I don’t know about you, but it seems like the year of 2012 has flown by. Every time I come to the end of another month, I think, but wait, wasn’t January or April or July or September just here? It’s mind-boggling how fast this year’s come and gone, and now we’re into the “holiday seasons.”
Also, not sure about your feelings on the subject, but Black Friday annoyed me more than made me desirous of buying products. Here you are, happily digesting a piece of pumpkin pie, when–BAM!–an advertisement’s telling you that you’re fat and need to join the cause in order to lose the turkey you’ve barely put away. Not to mention all the sales started before Thanksgiving even got here this year. Yeah, as I said, annoying.
Studies have shown that those who are happier with themselves and their life’s situation, regardless of what it is, are healthier. It is a well-proved fact that those who have less clutter in their house tend to gain less weight and less emotional baggage. There is also an decreased chance of heart attack and stroke when we do something as simple as focus on the things we are grateful for in our lives, rather than on the things we have yet to gain. (As I’ve crowed for a while now, read Growing the Positive Mind, by Dr. William K. Larkin, for insight into the power of positive thinking.)
Still, you say, we’ve got to take care of ourselves. Yes, you’re right. We do. But a post-turkey burn isn’t “taking care” of anything. It’s making us more stressed out at a time when stress levels seem to be elevated. Additionally, there’s a new study out suggesting that one hour at the gym may not combat the 23 spent on one’s backside. Scientists are proving that daily activity levels are vital to maintaining health.
This is not to suggest that we should quit going to the gym. Instead, I suggest doing two things. Add more activity into your life in addition to the 30+ minutes you spend at your favorite club, and take you attention off what you don’t have and start paying attention to all the good things you do have.
I’ve noticed a huge transformation in my own life from reading Larkin’s book, and I haven’t even done the exercises yet. (I plan on it starting next year.) I am, in general, a positive person, but being positive doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness, I’ve found, although I’m generally happy too. But I’ve become happier since considering the premise that Larkin discusses, and I’ve noticed myself actively stopping negative self-talk when situations arise that annoy me. Like I said, I haven’t done the exercises yet…
Life has so much to offer us besides fitting the mold pressed upon us by advertisements. Take the opportunity to embrace it. The first step is accepting who you are. None of us are perfect. If you know you need to get into the gym and start shedding pounds, or eat more vegetables, by all means, do it! Just don’t get sidetracked with ideas of perfection that very few of us, myself included, can attain. Be who you are, not who the celebrity model on the television screen is. There’s only one you, and you alone are worth it.
The second step, I believe, is to laugh more. Not only does it help alleviate the severity of the workplace, it brings people together. What is life but a series of experiences with people? I admit, I probably don’t laugh as much as I ought, but I hope to remedy that once I get out of this desert and find myself a laughing yoga class. I gotta say, there’s nothing better than a great belly laugh.
The final step isn’t hard either. It’s taking life as it comes. Going with the flow. There will be ups and there will be downs. Larkin never says that we should ignore the downs. He just says that we should deal with them when we’re ready. Perhaps that’s immediately, or sometime down the road when we’ve gained perspective.
I could add more steps, but these are the essentials. Love, laugh, and live. This is how a great post-turkey burn ought to start. Whatever comes as a result of that is done because our perspectives are clear, not cluttered with images of airbrushed figures and wealthy people who can afford pouring thousands of dollars into a weight loss program. Come on, friends! What are you waiting for? The only thing holding you back is yourself!