3 Basic Ways To Be A Healthier Mom

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By Carolette Alcoran

active familyBecoming a parent would mean that you have to care not only for yourself but you have to give your whole life to your children as well. But before being able to do so you have to know if you are healthy enough to do it. It’s the same as saying “Help yourself first, before you can help others”. Becoming healthy won’t be in an instant, especially now that you are a parent. Staying healthy is a bigger challenge. The thought of trying to be healthy is a constant addiction.

The moment somebody tries to spill something of the word “healthy” a person would immediately react to the stimuli of asking oneself, if they are. It makes you think about your preferences on being healthy. Thousands of internet articles might say you might not be in the socially accepted level of being healthy, but you yourself should say otherwise. Being healthy should boil down to you saying that “you are”. Being a mother would require you to look through a lot of things, being in a stable happy life while being in healthy should be one of them. You should take your pick on how to be one.

Stay on the right diet

It is often a sight to see, people who become parents are usually going on top of the weighing scale and it is normal thing. Sure, it must’ve been fun going on the “I can get this and eat that attitude” when you were pregnant that sent your husband running from places to places just to please your appetite. But you are a mother now and considering a healthy diet should be a priority.

Cut off the sugar intake and lessen on foods with preservatives. There is no mistaking that you cannot totally avoid consuming all products that would make you go on an unhealthy diet, but making sure you lessen this is your choice. Go for more fruits and vegetables and remember to be eating on time. What you do serves as an example for your children, if you’re healthy then they should be too.

Downing the weighing scale

If you happen to be one of those parents who are consciously looking at themselves in the mirror after a few years of being a parent and seeing the weight gain they have, make sure you spend time on staying fit. Now, fit is a broad term and is almost the same thing as saying healthy. Being fit would make you as you are if you think that you are. Getting to exercise more often should make you feel less stressed about your life. Of course, it is a challenge looking after your children and it is enormously stressful. But if the price of being healthy would make you a better parent then you should consider it. Spend time on short breaks for exercise and don’t broaden the word, just do what you can as it will help you relieve yourself, mentally and create a better vibe for your family. You could also try doing yoga. Study says that it exercises you both physical, mentally and spiritually, you might consider going with a yoga teacher training. If it makes you healthier you should go with the question “why not”?

Get your happy hour

A mother typically carries the most stressful baggage in the family because she is the one who mostly likely considers everything from her children to her husband to everything in household. Could you remember a time that you stumbled? What was the first word you uttered? “Mom”!

Being a mother, you should make time for yourself and take some time off. Of course, being a parent is forever but considering the load you are carrying all the time you wouldn’t be doing any good if you are always stressed. Get a book, watch a movie, a date with your husband or a night out with your friends. You can always ask your husband to look for your baby or better hire a good tutor, which would benefit your child too. It should get you going with a positive vibe and be a better parent for your children and a loving wife for your husband.

Settle with everything on your own pace. Being a parent is not an easy task, you should consider creating your own set of rules that would supply your happiness. If you are already stable in your decisions, then you are all set in becoming a healthy individual for all the roles that you are acting as.

– Carolette Alcoran is a Content Writer from the Philippines. She has rendered services accurately and is flexible in writing various topics. She writes promotional advertisements, issues concerning both virtual and reality, lifestyle tips, marketing trends and also media’s effectiveness.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield Of New Jersey Invests $8.1 Million In Healthier Communities

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

didyouknow?Working with community partners to keep children healthy; generously supporting local organizations that connect New Jerseyans to life-saving health services; and, donating time, talent and resources to make New Jersey communities stronger and more vibrant. Details on these and other ways that Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is making a positive difference in the lives of millions of state residents can be found in the just-released 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

“As a New Jersey-based company for 84 years, Horizon continually strives to be a responsible corporate citizen that enriches the lives and health of the state’s residents,” said Robert A. Marino, Chairman & CEO of Horizon BCBSNJ. “I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish through our charitable efforts, and applaud our 5,000 employees for consistently demonstrating their passion for giving back to the communities where they live and work.”

The report lays out the results achieved by Horizon’s Corporate Social Responsibility Department in 2015:

* $5.2 million in grants from The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. Signature initiatives include “Breathe Easier with Asthma Management (BEAM),” a collaborative with the Boys & Girls Clubs in NJ that supports asthma education and awareness efforts and “Healthy U,” a partnership with the NJ YMCA State Alliance to prevent childhood obesity. The Foundation made 128 grants in 2015 including support for HomeFront in Mercer County, the Jersey City Bike Share Program, and Newark Celebration 350, honoring Newark’s 350th birthday.

