Sunday, March 01, 2015

Mindfulness Monday: Smiling

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
Sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Taking Control of Your Memories

Did you know we can trick our brains? Our memories are so powerful that if we remember mindfully, really re-live each detail of a memory, we can re-experience the emotions contained within. If we can mindfully remember a joyful memory, we can trick our brain to feeling happy.

The reverse is true, as well. When we dwell on bad memories, replay depressing/frustrating life moments over and over again in our heads, we find ourselves feeling sad. It's a negative feedback loop that ends up making us feel worse and worse.

This is why it's important to learn to be aware of what we are thinking about, and then make a choice. We can control our brains and our feelings, and let our smile be the source of our joy.

And Sometimes Your Smile Is The Source of Other People's Joy

We are born with Mirror Neurons, which are brain cells that scientists believe are key to learning by mimicry, and to developing understanding of other's actions and emotions (empathy.) When we smile at others, or see others smile at us, it activates these neurons, and we vicariously experience the emotions that cause us to smile. Mirror Neurons are why we feel happy when we see other happy people. So, by smiling we not only spread happy feelings, but we also feel better ourselves, because we are drawing happiness to us. We are able to change our environment simply by smiling.

Give It a Try

If you're not feeling much like smiling, I suggest mindfully remembering a happy memory. Mindfully remembering is not like playing a movie of the moment in your head. It's reliving each detail.

  • Where were you?
  • What did the scenery around you look like? What colors were there? What was the weather like? Was it sunny or cloudy? Warm or cold?
  • What could you see? Hear? Smell? Touch?
  • Who was there with you? Take a moment to really see their faces.

Use these prompts to remember each moment of the memory. If you move from one place to another, or a new person comes into the memory, use the prompts over again to really place yourself in the moment. I am confident that it won't be long and you'll be smiling, maybe without even realizing it.

What makes you smile?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Funny Friday Photos: Physics Addiction

Guess what day it is!

That's right!

I don't know about you, but this weekend totally snuck up on me. I'm sure happy it's here though!

Let's get started with last week's winner:

Are you ready for the new ones? Here you go!

I'd think the camera was on its side, except for the goats in the background.

He looks so dignified--until you see the birdie.

I've been hanging with my kids too much again...

An introvert's daily struggle.

This gave me a giggle. Actually, though, I wish I was a physicist.

Here's the puns for the week!

Have you ever seen A Clockwork Orange? My mom saw it and I don't think I want to.

A different kind of snowman.

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? We're supposed to get a ton of snow (we'll see, Wyoming weather is notoriously unpredictable), and BBC America is running Doctor Who all day Sunday, so that's my plan. Write on Saturday and watch Doctor Who on Sunday. I'll probably write on Sunday, too, but rather distractedly.

On Wednesday I was picking up my boys from school, and Boy 2 pointed into a dark hallway.
"Do you know what I think is down there?" he asked.
"No, what?" I said.
He gave me a knowing look. "Vashta Nerada, that's what."
It's times like those that make me such a proud geek mom.

My favorite this week is a tie between the Wombutt and the Physics Addiction.

What's your favorite?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Funny Friday Photos: How Cool Is Your Food?

Happy Friday to all!

I'm afraid to admit this, since I've started the Mindfulness posts, but lately this is what my life seems to be like:

This also goes with asking questions of people, and having to ask them to repeat their answers because I'm distracted. I'm definitely trying to do too many things at once. Anyone else relate?

Another thing I learned this week is:

A couple of days ago I finally noticed the hashtag #nofilter going around on Twitter. I didn't know that photoshopping or filtering your own photos was happening to the extent that people have to declare that they haven't retouched the photos. But, should you suspect someone is lying, there is a website called Filter Fakers, who polices the hashtag and calls out people for lying about using filters.

How do you even use filters? Do you have to be on Instagram only? It seems like too much trouble, to me. If you don't like the photo, then don't post it.

Last week's favorite photo was:

A three way tie between the lightbulb cat, the dog in a box, and hokey-pokey cat--so no favorite pic of the week today!

New photos below!

I love the little cape!

Nopen = not open?

A pun or two for the road?

My favorite is the ballet dog.
What was your favorite this week?


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