My grandma has been known to say things like, "There's more than one way to skin a cat..." Although that is an entirely disturbing image, I grew up hearing it, so... I get it. I know this is her way of describing the importance of flexibility and compromise. And I agree--there should be more than one way to do just about anything, even if it gets articulated as this horrible aphorism.
Sometimes grandparents, and other wise people, have really important lessons to impart, but for whatever reason (I'll figure it out... you just don't get me... it's not like that anymore... I know better than you...?), these lessons are ignored. Today, we will examine some folk wisdom and why you might want to take a second look.
- PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.
The best way to improve on any goal is to do it, and do it, and do it. Sometimes, we may feel like "old dogs" who can't learn "new tricks," but evidence suggests all of us, through repetition (and perhaps dedication), can make changes and learn new information and skills. This 2012 study says that practicing beyond when you've first mastered a skill will allow your body to know it so well that your metabolic function actually shifts during the process. The idea of practice makes perfect also applies to, you guessed it, mindfulness! Like everything else you've learned, mindfulness can begin as a deliberate effort. It can eventually become second-nature to you, but be easy on yourself and give yourself a chance to get good. Making mindfulness a daily goal (or reading this blog daily...?) will bear fruit.
- IT IS BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE.
This doesn't simply have to be about buying presents. Giving spans a number of broader activities. Volunteering your time to a worthy person or cause is an excellent way to help others, while also gaining tremendous personal benefit. This website, dogoodlivewell.org, enumerates several benefits backed by studies: 1. improves physical well-being 2. raises self-confidence and self-esteem 3. encourages friendships that buffer against stress and illness and 4. may help you live longer.
- BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER.
We know that we are naturally drawn to certain people and certain groups of people. These may change as we get older, change jobs, interests, relationship and/or parenthood statuses, but your social networks are comprised of people you choose to have in your life. In his 2010 TED Talk, The Hidden Influence of Social Networks, Dr. Chrisakis articulates some of the relationships between us and those around us. According to his research, even things such as happiness and obesity are greatly influenced by the people with whom we spend our time (with the obvious implication that we, therefore, have an influence on those around us--so be a good influence on those you love!).
- AN APPLE A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY.
As discussed in the delicious carrot, apple, and celery salad post, apples, especially with the skin on, provide a number of health benefits: properties of cholesterol reduction, help to manage weight, improved lung function, disease prevention, and provide fiber, potassium, and vitamins. Studies have discovered, if you eat one a day, or even just five a week, you have a greater chance to benefit from all of these marvelous aspects of apples. Here are a few wonderful ways to begin eating your daily apple: apple in the hand, cut with peanut butter, homemade applesauce, baked apples, and apple chips.
Labels: Go Ahead--Try It!, Mind & Body, Mindful Eating