* $2.68 million in corporate giving, charitable contributions and financial support of local organizations through sponsorships of 134 events including the Salvation Army 150th Anniversary Gala and the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

* 5,449 hours volunteered by Horizon BCBSNJ employees and $237,000 in matching funds for employee contributions.

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s largest and most experienced health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at http://www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.8 million members.

How Technology Has Helped Children To Live Healthier Lives

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kidsWhile the debate rages as to whether or not children spend too much time online, there are other less obvious facets of technology that have made a positive impact on our children’s health. With medical advances being made by the day, there are a number of ways in which technology can be utilized to assess and monitor the state of health in both adults and children. Before assuming that technology is damaging the upcoming generation, it’s time to take a look at just what those advances are that have helped our children live healthier lives.

Wearable Glucose Monitors

At some point in time, someone, somewhere came up with the idea to create a wearable device that continually monitors glucose levels in the blood without the need for those annoying finger pricks. They may be only an annoyance to adults, but many children find them painful. Wearable glucose monitors are the result of medical device engineering and technology working together to provide a better option for use with both adults and children.

As more and more techies work together with medical professionals, other types of wearables will be developed by companies such as DeviceLab that will enable data on a child’s health to be digitally uploaded to the health provider’s computer in real time. If the child has a life-threatening problem, it can be dealt with immediately, many times more quickly than an ambulance could arrive on scene.

Programs and Apps for Health Awareness

Kids today are getting cell phones at a younger and younger age. This could pose a problem if they were to use it inappropriately during school hours, but what about turning the tables by using that same phone to raise awareness on all things health. From teaching them about food groups and healthy foods to eat to providing educational games on anatomy or the ecology, kids can begin learning in an environment that stimulates their sense of wonder. After all, what kid isn’t fascinated by cell phones? If parents are going to provide them to children in grade school, they might as well download games and apps that will raise the child’s awareness of the world around them.

The World at Their Fingertips

Technology has literally brought the world to their fingertips…..

Technology has literally brought the world to their fingertips so kids today have access to a wealth of knowledge that their parents and grandparents weren’t privy to. Just as mobile devices and wearables can help to monitor and assess the state of our children’s health, so too can desktop computers be tied into a healthcare program for kids. There are so many ways in which a young mind can absorb knowledge if taught how to do so using technology as a tool.

Instead of lumping all technology together into something that is ruining the minds of our children, it is necessary to teach them how to use it wisely to enrich their lives and help them to live a healthier lifestyle. Like anything else in life, it isn’t that something is inherently bad but rather how you use it. Technology can be good and conversely, it can be bad. It’s all in how it is employed. So is technology ruining the minds of our kids? Maybe, but then again, maybe it is offering benefits we are only just beginning to understand.

– Article submitted by Carol Trehearn

10 Things Anyone Can Do To Lead Healthier Lives

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Thank you to PRWeb for supplying this article. What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments section below…..

healthillustratedThousands of books have been written on what to eat, how to exercise and even where to work in order to enjoy a healthier, happier life. But the keys to a long, vital life are basic. The International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) has put together the 10 tips below based on recent research. And in most cases, they apply to people of all ages.

1. THINK POSITIVE. Strive for success in all you endeavors, especially those related to your health or fitness program. Negative thoughts can become self-fulfilling prophecies. And never let your age be a barrier. Research has shown that thinking positively about getting older can lengthen your life by as much as 7.5 years.

2. TURN YOUR SPARK INTO A FLAME. Do you have a passion, talent or hobby that you do well at? Nurture it, grow it, and let that enthusiasm spill over into other areas of life.

3. KEEP YOUR MOTOR RUNNING. Lacking energy and motivation may result from challenges in your life as simple as losing focus on your goals. If you suspect your lethargy is caused by physical or mental health issues, by all means see a healthcare professional. But don’t underestimate your ability to recharge through lifestyle changes and gain the energy to do the things you love to do when you want to do them. Having energy and motivation are hallmarks of healthy living.

4. EAT A BALANCED DIET. This is the one you knew was coming: a balanced diet and healthy weight are keys to physical and mental health. Instead of the latest fad diet, start with a common-sense approach – eat lots of fruits and vegetables, go easy on the sugar and salt. Cut back on calories if your weight is trending the wrong way. You can do it!

5. REGULAR EXERCISE. Staying physically active fuels the body and mind and helps prevent physical and mental decline. If you’re already exercising regularly, keep it up. If you’re just getting started, set realistic goals based on your own fitness level, then move towards them at your own pace. Just walking for as little as 10 minutes, 3 times a day is infinitely better than doing nothing. The key is to be consistent. Get started!

