Posts tagged ‘happiness’

Zen-seikkailu: 4. tehtävä

Viikonloppua vasten seikkaillaan menneeseen. Yhtä hyvin kuin uusista aatoksista, myös historiastamme voi löytyä avaimia onneen. Mielenkiintoista on se, olemmeko säilyttäneet samankaltaisia asioita ja ominaisuuksia tai vaikka ihmisiä elämässämme, vai etääntyneet niistä joko tarkoituksella tai tarkoittamatta. Haluaisimmeko ehkä elämäämme jotain sellaista, mitä koimme nuorina? Miten se voisi toteutua nykyisyydessä?

Tehtävä 4.

Uppoudu hetkeksi muistelemaan lapsuuttasi. Yritä kaivaa mieleesi onnellisia hetkiä. Tuleeko mieleesi joku erityinen tilanne? Mitä tykkäsit tehdä? Mikä tai minkälainen oli suosikkileikkisi? Nautitko toisten seurasta vai yksin tekemisestä? Mikä oli lempiaineesi? Minkälaisia ominaisuuksia ihailit? Mistä leluista, kirjoista, tv-ohjelmista tai sanoista pidit? Mitkä tuoksut, maut, hajut ja materiaalit olivat sinulle mieluisia? Missä koit onnistumisia tai elinvoimaa? Mikä oli lempipaikkasi ja -maisemasi?

Kirjoita muistisi uumenista nousevia ajatuksia ja muistoja samaan tiedostoon, johon kirjailit tehtävän 1.  Voit kirjoittaa kokonaisia lauseita tai tehdä listan.

January 20, 2012 at 16:13 Leave a comment

Zen-seikkailu: 3. tehtävä

Pohdin tuossa, että ex tempore keksimäni nimi tälle eilen ex tempore keksimälleni seikkailulle, siis Zen, saattaa olla hiukan harhaanjohtava. Mielessäni kehittyvät tehtävät (rakennan tätä as we go) eivät kaikki suoraan tähtää mielenrauhaan ja siis zeniin. Sitten ajattelin kuitenkin, että ehkä kaikenlainen itseensä tutustuminen, ympäristön katseleminen uusin ja uteliain silmin, ihmisten rakastaminen sanoin ja teoin, erilaisten asioiden kokeileminen ja arkirutiinin murtaminen vaikka minuutin verran päivässä voi olla avain uuteen.

Harjoitukset kannattaa ottaa siltä kannalta, että kun räpsii sata kuvaa, joukossa on yksi onnistunut. Onnistunut voi tässä tarkoittaa hyvää hetkeä, oivallusta tai asiaa, joka inspiroi tekemään sitä enemmänkin. Poimi siis itsellesi osuvimmat ja suhtaudu hölmöihin ehdotuksiin lempeästi.

Tehtävä 3.

Anna työkaverillesi hyvää palautetta. Ole palautteessasi rehellinen. Mieti rauhassa, kuka on tehnyt jotakin sellaista tai toiminut sillä tavalla, että voit ihailla sitä vilpittömästi. Kerro se hänelle.

January 17, 2012 at 06:30 Leave a comment

Zen-seikkailu: 1. tehtävä

Tämä ei ole mikään hieno ja virallinen zen-ohjelma. Tämä on kokoelma omia ajatuksiani ja ideoitani sellaisista asioista, jotka olen itse kokenut hyviksi. Osalla on tieteellisesti tutkittu taustansa, osalla ei. Tehtävät ovat yksinkertaisia ja käytännöllisiä. En itsekään tiedä, mikä matkan päässä odottaa, mutta paikka tuskin on paha. Jos olet utelias, follow me!

Ennen ensimmäistä tehtävää kannattaa perustaa esimerkiksi Google Documentseihin uusi tiedosto, johon voit tehdä kirjoittamista vaativat tehtävät. Voit luonnollisesti käyttää myös perinteistä paperia ja kynää.

Tehtävä 1.

