Thursday, June 7, 2012

8 Secrets to Happiness

8 Secrets to Happiness By Theresa Danna June 7, 2012 A Short List to Lasting Happiness During the first decade of the 21st century, the number of books published on the subject of happiness increased from 50 a year to more than 4,000 a year. The pursuit of happiness is a hot topic, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to achieve. From the research conducted so far, we’ve learned that being happy can boil down to a simple formula: increase your levels of serotonin, the “happiness hormone,” and decrease your levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone.” There are some surprisingly easy, and enjoyable, ways to do that. 1. Pet Your Animal Companion Spending 15 minutes petting your furry friend releases serotonin and other positive hormones in your body while inhibiting cortisol, according to a study from the University of Missouri-Columbia. If you don’t own a pet, you can improve your mood by as much 80 percent simply by getting one! 2. Watch a Romantic Movie Some people experience a 10 percent increase in nerve-calming hormones by watching lighthearted romantic films such as When Harry Met Sally, researchers at University of Michigan report. 3. Read a Good Book Spending a half hour a day reading for pleasure boosts your mood. And doing so can cost you nothing, if you borrow books from your public library. If reading in general is not a fun activity for you, do whatever gives you pleasure. For example, Psychic Gina Rose ext. 9500 likes to do projects around the house or sew. “I’ve made all of the curtains hanging in my old farmhouse.” 4. Attend Cultural and Arts Events And speaking of low-cost entertainment, the author of The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., reports that attending art museums and cultural events stimulates feelings of awe and appreciation, which in turn decreases stress. Some museums offer free admission on a certain day of the week and others sponsor free concerts in the summer. 5. Join a Club Interacting with like-minded people gives you a mood boost, even if you don’t know the people well. Sharing common interests reduces stress. It’s no wonder that fan gatherings like Comic-Con become more popular each year. 6. Wake Up Your Body The path to being happier can be as simple as doing mild exercise, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Also, two minutes of deep breathing while visualizing a calming place can put a smile on your face. Another quick happiness booster is to sniff a pleasant fragrance. Studies have shown that lavender actually lowers stress hormones. Or try smelling scents that remind you of a favorite holiday—such as pine for Christmas—or favorite baked goods, such as cinnamon, vanilla, or nutmeg. 7. Get the Right Nutrients Consuming omega-3 fatty acids helps keep depression away. So go ahead and enjoy eating cold water fish such as salmon, herring, and sardines. If you prefer plant sources, try avocados or nuts, particularly walnuts. 8. Love Your Work Dr. Lyubomirsky says her research shows that loving your job is the number-one predictor of happiness. If your current job is boring and you’re unable to find a better one now, she suggests that you make your work more interesting by challenging yourself. Try doing your tasks faster or in a variety of ways. The choice is yours. Says Psychic Ivy ext. 5198, “I believe you are as happy as you make up your mind to be.”

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Welcome to Weight Loss Coach Sherrie's Blog!

I am currently trying a new way of eating (forget about that nasty "D" word!). I am following the "Schwarzbein Principle" and learning ways to focus on creativity and taking care of ME. I am currently in Body Blissmas, a program started by Jill Badonsky. As I learn to focus on healthy eating and being happy and creative, I would like to help you do the same.

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