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Thin Slices of Joy

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I finished active treatment less than a month ago, and wow, you just don't bounce right back up. Before all this started I have had sciatica for a couple of years, and it worsened during treatment. In trying to recover from both, I've been feeling frustrated. Now, I'm tired of the pain, fatigue, and frustration. Oh, and all these pills! I've been told I'm not happy unless I'm complaining about something (yes, my darling husband, though he hasn't said it since diagnosis).

I recently read this article below and pulled out some sections. It reminded me of when I was younger and said "It's the little things...". I'm going to try it and will post my thin slices of joy as I experience them. Please join me so I can experience your thin slices of joy.

http://qz.com/818998/googles-former-happiness-guru...

Google's former happiness guru developed a three-second brain exercise for finding joy

Successfully reshaping your mindset, he argues, has less to do with hours of therapy and more to do with mental exercises, including one that helps you recognize "thin slices of joy."

Although they last two or three seconds, the moments add up, and the more you notice joy, the more you will experience joy, Tan argues. "Thin slices of joy occur in life everywhere… and once you start noticing it, something happens, you find it's always there. Joy becomes something you can count on." That's because you're familiarizing the mind with joy, he explains.

Tan's "thin slice" exercise contains a trigger, a routine, and a reward—the three parts necessary to build a habit. The trigger, he says, is the pleasant moment, the routine is the noticing of it, and the reward is the feeling of joy itself.

A small study by psychologists from Loyola University published last month in the journal Aging, for instance, showed that among adults over age 55, those who reported a better ability to savor life were more likely to report higher life satisfaction, regardless of ill health. For those less able to relish small events, poor health made all of life seem drearier.

Sep 12, 2017 Edited to add update on sciatica: Using postural alignment exercises and nerve flossing, my sciatic pain is gone. I have most of my mobility back, and I am no longer taking any pain medications! I have significantly less mental fatigue after I dropped my Lyrica dosage. Big joy! I need to continue the nerve flossing or else I feel the tightness returning, but that takes less than a minute of my time. It took months of slow progress with some setbacks, but I finally succeeded!

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Comments

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    My husband often has smoothies in the morning and leaves the blender in the sink. During chemo, I lost strength and struggled to take it apart. One day I noticed a mark on my belly. It was from holding the blender against my body trying to open it! For the past few days, I can now unscrew the base of the blender unaided and without leaving a bruise. I've been smiling a little each time.

    Medicating

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,052
    edited November 2016
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    What a wonderful idea, Serenity! We look forward to following your slices of joy, along with those of everyone who joins in!

    Thank you for bringing this important aspect of the breast cancer experience to light.

    --The Mods

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    Thanks, Mods! I just smiled again. Hug

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    At the hospital for appointments and waited in the rads area. Went to the restroom and when coming out of the stall, I realized I went into the men's room. Soooo happy it was empty!

    I'm used to the restrooms on the chemo floor where the women's room is to the right, but on the rads floor the women's room is on the left.

    Medicating

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    I spent all day at the hospital. Used the family restroom to avoid making another mistake. Loved not having to remove any clothing! Participated in 2 studies related to after care, so there was some overlap. First study included a surveillance plan that gets sent to my PCP - awesome! The second study had more details on what to expect and booklets that listed more resources. Lots of reading to do.

    Trying to find joy today was difficult. Good thing I keep a bottle of pain meds in my bag.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    14 1/2 weeks PFC - I had hat head yesterday. ThumbsUp

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    I started to avoid grains a few years ago. Lost weight which is good, but I enjoy making bread. I love the moment all the ingredients come together to become dough. Waiting on first rise now.


  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    Long day at the hospital today. Saw MO, RO, and kinesiologist. Phlebotomist had trouble getting the needle in for blood draw. Waited at the train station in the cold wishing I brought gloves. Just realized I have no hospital appointments until January!

    ThumbsUp

  • Scwilly
    Scwilly Member Posts: 232
    edited November 2016
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    SerenitySTAT - enjoy your hiatus from the continual round of appointments, blood draws, scans etc. Sometimes we can feel we are in autopilot. Now's the time for some non cancer activities. Enjoy your bread - you given me some inspiration to makesome today.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    Scwilly - The bread is all gone! I made Parker House rolls to bring to a dinner. What did you make?

