Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Joie de vivre

While many are still catching up on news of the post election, I can only sit back and watch in anticipation the events unfolding in the aftermath of the elections. I decided to read some other interesting stuff instead. I found this article from Prevention, a health magazine. I had summarized and would like to share it here.
It reveals the feeling of exuberant enjoyment of life or 'joie de vivre' that often happened to some people. Fittingly, nature rewards these happy-go-lucky types. They minimize the destructive effects of stress and know how to automatically turn negative response off much more quickly and return to a positive mental and physical state.
Basically, there are 4 habits that longevity experts said are at the heart of a sunny disposition and that we can adopt it too.

1. They make connection with friends
Teresa Seeman, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at UCLA said, "Just by talking on the phone to a friend has immediate effect of lowering blood pressure and cortisol levels. Research shows that having good long-term relationships provides as many physical benefits as being active or a non smoker." Therefore, make an effort to connect with the friends we already have. Call now and before we hang up the phone, schedule a lunch date - personal contact is always better.

2. They express gratitude
Buoy our spirits by recording happy events on paper or computer. People who write about all the things they are thankful for, are optimistic and more satisfied overall with their lives. Those who keep a gratitude journal once a week normally get a bigger boost in happiness than those asked to record their good fortune three times a week. We just need to find the frequency that works for us - giving thanks shouldn't feel like a chore.

3. They are randomly kind
Do we perform 5 acts of kindness in any given day? That's the number of good deeds that boost our sense of well-being and happiness. Our karmic acts can be minor and unplanned eg. giving up our seat on the bus; buying an extra latte to give to a co-worker. We'll soon realize that the payback greatly exceeds the effort. Being spontaneously kind delivers rewards.

4. They appraise their lives
We can rewrite history and feel better about ourselves in the bargain. Set aside a little time each week to write or just mentally revisit an important event in our past. Reflecting on the experience can reshape our perception of it, as well as our expectations for the future. When creating this "life review" we get to hit all our accomplishments - an instant self-esteem booster.

It's helpful to look at the bad times as well as the good. Perhaps now that a few years have passed, we'll be able to realize how that breakup or failed job opportunity opened other doors. Finally, forgive ourselves. If only we can come to terms with past events, we'll be better able to handle tough times down the road.
Lastly, remember : We are the heroine in this tale!

1 comment:

S.Ghosh said...

very well said WM ....these are the pillars of joy and peace .....nice to hear from you