Lähes kaikki meistä tuntevat tai tietävät ihmisiä, joiden kanssa ei synkkaa. Joku voi olla meistä ärsyttävä tai tehdä meidät vihaiseksi. Henkilö voi olla meille hyvin läheinen tai sitten kovin etäällä, ehkä tunnemme hänet vain julkisuudesta. Ehkä jopa tunnemme halveksuntaa tätä henkilöä kohtaan. Kirjoita nyt tällaisen henkilön nimi uuteen tiedostoosi ja listaa asioita tai edes yksi asia, jota hänessä ihailet tai arvostat. Älä luovuta heti, vaan pohdi tarkkaan; mitä myönteisiä asioita hänessä on.

Voit toistaa tehtävän niin monen henkilön kohdalla kuin koet tarpeelliseksi.

January 15, 2012 at 09:56 1 comment

From Health Promotion to Facilitating Happiness?

According to a known estimate approximately 50% of happiness is hereditary, approximately 10% the result of external factors such as an occupation, health or age and the rest 40% is defined by our own attitude, lifestyle and actions (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). The latter is the one that can be affected by regular happiness exercises and changes in thinking.

THL (Terveyden edistämisen laitos, National Institute of Health and Welfare) executed a survey “Onnellisuuden salaisuus” (The secret for happiness) a year ago and one major factor contributing to subjective happiness was cherishing interpersonal relationships. Also positive thinking was strongly related to healthy lifestyle choices (whatever those are) and happiness.

According to THL’s follow up research participants gained happiness as a consequence of THL’s team’s actions:

I’m really happy about the fact that THL does this kind of research since I strongly think that the key in health care and especially public health is in health promotion, not in treating illnesses or even prevention. I also think that putting more emphasis on taking care of one’s relationships is worth while not only due to increased happiness but to prevent strokes and other health issues. Health follows happiness. Maybe we should even start to speak about happiness promotion instead of health? Fresh research shows that psyche and soma often cannot be separated from one another. My guess is that in the future we don’t separate them neither in health care.
Anyway, encouraging people to foster their relationships (family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, public transportation staff, random by-passer or anyone we meet really) would rehabilitate the whole community and society resulting in not just better health but also less crime and increased quality of life. 

November 13, 2011 at 10:21 Leave a comment

How to: happiness

One way of enhancing personal happiness is applying one or more gratitude exercises, preferably daily. Ocean Robbins (nice name, by the way) wrote an article about these exercises and the neuroscience behind them. Yes, research ACTUALLY backs up these exercises being useful when seeking for happiness.

Read the article.

Robbins suggests the following:

1) Keep a gratitude diary: write down three things you feel thankful for for the first thing on the morning or for last thing in the evening.

2) Tell your loved one, friend, spouse, family member or maybe sometimes even a co-worker (wild) what you appreciate in them, again daily.

3) Think about something you’ve done well or something you like about yourself while looking in a mirror (This one feels a bit silly for me but I’m willing to sacrifice dignity for happiness!).

I appreciate freedom of speech.
I’m grateful for my dog’s getting better after being seriously ill.
I’m happy about you reading my blog.

November 9, 2011 at 17:19 1 comment

The Peaceful Right Brain (the sea of euphoria)

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had a stroke. Hear her extraordinary talk about the experience.

Jill Bolte Taylor’s Powerful Stroke of Insight.

NOTE: you can turn on the subtitles (like in English or Finnish below the video.

(Can’t manage to embed the video here despite all my efforts so please click the link above.)

September 10, 2011 at 07:59 Leave a comment

Meditation on the go

A couple of weeks ago I bumped into a video and a related site: One Moment Meditation. Apparently it’s Martin Boroson‘s method to implement meditation and mindfulness for people on the go. I haven’t read the book and I’ve only watched the brief video that doesn’t really give any instructions but I found the idea quite intriguing.

So, I’ve been performing some real life experiments and found the following:

  • it IS possible to “meditate” even in a rush hour underground while listening to music!

It’s really quite simple: I just focus on my breathing for a little while. In – and out – and in – and out – simultaneously picturing an empty mind in my head where the breath comes and goes like the wind. Easily and unforced.

