Want to feel better and improve your health? Start by focusing on the things that bring you happiness. Scientific evidence suggests that positive emotions can help make life longer and healthier. But fleeting positive emotions aren't enough. Lowering your stress levels over a period of years with a positive outlook and relaxation techniques could reduce your risk of health problems.
In an early phase of positive psychology research, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson of the University of Michigan chose three pathways to examine:. Through focus groups and testing hundreds of volunteers, they found that each of these pathways individually contributes to life satisfaction. People tend to be poor judges of what will make them happy. Here are some widely held myths about what will bring happiness:.
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Being happier will help you live longer, so learn how to be happier
How do you know if you're in flow? You lose awareness of time. You aren't watching the clock, and hours can pass like minutes. As filmmaker George Lucas puts it, talent is "a combination of something you love a great deal and something you can lose yourself in — something that you can start at 9 o'clock, look up from your work and it's 10 o'clock at night You aren't focused on your comfort, and you aren't wondering how you look or how your actions will be perceived by others.
Your awareness of yourself is only in relation to the activity itself, such as your fingers on a piano keyboard, or the way you position a knife to cut vegetables, or the balance of your body parts as you ski or surf.
You aren't interrupted by extraneous thoughts. You aren't thinking about such mundane matters as your shopping list or what to wear tomorrow. You are active. Flow activities aren't passive, and you have some control over what you are doing. You work effortlessly. Flow activities require effort usually more effort than involved in typical daily experience. Although you may be working harder than usual, at flow moments everything is "clicking" and feels almost effortless.CNN If you could wish for just one thing, would it be happiness or a long life?
Given what researchers tell us, one is likely to produce the other. Photos: World's happiest countries. The world's 10 happiest countries. Austria nudged Australia out of the top 10 list this year, While Salzburg is famous for its ties to the real-life "Sound of Music" von Trapp family, it was also home to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the Mirabell Gardens shown here see the historic Fortress Hohensalzburg in the background.
Hide Caption. The only American country North or South in the top 10 list, Canada has many protected natural parks to explore, including Banff National Park in Alberta. New Zealand. While New Zealand has suffered a tragic terrorist attack on a mosque in Christchurch, much of the nation has rallied around the community and shown some of the social support and generosity that are key variables in the happiness calculations.
Shown here is the Auckland skyline. Stroll the streets to find beautiful spots like Stortorget Square in the Old Town neighborhood in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. Old Town Gamla Stan is the original town center, dating back to the 13th century. Home on the banks of Lake Geneva, Chillon Castle was controlled by the Counts of Savoy for four centuries, through the 16th century. The Netherlands. No matter the season, residents bike all over the city of Amsterdam, where visitors can stroll over over the canals that protect the city.
Fourth place Iceland offers hot springs and stunning waterfalls, like this one at Kirkjufell mountain, that appear otherworldly. The Lofoten islands above the Arctic Circle offer mountains and beaches, a strong fishing culture and opportunities to explore the region's Viking past. While Copenhagen is internationally well-known for Noma, with its two Michelin stars, Danes are perfectly happy to eat at other fine dining establishments or to buy one those famous Danish hot dogs and stroll the streets of Nyhavn.
This Nordic country is the happiest country in the world for a second year in a row, and its capital city of Helsinki, shown here, is one of the coolest in the weather sense and the fashionable sense capitals in the world. Finland's famous Northern Lights.
Many visitors come to Finland to spot the Aurora Borealis. Although there's never a guarantee you'll spot them, tourism officials say the active seasons are autumn and spring. A country that values happiness. Although Bhutan isn't as wealthy as the top 10 nations in the World Happiness Report -- it ranked 95th this year -- it is the reason the UN focuses on the topic at all.
Blue spaces: why time spent near water is the secret of happiness
Tiger's Nest Monastery is shown here. Science has been exploring the connection between happiness and longevity for some time.
In a study, a positive outlook was associated with longer life for nearly 4, older French men and women studied over 22 years. Researchers followed more than 2, Mexican-Americans in and found those who were more positive in their world view were half as likely to die. And a study followed around women and men from San Francisco over 13 years and found those who reported more positive than negative experiences also lived longer.
According to research on the Positive Psychology Center websitestriving for well-being will allow you to perform better at work, have better relationships, a stronger immune system, fewer sleep problems, lower levels of burnout, better physical health and -- you'll live longer.
But how do you obtain happiness? That's the tough question, especially since the meaning of the word isn't even scientifically agreed upon. Read More. What creates a sustained feeling of happiness, say experts, is a mixture of traits like optimism and resilience, fed by behaviors such as expressing gratitude, forgiveness and being kind to others, all held together by a strong sense of purpose. Add to that mix one master ingredient: a sense of community characterized by warm, supportive, satisfying relationships with others.
