Tag Archives: Recreation

don’t worry….. smile and be happy

Smile icon

Smile icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Smile More to Be Happier

Week One of the How To Be Happy Program

This is Week One of the How To Be Happy program. Give the skill outlined below a try for one week. Consider it a one-week experiment. Commit to follow these simple steps every day of the week.

Introduction

What You’ll Do: For the entire week, you’ll focus on smiling more. You’ll develop a way to remind yourself to smile throughout your day and even force a smile onto your face periodically. Why? Research shows that if you smile, your mood actually improves.

How It Works: Researchers think that by forcing a smile, you activate a specific set of muscles in the face. That set of muscles is closely connected to the emotions of happiness and joy. By smiling, you are signalling the emotional centres of your brain to tell them that everything is good.

Get Motivated: Smiling more is a simple way to greatly improve the quality of your life. All you have to do is smile, and life will be better. Really. It’s that simple.

Smile! Welcome Back =]

Smile! Welcome Back =] (Photo credit: blentley)

The Steps

  1. Practice Smiling: Smile. Do it right now as you read this. Put a big, warm smile on your face. Not a fake, strange smile, but a real smile, like you are seeing an old friend after several years. Now, think of something unhappy but keep smiling. It is difficult to hold an unhappy or negative thought in your mind while keeping a smile on your face. Smiling can help increase happiness and decrease negativity.
  2. Give Yourself a Smile Cue: Now that you have practiced smiling and understand a little bit about how smiling can improve your mood, the trick is remembering to smile as you go through your day. You will probably need a reminder to smile often. Choose something that you hear, see or do often during the day to be your “smile cue.” You might choose a sound as your reminder, like a phone ringing or an email notification beep. You might choose an action, such as getting in or out of your car, to remind you to smile. You might choose a visual reminder, like seeing someone drinking coffee or seeing someone laughing. Challenge yourself to smile every time you encounter your cues for this entire week.
  3. Stay Motivated: People who smile while talking make a much better impression – they seem more confident and friendly. You can even “hear” a smile over the phone. If you smile while taking a call, the tone of your voice will lighten and you’ll be able to make a better connection through the phone.

Commitment: This week I will smile every time I am reminded by my “smile cue.”

Smile

Smile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tips

  • Don’t look strange. Make your smiles natural, warm and sincere. You are trying to maintain an elevated mood, not look crazy. Even just a small, almost unnoticeable smile can alter your mood.
  • Smile every time you think of it, not only when you encounter your smile cue.
  • Think of something you really like when you smile – it will help make your smile sincere. Think of your favorite vacation spot, driving a brand new car or a good friend.
  • Take a deep breath while you smile. This will help lessen any stress you have and give you a moment to enjoy your smile. A deep breath or two increases the relaxation and mood enhancing power of smiling.
  • Place notes and reminders of this skill throughout your world to remind you to smile more. Put a note on the phone, send yourself an email message, or make a note in your calendar. Make sure that you have plenty of reminders to smile more often.
Smile ~

Smile ~ Photo credit: Sanctuary photography

More

Taking smiling to the next level involves laughing. Figure out a way that you can laugh more this week. You don’t simply want to be amused – you want to be laughing out loud. Laughing out loud, much like smiling creates an emotional state that relieves stress and lifts your mood. Search out things to laugh about every day this week. Read jokes, watch movies and talk to funny people. Think of the funniest stories you know and tell one each day this week.

Here is the whole program. Give each one a solid one-week try, and then come back and do the next one. If you want a reminder, sign up for the How To Be Happy E-Course. It is free, and you’ll get short e-mail reminders each day to help keep you on track.

source: http://longevity.about.com/od/mentalfitness/a/happy_smile.htm

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cute puppies

Some of my favorite cute Puppy Pics I found online.  Enjoy!!

Source: ousadnes.co.cc


Source: pondstonecommunications.wordpress.com

Source: funnychix.com

Source: animal-space.net

Source: iheartthechipmunks.webs.com

Source: i-oj.com

Source: mixtarhka.blogspot.com

Source: petsfunky.com

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one cheeky cat

Like if you see a cat in the background!

If only animals could speak… I’d love to know what that cat is thinking….. lol

Like-If-You-See-A-Cat-In-The-Background

Source: http://photobomb.com/

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Behold the iPhone 10 and iPhone20

These images courtesy of Mashable look more like my TV remote control and looking further into the future with the iPhone 20…… well I think the image speaks for itself.

Behold the iPhone-10 and iPhone 20

Behold the iPhone-10 and iPhone 20

I’ll just stick to my Nokia N9 thanks!!

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guess what’s coming to dinner?

The unprocessed food challenge continues.

Guess what's coming for dinner

Photo by Dominic Gan.

Make no mistake: Processed food is out to get you. “No!” you can say. “I only want to eat whole foods! Just leave me alone!” But does processed food listen? No. It just kicks back and laughs. “Just try to get away from me,” processed food says. “I’m everywhere you look. I’m at the convenience store. I’m in your favorite restaurant order. I’m lurking in your pantry right now. That ‘natural’ box of cereal you bought? Full of high-fructose corn syrup! Bwahahahaha!”

