Posts Tagged ‘people’

4 Tips for Happiness

selected from Delicious Living

While you might already be familiar with some feel-good tips, like exercising regularly and making time for families and friendships, research has uncovered more ways to build on these fundamentals. Here are four things you can do right now to take your well-being to the next level.

1. Use your brain

“When it comes to brain chemistry, if you don’t use it, you lose it,” says Joe Dispenza, DC, author of Evolve Your Brain, (Health Communications, 2007). “When you think differently, you create new circuits in the brain, which creates new patterns in behavior and feeling.” Meditation can open up those circuits and boost happiness by cultivating contentment increasing blood flow to the frontal lobe of the brain–the source of the higher-level thinking that enables us to chart our own course instead of just reacting to our environment. It also enables you to recognize and minimize thoughts that lead to unhappiness–such as those that center on guilt, blame, judgment, and pessimism–and favor those that foster a more positive state.

2. Foresee and reflect on happiness

It’s true that happiness is in the now, but thinking
about positive things in the past and those that you anticipate in the future can actually boost your present happiness. “Savoring past pleasurable experiences boosts your positive emotions in the present, and positive emotions are the key to happiness,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness (The Penguin Press, 2008). Relish in the contentment the event triggered, not rue the fact that the experience is over. Anticipating happy events–like watching a funny movie–can also lift your mood. Research has even shown that you don’t need to laugh to reap the effects: Men who were planning to watch their favorite funny movies saw a significant increase in mood-enhancing hormones even before the movie started.

3. Buy someone a present or give to charity

Whether having more money boosts happiness over the long-term is up for debate. But research from the University of British Columbia has found that using your own money on someone else’s behalf produces a happiness surge. The researchers gave students either $5 or $20 and told half the students to buy something for themselves and the other half to spend it on someone else. Those who donated their money to charity or bought a gift for a friend reported a significantly bigger increase in well-being. And there was no difference in the uptick in good feelings between those who spent $5 and those who spent $20, suggesting that even small gestures have a big impact.

4. Eat dark chocolate

Food feeds your brain in addition to fueling your body. “Dark chocolate is the perfect brain food,” says Cheryle Hart, MD, author of The Feel-Good Diet (McGraw-Hill, 2008). While you don’t want to overdo it, indulging a little can give you an extra boost just when you need one. Sugars fuel the brain, caffeine provides an energy lift, and magnesium helps the body manufacture serotonin. Hart suggests one or two ounces of organic, high-quality dark chocolate in the midafternoon, when serotonin typically dips to its lowest level of the day.

via 4 Tips for Happiness | Healthy and Green Living.

Lasting marriage linked to better health

Lasting marriage linked to better health

Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:26pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – People who get married and stay married may enjoy better health than the perpetually single, but losing a spouse could take a significant health toll, a new study suggests.

Historically, studies have found that married people as a group tend to be in better health than singles — though recent research suggests the health advantage of marriage may be fading.

In the new study, researchers found that middle-aged and older Americans who were currently married tended to give higher ratings to their health than their never-married counterparts. They also reported fewer depression symptoms and limits on their mobility.

On the other hand, divorced or widowed adults fared worse than the never married on certain health measures — including the number of chronic health conditions reported. “Previously married people experience, on average, 20 percent more conditions and 23 percent more limitations,” the researchers write in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Remarriage seemed to lessen some of the health effects of divorce or widowhood. However, remarried men and women were still in generally poorer health than those in a lasting marriage.

“We argue that losing a marriage through divorce or widowhood is extremely stressful and that a high-stress period takes a toll on health,” researcher Linda J. Waite, a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, said in a written statement.

“Think of health as money in the bank,” she added. “Think of a marriage as a mechanism for ‘saving’ or adding to health. Think of divorce as a period of very high expenditures.”

The findings are based on data from more than 9,100 Americans age 50 and older who took part in a national health survey in 1992.

Overall, 55 percent had been continuously married, 4 percent had never married, and the rest had been divorced or widowed at least once.

Marital history was linked to overall health even when Waite and colleague Mary Elizabeth Hughes factored in participants’ age, race, sex and education.

The findings do not necessarily mean that simply staying married is a health boon, however.

A shortcoming of the study, the researchers note, is that it lacked information on marital quality. Past studies have found that people who remain in an unhappy marriage may have increased risks of health problems like high blood pressure, depression and heart disease.

SOURCE: Journal of Health and Social Behavior, June 2009.

via Lasting marriage linked to better health | Health | Reuters.

Happy couple starts their life together with a boogie down the isle

By Michael Inbar

TODAYShow.com contributor

updated 10:31 a.m. ET July 25, 2009

Most couples wait until the reception before breaking out into the Funky Chicken on their wedding day, but Kevin Heinz and Jill Peterson figured, why wait to unleash their unbridled joy?

The 28-year-olds floored their wedding guests by having their whole bridal party — including seven bridesmaids, five groomsmen and four ushers — boogie down the aisle in a choreographed dance more at home in a Broadway musical than in a somber church.

Groomsmen split into sides as Heinz did a somersault in front of the wowed crowd — and the gown-clad Peterson quickly followed, shaking her hips to Chris Brown’s “Forever” while pumping her bridal bouquet into the air during the June 20 ceremony in St. Paul, Minn.

via Secrets behind wacky YouTube wedding dance – TODAY Weddings.