Now that we have something of a working recipe for happiness, let's find the ingredients. Waldinger is the fourth director of the Harvard Study of Adult Developmentwhich followed the lives of Boston men for more than 75 years and then began following more than 2, of their offspring and their wives.Yet that sense of goodwill might not be quite so automatic when we notice someone else enjoying success or happiness, or just feeling good about themselves. Not all cultures react this way, but ours is highly competitive.
This kind of scarcity thinking can make us really unhappy. With sympathetic joy, we deliberately pay attention to the good fortunes of others and share and relish their good feelings. We all want to be around that kind of person. If you grew up in a country like Bhutan, where there is a national happiness index and people appear to derive their happiness more from relationships than material wealth, these tendencies may have been ingrained in you from an early age.
Then you start to bring attention to what others are feeling, and you develop a capacity for noticing when people are feeling good and happy. Again, this might take some practice.
Or if you do notice, you might jump straight to comparing yourself. The fact that so many of us are feeling trapped by those kinds of thoughts is not surprising. Yet the whole concept of sympathetic joy is counter to that tendency. Give it a try with the following practices.
This works with any type of formal meditation practice. Instead of turning your attention toward your thoughts or your breath, bring your attention to the happiness and success of others in your life. This is also a nice, informal practice you can adopt as you are going about your daily life, just walking down the street, or pedaling along the bike path: When you see someone who appears to be very happy and content, open yourself to them in that moment.
Silently offer them a blessingthe way you might during meditation. I truly think it can change the way we see each otherand how we see the world. He is the cofounder of NaturalMentalHealth. Your email address will not be published. City and state are only displayed in our print magazine if your comment is chosen for publication. Leave a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.Applications of digital marketing solutions
Subscribe to our Newsletters Newsletter Signup. Master Weekly Newsletter Weekly Newsletter. Special Promotions Special Promotions. Related Stories. By Elizabeth Millard Take our quiz to find out!After more than a decade of writing life-changing advice, I know when to move on. Typically for me, back then, this was a case of facetiousness disguising earnestness. Obviously, I never expected to find the secret, but on some level I must have known there were questions I needed to confront — about anxiety, commitment-phobia in relationships, control-freakery and building a meaningful life.
Writing a column provided the perfect cover for such otherwise embarrassing fare. For all that: thank you. I am drawing a line today not because I have uncovered all the answers, but because I have a powerful hunch that the moment is right to do so. So what did I learn? But these are the principles that surfaced again and again, and that now seem to me most useful for navigating times as baffling and stress-inducing as ours. There will always be too much to do — and this realisation is liberating.
Thanks to capitalism, technology and human ambition, these demands keep increasing, while your capacities remain largely fixed. The only viable solution is to make a shift: from a life spent trying not to neglect anything, to one spent proactively and consciously choosing what to neglect, in favour of what matters most. But the enlargement question elicits a deeper, intuitive response.
You tend to just know whether, say, leaving or remaining in a relationship or a job, though it might bring short-term comfort, would mean cheating yourself of growth. The capacity to tolerate minor discomfort is a superpower.
This is how social media platforms flourish: by providing an instantly available, compelling place to go at the first hint of unease.
I spent a long time fixated on becoming hyper-productive before I finally started wondering why I was staking so much of my self-worth on my productivity levels. You may need to introspect with care here, since bad advice from manipulative friends or partners is also likely to make you uncomfortable. One good question to ask is what kind of practices strike you as intolerably cheesy or self-indulgent: gratitude journals, mindfulness meditation, seeing a therapist?
That might mean they are worth pursuing. I can say from personal experience that all three are worth it.Bibliography latex reference sheet metal
Oh, and be especially wary of celebrities offering advice in public forums: they probably pursued fame in an effort to fill an inner void, which tends not to work — so they are likely to be more troubled than you are. The future will never provide the reassurance you seek from it. As the ancient Greek and Roman Stoics understood, much of our suffering arises from attempting to control what is not in our control.Coastal environments have been shown to improve our health, body and mind.
So should doctors start issuing nature-based prescriptions? She was in her 20s and had been working as a geographer in London away from her native Ireland.
She spent a year in Dublin with her family, then accepted an academic position on the west coast, near Westport in County Mayo. Kelly bought a little house in a remote area and surfed, swam and walked a three-mile-long beach twice a day. In recent years, stressed-out urbanites have been seeking refuge in green spaces, for which the proven positive impacts on physical and mental health are often cited in arguments for more inner-city parks and accessible woodlands.
