Last week, a study appeared in PLoS ONE, the peer-reviewed journal published by the Public Library of Science, that drew attention in Israel but made barely a ripple here: That men who’d survived the Holocaust lived longer — significantly longer — than their peers who’d never been under Nazi oppression. Continue reading
Neurocardiology Research Reveals…a Method Far More Powerful Than Meditation Alone for Achieving Total Well-Being and Radiant Health
One of surprising benefits of meditation is the connection between emotions and health which is supported by every major health research institution in the country. Even the U.S. Centers Continue reading
Did You Know…
… this simple, time-tested trick can instantly unblock your body’s energy flow?
The thymus gland was named from the Greek word “thymos,” which literally translates to “life energy.” Continue reading
How Do Mirror Neurons Work?
When you see a basketball player setting up to shoot, your brain relates to the movement – your body doesn’t mimic the action, but you know exactly what is going to happen next – that’s how mirror neurons work. Continue reading
Emotion detector developed using a genetic algorithm
A computer is being taught to interpret human emotions based on lip pattern, according to research published in the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing. The system could improve the way we interact with computers and perhaps Continue reading
The bedroom has become the latest target in a campaign to make “happiness” keep up with unbridled economic growth in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, with a senior local official pledging to improve the sex lives of singletons. Continue reading
If you’re like me, the most valuable source of happiness you can possess is the power of your relationships. The amazing feeling of connection to someone who reciprocates your affection enhances every aspect of life. This kind of relationship, when maximized, energizes your inner being and motivates you to healthfully honor your physical body temple. Continue reading
Individuals in satisfying marriages can probably attest that their relationships bring them feelings of joy and happiness. Now, researchers at the University of Rochester’s School of Nursing report that a good marriage may also promote heart health.
In a study of 225 coronary bypass patients, a team of scientists found that being in a healthy marital union significantly increased an individual’s chances of survival 15 years after the operation.
Women who were happily married had an 83 percent chance of being alive 15 years after their bypass surgery, compared to 28 percent of females in unhappy marriages and 27 percent of single women. The survival rate for men in satisfying relationships was 83 percent, compared to 60 percent in men that were married but not happy and 36 percent of single men.
“Coronary bypass surgery was once seen as a miracle cure for heart disease,” said lead author Kathleen King. “But now we know that for most patients, grafts are a temporary patch, even more susceptible to clogging and disease than native arteries. So, it’s important to look Continue reading
Geomancy : is an ancient form of divination which involves either, the scattering of handfuls of soil, earth or other materials on the ground, or markings made in the earth or sand, in order to make ‘a range of dot configurations which can then be “read” by a seer’.
Geomancy, however in the 19th century began to be applied to the Chinese practice of feng shui, which literally means “wind and water”. This is an ancient Chinese system of creating harmonious surroundings in order to ensure health, happiness and prosperity. The way in which this was done involved the geomantic or the feng shui master employing ‘a circular magnetic compass, called a luopan, which was marked off in rings containing data relating to astrology, directions, the elements, landscape forms, times of day, and so on. The aim was to locate a site where the energies or chi of the land and sky were brought Continue reading
Love is the most powerful emotion you will ever experience, and studies show that while you are feeling it, endorphins and immune cells are produced in great number, boosting your health and longevity. For Valentine’s Day, share love and health with the special people in your life and lengthen your years.
1. Love = a Healthy Heart
Many studies have shown that relationships play a role in heart health. A study from the University of Texas Research, conducted with rabbits, found that love can reduce plaque buildup in your arteries, helping reduce overall risk of heart attack. In this study, rabbits were fed an artery-blocking diet, and some of the rabbits received love and affection while the others received none. The surprising results revealed that the rabbits given tender loving care had 60% less plaque buildup than their counterparts.
2. Get an Immune Boost with Love
Love in your life might just save you from the flu. One study showed that a five-minute episode of feeling genuine care or compassion enhanced the whole immune system, causing a gradual climb in secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA), your body’s natural antibody against colds, flu, and other invading germs. Even watching movies about love or altruism, petting a fluffy animal pal, and practicing selfless service for others has been shown to increase levels of IgA.
3. Keep in Touch with Your Loved Ones
Human touch, long recognized as a powerful healing technique, increases your body’s production of endorphins, growth hormone, and DHEA, all of which lengthen your life span and lower the negative impact of stress. In fact, studies have found that unconscious patients who are regularly touched recover faster than those who are not touched. Researchers have also observed that orphaned babies stop growing and even die from the lack of touch and love. So hug, cuddle, and massage your loved ones to live longer.
