5 Things You Should Hold Onto (and a Few to Let Go Of)
Roots Worth Nurturing for Life
As your career, life, and the world around you keep advancing, some of your values and behaviors are likely to change. If you’re in the process of redefining your career or your identity, you can benefit from treating yourself to a dose of introspection, both acknowledging where you’ve been and carving the way forward to where you’re going. By increasing your self-awareness, the practice of compassionate introspection can help you refine your goals, know your strengths, boost self-confidence, improve your communication skills, cultivate healthy personal and professional relationships, and choose behaviors that support your sense of happiness.
1. Hold Onto Your Traditions
How many of your lifetime memories are interwoven with traditions? From getting to open one present on Christmas Eve to heading down to Fair Park for the State Fair of Texas every year, chances are your childhood was studded with both local and family traditions that added a sense of comfort, support, identity, or familiarity year after year. Indeed, humans have been passing down local, familial, spiritual, and cultural traditions throughout our entire history.
Whether you’re now enjoying single life or have a family of your own, sustaining both old and new traditions can enrich your well-being and social relationships. Intergenerational traditions nurture family connections and shared values, while work traditions, such as office holiday parties or annual fundraising, build stronger teams and a good balance between work and play.
2. Hold Onto Your Memories For Life
Memory is a fascinating phenomenon. Along with enabling you to remember your past experiences and develop physical and cognitive skills, memory contributes to your ability to imagine future events, make plans, problem-solve, and go into a situation with more confidence.
Along with documenting your memories in photos and writing, you can help protect your memories by honing your concentration through mindfulness, exercising several days a week, eating a low-sugar diet, and treating and preventing gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is associated with serious health conditions that can negatively impact memory, including stroke, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Hold Onto Your Dreams
Do you remember what you wanted to grow up to be when you were a child? While becoming the quarterback for the Cowboys or a performer for the Dallas Black Dance Theatre may be off the table at this point in your life and career, your childhood dreams and hobbies may still have something to offer and teach you. Along with helping you infuse your activities and even your career with passion and enthusiasm, nurturing your childhood interests can add playfulness to your life, which can help you stay young from the inside out. In fact, prioritizing play enables you to sharpen skills, release stress, connect with others who share similar interests, and support your sense of life satisfaction, vitality, and well-being.
4. Hold Onto Your Southern Manners
Though your Southern manners may have turned into a TV trope of Southern culture, what pop culture may not know is that your actual lived experience of opening the door for strangers, politely responding with “sir” or “ma’am”, or tipping your hat with a smile and a “howdy” offer attractive benefits to you and those around you. Offering, receiving, and witnessing random acts of kindness can improve mood, boost self-esteem, soothe stress, and release the feel-good hormones oxytocin and serotonin. All this combined, the random acts of kindness embedded in sharing your Southern manners with others can even help lengthen your life span.
5. Hold Onto Your Teeth For Life
Like your family traditions or Southern manners, your teeth have roots that run deep. In fact, around two-thirds of your tooth’s vital structure lives below your gumline and can only be seen when your dental team takes digital X-rays. Also like your memories and childhood dreams, your teeth support your sense of confidence and identity and are worth protecting at every life stage.
Along with sticking to your twice-annual dental visits and twice-daily brushing and flossing, you can keep your smile beautiful and healthy by nixing habits that don’t support your oral health or general well-being. Along with steering away from smoking and tobacco use, your oral and overall health are best supported by minimizing your sugar intake, moderating alcohol and caffeine consumption, and refraining from chewing on nonfood items, like ice or pen caps. And, if you tend to dodge the dentist because of time restraints or the belief that your smile is already healthy, consider that a long undetected oral health issue usually takes more time to treat than one that’s caught early, and that regular preventative care with your dental team is the only way you can rest assured that your smile is and will stay healthy.
With strong roots in Southern hospitality and an unwavering commitment to your smile’s health and beauty, Dr. Alhadef and his team look forward to supporting your unique wants and needs with personalized cosmetic, restorative, general, and VIP dentistry. To schedule your next appointment or a virtual consultation, contact our office today.