Category Archives: a day in a life

Adam Quang Happiness Conversation

Adam Quang Happiness Conversation

New episode of #HappinessConversation airs every Mondays.

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Adam asks what makes you happy, and how to create and sustain happiness in everyday life. Inspiration from Torontonians creating happiness in their lives.

Turning the body, mind and spirit towards a balanced way of life – the art of spirituality! This is the happiness adventure

 

Click here for Research & Studies of meditation and its benefits…
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Sex & Yoga

Found this interesting discussion on social media. I’ve asked the author Anthony Gary Lopedota to reposted. Feel free to share and keep thing thought provoking topic going.

What are your thought, view, experiences on sex and yoga?
The men have started the conversation, how about some insight from yogini?

Sex and YogaAnthony Gary Lopedota: “OK yogis, let’s talk about sex. I have had young aspiring yoga practitioners write me and ask me about their growing need for sex. They say and I believe it is true, that with the yoga practice their sexual energies are not diminishing but flourishing. This could be because their diet and practice is to rajasic but it could also be a person’s biochemistry and might not be something that can or even should be changed. I have tried many practices with regard to sex, abstaining for yoga practice especially when immersed in the three hour practices with KPJ in Mysore in the early days. I have also listened to what he said about the three days surrounding the full and new moon as days to consider abstinence.

It is commonly know that all the fluids of the earth are affected by the moon. And recently as a part of continued therapeutic experimentation with movement that augments the pumping of cerebral spinal fluid, still working on my own spinal injuries, I have implemented these same theories. Guru Ji would tell me that it was a hundered mouth full of food made a drop of blood, a hundred drops of blood made a drop of semen, a hundred drops of semen made a drop of brown semen and a hundred drops of brown semen made a drop of amritta bindu, the elixir of life that drips into the cave of Bramha (the pineal gland) and brings about siddhis and supper health as well as enlightenment. To some extent I believe all of this and have utilized the theories in practice and in the therapies that I promote now.
On a practical note, from my experience as a man that has been continuously driven by my sexual desires from when I was just a child, literally getting erections when I was five years old and still waking up with them now in my sixties, I have to say, it might not change just because you do yoga or any internal practice. This goes for women as well. You just might have to live with it and even use the strength of sexual energy as part of your practice.

As far as finding a partner if you have not already done so, be honest with yourself and make sure your partner has the same sexual drive, interest, creativity, kinkiness, etc. so that you will be on the same sexy page in your growing relationship. Some things do not change.

It is very typical for one or the other to act out the role that they perceive they should play in order to get a relationship started but once the relationship has been ongoing, they will not be able to maintain the illusion and the difference in sexual physiological needs and chemistry could become a problem. It is often the case that we project ourselves differently than we really are and it is not the fault of the other that falls in love with that projection but of our inability to be honestly who we are from the inception of romance so that we attract a partner in life that is a synergistic match. OM Namaha Shivaya”

C. S: “As i practiced more and more yoga I reached a stage where it was mostly channeled just into my practice from 2.30am to 10.30pm just practicing and teaching, too busy to be distracted. 10 years later: When i meditated though my energy began to increase and with it sexual drive, I withdrew into the forest for 7 years of celibacy but meditating for hours on end just drove my sex drive through the roof. At the end of 7 years I realized that I couldn’t meditate this away but had to practice converting sex drive within loving relationship which I am doing now & we are matched very well. The more connection (non-sexual) I have with my partner the less the sex drive is a problem & the more I meditate during sex, the less the problem. Mainly my sexual energy peaks with full moon once a month & during the month it subsides.”

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Simple Things That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science

EXERCISE MORE – 7 MINUTES MIGHT BE ENOUGH

You might have seen some talk recently about the scientific 7 minute workout mentioned in The New York Times. So if you thought exercise was something you didn’t have time for, maybe you can fit it in after all.

Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it’s actually been proven to be an effective strategy for overcoming depression. In a study cited in Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage, three groups of patients treated their depression with exercise. The results of this study really surprised me. Although all three groups experienced similar improvements in their happiness levels to begin with, the follow up assessments proved to be radically different:

The groups were then tested six months later to assess their relapse rate. Of those who had taken the medication alone, 38 percent had slipped back into depression. Those in the combination group were doing only slightly better, with a 31 percent relapse rate. The biggest shock, though, came from the exercise group: Their relapse rate was only 9 percent!

You don’t have to be depressed to gain benefit from exercise, though. It can help you to relax, increase your brain power and even improve your body image, even if you don’t lose any weight.

study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who exercised felt better about their bodies, even when they saw no physical changes:

Body weight, shape and body image were assessed in 16 males and 18 females before and after both 6 × 40 mins exercise and 6 × 40 mins reading. Over both conditions, body weight and shape did not change. Various aspects of body image, however, improved after exercise compared to before.

