardening, or any other creative, physical, or nature-involved activity helps us to connect with our inner selves. Finding something that you love to do that is just for you is truly invaluable.
Our spirituality can be whatever we want it to be. For some, spending time in the ocean is spiritual, while for others sitting on the patio and watching a storm offers a similar reflective experience. The idea is to disconnect from the distractions of your everyday life and outside influences so that you can connect with your inside world.
The more in touch we are with our feelings, our desires and dreams, our areas that need improvement, our creative side, our inner voice, and how we connect with the world from within, the better off we will be on all levels. Our spiritual wellness is linked to all other dimensions of our wellness.
Tips for spiritual wellness
- Take a yoga class
- Learn how to meditate
- Spend more time in nature and outdoors
- Pursue a hobby that you have always been interested in
- Regularly set aside time for solely you
- Attend an inspiring seminar, class, or workshop
- Detox daily from electronics, even if just for an hour
What makes you happy?
When was the last time you checked in with your happiness? If you were put on the spot and asked how happy you are, what would you say? Would you break eye contact and stumble around for a generic response like “I’ve never been happier,” or “Of course, I am happy?”
Each and every one of us deserves to live a life filled with happiness. The catch is though, happiness doesn’t just happen. We are the creators of our own happiness. It is up to you to recognize what fills you with joy, bliss, exuberance, laughter, warmth, satisfaction, tranquility, and content. This recognition often steams from a bit of reflection.
The source of happiness comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be something as simple as filling your refrigerator with colorful fresh and healthy food for the week, taking a long walk on the beach with your dog, or sitting by a fire with your best friend and a glass of wine after a long week of work. Or, it can be something more monumental like watching your children grow into kind, ambitious, and inspiring individuals, reaching your financial goal and embarking on a grand adventure to a new land, dedicating your time to a career that you truly love, or spending every day with the love of your life. The spectrum is infinite.
To live a happy life is to dance across the spectrum. It is acknowledging both the little and grand things that bring you joy and fulfillment. It is also going beyond just acknowledging what contributes to your happiness and making a conscious effort to ensure that a multitude of those things are part of your everyday life.
Make a list, mental or written, of all the things that come to mind when you think of yourself happy. The list doesn’t need to be in any particular order. Just take note of what surfaces in your mind.
Here’s a quick example of the start of a list.
I am happy when…
I am in the ocean.
I am outside and surrounded by nature.
I am doing something active like surfing, walking, hiking, swimming, paddle boarding, or snorkeling.
I do yoga several times a week.
My house is stocked with fresh produce and healthy food.
I do something creative like write or take photographs.
I am with the person I love.
I am with my family.
I am with my dog.
I spend time with my closest friends.
I watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee.
I complete a deadline for a project I’ve been working really hard on and see my finalize work published.
I have time to myself.
Try and dig deep and really think about even the littlest things that bring you joy like doing a coconut avocado facial while drinking a hot cup of tea or taking a nap during a rainy afternoon or perhaps cranking up the tunes and lighting up the grill. When you feel like you have a pretty substantial list, the next step is to evaluate how often the things that make you happy are taking place in your current life. As simple as it may sound, the key to happiness is doing more of what makes you happy.
It is easy to get caught up in the everyday. It is easy to make excuses, procrastinate, and get your priorities out of wrack. It is easy to put everyone else’s needs and happiness before your own. But this year is your year. Part of living your best life is being mindful, present, and in tune with you. Sometimes that first step to change is just asking a simple question.
“Understand that the physical world is just a mirror of a deeper intelligence. Intelligence is the invisible organizer of all matter and energy, and since a portion of this intelligence reside in you, you share in the organizing power of the cosmos. Because you are inseparably linked to everything, you cannot afford to foul the planet’s air and water. But at a deeper level, you cannot afford to live with a toxic mind, because every thought makes an impression on the whole field of intelligence. Living in balance and purity is the highest good for you and the Earth.” Deepak Chopra
We are all interconnected. Every living and nonliving entity on this planet is connected through a deep and invisible web that is as old as the origin of the infinite universe. It is this connection that gives each and every one of us the power to influence everything, for better or for worse. Our thoughts, attitudes, energies, and actions, regardless of how small or grand, carry a force with them. It is our responsibility to make sure that that force, that ripple effect that stems from each of us, is a positive one.
The way we treat one another, our animal friends, our Mother Earth, and ourselves deeply impacts everyone and everything. The choice is always ours. When we live our lives with positive intentions, open hearts, and flexible minds, we are making the world a better place for everyone and everything. When we are environmentally conscious when making decisions of what we eat, how we build, the products we use, the way we transport, and the overall impact of our ecological footprints, we are making the world a better place for everyone and everything.
It is about decisions and making decision knowing that every single one impacts everyone and everything. This idea ties back into living mindfully. It is not about overanalyzing everything that you do, but just being mindful. Mindful living takes practice and no one is perfect, but when you practice mindfulness it will eventually become mindless. As intelligent beings of intelligent design, we are capable of collectively changing the design of the world of today. The mind is a very power thing; let’s use that power for the highest good and for all.
“Don’t contaminate your body with toxins either through food, drink, or toxic emotions. Your body is more than a life-support system. It is the vehicle that will carry you on the journey of your evolution. The health of every cell contributes to your state of well being, because every cell is a point of awareness within the field of awareness that is you.” Deepak Chopra
We only get one body. It is this body that not only carries our soul, but also makes our life on this earth possible. Our bodies are quite resilient. Our bodies are there for us even when we don’t treat them particularly well. Your relationship with your body however should be one of love, acceptance, respect, and nurture. Your relationship with yourself, which includes your physical body, will eventually whither and crumble away with perpetual abuse, malnourishment, and excessive toxins of any sort.
Our health is everything. It is easy to take for granted our health while we have it, but only when it is compromised do we realized how important it really is. Save yourself the struggle, if you can, and realize now, while you are healthy how valuable that state of being truly is. It is true that some things are beyond our control, but for the most part we actually have great control over our physical and emotional self. For starters, you have complete control over what you put into your body.
It is far easier to remain in tack than to be in need of repair. Broken bodies come from bad choices. Continually fueling your body with fake food (over processed, preservative soaked, chemical heavy, and can’t even pronounce the ingredients kind of food) is linked to all sorts of health maladies. We wonder why more than half of us are overweight, more than a third of us will be diagnosed with some type of cancer in our lifetime, and great deal of us are fatigued, stressed out, and unhappy on a regular basis. You are what you eat. You are what you decide to do.
Toxins come in all different forms from foods, beverages, alcohol, drugs, people, lifestyle choices, and careers, just to name a few sources. Toxins are a choice. The decision to purge your body and lifestyle of toxins is a personal decision that will have individual results, but the results will be positive. You are capable of extraordinary things. Your life should be nothing short of extraordinary. Get rid of whatever it is that is weighing you down and holding you back. When we take care of our bodies, our bodies will take care of us.