About New Year resolutions

[ Dr Hage Tabyo ]
Another year has gone, but not before having stirred up a fair amount of heat and dust; far and wide across the country and in our native state Arunachal Pradesh as well, particularly in the quarters of prima-donna -at the political, economic and social- spheres.
Nonetheless, we have already embraced yet another New Year. A few days have elapsed of course with the start of the New Year, but it is still not too late to commit ourselves to a few new resolutions.
The beginning of a new year often means resolving to do better at everything -from fitness to family to finances. Also, a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behaviour or habit, such as quitting smoking; avoid eating junk food or to cut down taking addictive beverages and such.
Other people may also make promises to develop positive habits, such as starting with a new exercise regimen, volunteering in community welfare work, or to spending less to fix one’s budget better.
The objective is to accomplish a personal goal and to improve life in the coming New Year.
New Year’s resolutions are perfect opportunities for all those who have failed to start making the changes that they said or thought they would make next week, next month, or perhaps when next winter or spring arrives. But more often than not, our big plans get dashed sometimes even in the middle of January itself or within the next few months.
Well, now’s your chance to sit down and prepare a list of some of the very important life-style changes you would want to make. There are many ‘worth-taking’ resolutions particularly on improving finances, fitness or fixing habits or addictions.
But my advice is to take up just three of the simplest and easiest yet very important endeavours to start with instead of tough and unrealistic ones that are more difficult to adhere to.
The first of the resolutions is to take to walking – a mild and simple way of exercising. You take in fresh air and are prepared for yet another day of purposeful work. Walking will help your heart get stronger; your blood pressure will be in check and your bones will get stronger. Walking also eases stress, helps you sleep better and can boost your outlook towards life. You can go as fast as you wish or as slow as you need. All you need is a pair of simple walking shoes.
You may not find an immediate affirmative answer, but the effects will definitely come slowly and steadily and you will feel the positive changes in your body and mind.
The second resolution to make is to smile at least a hundred times a day.
“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity…., the good they do is inconceivable,” wrote Joseph Addison. In fact, smile symbolizes a positive attitude. The magic of a smile can really help motivate you and others at all times.
When you frown at others, they too will frown back at you. But when you smile, you get a smile in return -this is the law of universe.
From the medical point of view, smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that work in our body toward fighting off stress. The ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters- dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released when a smile flashes across our face. This not only relaxes your body, but it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure as well.
The endorphin also acts as a natural pain reliever-100 per cent organically and without the potential negative side-effects of synthetic concoctions. The serotonin release brought on by your smile serves as an anti-depressant or mood-lifter.
Research indicates that many of today’s pharmaceutical anti-depressants also influence the levels of serotonin in our brain, but with a smile you do not have to worry about negative side-effects and you do not need a prescription from a doctor.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy” – said a psychologist. Similarly, the popular English poet, Lord Byron wrote, “Laugh a little,-sing a little, As you go your way! Work a little, play a little; Do this every day! To have joy one must share it, happiness was born a twin.” So, one should commit to this rational mission.
The next of resolutions is to make a habit of helping other people. I would say that every person is born selfish. One thinks of one’s own needs first -right from birth to death and personal benefit motivates all our actions. Besides, cutthroat competitions have made things even worse. People are more selfish; only we don’t accept it.
But the civilized society is built on the basis of mankind helping each other to live well. However, the cooperation that one person extends to the other is limited to what the society requires, and no more. Each person looks at life from the point of view what would be most beneficial to him or her. To rise above a selfish esteem and to live a fulfilled life and stay motivated to achieve great things, one ought to learn to help others.
However strong or self-sufficient one might be, there will be times when the need for help from someone else arises in due course. Helping others is not only good for the receiver; it also makes us (doers) happier and healthier too. Giving also connects us to others and creates a stronger bond.
Giving is not just about money or expensive items. Giving to others could be as simple as a kind word or a mere smile or a thoughtful gesture. By nature human beings are creatures of emotion. We want to be with those who make us feel happy, special and cared for and safe.
Hence, a mutual exchange of obligation and help is imperative between people.
Lord Gautama Buddha said, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle and the life of that candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Do render help and love to other humans to be contented in life”. (The writer is Former Director of Family Welfare, GoAP, Itanagar)