Proximity to water — especially the sea — is associated with many positive measures of physical and mental wellbeing, from higher levels of vitamin D to better social relations. Marine and coastal margins were found by some distance to be the happiest locationswith responses approximately six points higher than in a continuous urban environment. Although living within 1km 0. White says there are three established pathways by which the presence of water is positively related to health, wellbeing and happiness.
First, there are the beneficial environmental factors typical of aquatic environments, such as less polluted air and more sunlight. Second, people who live by water tend to be more physically active — not just with water sports, but walking and cycling.
Third — and this is where blue space seems to have an edge over other natural environments — water has a psychologically restorative effect. White says spending time in and around aquatic environments has consistently been shown to lead to significantly higher benefits, in inducing positive mood and reducing negative mood and stress, than green space does. People of all socioeconomic groups go to the coast to spend quality time with friends and family.
Even a fountain may do. A study of which White was lead author found that images of built environments containing water were generally rated just as positively as those of only green space; researchers suggested that the associated soundscape and the quality of light on water might be enough to have a restorative effect. The coast does seem to be especially effective, however. White suggests this is due to the ebb and flow of the tides.
By being forced to concentrate on the qualities of the environment, we access a cognitive state honed over millennia. She says the sea has a meditative quality — whether it is crashing or still, or you are in the water or observing from the shore. In the future, she believes time in blue space will be a mainstream, formalised response.
Harnessing the power of blue space could also potentially help to alleviate inequality. For that reason, it is crucial to ensure everyone has access. Access provisions under the revised Marine and Coastal Access Act, which is due to be completed next year, will help, says White.
But seaside communities are particularly vulnerable, imminently from seasonal fluctuations in income and environmental degradation, and, in the longer term, sea level rise and extreme weather due to climate change. For somebody else, it could be a wild, empty coast.
Blue spaces: why time spent near water is the secret of happiness. Composite: Getty Images.S cientists have thought for years that happiness may have a real effect on physical health, but a comprehensive new review makes the case stronger than ever. The topic has been studied extensively; the paper references more than 20 previous literature reviews and more than individual studies.Leeds dissertation binding center program requirements
For one, happy people likely take better care of themselves and choose healthy behaviors—like exercising, eating well and getting adequate sleep—over unhealthy ones. That research—and the frenzy of media coverage it received—was one reason Diener wanted to defend the effects of happiness with such a thorough review.
Diener hopes that his research can convince doctors to start monitoring positive emotions—and not just negative ones—during routine physicals, just as they do with questions about exercise, smoking and alcohol use. But even if they do, he says, the medical community will need guidance on how to intervene or where to refer patients who report low levels of happiness. Happiness research may have implications for the general public, as well.
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The happiness-health connection
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Login to your account and start to enjoy our tips. Philadelphia Eagles Monday Night Football will feature an NFC showdown between the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles from Lincoln Financial Field. The Redskins lost their season opener at home versus the Eagles, but have rallied to win three of their last four games. On Sunday, Washington raced out to a 17-point lead and held on for a 26-24 home victory versus San Francisco.
Kirk Cousins threw for 330 yards and two touchdowns for the Redskins on the afternoon. Through six games, Washington ranks 6th in total offense and is scoring 23.
Philadelphia comes into this game with a defense that ranks 19th in yards allowed and surrenders 20.
The Philadelphia Eagles have won five of their first six games overall and are emerging as one of the best teams in the National Football League. Second year QB Carson Wentz has thrown for 1,584 yards and 13 touchdowns and has helped the Eagles open up a two-game division lead in the NFC East.
On Thursday, Wentz threw for 222 yards and three touchdowns to lead Philadelphia to a 28-23 road triumph over Carolina. Philadelphia comes into this contest ranked third in total offense and scoring 27. Washington is very improved on defense, ranking 5th in yards allowed and giving up 22. Washington is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games on the road.
Washington is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia. The total has gone OVER in 6 of Washington's last 7 games on the road.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 5 games when playing at home against Washington. Free Betting Pick: OVER 48Washington CB Josh Norman (ribs, lung) was unable to suit up last week, but could return to action for this game.
Four Washington turnovers were the difference in their season opening 30-17 loss versus Philadelphia. Look for Cousins and company to take better care of the ball on Monday night and help push this game over the total. Final Score Prediction, Philadelphia Eagles win but fall short ATS 32-28. You've got nothing to lose - We guarantee winners. We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads and collect information when users visit our site.
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