4. Connect with Friends to Increase Your Lifespan
Humans have depended on one another for survival since time immemorial, and indeed, many studies have found that even today, people rich in social and community support are more likely to live longer than those with weak social connections. Even people with unhealthy lifestyles tend to live longer than people lacking in social and community support. According to a study recently put out by Brigham Young University, spending time with friends has an extremely positive effect on health and can cut your risk of an early death in half. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, the research team’s head said that lacking in social relationships “was equivalent to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.” If you find yourself spending most of your time alone, reach out. Offer to babysit for family members or join groups of people who share similar interests and gather together in person. Feel your presence in the world and make it felt by others.
5. Prescription for Longevity: A Happy Marriage
Research has confirmed that happily married couples live, on average, four years longer than single people. According to one study, nearly 100 percent of male centenarians are married or have only recently been widowed. Psychologists attribute the increased life span to the sense of interconnectedness with another human being. Studies have indicated that a happy marriage improves your mood, positively affects your dietary decisions, and leads to a larger social network of friends — three major factors of longevity. People in a marriage also tend to take better care of each other; and feeling that someone would care for you in times of illness appears to increase the sense of security about the future, cutting back on stress.
Studies suggest that the longer a marriage lasts, the greater the rewards. These days, there are many forms of spouse-like relationships that may benefit in similar ways. But not all relationships positively affect our health. Other research has found that marriage problems may increase risk for heart disease by 34% and tend to result in a lower survival rate in women with breast cancer.
Bonus tip: If you have recently ended a relationship, you can strengthen your spirit with affirmations and invocations. Consider listening to Invocations for Health, Longevity, and Healing a Broken Heart, a powerful set of guided invocations.
6. Healthy Loving Lengthens Your Life Span
Healthy sex, nature’s fountain of youth, raises your levels of endorphins, DHEA, and growth hormone, which increase longevity. At the same time, sex lowers levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which decrease your life span. A Duke University study showed that women who were happy with their sex lives could live up to eight years longer compared with women who were indifferent to their sex lives. While healthy loving adds years to your life, it also takes years off your face, making you actually look younger. Studies show that people who are highly satisfied with their sex life looked 4 to 7 years younger than their peers. This results from reduced stress, greater happiness, and better sleep. So before you invest in a costly makeover, try improving your sex life.
If love equals health, how to manifest love? Begin by loving yourself. For your relationships, share your time, energy, and self with your loved ones. Look for ways to give back and make them happy. For instance, you might cook a meal or do the dishes as a pleasant surprise. Or you might send them a card, listing their many special qualities. It does not need to be elaborate or expensive, but it should show that you care and appreciate them. As you give freely of your love, you will receive meaningful love in return.
You can find many more ways that love helps you live to 100 in Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100, which is now available on Kindle. If you are interested in a structured longevity program, check out my new book Secrets of Longevity 8-Week Program, a journal that will transform your health and lengthen your years.
I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.
Courtesy of Dr.Mao
If you’re feeling as blue as the skies above, you will be happy to know that a few spoonfuls of the right foods may turn that frown upside down! Whole foods contain vital nutrients that provide both physical and psychological benefits. Read on to discover which foods contain those mood-boosters to help you smile your way to longevity.
Fun with Folate
Eat folate-rich foods: Leafy greens like kale, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, bok choy, legumes, sunflower seeds, oranges, melons, beets, and fortified whole grains
Why? Folate, also known as folic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for cell division, DNA synthesis, and healthy blood cell production. Research at the University of York and Hull York Medical School has found a link between depression and low levels of folate. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for men and women is 400 micrograms and 600 micrograms for pregnant women. To keep you smiling, increase your intake of folate-rich foods. A cup of cooked lentils provides 90% of the RDA of folic acid. Plus, the fiber and protein will satisfy you longer, stabilize blood sugar, and also promote a better mood. Additional bonuses: Folate can also decrease homocysteine, an amino acid that is linked to heart disease. Low levels of folate can cause anemia, while pregnant women must increase their folate levels to prevent fetal neural tube deficiencies.
