THE HEALTH Q
International Standard Serial Number [ISSN] 1715 6165 | Library and Archives Canada Entry
Start 2008 With New Resolve and Hope [editorial note]
Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick
Books You Should Read This Winter
[Download Colorful PDF, 500 KB]
START 2008 WITH NEW RESOLVE AND HOPE [editorial note]
by Parmjit Singh, PhD
Happy 2008 dear friends
Though New Year is simply a metaphor for a new beginning, a hypothetical dot in endless continuum of time yet it inspires us to rethink our life in the context of hope, desires and goals. In a way, it is good because we can have the psychological satisfaction of leaving behind what was not working and starting all over again with renewed hope and optimism.
As the second hand of the clock strikes midnight tonight, we all be wishing and praying for better times. Some will be praying for food, better crops, better income, a husband, a wife, a baby, others will be wishing for things less mundane. Some will be aspiring to become presidents; other will be wishing to escape death sentences. Whatever the aspirations, it all comes to down to our desires and their ultimate influence on the direction of our life. New Year eve will set the tone; most will measure the drift of year with the yardstick of opening events. Others will be reading astrological charts to figure out what is in store for them in the next twelve months.
Whatever we do or howsoever we perceive the New Year eve, it is worth remembering that we all, to some extent, do participate in the making of our life. Our perception gives it a different meaning. No two people ever embark upon a new journey in a same fashion.
Karma is not simply a carryover effect from our past lives. On the other hand, it stands for deeds we do in our daily life. If one does bad things, the likely result is going to be bad and we cannot slap blame on our bad karmas for bringing about these unfortunate consequences.
Whatever you do or in whichever way you want to start 2008, let the underlying tone of the coming year be based on hard-work, optimism, hopefulness, commitment, honesty and desire to improve the lot of others and ourselves.
With that kind of aspirations, Karma or destiny will definitely be smiling upon us all.
MAKING YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS STICK
by American Psychological Association
Lose weight? Check. Start exercising? Check. Stop smoking? Check.
It can be daunting when your list of New Year’s Resolutions is as long as your holiday shopping list. In addition to the post-holiday slump, not being able to keep your resolutions by February, March or even late January may increase your anxiety. When your holiday decorations are packed up and stored away, the frustration of an unused gym membership or other reminders of failed resolutions can make the later winter months feel hopeless.
However, it is important to remember that the New Year isn’t meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes. It is a time for people to reflect on their past year’s behavior and promise to make positive lifestyle changes. “Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for,” says psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD. “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.”
By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year, incorporating healthy behavior into your everyday life. APA offers these tips when thinking about a News Year’s resolution:
Start small — Make resolutions that you think you can keep. If, for example, your aim is to exercise more frequently, schedule three or four days a week at the gym instead of seven. If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yogurt, instead of seeing your diet as a form of punishment.
Change one behavior at a time — Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time.
Talk about it — Share your experiences with family and friends. Consider joining a support group to reach your goals, such as a workout class at your gym or a group of coworkers quitting smoking. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle that much easier and less intimidating.
Don’t beat yourself up — Perfection is unattainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and OK. Don’t give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your diet, or skipped the gym for a week because you were busy. Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track.
Ask for support — Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and ability to manage stress caused by your resolution. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking professional help. Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body. They can offer strategies as to how to adjust your goals so that they are attainable, as well as help you change unhealthy behaviors and address emotional issues.
Originally published on American Psychological Association’s website. Reproduced here with permission.
BOOKS YOU SHOULD READ THIS WINTER
Baby-reviewed by Parmjit Singh, PhD
Train your Mind, Change your Brain is an extraordinary and inspiring book written by Sharon Begley, Newsweek science writer. It sums up how recent advances in neurosciences has toppled the age-old dogma that our brain does not change in the adult years. Up until 1999, scientists stuck to the idea that brain only flourishes during formative years and once we step into adults years, things get settled into almost immutable structure. However, ancient traditions have advocated that our physical bodies, including brain for that matter, changes in response to the experience of our lived life. This book particularly dwells upon the intersection of Buddhist thought and modern neuroscience. Citing the research from the world’s finest scientists, she weaves a compelling argument that we have more control over our life than we previously thought of; that if we embark upon of changing the mind and its emotions, it will essentially change the brain. Neurons that fires together, stays together, building up a network to support that act.
This book will inspire you to harness the mental force of correct intention and disciplined effort.
Author: Sharon Begley; ISBN: 9780345479891.
The Mindful Way Through Depression is anot
her wonderful book written by world’s best scholars working in the field of depression and mindfulness. This book talks about how cultivating daily habit of mindfulness can help us in breaking free from the clutches of debilitating chronic happiness. Included with the book is a CD of guided meditation to get you started on the way to heal your depression and unhappiness. Mindfulness helps us in disrupting the ruminations which often leads into depression and other problems. When we can not keep our mind from dwelling on the negatives, we get bogged down into never-ending cycle of negativity and hopelessness.
This book will be a wonderful start in your quest to balance your emotional life and get a handle on chronic unhappiness that has become so common in our society.
Authors: Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal & Jon Kabbat-Zinn; ISBN:9781593851286