Everything is Amazing
I recently came across the Louis CK quote "everything is amazing and nobody’s happy." So, why aren't we happy? Why are the majority of Americans living more off of stress and stimulants and less off of Joy and gratitude? What are the factors in the way of causing us to truly be able to see the world around us. Why are we forgetting to be astonished?
Of course there are many individual variables that come into play when we begin to consider the answers questions. And yes, the world is not a perfect place. I am not suggesting we go around ignoring flaws, issues, or emotional heartaches that are a part of life. On the contrary, I am inviting you into feeling these emotions on a deeper level in order to be able to see and deal with them in a more effective way.
As yoga and meditation teaches us, the mind is a tricky place to get caught up in. It is way more difficult to attempt at controlling the thought patterns of the mind which is why we can first go the body. We must become a scientist of our own bodies; what makes us perform at our highest, when is our mood most elevated, how can I be full of energy and joy?
When we begin to purify the body we are literally creating SPACE. That space is where joy lives. :) The more we cover up that space with indigestible food, environmental toxins, and stress, the less we are able to experience Joy.
Here is a quick jumpstart on how to begin creating more space:
1. Cold water therapy.
I know it may be difficult to jump into an icy cold shower first thing in the morning. But, it has tremendous amounts of health benefits. This type of cold water plunging has been practiced for thousands of years. Natives in ancient civilizations such as India, China, Egypt, and Mesopotamia have been practicing cold water therapy for centuries as a way not only to cleanse, but to connect to earth, to awaken the spirit, and to open energetic portals in the body.
Recent scientific research has now confirmed that cold water therapy can be used to treat depression, to increase metabolism, and to support healthy mitochondria! It helps to increase your body’s feel good neurotransmitters. Go get in that cold shower and watch your mood elevate.
2. Meditate for 20 minutes daily.
Meditation is now a commonly accepted practice and routinely suggested by countless alternative healers, doctors, neuroscientists and others alike. We spend our days with the constant ebbs and flows of the mind, often ruled by our thoughts, and unable to tame them. With the physiological, mental, and spiritual benefits of daily meditation we can really alter how we see the world and also create a solid foundation for overall health.
Some benefits include lowered cholesterol, improved digestion, development of the parasympathetic nervous system, and transformation of the endocrine system.Meditation also reduces stress, increases insight, is a powerful tool of problem solving, increases intuition and sensitivity, and heightens our level of clarity. It can also help us to see our reactive nature and the our daily patterns and habits.
When we are able to slow down the thought patterns of the mind we can begin to see more clearly, learn to train our minds to react in situations with more ease and intentionality, to be more open, and ultimately meditation leads to a more fulfilled and joyful life.
3. Eat more greens.
It’s time to cut the processed foods and replace them with dark leafy greens. Heavy alkaline and fiber rich greens such as kale, dandelion greens, spinach, and herbs have a way of flooding the body with the kind of fuel that will help you live longer and happier.
Eating more greens will make you more regular, lower your cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and burns fat.
4. Take a digital break and replace it with more walks in nature.
In our current digital-crazed era we are filled with so much accessibility to anything and anyone we want to know, see or talk to right at our fingertips. Despite its benefits most of us spend way too much searching the web. Unfortunately, this is causing an increase in depression, anxiety, insomnia, and many other factors that are messing with our overall health. Recent studies are also showing a delay in childhood development with children who are exposed to screens early in life.
Due to our addiction to news and social media we are interacting less with our actual community around us. Families are spending more time online during mealtimes, a tradition that used to be (and should be) sacred, and the younger generations are busy taking selfies instead of really delving into self discovering. How often do you find yourself alone looking at facebook? Or, even worse surrounded by people and looking at Intsagram? How many times did you check your email today?
If we want a more fulfilled and joyful life, we must take action on this.
It’s really simple:
-Take a 24 hour digital fast. Everything will still be there when you return.
-Set parameters for yourself and your family; no screens at mealtimes or special gatherings.
-Limit yourself by how much you check news or social media by creating a time of day where you tune in for a brief check in.
Try this for a week and see if you have more time for joy, community, and meditation.
5. Be Grateful.
This may be one of the most profound practices for creating instant happiness. Gratitude builds mental resilience. It can quickly alter our mood and help us to see the world with a clearer lense. Gratitude is also good for digestion!
I recently read one study that found that keeping a daily gratitude journal made participants 15% more optimistic and improved their sleep quality by 25%. It also made them 10% happier. Which is the same 10% boost you get from doubling your income!
---- It is so important to our health to do what we can to keep our brain strong and our happiness high. I really hope these few tips can help you jumpstart your day in a more positive way. From the words of the amazing Mary Oliver,
Pay Attention, Learn to be Astonished, and Tell about it.
(Links to study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1258581, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23231724)