Boost Your B6
Eat B6 foods: bananas, chicken breast, garlic, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, sunflower seeds, broccoli, red bell peppers, watermelon, avocados, and potatoes
Why? Vitamin B6 plays a role in red blood cell metabolism, protein metabolism, and synthesis of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. It also helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and increases the amount of oxygen carried to your tissues. Low levels can lead to an increase of homocysteine, anemia, headaches, and depression. The RDA for adults from age 19 to 50 is 1.3 mg/day and approximately 1.6 mg for individuals over 50. The next time you’re feeling down, grab a banana and munch your blues away!
Eat omega-3-rich foods: fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, and herring, flaxseeds, walnuts, and algae
Why? DHA omega-3 essential fatty acid maintains healthy brain function and is vital for fetal brain and eye development. Current research also demonstrates the association between intake of omega-3 fatty acids and depression. A meta-analysis study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that depression was significantly improved in patients with unipolar and bipolar disorders after taking three daily fish capsules for eight weeks. Eat the oily fish listed above — a 3-ounce serving of salmon contains between 1.1 – 1.9 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Supplementing with high quality fish oil capsules may be an alternative if you don’t consume fish on a regular basis. Vegetarian sources of omega-3 can be found in flaxseeds, walnuts, and algae. Toss a tablespoon of sunflower seeds or walnuts into a creamy cup of unsweetened low-fat yogurt for a mega mood boost!
You can also try Super Clarity, a blend of powerful herbs that nourish the brain and cardiovascular system, helping the mind be joyful.
Good Carbohydrates, Bad Carbohydrates
Eat good carbohydrates: whole grains, fruits, vegetables
Why? Not all carbohydrates are created equal. Whole grains, fruits, and veggies supply us with prolonged energy, fiber, and multiple nutrients that our bodies need for optimal health. Good quality carbohydrates can also trigger serotonin synthesis. Recognized as the “happy hormone,” serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that affects our mood and sleep. The next time you feel blue, instead of reaching for that bag of chips or sugary cookies, opt for unrefined, unprocessed carbohydrates that will provide you with sustained energy and an improved mood. Toss that muffin and enjoy a whole grain cracker with a tablespoon of natural nut butter for a delicious and uplifting snack!
SAN FRANCISCO – ‘No pain, no gain’ adage applies to happiness too, according to new research.
People who work hard at improving a skill or ability, such as mastering a math problem or learning to drive, may experience stress in the moment, but experience greater happiness on a daily basis and longer term, a study suggests.
“No pain, no gain is the rule when it comes to gaining happiness from increasing our competence at something,” said Ryan Howell, professor of psychology at San Francisco State University.
“People often give up their goals because they are stressful, but we found that there is benefit at the end of the day from learning to do something well. And what’s striking is that you don’t have to reach your goal to see the benefits to your happiness and well-being.”
Contrary to previous research, the study found that people who engage in behaviors that increase competency, for example at work, school or the gym, experience decreased happiness in the moment, lower levels of enjoyment and higher levels of momentary stress.
Despite the negative effects felt on an hourly basis, participants reported that these same activities made them feel happy and satisfied when they looked back on their day as a whole. This surprising finding suggests that in the process of becoming proficient at something, individuals may need to endure temporary stress to reap the happiness benefits associated with increased competency.
The study examined whether people who spend time on activities that fulfill certain psychological needs, believed to be necessary for growth and well-being, experience greater happiness.
In addition to the need to be competent, the study focused on the need to feel connected to others and to be autonomous or self-directed, and it examined how fulfilling these three needs affect a person’s happiness moment by moment within a day.
For two days, participants reported how they spent each hour, the enjoyment and stress experienced in that hour, and whether the activity met their need for competency, connectedness to others or autonomy. A second group of participants completed a similar survey, but reported on the day as a whole.
While behaviors that increase competency were associated with decreased happiness in the moment, people who spent time on activities that met the need for autonomy or feeling connected to others experienced increased happiness on both an hourly and daily basis. The greatest increase in momentary happiness was experienced by participants who engaged in something that met their need for autonomy — any behavior that a person feels they have chosen, rather than ought to do, and that helps them further their interests and goals.
The authors suggest that shifting the balance of needs met in a day could help people find ways to cope with short term stress in the workplace. “Our results suggest that you can decrease the momentary stress associated with improving your skill or ability by ensuring you are also meeting the need for autonomy and connectedness, for example performing the activity alongside other people or making sure it is something you have chosen to do and is true to who you are,” Howell said.