We’ve explored exercise in depth before, and looked at what it does to our brains, such as releasing proteins and endorphins that make us feel happier, as you can see in the image below.

SLEEP MORE – YOU’LL BE LESS SENSITIVE TO NEGATIVE EMOTIONS

We know that sleep helps our bodies to recover from the day and repair themselves, and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out, it’s also important for our happiness.

In NutureShock, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman explain how sleep affects our positivity:

Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine.

In one experiment by Walker, sleep-deprived college students tried to memorize a list of words. They could remember 81% of the words with a negative connotation, like “cancer.” But they could remember only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotation, like “sunshine” or “basket.”

The BPS Research Digest explores another study that proves sleep affects our sensitivity to negative emotions. Using a facial recognition task over the course of a day, the researchers studied how sensitive participants were to positive and negative emotions. Those who worked through the afternoon without taking a nap became more sensitive late in the day to negative emotions like fear and anger.

Using a face recognition task, here we demonstrate an amplified reactivity to anger and fear emotions across the day, without sleep. However, an intervening nap blocked and even reversed this negative emotional reactivity to anger and fear while conversely enhancing ratings of positive (happy) expressions.

Of course, how well (and how long) you sleep will probably affect how you feel when you wake up, which can make a difference to your whole day. Especially this graph showing how your brain activity decreases is a great insight about how important enough sleep is for productivity and happiness:

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Another study tested how employees’ moods when they started work in the morning affected their work day.

Researchers found that employees’ moods when they clocked in tended to affect how they felt the rest of the day. Early mood was linked to their perceptions of customers and to how they reacted to customers’ moods.

And most importantly to managers, employee mood had a clear impact on performance, including both how much work employees did and how well they did it.

Sleep is another topic we’ve looked into before, exploring how much sleep we really need to be productive.

HELP OTHERS – 100 HOURS A YEAR IS THE MAGICAL NUMBER

One of the most counterintuitive pieces of advice I found is that to make yourself feel happier, you should help others. In fact, 100 hours per year (or two hours per week) is the optimal time we should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich our lives.

If we go back to Shawn Achor’s book again, he says this about helping others:

…when researchers interviewed more than 150 people about their recent purchases, they found that money spent on activities—such as concerts and group dinners out—brought far more pleasure than material purchases like shoes, televisions, or expensive watches. Spending money on other people, called “prosocial spending,” also boosts happiness.

The Journal of Happiness Studies published a study that explored this very topic:

Participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants assigned to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling significantly happier immediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone else in the near future.

So spending money on other people makes us happier than buying stuff for ourselves. What about spending our time on other people? A study of volunteering in Germany explored how volunteers were affected when their opportunities to help others were taken away:

 Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall but before the German reunion, the first wave of data of the GSOEP was collected in East Germany. Volunteering was still widespread. Due to the shock of the reunion, a large portion of the infrastructure of volunteering (e.g. sports clubs associated with firms) collapsed and people randomly lost their opportunities for volunteering. Based on a comparison of the change in subjective well-being of these people and of people from the control group who had no change in their volunteer status, the hypothesis is supported that volunteering is rewarding in terms of higher life satisfaction.

In his book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman explains that helping others can improve our own lives:

…we scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.

PRACTICE SMILING – IT CAN ALLEVIATE PAIN

Smiling itself can make us feel better, but it’s more effective when we back it up with positive thoughts, according to this study:

A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts – such as a tropical vacation or a child’s recital – improve their mood and withdraw less.

Of course it’s important to practice “real smiles” where you use your eye sockets. It’s very easy to spot the difference:

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According to PsyBlogsmiling can improve our attention and help us perform better on cognitive tasks:

Smiling makes us feel good which also increases our attentional flexibility and our ability to think holistically. When this idea was tested by Johnson et al. (2010), the results showed that participants who smiled performed better on attentional tasks which required seeing the whole forest rather than just the trees.

A smile is also a good way to alleviate some of the pain we feel in troubling circumstances:

Smiling is one way to reduce the distress caused by an upsetting situation. Psychologists call this the facial feedback hypothesis. Even forcing a smile when we don’t feel like it is enough to lift our mood slightly (this is one example of embodied cognition).

One of our previous posts goes into even more detail about the science of smiling.

MEDITATE – REWIRE YOUR BRAIN FOR HAPPINESS

Meditation is often touted as an important habit for improving focus, clarity and attention p, as well as helping to keep you calm. It turns out it’s also useful for improving your happiness:

In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.

Meditation literally clears your mind and calms you down, it’s been often proven to be the single most effective way to live a happier live. I believe that this graphic explains it the best:

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According to Shawn Achor, meditation can actually make you happier long-term:

Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy. And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness.

