Keywords and Phrases
Savour/savor: taste or enjoy something to the fullest
Installment: a sum of money due as one of several equal payments for something, spread over an agreed period of time. ii) any of several parts of something which are published, broadcast, or made public in sequence at intervals.
Engaged: occupied or busy, active
Negative bias: (psychology) the brain’s tendency to focus more on the negatives and disregard the positives
Cliché: an expression that is overused to the point that its intended meaning is lost
Embrace: accept a belief enthusiastically
Dopamine: a chemical in the brain that is responsible for helping people feel pleasure
It could be argued that: a useful phrase that allows the speaker to remove the “I” from the sentence and, therefore, the speaker can avoid a commitment to the opinion
Virtuous circle: a chain of events, a positive that leads to a positive until it comes back to the start
You may remember that in last month’s installment it was suggested that we take advantage of the extra daylight to strengthen our immune system. Furthermore, tiny tweaks can make a big difference in our lives. If you haven’t done so yet, it’s never too late! This month, I would like to offer a suggestion to help improve both mental and physical health.
Most of my English classes start with a simple task. I ask participants to tell me something good about this week. The purpose is to get people engaged and to encourage everyone to be in the habit of focusing on the positives. The initial response is to say something like, “Mmm…nothing special happened this week.”
This is part of the brain’s negative bias that causes us to be more aware of the negatives. However, we can overcome this to some degree. How? Savour the moments. That means getting in the habit of being aware when something makes you feel good and hold on to that feeling as long as you can before your mind moves on to the next thought. A few seconds is enough, even thirty seconds or a minute can be possible with a little practice. Stop and smell the flowers, is not just a cliché, it can really help you. When you see or smell a nice flower, feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, or take that first sip of coffee or tea of the day, spend a moment or two to appreciate the now; in other words, savour the moment.
If it sounds too simple to be effective, that could be the negative bias talking again. The fact is, the longer and more we embrace the now, the stronger the memory will be, which will lead to a feeling of overall happiness. The release of dopamine, a chemical in the body that helps us feel pleasure, will allow us to feel better, more secure, and simply happier. And, as you know, a happier mind will lead to a healthier body.
It is often said that people don’t like change. It could be argued that people fear change, especially big change. With that in mind, once again, let me encourage you to make tiny tweaks to your life by taking several moments each day to be aware of all the good things that happen. Make a mental note and share it with a friend or family member. This virtuous circle can lead to better health and happiness for you and all those around.
Wishing you health and happiness, always.
Tailor Made Inc.