Influences on Happiness

What really makes us happy?

As we have noted before, happiness is a key goal for all of us. Regardless of our stage in life or physical condition. In fact, happiness can affect our  physical feelings by reducing our angst (anxiety). For example, see Living Better and Being Happier and Life Is Too Short to Hold Grudges. Today, we consider influences on happiness.

What Are the Key Influences on Happiness?

Thomas Oppong, founder of AllTopStartups,expresses some interesting insights on this topic for Medium:

“Humans spend billions of dollars every year looking for happiness. Many of us seek happiness in all sorts of places, hoping it might be bought or found. Others expect people close to them to make them happy.”

“Yet, there is  lots of research that proves this is a waste of time (not to mention money). True contentment is closer than you think. We often think it’s our life circumstances — problems, issues, setbacks, tragedies, and misfortunes that make us unhappy. And that if we could change those obstacles, our circumstances would be different, and we will finally be happy. We easily assign the cause of our unhappiness to these external factors.”

“It turns out, it’s not our circumstances that make us happy or unhappy. According to research, we’re happiest when thought and action are aligned, even if they’re only aligned to do the simplest of tasks.”

“Your happiness is not dependent on where you live, what you can afford, a better career or relationship but from your cultivating a healthy and balanced state of mind.”

Click the image to read more.

Influences on Happiness
Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash

 

Living a Longer Life with Sleep

Tips to sleep better.

Earlier, we presented two posts about sleep. Getting a Better Night’s Sleep. And Are YOU Sleeping Well Enough. Now, we look at an infographic about living a longer life with sleep.

A Bestow Team Infographic on Living a Longer Life with Sleep

Thank you to John Shieldsmith of Siege Media for guest authoring today’s post. And to the Bestow Team for the infographic.

When was the last time you had a whole week filled with great sleep? While the occasional night of poor sleep won’t hurt you in the long run, failure to sleep the recommended seven to eight hours every night can do a number on your body. 

So, why are one in three adults still not getting the proper amount of sleep? Many will say they’re too busy or that the late hours of the night are the only time they can get any leisure in. This mindset is only hurting you in the long run, so, let’s fix it. 

The Perks of Sleep

Here are a few of the more powerful perks of sleep. 

    • Sleep curbs weight gain: When you’re up all night, you can snack on up to an entire meal’s worth of calories. 
    • Sleep helps you heal: The U.S. Army did a study and found that when two nutritionally-similar people were physically injured, those with a full night’s rest actually healed more quickly than those without.
    • Sleep makes it easier to learn: When your brain is rested, you have an easier time storing new memories. This translates into an easier time learning new things. This can also help with your memory in general, meaning you can hold onto those precious moments for even longer if you let your brain get the sleep it needs. 

These perks only scratch the surface. Beyond this, sleep can help with personality disorders, make you less prone to engage in risky behavior, and more. In short: sleep’s great and we can all use it. So, how do you go about getting this precious sleep? 

Getting the Sleep You Need

It’s easy to say you’ll get a good night’s rest, but actually getting it is another matter entirely. Fortunately there are some changes you can make to your life that will get you on the right path as early as tonight. 

Bestow has created a visual on how sleep can extend your life. It includes tips on getting a higher quality sleep, too, so you can rest easy knowing your brain and body are getting the break they crave. 

Now, read on and go get some shut eye! 


 

Videos from Sharecare

Links to SIX video channels on various aspects of health.

As its Web site notes: Sharecare is empowering people to improve their wellbeing and make a positive impact on where they work, live, and play, while helping employers, health plans, and health systems drive measurable outcomes and close gaps in care for their populations.

To help accomplish its mission, Sharecare has an excellent assortment of videos. In SIX channels. Click the images to access them.

Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain Videos from Sharecare.

Diet and Nutrition

Diet and Nutrition Videos from Sharecare

Dr. Oz

Dr. Oz Videos from Sharecare

Fitness and Exercise

Fitness and Exercise Videos from Share

Men’s Health

Men's Health Videos from Sharecare

Women’s Health

Women's Health Videos from Sharecare
 

Another Habit We Have to Relearn

Move around more!!