    Today was really good. I exercised and had no sciatic pain while on the treadmill for the first time. This was not a small thing. After my shower, I felt good enough to dance a little. I went to a cancer wellness center for a Swedish massage. I registered last year, but this was the first time I signed up for anything. Driving brought back the sciatic pain, but it's not too bad now.

    Dancing music



  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    It's now been a year since diagnosis.

    My dog has been especially cuddly.

  • Scwilly
    Scwilly Member Posts: 232
    edited November 2016
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    In the end I got distracted and missed making the bread! Perhaps over the weekend. Here's my pups who despite being highly active pups have been v understanding and cuddly recently as I've spent quite a bit of time resting in bed. I've been throwing balls from bed for them and we've got lots of marks on the walls - and two on the ceiling - oops. Herethey are on a 'sit' outside my house whilst I get the mail. Well done getting through the last year, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. BTW - what's a Swedish Massage?

    image

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    I had to look it up, and a Swedish massage is the typical massage that people think of. I'm going to a cancer wellness center that offers different treatments. That was my first one. Tomorrow is Thai Reflexology.

    Dogs are so wonderful. Your pups are beautiful and in an excellent sit! Here's mine cuddling with me. Have a great Thanksgiving!

    image

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    Went to reflexology. I never realized how much tension was in my feet especially the sciatic side. I really like the wellness center. They moved to a newly built location. Looks like a house with a wrap around porch. Sunny yellow siding like the original location. It's very welcoming as you walk from the parking lot.

    Winter is here. Heated seats rule.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    Last night my family and I saw Moana. It felt good to be out with them. Well, except for the pain from sitting so long. Good thing I've got a variety pack of meds to deal with it. This morning I was able to walk faster on the treadmill and complete my postural alignment exercises. I had been cutting them short due to pain. The nap in the afternoon felt great.

    Tomorrow I have Therapeutic Touch at the wellness center. Should be interesting.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    Lots of little joys today.

    Went to Therapeutic Touch and got my auras flowing. It was very relaxing. The bathroom at the wellness center actually smelled good!

    The Jukebox Oldies station in my cable package got me dancing.

    My younger daughter came home and got her snack. She took a bite of a strawberry and said, "That was really good." I haven't mentioned to anyone what I'm doing with the joy slicing, but it seems natural to her. When she was younger, we described her as "walking, talking joy". I enjoyed 4 strawberries.

    I was hanging like below. My dog came over and started licking my face. Glad I didn't fall. Walked funny when I got out of it, but it's been over a year since I last used it. It will be better.

    image

  • grammakathy
    grammakathy Member Posts: 126
    edited November 2016
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    I'm following this as a favorite. Your thoughts make me smile! My cancer taught me to appreciate each day, choose the things I want to do, and don't wait for tomorrow to do them. Life is good!

  • gmmiph
    gmmiph Member Posts: 662
    edited November 2016
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    Walking hand in hand with my hubby on a Manila Sunset by the bay...

    image

  • gmmiph
    gmmiph Member Posts: 662
    edited November 2016
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    I used to eat this before...

    image

    But now as a cancer patient, I eat these instead...

    image

    Guess I'll have to find joy in eating the veggies for a long long time...

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    grammakathy - I agree! I am more patient and more appreciative of what I have.

    gmmiph - That is a beautiful sunset walk! I love to walk by the water. I've been working on my nutrition as well. I try to eat minimally processed foods, but every so often I still indulge. I prefer my indulgences to be high quality (this is no time for cheap chocolates), but sometimes even that bar is not met. I try.

    A lighthouse during a morning walk with my husband.

    image

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    I got on the treadmill even though my leg was hurting. Just took it slow. I was inverted for 6 mins and didn't walk funny after. Completed my postural exercises though I needed a break to rest my leg. I "watch" shows on my DVR while doing all this. Takes about 3 viewings before I see the entire show sometimes. Got no focus.