6. CONNECT WITH PEOPLE. Keep your social life active. Go out with friends to see a movie or enjoy a coffee. Even better, do volunteer work on a regular basis. Research shows that people who volunteer have higher levels of well-being and life satisfaction than people who don’t. Volunteering and other kinds of civic and social engagement can contribute to better health.

7. DON’T STAY DOWN. Everyone feels down at times, but full-blown depression is a major cause of disability and cannot be ignored. If you’re feeling out of sorts for two weeks or more, talk with your doctor. In many instances, exercising and changing to a healthier diet can help lift you out of the doldrums.

8. KEEP LEARNING. Studies show that lifelong learning is good for you. Learning adds a needed dimension to life, whether it involves staying in touch with what is happening in the world or keeping the brain stimulated. The best news is that you can start learning new subjects or physical activities at any age. So why not start today?

9. INVEST IN YOU. Shifting your expectations of yourself – then embarking on new behaviors to realize your goals – takes energy and effort. Consider your effort to improve as a small investment in a plan that pays big dividends. The results will be well worth it.

10.HAVE FUN! A healthy life is generally a life filled with joy and laughter. So do what you need to do to kick up your heels and have a good time. Ride a bike, learn a language, take up square dancing. Step outside of your comfort zone if you have to. Make 2015 the best year ever to be alive.

About International Council on Active Aging

ICAA, an association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging, an approach to aging that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness; and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies. These include the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada’s Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia ministries of Health, and Healthy Living and Sport, among others. To learn more about ICAA, visit: http://www.icaa.cc

Feng Shui Your Kitchen For A Healthier You

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

healthychoiceWhenever you want to make a change in your life, “move 27 things” says an old Chinese proverb. It may sound a bit crazy, or simplistic, but you’ll be amazed how much truth is in that one statement.

For 20 years I’ve been practicing and teaching the principles of Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art and science of energy management. One of the main tenets of Feng Shui advises us to get rid of clutter. When we are surrounded by clutter we are bogged down and suffocated in our minds as well as our emotions. Clearing away objects also clears up the path for new energy to flow through.

Live only with what you love. If something doesn’t spark joy in you, then you must donate it, recycle it, store it or dump it. Then you will find you have room for change because the “stuck” energy will shift and you will be able to make room for and enjoy the changes you desire. De-cluttering is the path to a fresh start.

There is also a way to Feng Shui your health.

To start improving your health, you want to change what you eat. When temptation is out of eye sight you can make healthier choices for what you feed your precious body.

Step one: De-clutter your refrigerator and pantry.

1. Toss out any cereals or bread products that are refined, presweetened, made with white flour, high in saturated fats, sodium and sugar.

2. REPLACE these with organic, high fiber, steel-cut oats and truly whole grain bread products.

3. Toss out any instant soups, rice and noodle mixes, (both high in fat and sodium) instant drink mixes, hot cocoa mixes, iced tea mixes (high in sugar and saturated fats like palm oil).

4. REPLACE these with whole grains such as brown rice, bulgur wheat, dried beans, lentils, peas, and high quality green, black or oolong teas.

5. Toss butter, white sugar, vegetable oils.

6. REPLACE them with non-GMO spreads like Earth Balance, extra virgin olive oil and canola oil.

7. Start using spices in place of salt and salty seasonings.

8. Grow your own or use fresh herbs in your dishes like rosemary, basil, sage and thyme for aromatic and flavorful meals.

In your refrigerator:

1. Toss creamers with artificial, additives and sweeteners, regular margarines or spreads that contain, “partially hydrogenated oil” yogurt with sugary fruit or artificial sugars, American or processed cheeses, “cheese food” and cream cheese.

2. REPLACE them with organic, hormone free, fat free milk, organic unsweetened soy, almond, oat or rice beverages, organic yogurt that is plain and unsweetened (add you own fresh fruit) and small amounts of reduced fat natural hard cheeses or chees alternatives like the ones made by Lisanatti Foods soy, rice or almond cheese alternatives in a variety of delicious flavors and textures.

When you give yourself a break using healthy food, you will find that you feel more energetic, healthier, and happier. Move 27 things and change your life for the better.

Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a PhD in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 10 books. Heart Easy™ is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding. While earning her PhD in Natural Health and a Doctorate in Naturopathy, she completed 36 courses in nutrition from Baylor University.

Alleviate “Sugar Sag” With A Healthier Diet

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Submitted by Julia Parsons from the Baylor College of Medicine….

healthychoiceEveryone wants to age gracefully but they may not know that certain foods cause “sugar sag,” which results in wrinkles and loose skin.

