Recently I was chatting with someone and the subject of happiness came about. I’ve always considered happiness as a right and a common goal that everyone strives for, but apparently I’m wrong. This person believes that it’s more important to be content rather than to seek out something that could be potentially impossible. This may seem alarmingly defeatist but she may have a point. Happiness makes you feel great (better than good!) but contentment is a lot calmer, unlike the crashing waves of happiness.
Personally I still think we should aim for happiness and appreciate the moments of contentment in between. Think of Mona Lisa’s smile – it’s a lovely contented smile but I imagine she was just seconds away from throwing her head back in happy laughter.
8 simple ways to having meaningful happiness
The best way to treat your mind or body is to make very small changes, to trick your brain into thinking nothing has happened. If the brain doesn't think something takes too much effort, then there's less chance of it trying to fight and make it feel like a chore or exhaust you. There's a reason why a first time runner will jog for just ten minutes rather than go straight into a marathon.
The tips below are all activities that are incredibly easy to do, won’t take energy, skill or much time. Each activity will make you sustainably happier, and like acupuncture or exercise, has a cumulative effect. This means that the happiness boost will last longer than the time it took to do the activity.
Try to do just one of these things every day for a week. Make sure it is something new (if you exercise already, don't pick that one) Tell me what you think.
"Physical" activities (you'll see my bar for "physical" is pretty low):
1. Sing - in your car, in the shower, wherever. Just pick a tune you like and sing out loud for 2 minutes
2. Exercise - walk, stretch, run, do any physical activity for about 30 minutes. It does not even need to raise your heart beat much to have a positive impact on your happiness
3. Laugh - watch a fun video, read/listen to a joke. Make sure you let yourself laugh out loud
4. Get some sun - just go outside as long as it is sunny. Enjoy the sun for a few minutes.
All 3 activities stimulate the production of endorphins (the brain's "feel good" chemicals) and force you to breathe (anxiety reducer)
"Intellectual" activities (you'll see my bar for "intellectual" is pretty low):
5. Meditate - watch your breath go in and out for 2-5 minutes. If you commute via public transportation (or even if you're a passenger in a car pool) use the time to close your eyes for 10 minutes. If you drive, leave a little early, park, and spend 10 minutes in the car before you walk into work.
6. Visualise - find something to look forward to, something good that you are expecting in the not too distant future. Think about it for 1 minute.
7. Recall - think about one thing in your life you are grateful for. Just one. Just for 10 seconds.
8. Daydream walks - Most people have heard the story about how 3M's Arthur Fry came up with the idea for the Post-it note: he was daydreaming in church. What separates this from meditation is that, instead of emptying your mind, you're letting it fill up with random thoughts. The trick is to remain aware enough to recognize a sudden insight when it comes. Start by taking 20 minutes, two days a week during your lunch break to take a stroll and daydream.
If you enjoyed this, then be sure to visit the blog The Happy Acupuncturist to read more articles, tips and health news.
Although you hit your peak bone-mass early in life, usually around 20 years of age, there are simple changes you can make in your diet in order to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. Read more for some nutrients to know when it comes to planning a healthy diet to prevent osteoporosis. Read more h e re.
Building strong bones
A client recently described her facial acupuncture treatment:
Client review: "Feel marvellous"
“Ka Hang is a great practitioner listening to what you tell her so as well as getting the facial acupuncture you get a body and soul tune up. So as a side effect you feel marvellous.”
It’s always amazing to get brilliant feedback that I’m doing a good job and if you want to leave a review too please go to http://bit.ly/reviewtreatment - it can be as detailed as you want or just a few sentences. The link appears as a pop-up window so do let me know if you have any problems.
I hope you enjoy reading this month’s newsletters and if you’ve missed any, you can read all past issues here.
Please note that there will be no appointments available on Mondays 6th and 27th of May 2013.
Other news: May bank holidays
A client shared a simple trick to keep salad leaves fresher for longer: just put a damp sheet of paper towel in the bag and store as usual. Make sure it’s not dripping wet and say hello to more salad, less waste.
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That's all for this month...
Enjoy the bank holidays!
Coming Next Month
Music to relax you
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