The sun shines not on us, but in us.
The river flows not past, but through
us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every
fiber and cell of the substance of our
bodies, making them glide and sing.
Ah, the delight of waking up the senses!
Many of our senses can easily fall out of awareness and lie dormant, unnoticed. When one is rushing out the door in the morning, wondering if there is enough gas in the tank, already a little late for the next event, who can take in the beauty of the sunrise? When anxiety is jerking the mind through a series of worst case scenarios because of the latest problem at work, who smells the lasagna baking in the oven? Or numb and tired from insomnia, it’s hard for the hands to feel nourished by the soft warm nestling of the cat in the lap.
And all this time, the dear thinking mind, hoping to perfect us, commandeering most of our attention, is housed in the body. This body, like a precious...
Our bodies have five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing. But not to be overlooked are the senses of our souls: intuition, peace, foresight, trust, empathy.
The differences between people lie in their use of these senses; most people don't know anything about the inner senses while a few people rely on them just as they rely on their physical senses, and in fact probably even more.
-C. Joy Bell
In order to wake up your senses, it’s important to understand them a bit better. You probably learned about the five senses in health class: touch, smell, hearing, seeing, and taste. One appealing and straight-forward quality of the five-sense model is that each of the senses is paired with a specific, highly visible part of the body. You can point to your eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and skin. However, depending on how you define the human sense organs, functions, and abilities; there may be many more senses beyond just five. And you can access them!
What is it that sets very happy people apart from the not-so-happy? Is it a healthy diet? Exercise? An active spiritual life? Or simply being fortunate enough to have mostly good things happen throughout life?
A study of 222 undergraduates screened for high happiness levels found none of the above reasons. So, what was the happiness booster? The upper 10% of consistently happy people in the study had stronger social connections. While it may not be enough to create happiness by itself, a richly satisfying social life appears to be a necessary foundation to happiness.
Does that mean you need to be a social butterfly with a huge contact list? Nope, that quantity over quality adage applies here as well.
Jane Dutton, a professor of business administration and psychology at the University of Michigan, says that her personal practice of being alert to high-quality connections (HQCs) are like vitamins that strengthen her from within. I like this notion, in part,...
Dr. Henry Emmons joined Kare 11 News to discuss four key strategies to reduce stress. Watch the video below for the fourth strategy. Read more at Kare 11 >>>
If you're struggling to find the time to schedule in play or fitness, consider blending the two. Find friends to join you for a workout!
Dr. Henry Emmons joined Kare 11 News to discuss four key strategies to reduce stress. Watch the video below for the third strategy. Read more at Kare 11 >>>
Dr. Henry Emmons joined Kare 11 News to discuss four key strategies to reduce stress. Watch the video below for the second strategy. Read more at Kare 11 >>>
Henry joined Kare 11 News to discuss four key strategies to reduce stress. Watch the video below for the first strategy. Read more at Kare 11 >>>
Last month's theme encouraged you to add more activity to your day with attention to more rhythmic and diverse movements. This month, you'll activate your system in ways that may seem more subtle, but are just as enlivening and nourishing.
The focus this month is to awaken your senses in ways that can help you feel more energized and connected.
Three strategies to focus on:
Why: Inhaling aromatherapy scents can stimulate or soothe your system and provide a way to come alive in new and different ways.
Specific action: Take just one minute daily to focus on smelling something that you enjoy. Give your full attention to the smell and notice how your system responds.
Not sure what to smell? Try sniffing an aromatherapy product (find some here), a flower, fruit, or another natural element.
Why: It's easy to get consumed by all the things happening around you. Those...
Stuck in an exercise rut? Want to boost your mood?
If your answer is an exhausted "Yes" to both of those questions, then read on for five simple strategies you can integrate into your day or week to build an exercise habit and support your mood.
Note: Don't feel pressure to integrate all of the strategies at once. Start with one the first week, then add another the next week or when you feel confident. Continue adding strategies until all five are part of your typical day/week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a weekly minimum activity of:
Unfortunately, only 1 in 5 adults meets these standards. This may be partly because these "rules" can feel overwhelming. The important thing to remember is that the point is to move more. Any movement...
In an earlier post, Dr. Culbert discussed more about motivation and apathy and some very practical ways to deal with these concerns. In this article, I want to offer you some ways you can apply a mindfulness perspective to help you when you just can’t get yourself going.
First, a confession: I’m not always very motivated. But, neither are you…or anyone else! The reality is that motivation is a transient state. Sometimes you have it, and sometimes you don’t. That’s an invitation to stop seeing yourself as bad, broken, or lacking when you feel unmotivated or apathetic. You are human, and like everything else that you desire, motivation is impermanent.
It’s also helpful to know that motivation exists on a spectrum. You have varying degrees of motivation that are constantly in flux from one moment to the next, from one day to the next. On the days that motivation is low, try to remember that yesterday, a month ago,...
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