Jul. 9th, 2014

The Power of La Dolce Vita: 5 Things New Yorkers Can Learn from Italian Traditions

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New Yorkers are a busy people, running to and fro from one meeting to the next, from happy hours to dinners and elegant balls, they are a people group that seems to constantly be in a rush. While this constant flow is a part of the city’s charms, it’s also why residents can oftentimes feel exhausted on a daily basis. So how do we remedy this? Maybe New Yorkers should start taking a cue from their Italian neighbors and begin living la dolce vita.

Translated to mean "The sweet life," the all-encompassing philosophy suggests that one can live the good life by simply sitting back and taking time to enjoy all it has to offer, all its pleasures and indulgences. We gathered together five tips to help The Big Apple’s locals insight on how to really live out this Italian tradition:

dinner party
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Food is More Than Just Physical Sustenance

Food is obviously one of the most important aspects of our lives, but it seems less families and individuals are taking the time to fully enjoy their meals. While the downside to this might seem like people will be less concerned with the prep and presentation of their food, the real problem is a lack of socializing and bonding that mealtime can bring. Even those with busy schedules can spare the time for a sit-down meal at home at least once or twice a week, and even the most culinary-challenged individuals can craft a tasty plate of spaghetti.

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Go Outside and Get Some Sun

Just walking around the city won't suffice for sunlight - the massive structures covering New York block far too much light to be really effective, but visiting an open space like Central Park is the perfect place to catch enough rays. Getting a good amount of sunlight can actually have a substantially positive effect on serotonin, which is the chemical our brains produce to make us happy.

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Be Enthusiastic About Hospitality

There's a lot more to making people feel welcome than serving food and beverages while making chitchat. When someone first shows up to your home, greet them warmly and show them just how much you enjoy having their company. Likewise, you should never bring up anything that would make your friends or family feel like a burden. This notion should extend forever considering people may take your comments to heart, even if it's a quip and long after the event ended.

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Be Passionate About Relationships

Whether we're talking about romantic, friendly or familial relationships, a person living la dolce vita will see the greatness behind each of his or her friends and family. If you decide to take up this Italian way of appreciating the important people in your life, make sure it’s clear that you aren’t expecting anything in return. Your gestures and words will be much more valued. And, in turn, this movement could begin to be paid forward, creating a culture of love, respect and graciousness with each other.

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Look for Pleasure in Every Aspect of Life

You've probably heard this advice, or something very similar, time and again to the point of it seeming cliché. However, only the tip itself has become the cliché, not the action. Very few people actually seem to keep this notion in mind when facing difficult situations or even during small annoyances like slow traffic. Still, modifying emotional responses can take time and effort, but this fantastic Italian viewpoint is well worth the pursuit.

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Carolyn Hsu
Carolyn Hsu is the New York Correspondent for JustLuxe and has been beauty, fashion, and travel editor at The Daily Obsession and a freelance writer...

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