March 27th, 2014
Life stands before me like an eternal spring with brilliant clothes.
- Carl Friedrich Gauss
With the coming of spring, our internal rhythms can match the external environment. We feel reborn, recharged, rejuvenated. It seems easier to be on an upward spiral when we see the birds take flight, the flowers bloom and the grass newly mowed. Take advantage of this season of new energy and bask in its flow. Let yourself smell the roses, savor the moment, remember the sunshine. Store this up for the inevitable rainy day, whether that rain is outdoors or in your soul. Remember that just as rainfall is a necessary part of the earth’s wellbeing, some negative experiences are an inevitable — and necessary — part of our mental, emotional and spiritual health. The contrast helps us grow and expand, points out what we really want and who we really are. Embrace the spring and appreciate the rainy days.
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March 13th, 2014
With the rash of bad weather across the country, whether its ice and snow, torrential rains or drought, the toll on our happiness, relaxation and general sense of wellbeing can be a huge. So in the spirit of taking charge where you can, here are some ideas of behaviors and activities that will boost your happiness level, right now! You don’t need to be dependent on the weather for your happiness. You can make a personal choice to manufacture your own with these recommendations:
1. Invest in human relationships. When you connect with others, you are creating a foundation that will enrich and support you more and more every day.
2. Be active. Find a way to move your body that feels good…even if this means cleaning out those nooks and crannies that always seem to be overlooked. When your body is active, it manufactures happiness.
3. Savor the moment. Sharpen your awareness of what puts you on an upward spiral by being mindful in the present moment. Find the positive aspects hidden in those bad weather days.
4. Try something new. Never stop learning. Set yourself a goal you’d like to meet and get started.
5. Do something to help someone. When you give a bit of yourself, you activate the pleasure zones in your brain.
Get ready to boost your internal sunshine!
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February 13th, 2014
People who smile a lot are usually happier, have more stable personalities, more stable marriages, better cognitive skills and better interpersonal skills, according to research. Science has just uncovered another benefit of a happy face. People who have big smiles live longer.
Researchers at Wayne State University used information from the Baseball Register to look a photos of 230 players who debuted in professional baseball before 1950. The players’ photos were enlarged and a rating of their smile intensity was made (big smile, no smile, partial smile). The players’ smile ratings were compared with data from deaths that occurred 2006 and 2009. The researchers then corrected their analysis to account for other factors associated with longevity, such as body mass index, career length, career precocity and college attendance.
For those players who had died, the researchers found longevity ranged from an average of 72.9 years for players with no smiles (63 players), to 75 years for players with partial smiles (64 players) to 79.9 years for players with big smiles (23 players).
This isn’t a bunch of psycho-hooey, the authors said. Smiles reflect positive emotion. Positive emotion has been linked to both physical and mental well-being. They added a caveat to their study, noting: “The data source provided no information as to whether expressions were spontaneous or in response to a photographer’s request to smile.” Still, big smiles are more likely to reflect true happiness than partial smiles.
The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.
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January 30th, 2014
What a nice night for an evening. – Steven Wright
Do you spend your evenings vegging in front of the TV, mindlessly watching shows that are only mildly entertaining, or worse, channel surfing for anything to keep your attention? While there is nothing wrong with this from time to time, a steady diet can lead to lethargy, boredom, and a general lack of enthusiasm. Instead, shake things up. When was the last time you went outside to see a sunset, to feel the sun or the cold on your face, to experience the quiet. Get into the swing of life…and challenge yourself to try something new.
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