Did you know that too much sitting can be rather harmful? This observation is from someone (ME) who sits at a computer for hours at a time.

As Sharecare notes:

“Sitting may seem harmless, but it can shorten your life. In this Health Smarts video, Vonda Wright, MD, shares a simple anti-aging tip to boost your longevity: Spend more time standing and add more activity throughout your day.”


 

Be Careful with Supplements

Choose your supplements wisely.

As part of our daily regimens, some of us take dietary supplements. BUT, we must be careful with these supplements.

In a very detailed and informative article, Markham Heid reports on issues related to supplement misuse. After just a short time, this article has received more than 11,100 likes!!!

According to Heid:

Background

“Earlier this year, federal authorities announced plans to strengthen oversight of the supplement industry. ‘The growth in the number of adulterated and misbranded products — including those spiked with drug ingredients not declared on their labels, misleading claims, and other risks — creates new potential dangers,’ said U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb in a February press release.”

“Heightened oversight is needed, Gottlieb argued, because expansion and change within the supplement industry has made it difficult for his agency to keep pace. ‘What was once a $4 billion industry comprised of about 4,000 unique products, is now an industry worth more than $40 billion, with more than 50,000 — and possibly as many as 80,000 or even more — different products available to consumers,” he said.”

BE CAREFUL!!!

“From multivitamins and botanicals to probiotics and protein powders, roughly three out of four Americans now take some kind of supplement on a regular basis. Since the days of palliative tonics and snake-oil salesmen, Americans have been readily lured by the promise of health or longevity in the form of a drink, pill, or powder. While the terminology has evolved — ’biohacking’ and ‘nutraceuticals’ are some of the buzzwords du jour — the implied benefits of most supplements still outpace or ignore the science. And despite recent studies that find supplements are frequently contaminated or that the best way to get nutrients is through food, Americans’ interest in supplements is only growing. And experts say many supplement users don’t recognize or appreciate the risks that accompany the use of these products.”

“The lesson here isn’t that supplements give people cancer. Rather, it’s that approaching supplements as though they’re all upside is a misguided and potentially harmful operating philosophy. When you swallow a capsule packed with concentrated amounts of a vitamin, nutrient, or other substance — a practice that did not become widespread until very recently — you can get into trouble.”

Click the image to access Heid’s full article.

Be Careful with Supplements

AN AUDIO SUMMARY

Click below to access a 15-minute audio summary from Heid.


 

Life Is Too Short to Hold Grudges

Take the quiz. 🙂

Virtually all of us (myself included) have gotten upset enough to hold a grudge — at least for a while. Sometimes, we can’t even remember why a grudge was started. Life is too short hold grudges.

What exactly is a grudge? According to Vocabulary.com:

“Grudge comes from the now dead Middle English word ‘grutch,’ which meant ‘to complain or grumble.’ Someone who bears a grudge might often be grouchy. You can specify a type of grudge: political grudge, personal grudge, etc. You know Grandpa’s been holding a grudge against the neighbors for years, but you have to wonder: How long can he hold that shotgun?”

“If you tend to hold a grudge, you don’t let it go when you feel someone’s insulted or wronged you. I hope you won’t hold a grudge against me for bringing it up.”

As Tim Herrera reports for the New York Times:

“’Holding onto a grudge really is an ineffective strategy for dealing with a life situation that you haven’t been able to master. That’s the reality of it,’ said Dr. Frederic Luskin, founder of the Stanford Forgiveness Project. Whenever you can’t grieve and assimilate what has happened, you hold it in a certain way,’ he said. ‘If it’s bitterness, you hold it with anger. If it’s hopeless, you hold it with despair. But both of those are psycho-physiological responses to an inability to cope, and they both do mental and physical damage.’”

Now, click the image to take a quiz about YOURSELF and grudges.
Life Is Too Short to Hold Grudges
Getty Images

“This quiz helps you figure out how hefty your grudge should be, on a scale of one carat to 10 carats. (This is an excerpt from ‘How to Hold a Grudge,’ by Sophie Hannah, published by Scribner, with additional explanations of each grudge written by Ms. Hannah.)”