Sugar sag is essentially a loss of elasticity in the skin that occurs from elevated levels of blood sugar, explains Dr. Rajani Katta, professor in the department of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine. Naturally over time everyone’s skin will begin to lose elasticity, however eating certain foods over time can accelerate the process.

While many think of sugar itself as the main culprit, any foods that raise blood sugar, including simple carbohydrates, such as white bread and white rice, can cause collagen fibers to become brittle and not function as well.

“Research has shown that elevated blood sugar can lead to changes in the collagen and elastic fibers of the skin via a process known as glycation,” Katta said. “This results in cross-linking of the skin fibers, causing increased stiffness and reduced elasticity.”

These changes promote wrinkles, and once wrinkles are formed, there is no natural remedy to reverse it.

However, it is possible to counteract it, says Katta.

She recommends that people incorporate more fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices into their diets as a way to prevent sugar sag and its negative effects, like wrinkles and jowls.

These foods keep the skin healthy and slow the process of visible aging on the skin.

“The idea behind preventing sugar sag is ‘better skin from the inside out,’” said Katta. “What you eat affects your skin.”

Katta says adopting better eating habits, protecting skin from the sun and not smoking are the best proactive ways to care for skin and age gracefully through life.

Six Easy Ways To Lead A Healthier Lifestyle

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By Mark Enright

healthychoiceMany people make changes to their lifestyle in the New Year. However, busy work routines often get in the way and the majority of people are back to their old ways by the end of January. The problem is that the changes that people make are often too drastic to be sustainable. Not only that, but it doesn’t have to be January that you seek change – don’t wait for the New Year to better your life; you can do that any time of the year!

Here are 10 simple changes you can make which will have a big impact in the long run:

Adopt a positive attitude

Do not view the changes you make as a necessary evil. See them for what they are: the key to better health and increased confidence. By accepting that you will not see results quickly and by viewing the bigger picture, the new things you are doing will quickly become a part of your life, not an unwelcome intrusion.

Get more exercise

Incorporating more exercise into your daily routine doesn’t have to mean going jogging every day or joining a gym. Simple things such as taking the stairs instead of the lift and walking to work in the morning will make a big difference. Buying a pedometer and setting yourself a step target for the day will ensure that you are mobile enough.

Replace your unhealthy snacks

If you have an office job, odds are that you often snack at your desk. Replace what you are eating with healthy alternatives, such as nuts or fruit. This will help to keep hunger pangs at bay and stop cravings for junk food.

Eat more vegetables

fruitswhiteFive fruits and veggies per day is the magic number, so aim for this. Getting more fruit and veg means you will increase your vitamin intake. This translates to many health benefits, such as a stronger immune system, healthier skin and nails and more energy. If you are struggling to eat enough healthy foods, try making them into a smoothie – it will taste better than you think!

Get enough sleep

Many people are guilty of not getting enough sleep. Work, watching television and browsing the internet are the usual culprits behind late nights. If you struggle to fall asleep at night, try drinking warm milk or having a small snack; both of these have been shown to aid relaxation. Getting a good night’s sleep is key if you are planning on exercising the next day.

Take food supplements

Food supplements should be exactly that: supplements. The majority of your vitamin intake should be from whole foods. Supplements can be used to top up your intake levels. A multivitamin is a simple fix, which will lead to your health improving over time.

Following these simple tips will make it easier to hit your health goals in 2014.

Are you seeking to make changes in the new year? What are they? Leave a comment below and let us know.

– This piece was written by Mark Enright, a writer for The Light, a retail and leisure complex containing a multitude of shops and restaurants.

Vegan Food Choices For A Healthier World

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By J.J.Brown, Ph.D.

Reasons to Go Vegan

fruitswhiteFor people who grow up in a family where eating meat is a tradition, giving it up for a diet exclusively of fruits, vegetables and grains is a big step. How does this change happen? Paul McCartney of The Beatles stopped eating meat 30 years ago. The decisive moment came when he was watching a lamb run through a field in front of him, and he realized he could not eat the same creature he adored. “Meatless Mondays” is a way to start, with his new project for schools. He encourages school children and schools to have meatless meals on Mondays for a healthier diet with more variety.

Michael Natkin, who created the cookbook “Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes”, is a vegetarian. He has been since 1984. When people ask why, Michael Natkin says, “because I wouldn’t like to kill an animal, and it doesn’t make sense to me to have someone else do it for me.”