A brief moment of meditation or mindfulness might not have the long lasting implications of meditating for years after years but it sure does calm the mind and hence the body is calmed as well. As meditation research has shown, meditation lowers the pulse and blood pressure. Quickly, the stressful or busy or restless feeling is gone and replaced by something happier.

Like there’s always time for (a little) exercise, there’s most definitely always time for meditation as well. No need for fancy pillows or incense, just order it on the go!

September 10, 2011 at 07:40 Leave a comment

On Positive Psychology

This piece by Martin Seligman (TED) talking about positive psychology is worth watching. Validates what’s been known in occupational therapy for a long time; life is not at its best being just pleasurable, there has to be meaning.

Note that it’s possible to get the subtitles in English or in Finnish.

https://ted.com/talks/view/id/312

July 26, 2011 at 09:43 Leave a comment

Check Your Happiness Ratio

As I write this on Sunday the 17th of April the results of the Finland’s on-going parliamentary election are being counted. After the preliminary votes have been counted the situation doesn’t really enhance happiness. Still, with the zen quality of mind, reminiscing Tolle’s teachings I’m determined to post about happiness. So here’s to a brighter future!

Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D. and the director of Positive emotions and Psychophysiology Laboraty, published a book called Positivity in 2009. In her book she describes ten different emotional states that reflect happiness. I haven’t yet read the book but I found these emotions interesting and useful as means to mindfully learn to facilitate feelings of happiness. I encourage you too to apply these into your life. It’s a possibility to affect the 50 000 to 60 000 thoughts that go trough your head every day.  Our thoughts are mostly repetitive so a minor change for the better might result in a noticeable improvement in experienced happiness.

There’s also a test on Barbara’s site (Positivity Ratio) that you can make to score your happiness ratio for today. I suggest doing it to gain a little insight for your emotional status. As for me, the ratio left room for improvement even though I consider myself being quite on the happy side.

10 EMOTIONAL STATES THAT REFLECT HAPPINESS

  1. Joy  – I get joy out of flow experiences such as a good workout or an inspiring conversation. Today I was overjoyed for getting to swim in the sea!
  2. Gratitude – I’m grateful for having been born in such a privileged position. Today I was grateful for having all my limbs after watching a video of Nick Vojicic.
  3. Serenity – Working on this one through meditation, currently Tolle as my guide. Today I did a 6 minute meditation in the morning and went for a walk in the evening to calm my election aroused mind.
  4. Intrest – I’m hopelessly interested in plentiful things in life! Today I was interested in the politics and the feelings the elections generated in people.
  5. Hopefulness – As a person and as an occupational therapist I’ve always seen more possibilities than boundaries. Today I tried to keep up hope despite of the political shift to the right in Finland.
  6. Pride – I’m proud of our profession’s ability to see the speciality in every client. Today I was proud of myself entering the coldish sea water.
  7. Amusement – I get easily amused; it could be a funny dog (or MY dog 😉), myself screwing things up or some real life comedy such as a person’s “agenda” in a social situation going wrong. Today I was amused by a Spiderman band in the park consisting of elderly spidermen…
  8. Inspiration – I’m often inspired by extraordinary people or strikingly beautiful nature or a good book. Today I was inspired by the amazing Nick Vojicic mentioned above.
  9. Respect – I (try to) respect all living creatures. Today I really admired Nick Vojicic’s courage and life force. I also bought organic meat in respect of animals being treated well.
  10. Love – I’m lucky to have a tight knit group of my loved ones. Today I was happy to chat with my mom when I felt a bit lonely.
In occupational therapy we usually look at a person’s life in three areas: self-care (washing, dressing, eating, sleeping etc.), work (employment, voluntary work, studying etc.) and leisure (hobbies, recreation, socializing etc.). The emotional states mentioned above should be covered within those three areas. To ensure a good quality of life these areas should be in balance; the possibly neglected area or the area that’s been most affected by changes in the person’s state of health is usually the one that shall be paid the most attention in occupational therapy. This type of emotional analysis might help to work with a client on some specific areas and it most certainly will benefit all social relationships.

So, are you having any problems regards to these emotions and their manifestation in everyday life?

April 18, 2011 at 18:27 Leave a comment

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