Love The Life You Live

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family biking together
At Tuck Chiropractic Clinic, we think it is important to love the life you live. It’s easy to get stuck in the everyday grind that slowly squeezes the joy out of life. When you’re too busy, too stressed, and you can’t do the things you’re passionate about, it can be difficult to really enjoy the moment. Here are a few tips on how to seize the day:

Tips for Increased Happiness

1. Try something new
Katherine Zeratsky of the Mayo Clinic encourages everyone to “get into the habit of trying new things” as part of the Clinic’s 12 Habits of Highly Healthy People series. She notes that trying new things can help you overcome fear, build on past successes, capitalize on your strengths, approach new things with curiosity, find greater enjoyment in life, and experience benefits like increasing confidence and reducing loneliness. So whether it’s learning how to swim, going rock climbing, picking up a crossword puzzle, or joining a photography club, pick something that’s outside of your normal zone of daily and weekly activities and give it a go!
2. Be aware
Part of enjoying life and finding contentment is being present in the moment and engaging with the people and circumstances that surround you. When we are aware of how we feel and determine to acknowledge and work through negative emotions and practice positive emotions, like gratitude, we are building good habits and brain patterns that can increase our experience of and enjoyment in life.
According to research referenced by Harvard Health Publications, one study was conducted where two groups were instructed to journal weekly with one group focusing on what they were thankful for and the other on what aggravated them that week. After ten weeks, the group that focused on identifying what they were grateful for reported significantly higher levels of happiness and enjoyed other health benefits as well. Another study with a gratefulness exercise component also reported significant increases in the reported happiness scores that followed that week’s assignment. Being engaged and being grateful play an important role in how much we relish life.
3. Build in margin
Less stress generally equals greater happiness. One great way to reduce stress is to build margin into our lives. One means of doing this is to purposely plan to sleep more (aiming for 7 to 8 hours nightly). According to a study done at the University of Massachusetts, getting adequate sleep improves our capacity to make better decisions; and another study, published in Psychological Science suggests that getting enough sleep increases the probability that we will accomplish goals that we set for ourselves.
Adding margin to the day doesn’t end with getting more sleep though, it also includes ideas like the 15 Minute Rule – purposefully getting up 15 minutes earlier than needed to have time to make your coffee, journal, pray, or do whatever you need to do to proactively get a good start. This rule applies to making it to meetings, appointment scheduling (giving yourself 15 minutes to process what you’ve heard and make it to your next appointment), travel plans, etc. Margin reduces stress and less stress can lead to greater happiness.
4. Unplug occasionally
Experts in all sorts of fields encourage us to cut out those things that are not driving us forward or supporting us in our goals. For many in the information age, this might mean having days or times of day that are “disconnected.” Max Blumberg, a University of London research psychologist, recently commented on how “Our brains were never designed to be always on and permanently connected with the amount of stimuli that we get [today].”
Darren Hardy, a personal success mentor for highly influential businessmen and other interested parties, agrees that giving our brains a break is essential to our health and productivity, citing how hard it is to really disconnect from email, social media, entertainment media, and the other digital “sirens” vying for your time and attention. He explains that implementing disconnected days, even at work occasionally, gives him time and space to think creatively, connect with the people around him, and focus his attention on the things that truly matter.
5. Prioritize

Getting our priorities straight may be one of the most difficult tasks of a human being. The key to getting the important things done is to be able to distinguish between what is simply urgent and what is truly important. For example, the email regarding the five things your team expects you to have done by Monday that comes in at 4:45pm on Friday may feel like the end of the world, but the dinner date with your husband or your child’s soccer game may actually have the greater long-term impact. It’s different for everyone, but figuring out what is most valuable in your life will help you align your actions with your values.
Just like it’s hard to love the life you live if your priorities are out of whack, it’s hard to do what you love if you aren’t aligned correctly. Joint pain, sciatica, headaches, back pain, spinal stenosis, and other conditions caused or aggravated by spinal misalignment can put a serious damper on doing what you love.
If you are struggling with any of these issues, we’re here to help. Whether it’s rough housing with your grandkids, running that half marathon, rock climbing, or your job, we want you to be free to do the things that mean the most to you. Chiropractic care supports long-term health and wellness, important pieces of a healthy, happy lifestyle. Love the life you live, take care of yourself by making an appointment at one of our eleven clinics and finding out more about how chiropractic care can increase your capacity to enjoy life.

About the Writer

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