The study was published online in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
Many of our food choices begin in the grocery store. While the grocery store can provide us with foods that enhance our health and increase our energy, it is also a place of endless temptation and potential bad choices. Follow these tips to get the most out of your shopping experience:
Time Required: 30 minutes
- Make it Pleasant
Try to schedule your trips to the grocery store at times when it is not crowded. Early in the morning is usually a good time, even on weekends. The produce is fresh, carts are available and the staff is just starting their day, so they are usually relaxed and helpful. Try not to think of your trip to the grocery store as a chore, but a part of your day to calmly select foods to feed yourself and your family.
- Make a List
Go to the store with a list that you made at home. Try to organize your list into categories according to the store layout (for example: produce, meats, dairy, spices, specialty items, etc.)
- Shop the Perimeter
If we are eating for health, there really is no reason to visit many of the aisles in the store. Most healthy food, such as produce, fish and dairy, is located around the edges of the store. Going down the aisles containing cookies or chips may lead to unwanted items finding their way into our carts through habit or impulse.
- Don’t Shop on an Empty Stomach
We have all had the experience of shopping when we are hungry and coming home with items that we bought on impulse, which are usually are not the best choices for our health. Eat before you go and you will be able to resist temptation.
- Try New Things
Add a sense of adventure to grocery shopping by trying a new food each time. Pick an interesting-looking fruit or a small piece of exotic-sounding cheese to try. You may find a new favorite to add to your healthy repertoire.
Improving the channel of communication between yourself and your teenager is essential to a respectable and loving parent-child relationship. Just as a radio channel signal must to be clear in order for listeners to hear and understand the voices communication between a parent and their teenager must be clear. There are some essential communication tools that can improve the quality of Communication With Teenagers;
2. Set boundaries that reflect your values and provide appropriate punishment
3. Ask and value their opinions
4. Give them privacy
5. Develop an interest in their life
6. Let them know you believe in their potential as a human being and that they are of precious value to you and to the world
Listening is different to hearing. Often people are having a conversation that consists of them sharing their opinion and then while the other person speaks they are thinking about what they are going to respond without listening. Listening is not a natural quality a lot of people posses rather it is cultivated and developed through constant effort. Listening means that when someone else is talking you are listening to their words, focused on their countenance and sensitive to their emotions. When a person truly listens to another they pick up signals the other person is sending out such as body language. Body language is a huge tool to help one understand the feelings of another. By focusing on another person that person will feel important and therefore are more likely to respect your opinion.
With your teenager they might use phrases such as, “you just don’t understand” or “fine, whatever.” These phrases are closed and basically say “you don’t care about my opinion so I’m not going to listen to you.” If you teenager is constantly repeating “you just don’t understand” then ask her to explain what is so important to her and listen. Now just because you listen and focus all you attentions on your teenager doesn’t mean that you need to agree with then. But it will provide them with an opportunity to evaluate their own feelings and values. Teenagers don’t think that their parents were ever teenagers. Sometimes sharing appropriate stories of being a teenager and making decisions can make you more tangible and real to you teenager.
Purely being your teenager’s best friend will do them no favors. Teenagers Need Structure. Without rules and consequences they will never be prepared for the wide world which awaits them. With this said there must be a balance. Too many rules and not enough freedom will only cause your teenager to rebel. Decide what is must important to you, what do you value must about life. Avoid giving them set rules and provide them with principles. A principle is an accepted code of conduct that may apply in many facets of life. Here are some examples:
Don’t yell – Be respectful
Don’t make a mess – Take care of your possessions
You must clean your room – cleanliness of next to Godliness
Use your manners – Acknowledge your blessings through an attitude of gratitude
The only way that your teenagers will integrate these principles into their life is if they see them exemplified through your actions.
When deciding an appropriate consequence to bad behavior involves your teenager. Have family discussions and ask them what they think would be an appropriate consequence. This way when they are disobedient they can not moan about the consequence because they helped create it. Also involving your teenager in the discipline process is a manifestation that you care about what they think and that elevates them with a sense of maturity.
Teenagers are developing their ideas and opinions about the world in which they live and although those with evolve throughout their life they thrive on sharing their present thoughts. Ask you teenager what they think about smoking, teenage pregnancy, sex, underage drinking, higher education, work ethics etc… By asking then the questions they will be thinking about those topics and will be more likely to make logical and smart choices.
Everyone enjoys some privacy especially teenagers who’s body is changing with soaring hormones. The emotional rollercoaster that accompanies the teen years often calls for some well need privacy.
