Resolve for 2022 to Be Kind and Smile

By Dr. Gerard Muraida

Every year we pledge to ourselves that the new year will bring a change for the better. Let’s begin 2022 with positive thinking and practicing kindness not only to others but also to ourselves. 

This may begin by refraining from setting unrealistic goals that can make you feel as if you’ve failed early in the year. Putting a stop to unhealthy habits one by one, with achievable baby steps, can often result in greater success than attempting sweeping changes all at once.

For example, if weight loss is desired, begin with a goal of taking just a few pounds off per month. Examine your dietary intake, and make just a few changes. For example, limit meals to one serving of well-proportioned foods, drink water with the meal, and try not to eat late into the evening or close to bedtime. Perhaps avoid or limit alcohol or carbonated beverages, which can add many empty calories and impair weight loss. 

Move around more and sit less, but don’t commit to a lot of rigorous exercise right away if you have been sedentary. A simple walk around the block stimulates your metabolism, and getting outside between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. will increase your vitamin D. Healthy bones and healthy muscles can support your weight loss efforts.

If tobacco is your vice and you’d like to quit, begin by smoking only half of each cigarette. Ask your health care provider for more smoking cessation options.

Sleep can help establish a healthy lifestyle, too. Adequate restorative sleep of eight hours per night can energize you all day long.

Even something as simple as smiling more has health benefits. Science has shown that smiling can raise endorphins, boost your immune function, and may add up to seven years to your life. Further, the more you smile, the more others smile. You might say it’s the one contagion that can’t harm you. How can someone see my smile if I am masked? You actually smile with more than your mouth. The eyes and entire facial structure soften and emit positivity.

Whatever area of your life you choose to create a resolution around in 2022 – relationships, your finances, your health, your looks, etc. – do it with kindness.  

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