a summary of Marci Shimoff's book, part 5 of 5
-listen to paraliminal recordings on headphones to engage your subconscious mind, "which is responsible for 90% of our thoughts."
-2 out of 3 adults in America have low self-esteem. She recommends the mirror exercise, in which you compliment yourself in as many way as you can think to do, stop judging yourself, and over time -you find the beauty and goodness in yourself, and through yourself, gain the ability to take time to savor the good things that make you stronger and able to love others more.
We're often raised not to toot our own horns, not to give ourselves credit or acknowledgement, and actually beat ourselves up, instead. (Althought I have to say I was congratulated my entire life, it seems like to me, I graduated through all the ranks of scouting and honors high school, getting a UC Berkeley alumni scholarship, and entering the UCD Integrated Studies honor program -taking a class in theology, for example. But anyway..).
-5 happiness "Action Steps" for your Mind
1. Don't believe everything you think- do The Work if you catch yourself thinking a negative thought (to see if it's true or not)
2. "Sticky" negative thoughts require the letting go exercise (Sedona method)
3.Mirror exercise, to register the + about yourself
4.Give happiness awards throughout your day, to reverse the negativity bias, or at least to partially counteract it (e.g. best garden, best flower, best thought, best smile, the most courteous driver, the best-behaved dog, etc.).
5. Choose your thoughts. Select the ones that make you happier.
And now (now that we've finished Mind), onto the Heart
(body, soul, purpose, and relationships are the other 4)
-seems to me it's all the same thing, anyway
it (the heart) is the heart of who we are. the deepest and most valuable essence of our being.
the Upanishads say the whole universe dwells within it....(okay, whatever)
happy people have the same fears, pains, and disappointments as the rest, they just have different habits "that allow them to keep their hearts open in their daily lives." (open heart surgery? the metaphor and the actual organ are being used interchangeably..ugh.)
"The heart has a powerful energy field; they generate an electromagnetic field around us that is several feet in diameter and five thousand times greater than the field generated by the brain."
-the heart(beat) can have rhythm coherence or incoherence. Different emotional states have different patterns. Incoherence is damaging. Coherence is good: bp, aging, cognitive functioning, immune system. Positive emotions are good for you. Maybe 7 years of lifespan worth.
-negative emotions like anger, frustration, sadness release stress hormones and cholesterol into your body, and the heart pumps faster and blood pressure rises.
-positive emotions like appreciation, love, and emotional balance increase production of good hormones like the anti-aging hormone DHEA, improve cognitive function, and strengthen the immune system.
-here's the good part: when you focus on good emotions, you affect your heart rhythm at will.
Focus on Gratitude, Forgiveness, and Lovingkindness (the 3 happiness habit for your heart)
-a mantra from a zen master goes, "Thank you for everything. I have no complaints whatsoever."
-Another practice is to laugh for 10 minutes a day. A "little odd", Rico admits in his testimonial, but it adds health benefits through the added endorphins, cleanses emotionally, and keeps his happiness at a high level.
-law of attraction revisited: focusing your attention on what's already good, what's working, will draw more good to you. (what you appreciate, appreciates)
-people who describe themselves as grateful have more vitality, optimism, and suffer less stress. They also have fewer episodes of clinical depression than the overall population.
Dr. Emoto's photos. Water reacts to feelings directed at it... crystals vs. lumps were photographed when people were directed to focus love and thanks on one container of water, whereas 'you make me sick, i hate you' on the other. (this has me genuinely puzzled)
-Brother David, a youthful benedictine monk in his 80's, says "happiness is not what makes us grateful, but gratefulness makes us happy." He practices having a theme for each day to evoke gratitude, such as the sound of traffic, or water.
-another testimonial, from Marc Bekoff, says, "Happiness is just a part of who I am. At my core, I'm always happy- and there are times when also profoundly sad. They aren't mutually exclusive. The sadness doesn't take away the happiness."
well, my library book is due back, so I think I'll just leave it at that.
I used to be, or act like I was to the extent I fooled myself, super happy and cheerful, like the tone of her book. I have consistently believed that I was happy before being on medications, and have only been medicated because people thought I was annoying. I have to say, although I haven't finished the book, it's kind of saccharine, and doesn't completely sit well with me, like she's trying too hard and reality is just SO goddamn miserable for so many that self-hypnosis to make your personal world impenetrable to depression seems artificial. In other words, I find HER annoying, a little bit. She's plainly a Buddhist, which makes me think of being fat and happy, (like Gautama?) which is fine, but obesity is a big problem. Did the Buddha eat his misery and drink away his troubles? Resentment vs. Gratitude, you be the judge.
I plan to continue reviewing (some of) the happiness literature for this blog (for myself as well as for all y'all). Peace.
1 year ago