If your teenager knows you are interested in their life and their hobbies they will feel more comfortable in sharing things with you.
If you can try to always discipline with love your teenagers will soon learn that you do all you do because you love them. Tell them that they have great potential because of who they are rather than because they were captain of the football team or received an “A” in an exam. This doesn’t that these things are not accomplishments but make sure you are praising your teenagers for the choices they make and person they are becoming.
Compared with 2008, 27 states improved, 18 deteriorated, and 5 unchanged
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hawaii’s residents had the highest well-being in the nation in 2009, pulling ahead of 2008 leader Utah, and coming in with a new high state Well-Being Index score of 70.2. Utah and Montana are also among the top well-being states in the country, sharing the same score of 68.3. Kentucky (62.3) and West Virginia (60.5) have the two lowest well-being scores, as they did in 2008.
Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index 2009 state-level data encompass more than 350,000 interviews conducted among national adults aged 18 older across all 50 states. Gallup and Healthways started tracking state-level well-being in 2008. The Well-Being Index score for the nation and for each state is an average of six sub-indexes, which individually examine life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities.
The Well-Being Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where a score of 100 would represent ideal well-being. Well-Being Index scores among states vary by a narrow range of 9.7 points. The 2009 Well-Being Index score for the country is 65.9, unchanged from 2008.
Nine of the top 10 well-being states — Hawaii, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, Kansas, Montana, Colorado, Utah, and Alaska — are in the Midwest and the West. Seven of the 11 lowest well-being states are in the South. The general geography of well-being in 2009 remained similar to 2008.
In addition to having the highest overall Well-Being Index score, Hawaii was best in the nation on three of the six well-being sub-indexes, Life Evaluation, Emotional Health, and Physical Health. At the opposite end of the spectrum is West Virginia, which performed the worst on the same three sub-indexes. Utah does the best on the Work Environment Index, with a score more than 10 points higher than that of the worst state on this measure, Delaware. As in 2008, Mississippi is at the bottom on the Basic Access Index, and Kentucky scores the worst on the Healthy Behavior Index.
Each state’s sub-index score reflects the average of the positive percentages found for each of items detailed in the chart above. For example, Mississippi’s Basic Access Index score of 77.3 means that, on average, more than three-quarters of its residents do have access across each of the basic necessities asked about in the sub-index, but that still leaves a large number who are in need, representing millions of people.
Change in Well-Being From 2008 to 2009
Generally speaking, well-being has been fairly stable over time; most states exhibited little change from 2008 to 2009. Only four states — South Dakota, Mississippi, Hawaii, and Iowa — saw an increase of two or more points in their Well-Being Index score from 2008 to 2009. Wyoming saw the largest decrease at 1.3 points. Overall, 18 states moved in a negative direction, 27 in a positive direction, and 5 remained unchanged.
Some of the six sub-indexes scores are more likely to move because of several factors including the number of questions included in the sub-index and the content of the questions. For example, the Life Evaluation Index, which is calculated using two questions asking respondents to rate their lives now and in the future, score changes a good deal throughout the course of the year. Across states, 2008 to 2009 change in Life Evaluation Index scores ranged from 11.0 in Maine to -1.7 in Wyoming. After Maine, two of the biggest gains in Life Evaluation scores from 2008 to 2009, 10.7 and 10.5 points, were in North Dakota and South Dakota, respectively, also the two states with the highest percentage of residents who were satisfied with their standard of living in 2009. Although Wyoming was the only state in which the Life Evaluation Index score decreased last year in comparison to 2008, the downtick is not statistically significant.
Basic Access Index scores, on the other hand, are less likely to change over time. This sub-index is made up of 13 individual questions, many of which are items that require community, business, or governmental intervention to change such as if the city where the respondent lives in is getting better or worse as a place to live and if it is easy to get affordable fruits and vegetables where the respondent lives. The year-over-year range of change on this measure is from 0.8 points to -2.1 points and most of the change is not statistically significant, meaning that access to the basic necessities a person needs to have high well-being is essentially stagnant across the United States. However, cities and communities potentially have the opportunity to move the needle on the Basic Access metric by taking significant steps to improve the health and well-being of their residents.
While certain metrics are in the control of the individual and others fall upon businesses and the government to change, what is clear is that a much bigger society-wide effort is needed for more Americans to move their Well-Being Index score closer to the optimal level of 100 points.