The fact that we can actually alter our brain structure through mediation is most surprising to me and somewhat reassuring that however we feel and think today isn’t permanent.

PRACTICE GRATITUDE – INCREASE BOTH HAPPINESS AND LIFE SATISFACTION

This is a seemingly simple strategy, but I’ve personally found it to make a huge difference to my outlook. There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.

In an experiment where some participants took note of things they were grateful for each day, their moods were improved just from this simple practice:

The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the 3 studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.

The Journal of Happiness studies published a study that used letters of gratitude to test how being grateful can affect our levels of happiness:

Participants included 219 men and women who wrote three letters of gratitude over a 3 week period.

Results indicated that writing letters of gratitude increased participants’ happiness and life satisfaction, while decreasing depressive symptoms.

Quick last fact: Getting older will make yourself happier

As a final point, it’s interesting to note that as we get older, particularly past middle age, we tend to grow happier naturally. There’s still some debate over why this happens, but scientists have got a few ideas:

Researchers, including the authors, have found that older people shown pictures of faces or situations tend to focus on and remember the happier ones more and the negative ones less.

Other studies have discovered that as people age, they seek out situations that will lift their moods — for instance, pruning social circles of friends or acquaintances who might bring them down. Still other work finds that older adults learn to let go of loss and disappointment over unachieved goals, and hew their goals toward greater wellbeing.

So if you thought being old would make you miserable, rest assured that it’s likely you’ll develop a more positive outlook than you probably have now.

Via higherperspective.com

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1000 Acts of Kindness

1000 acts of kindness poster: NYC, Beverly Hills, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa and Brossard, Emeryville, Boston, Cambridge, Vermont, the Palo Alto, CA.
1000 acts of kindness poster: NYC, Beverly Hills, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa and Brossard, Emeryville, Boston, Cambridge, Vermont, the Palo Alto, CA.
Adam Quang brings 1000 acts of random kindness to NYC, Beverly Hills, Boston, Cambridge, Vermont and Palo Alto, Emeryville, CA, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Brossard from August 12th to September 9th, 2013

click here for more info…

1000 Acts of Kindness uses cranes to inspire us to create a ripple effect, making the world a better place one compassionate act at a time. Our hope at World Karma Project is that the cranes inspire 1000 acts of kindness that resonate into the world. Spreading kindness creates a ripple effect for the betterment of ourselves and makes the people around us “awesome.”

Hashtag: #1000ActsofKindness
Click here for Press Release1000 Acts of Kindness.



Copyright © 2013 Adam Quang, All rights reserved.

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Happy Chinese New Year 2012

picture courtesy Fred O.

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone.
Wishing you much love and happiness and prosperous year.

The Year of the Black Water Dragon
The Dragon sent its nine sons to help the first emperor of Ming Dynasty to conquer China. After completing the mission, nine dragons were preparing their journey to return to heaven. But the emperor wanted them to continue to help the Ming Dynasty. The nine dragons wouldn’t stay and the emperor couldn’t stop them. However, the emperor decided to play a trick on the most powerful dragon, the 6th son. He tricked the sixth dragon son to carry a magic stele with a carved inscription, which could suppress any ghost, spirit or evil creature. The 6th dragon couldn’t move under the magic stele, and all of his other brothers wouldn’t leave without him. However, they wouldn’t work for the emperor anymore. They decided to no longer show their dragon identities and turned themselves into evil creatures. Since then, the nine dragons have stayed in China.

 

Let ride the dragon and flow in happiness

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Why Worry?

Why Worry?
There are only two things to worry about ;
Either you are well or you are sick.
If you are well, then there is nothing to worry about.
But if you are sick there are only two things to worry about;
Whether you will get well, or whether you will die.
If you get well, then there is nothing to worry about.
But if you die, there are only two things to worry about;
Whether you go to heaven or hell.
If you go to heaven, then there is nothing to worry about;
and if you go to hell,
you’ll be busy shaking hand with old friends, you wan’t have time to worry
SO WHY WORRY?

this was hanging in my friend infamous washroom.

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Bob Martin Dress

Hello everyone! A friend of mine just recently lost his battle to cancer. In honour of his memory, I have designed the “Bob Martin Dress” and will auction off the doll, wearing this exclusive dress. I will also auction off the winning prize of the design competition (hopefully!) and honour Bob’s last wishes by making a donation to a local theater that he frequented.

Please take a few seconds to VOTE on Facebook for this doll: “Bob Martin Dress” Thanks!

more info about the project click here: world karma project .com

up date: Bob dress didn’t make it to the final, thanks everyone for voting. It was a great project, had great time talking to myself and bob while doing it. will put it up for auction April_18_2011.

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