It’s true. Processed food is a mighty foe. But, as I’m finding out, there are strategies we all can use to cut back. In my last post, I laid out a five-point challenge for rooting processed food out of my diet under the toughest of circumstances. Today, I tackle my first — and live to eat another day.

The challenge: dinner party

I love going over to my friends’ houses for dinner. I savor the laughter and the precious moments, sure, and also the fact that I didn’t have to buy, cook, or serve a single item on the table for once. (The key here is to always jump in with an “I’ll bring wine!” before your friend asks you to julienne anything.) But the hidden downside of the dinner party is that you’re at the mercy of your host when it comes to what’s on your plate. Is it healthy? Is it organic? Most importantly for this challenge, is it unprocessed? (Before you call me lazy, remember that I also do my share of entertaining.)

I stepped into these turbulent waters a few nights ago at my friend Evelyn’s potluck barbecue. The situation was fraught with tension — this was a summer barbecue, after all, dominion of the Oscar Mayer wiener (corn syrup and a slew of other additives, I’m afraid), packaged potato salad (is that xanthan gum I’m tasting?), and yes, the dreaded Dorito. At past barbecues, temptation and lack of other options have led me to gorge on potato chips, dry Chips Ahoy! cookies, and those so-called fruit salads that serve mainly as a vehicle for stuffing lots of mini marshmallows down your gullet. Hey, processed foods wouldn’t be such a megahit with the American populace if they didn’t go right for the caveman part of the brain with their salt-fat-sugar triple play.

To hedge my bets, I borrowed a classic move from the restricted-diet playbook and made a big batch of something I knew I could eat all by itself if worst came to worst. My offering: summer edamame salad, a yummy montage of soybeans, veggies, and oil-and-vinegar dressing. (I’ve included the recipe below.)

As I cleared a place for my bowl on the picnic table, I checked out the other guests’ handiwork. There were a few packaged side dishes in deli containers — steer clear, just to be safe, I told myself — but fresh fruit, grilled chicken breasts, gourmet cheese, and all manner of homemade dips, slaws, and salads dominated the buffet. Sure, it all looked good … but what kinds of additives and preservatives might be lurking here? Was the barbecue sauce really that color, or was I looking at the dastardly work of Red No. 40? I’d better figure it out soon, ‘cause I was hungry.

Ooh, a fresh-looking white dip with pita wedges! It looked innocent, but I had to be sure. “What is this? It looks delicious!” I diplomatically asked the man who brought it. “It’s tzatziki,” he told me. “I grilled a cucumber from my garden for it.” While I groped for a non-weird way to ask him to list the ingredients for me, he’d already moved on to asking me polite, get-to-know-you questions. I grabbed a pita wedge (whole wheat, natch) and dug in. It was indeed delicious (and likely contained approved items like Greek yogurt, lemon juice, fresh dill, and garlic, I discovered to my relief when I Googled recipes later).

tzatziki

The rest of the party went much the same way. Grilled whole carrots? Safe. Crackers with cheese? Totally cool. (I surreptitiously checked the label on the cracker box under the guise of refilling the plate.) Watermelon salad, sans dressing? Obvi. Then Evelyn’s boyfriend, Will, set down a bowl brimming with purple-red cabbage slaw. “I pulled this out of the ground this morning,” he told us with pride. A question about whether his dressing contained mayonnaise or any other bottled condiment died in my throat. This guy made the slaw himself, I thought. He grew the cabbage in his backyard! Six miles from here! Are you seriously contemplating not eating it on a technicality? What kind of jackass are you? I shut up and served myself a giant scoop.

The moral of this story is: Hang out with crunchy people. They make it a lot easier to eat right.

No, seriously, I got lucky. There weren’t many taboo items on the table, except those packaged salads, and maybe the tortilla chips (I didn’t get close enough to inspect them for fake lime powder). I’ve certainly been to much more challenging cookouts. On those occasions, the old BYO strategy would have been much more important.

Failing that, I have another idea: Give yourself a pass. Do as one reader suggested on my post last week and employ a “permanent guest exemption when it comes to processed food in other people’s bags.” Hey, if you strive for whole foods in your own home and eat most of your meals in your own kitchen, even a Dorito now and then won’t kill you. Because no matter how nicely you say, “Sorry, I don’t eat processed foods,” your host is likely to hear, “Let a crumb of that swill you people call food cross my lips? Never!” And then they’ll make fun of you when to excuse yourself for the bathroom.

Summer edamame salad

Summer edamame salad

16-18 oz. fresh soybeans
1.5 cups mini heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1.5 cups celery slices

Sliced fresh basil to taste
Pink Himalayan salt (or regular old salt)
Pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Throw all the veggies into a bowl. Top with salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar. Serves 4-6.

Next up: The knotty challenges of unprocessed desserts, road-trip snacking, restaurant meals, and backpacking food.

Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan is Grist’s “Greenie Pig” — weathering all manner of inconvenience and insult in the name of forging a more eco-friendly life. She is a freelance writer and former editor at Backpacker magazine. Her writing has also appeared in 5280 (Denver’s city magazine), Women’s Adventure, and Spry.

Source: http://grist.org/living/guess-whats-coming-to-dinner-the-unprocessed-food-challenge-continues/

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