Living
Authentic Gratitude for Holidays and for Good E-mail
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Living
Written by Giacomo Bono, Ph.D.   

The holiday season can seem like both the best of times and the worst of times. Many people, especially those of us living in urban areas, may be vacillating between two thoughts: “here comes the joyous season of thanks and giving” and “here comes the stress of the holidays”. While many people look forward to the holidays as a time to share cheer with family and friends, admittedly, preparing for all this cheer takes time and money. Plus, other circumstances may add to the stress, like being cooped up with people you see just once a year and maybe don’t have a lot in common with and living under temporary arrangements in someone else’s home. While all this can add up and easily sap joy from us, the fact is that this holiday state of affairs—making the best of times, despite the stress of the times—presents us with optimal circumstances for learning the importance of choosing gratitude.

Dealing with the Stress of the Holidays

First, let’s deal with the stressful part. Many of us have fallen prey to negative emotional contagion -- the tendency for people to feel and mimic the emotional expressions of others during social interactions. For instance, we experience sadness or negative moods as a result of a friend’s tragedy or a family member’s cynicism. Studies show that automatically mimicking the expressions of a friend (e.g., a frown) tricks our brains into assuming the emotions associated with that expression, such as anger or frustration, as our own. Well recent research shows that even commonplace rudeness from people who we aren’t close with psychologically spreads too. This research shows that when people are the target of annoying or rude behavior, or even just witnesses of it, that this activates negative thoughts, which then leads them to interpret ambiguously benign behaviors as rude and, worst, to behave rudely or even vengefully toward others. Thus, even low-grade negativity can infect us.

Choose Gratitude, But Do it Your Way

Luckily, research shows that happiness and positive emotions spread too. So I’m gratified to see societal trends toward extending empathy or compassion more toward others (e.g., solidarity in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris or the call to take in refugees from Syria). And while I’m also happy to see service and charity surge during the holiday season, the sheer amount of talk circulating both in daily life and in the media about the importance of being “grateful”, “giving thanks”, or being “generous” around this time of year can backfire if people see it as forced or inauthentic. Therefore, I’d like to clear the air and hopefully inspire you to “choose gratitude” now and beyond the season of thanks and giving.

You may have considered the fact that expressions of gratitude can be trite during Thanksgiving, and research supports you not just bowing to the seasonal pressure but figuring out a way to do gratitude your own way. So here’s the bottom line: the choice of gratitude is within your power more than you think and the choice itself tricks our brains and bodies more potently into feeling genuine joy than mere emotional contagion.

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Residents Invited to Participate in Home Decorating Contest E-mail
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Living
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 15:26

La Mirada~Get out your decorations and start planning your festive holiday display. The City of La Mirada’s annual Holiday Home Decorating program is fast approaching.

 Residents are encouraged to decorate their homes to spread holiday cheer throughout La Mirada. No application is needed for this program as every decorated home in La Mirada is considered for recognition.

Judging will take place December 1 through December 13.  Winners will be selected in the categories of Most Original, Best Use of Lights, and Best Holiday Scene. Award winners will receive a holiday ornament and will be announced on the City’s website at cityoflamirada.org.

For more information on the Holiday Home Decorating program, call the La Mirada Community Sheriff’s Station at (562) 902-2960.

 
La Mirada Shaquatics Hosts Scrimmage to Raise Funds for Injured Veterans E-mail
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Living
Wednesday, 21 October 2015 08:58

The La Mirada Shaquatics Water Polo Club recently raised $343.00 at Biola University for  injured veterans.

La Mirada~The Shaquatics Water Polo Club based in La Mirada recently hosted a charity scrimmage benefiting Homes for our Troops.

On Tuesday, October 13th students participated in a water polo game at Biola University and families each donated $10 per player.  In addition, t-shirt sales also added to the donation.

The group raised $343.00 for Homes for our Troops, an organization committed to building mortgage-free, specially adapted homes nationwide for severely injured veterans post-9/11, to enable them to rebuild their lives.

For more information on the La Mirada Shaquatics Water Polo Club visit www.shaquatics.net/

 
Free Flu Clinic Offered at La Mirada Activity Center E-mail
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Living
Monday, 19 October 2015 19:56

La Mirada~It’s flu season, and the La Mirada Activity Center is offering free flu shots to community members. The flu shots will be given on Tuesday, October 27 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the La Mirada Activity Center, 13810 La Mirada Boulevard. Flu shots and nasal sprays will be offered for all ages. The program is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Recent studies show that flu vaccines can reduce the risk of doctor visits due to flu by 60 percent. Those who get a flu vaccine are less likely to get sick with flu than someone who does not get vaccinated.

“We encourage all community members and especially seniors, to visit the Activity Center and receive the free flu shots,” says Community Services Supervisor Lisa Montoya."

The flu shots and sprays are provided by the City of La Mirada in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

For more information, contact the La Mirada Activity Center at (562) 902-3160.

 
Free La Mirada Fitness Class Continues to Grow E-mail
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Living
Written by Miles Aiello   
Monday, 10 August 2015 20:33

La Mirada~Five-year La Mirada resident Robert Paul Adams is spearheading the way for a new free weekly fitness class that meets three times a week at La Mirada Regional Park.

After Marriage, Robert had reached a weight that was intolerable, and made a commitment to change his lifestyle and started a Tuesday night running group at the park.

After joining Herbalife and putting himself on a diet and workout regimen, he met two individuals that would eventually lead to the creation of this free and local fitness class in La Mirada.

Adams joined forces with Loni Tyler and Wendy Biddle and the three quickly realized there was a community interest in fitness, but a lack of free, organized and easily accessible opportunities to exercise in town.

The solution was the creation of a free workout class that is conducted three times a week and twice a day with the primary objective to provide fitness exercises for the community and information for those seeking a healthier lifestyle.

“We provide the opportunity to create relationships with new individuals and by helping the community get fit, were also unintentionally, but happily knitting the community together,” Adams said.

The group continues to grow and regularly draws over two dozen participants and more.

The class meets on Mondays and Wednesday’s at 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and Fridays at 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. the class is usually one-hour long and consists of a full body work out including cardio, upper body, core and legs.

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