    This is what I'm doing for the most part when I talk about postural alignment exercises. The first time I did this, I felt a pop in my back that actually felt quite good. I don't need to play the video anymore, and I've added or substituted exercises to make it work better for me. I will fix myself.


    I added some wall pushups to my arm exercises. My kinesiologist suggested it to build up my muscles. I did 10 normal and 10 tricep pushups. Whew! I didn't break! I've been too protective of my affected arm and lost lots of muscle. Will take it slow though.

    Jukebox Oldies are still fun. My family makes fun of my musical choices, but I don't care! Loopy

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    I love my dog.

    This morning I woke up with her next to my leg. When I rolled to my side, she got up to nestle behind my legs. She likes to keep in touch.

    She has a Swiss clock for a stomach. 5:45 pm she will sit up and stare at me. I can feel her "feed me" thoughts.

  • reflect
    reflect Member Posts: 280
    edited November 2016
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    I'm following too! My thin slice today: a visit from our much loved Lab Roy. Dogs just love you, nothing complicated.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    reflect - Yes! And sometimes they are the only ones in the house who aren't mad at you!

    So, at dinner tonight I noticed I wasn't the only one bopping my head to the Jukebox Oldies. ThumbsUp

    My leg hurts after I've been sitting, like at dinner. I sit on a lounge chair because it doesn't make the pain worse. Tonight the pain has gone away without additional meds or lying on the floor in some weirdpostural alignment stretch. Progress!

    My younger daughter took a study break and watched The Flash with me. She's a DC fan. The older daughter prefers Marvel. I enjoy both with them.

  • reflect
    reflect Member Posts: 280
    edited November 2016
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    Serenity, Last week I went to see Dr. Strange with both kids (26,16). It was a fun movie and even better being with them together. I try to really pay attention when the family is together and contented, and soak it in.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    reflect - I've been doing the same when my family is together. While my older daughter is at university, she still lives with us, but misses dinner more often. The other day I just listened while my kids and husband were discussing how to cite online sources in their papers. I never wrote that many papers (math major) so my only contribution was not to use Wikipedia. I know little of APA style other than its existence. Just nice to hear them developing into young adults. I do, on the other hand, encourage them to keep in close touch with their inner child. My kids and I love superhero movies. We can't wait for Wonder Woman! I'm sure my husband will join us for that one!

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    Interesting article. I found that I've just started to do all of them. Yay!

    Neuroscience says these five rituals will help your brain stay in peak condition

    Thanks to improvements in medicine, more of us are living longer. That makes we have a heightened investment in making sure our brains stay in shape as we age, too. While an increased life expectancy will not necessarily lead to a higher incidence of cognitive disorders, Alzheimer's alone is expected to affect over seven million American seniors by 2025.

    Lucky for us, advanced technologies have enabled researchers to understand how the brain works, what it responds to, and even how to retrain it. For instance, we know our brains prefer foods with high levels of antioxidants, including blueberries, kale, and nuts. We know that a Mediterranean diet, which is largely plant-based and rich in whole grain, fish, fruits, and red wine, can lead to higher brain functions. And we know that smiling can retrain our brains to look for positive possibilities rather than negative ones.

    Whether you're 25 or 65, consider adopting these five simple rituals that cognitive scientists say can help your brain grow new cells, form new neural pathways, improve cognition, and keep your outlook positive and sharp.

    1. Congratulate yourself for small wins (my thin slices of joy)
    2. Keep your body active (treadmill, using bathroom upstairs)
    3. Stretch your brain muscles (read, did my first crossword in a long time the other night)
    4. Sit upright (postural alignment exercises)
    5. Sleep with your phone away from your head (been using a sleep mask)


    Read more http://qz.com/626482/neuroscience-says-these-five-...

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    This is how I supplement magnesium.

    image

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited November 2016
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    I did not know that young moray eels are transparent! This video is cool. Music kinda groovy.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/NatGeo/status/804098942...

    image


  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited December 2016
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    I did my inverted hanging, but another position I tried to decompress my spine ended up hurting me a little. Won't do that again. Took a very long salty bath. Good news is I was able to sit through dinner without my sciatic pain acting up. More progress!

    Medicating