Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Don't be a Debbie Downer... How to Stay Happy!

Don't be a Debbie Downer... How to Stay Happy!
by Dr. Nina La, D.C., L.Ac.
Adjunct Professor, Kaplan University School of Health Sciences
Allied staff, Tri-City Regional Medical Center, Integrated Wellness Centers
 
This is my last post for the year... weeeee!!! ... until next year! =)  I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to the Kaplan Health and Wellness blog, and I hope to continue to contribute for a long time to come!

With that said, as we are approaching the end of the year, we tend to sit back and think about our resolutions.  Why is it that we have to have new resolutions every year?  That's a thought to ponder =).  For me, my yearly resolution involves (at the top of my list), to become (or remain) happy.  What is it that I see on the Hellcats the television show trailer every now and then--"positive outcome only!"  I know, I'm a bit annoyed at myself for remembering such a silly phrase, too, but when time goes downhill (everybody has a bad day sometimes!), a positive attitude is what keeps me going!  And I would like to share a few tips on how you can stay positive too! =)

First Tip:  Smile!  If I haven't stressed that enough in my previous posts, now you know my true number 1 secret for staying happy, healthy and young (not to say that I am--haha! just kidding! =) ).  When I was in the sixth grade (millenium ago!), I faintly remember a teacher telling me that if I stretch my face into a smile-like position, then I will be happy.  Honestly, it works!  Our body is conditioned so well, by observations and by many many years of experience, that stretching the corners of your mouth by contracting mainly the risorius muscles, it is a pleasurable stimulus which calls for a positive reaction--feeling happier!  So when there are days when I am extremely stressed out, and when I feel like I cannot go through the day, I just hold my head high and contract those risorius muscles!  Try it!  It works!

Second Tip: Reward yourself!  To keep for over-exhausting your body mentally and physically, remember to reward yourself!  Did a good deed?  Reward yourself!  Passed a test?  Reward yourself!  Just landed a job?  Definitely reward yourself!  Overslept in bed and missed your class? ... maybe not.  But you get the idea =).  You will definitely condition yourself toward striving to always do better and better yet, be better.  A lot of people define success as having different things--more money, more houses, more cars, more wives (hehe)--but I personally find that happiness is the biggest success in my life.  How you will achieve that?  Try to smile.  If that doesn't work, I can't help you there =).

Third Tip: Have a sense of humor!  I have a pretty dry sense of humor, but I'm always striving to learn to be more relaxed and take things less seriously.  With that said, I need to learn from this advice as much or perhaps more than you do =).  But I would like to share my tip anyway.  I always respect those who can laugh at themselves and have a positive outlook in life.  That, to me, is success.  And even though I'm giving you tips here, I'm not a know-it-all and am definitely not perfect, but sharing is caring, so why not share my piece of my wisdom to you, right?

And so I end my post with a quote from Robert Frost.  He states, "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."  Well said, Robert Frost! =)

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Dr. Nina La is an acupuncturist on staff at Tri-City Regional Medical Center (Hospital). She is also a chiropractic physician and herbalist. She currently practices at Seal Beach and Hawaiian Gardens in Southern California. You can contact her at NLa@kaplan.edu, or visit her website at http://drninala.com.

1 comments:

kitchendove said...

Thank you Dr. La. I am going to have to pass on this great advice from you. I am really enjoying your sharing all these fantastic ways to stay young, feel good, and be happy.
I smile everyday and laugh at life's little troubles (you know we'd all cry more if we don't laugh;)). It makes it all so much easier if when things all seem to wrong you just smile and do what you can without the freaking out like I see many people doing this time of year.
How funny "the most wonderful time of the year" is also the most excruciatingly painful and stressful for many people. I think maybe if we spend a moment everyday alone with ourselves and just breath (my own favorite personal reward is "just me time") we can smile and laugh at the craziness that is going on all around us and is just a part of this grand experience called life (which is sometimes rough but definitely worth it all).

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