“A simple smile. That’s the start of opening your heart and being compassionate to others.” — Dalai Lama
I am an ardent user of the CALM app and eagerly listen to Jay Shetty’s ‘Daily Jay’ report on the app. In a recent post he discusses how the Dali Lama creates deliberate opportunities to be playful. This got me thinking about ‘playfulness’ and being mindful around this. If we plan to engage in moments that bring us joy, it puts a smile on our faces, lightness in our hearts and research shows that we can lower our stress levels with such deliberations.
A University of Zurich study (2013) shows that playfulness has a correlation to satisfaction in life. Learning ways to intentionally bring humor into situations is a powerful approach to reducing stress. Meditation is an activity that can be approached with lightness – we get to shake out tension, be silly, allow our body to dance and play. Get creative, meditate while sitting on an exercise ball and do your best to access a feeling of lightness – breathe gently and let yourself experience a moment of ease.
Finding ways to make each day beautiful by creating these moments of intentional playfulness, no matter how small, can have a positive impact and benefit one’s overall physical and psychological health.
Here are some ways that our DBTOC team finds playfulness and makes life beautiful:
- Dr. Michele Lob LMFT PsyD, Executive Director: Loves to place fresh flowers on her bed-side table, listen to the CALM app and Jay Shetty’s ‘Daily Jay’ report on the app.
- Chantal Harold, Administrative Assistant: ”I like to use my inherited china cups for tea and my fancy crystal glasses for water and smoothies!”
- Keren Clark, LMFT, Clinical Supervisor: “I run my oil diffuser every day with different scented oils that capture the season and/or my mood. I get outside for a run with my dog, Hudson, every day and relish the weather and the beauty in my neighborhood. I have been increasing my hikes to local OC parks like Peter’s Canyon and Irvine Regional Park and also enjoy the feel of the day on my body and the beauty of the surroundings.”
- Susan Pace, Director of Operations: “Bringing my dogs to the dog beach makes life more beautiful! I find incredible beauty and joy walking barefoot in the sand, listening to the waves while watching my dogs and other dogs run free on the beach, jumping and playing, and running into the waves to fetch. ”
- Nora Josephson LPC, AMFT, Clinical Operations Director: “I love to bring the outside in with lots of green plants in my home. I have a gratitude journal to note the things in my life that are beautiful each and every day. And I love to get outside when I can to walk my dogs and listen to a walking meditation to breathe, tune into my thoughts and feelings, connect with my dogs and enjoy the outdoors!”
- Nicole Messuri. LMFT, BCBA, DBT and DBT-C Program Clinician and Skills Facilitator: “I like sipping my berry smoothie while sitting outside in the morning and getting a little sunshine.”
- Karli Johonnot, PsyD, DBT Program Clinician and Skills Facilitator: “I like making Life Beautiful by going on walks/runs with my dog, seeing her happy makes me happy. I also like to light incense/candles and dim lighting to help things feel more calm and relaxing. I also like to make time to call my family/friends daily to keep in touch as I feel my loved ones make Life Worth Living! I also like going out to eat and trying new restaurants.”
- Sarah Lyndon, PsyD, Clinical Director: “Lighting a candle every evening, sitting on my porch with a cup of coffee/tea in the morning, the smell of fresh laundry, the sun on my skin…”
- Krystal Lopez, Psy.D, DBT Program Clinician and Skills Facilitator: “I make life beautiful with my hummingbird feeder on my patio – me and Nugget like watching them, lighting candles, creating art/dancing with others (sense of connectedness) and spending time with family (gratitude!)!”
- Kevin Rowen, PsyD, DBT Program Clinician and Skills Facilitator: “Keeping knickknacks of things that bring me joy on my nightstand and desk so I see them when I wake up and throughout the day!”
Written by, Dr. Michele Lob PsyD, CEDS, Executive Director