Throughout history, many of our genius leaders and achievers were vegan, including artist inventor Leonardo Da Vinci, the leader Mohandas Ghandi, and Apple’s inventor Steve Jobs. Today, more and more people in the public spotlight are adopting a vegan diet, like actors Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire.

Strong Vegan Choices

saladplateTreading lightly on the planet doesn’t mean giving up strength. The vegan choice is a strong choice. Many athletes are turning to a vegan diet, and maintain that plant based diets keep them stronger and healthier, including track star Carl Lewis and tennis star Venus Williams, and pro athlete Brendan Brazier. When making choices for each meal, keep good protein sources out in front, like beans, nuts, and whole grains. Sample new high protein ingredients like tempeh, which has 30 grams of protein in one cup. Quinoa includes 9 grams of protein in a cup, and has an interesting texture for adding variety.

Our Healthy World

A vegan diet can go a long way toward creating a healthier world. In the inspiring book, “Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating,” biologist author Jane Goodall gives a big dose of hope. Eating plants, which are lower on the food chain than animals, means there is more food for everyone. Considering how fast the human population grows, feeding everyone in the sustainable future is a challenge. Being mindful of each food choice, and eating plants instead of animals can be a gradual change that helps everyone. And in a world where too many people go hungry, this kind of change is a welcome one.

J.J.Brown, Ph.D. was born in the Catskill Mountain region of New York and has lived in New York City for two decades. She completed a Ph.D. in genetics and her research is published in leading clinical and education journals. She worked as a research scientist before turning to fiction writing, publishing short stories, novels and poems.

How And Why To Force Yourself To Be Healthier

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By Dr. Steve Levinson

healthywordsThere’s a lot we can do to improve our health. We can eat better, get more sleep, and exercise more. We can improve our relationships, reduce unnecessary stress, and do a better job of relaxing.

There’s so much we already know about what it takes to be healthier, and we’re learning more all the time. But the truth is, we benefit far less than we should from all this knowledge. It’s not that we don’t intend to make healthy changes. To the contrary, our good intentions come easily – very easily. What doesn’t come easily, however, is follow through. Although we know what we should do, and we truly intend to do it, we often don’t follow through on our good intentions.

Just imagine how much healthier you could be if you had the ability to always follow through. If you decided to eat better, you would. If you decided to get more exercise, you would. If you decided to get regular check-ups, you just would. You’d be able to turn whatever you know about what it takes to be healthy into tangible healthy behavior.

Why we don’t follow through

If you’re serious about being as healthy as possible, then you’re probably frustrated and a bit puzzled by your own follow through failures.

If you’re serious about being as healthy as possible, then you’re probably frustrated and a bit puzzled by your own follow through failures. Well, you can stop scratching your head and stop beating yourself up. Poor follow through isn’t exactly your fault! Without realizing it, you’ve been relying on faulty equipment. That’s right, faulty equipment. You see, poor follow through is caused mostly by a glitch in the way the normal human mind is designed.

Although we humans are endowed with impressive intelligence that allows us to figure out what we should do to make our lives as good as they can possibly be, amazingly, there’s absolutely no built-in mechanism to ensure that our intelligence will actually control our behavior. That’s why you can intelligently decide at 2 PM to give up unhealthy snacks and then find yourself eating a bag of greasy chips by 3PM.

Yes, it’s an extremely inconvenient truth: Our behavior is often influenced more by what we feel like doing at the moment than by what we’ve intelligently decided we should do.

A simple cure for poor follow through?

The good news is, if you have the courage to embrace rather than ignore that inconvenient truth, you can dramatically improve your ability to follow through. Once you recognize that what you actually do may be driven more by what you feel in your gut than by your own good intentions, you’re just a hop, skip and a jump away from discovering the cure for poor follow through.

The cure is this: Deliberately create situations that make you feel like you must do the same thing you intend to do!

applevectorLet’s use a rather extreme example to illustrate how the cure works. Suppose you intend to get into the habit of eating an apple a day. Great idea. But let’s face it, intending – by itself – certainly won’t make you feel like you must eat an apple every day. But how about this? Suppose you write out a check for one thousand dollars to an organization you absolutely despise. You put the check in a pre-addressed and stamped envelope and ask a trusted friend to promise to mail it if you ever fail to notify her by 9 PM that you’ve eaten your daily apple.

So, what have you accomplished by creating a situation like this? You’ve replaced the easy to ignore “I really should eat an apple” with a fierce, gut-felt, truly motivating “I absolutely must eat an apple!” As a result, your healthy good intention will suddenly have all the power it needs to drive your behavior, and before long you will have created a healthy habit that otherwise would have remained just another good idea.

So if being healthy is truly important to you, isn’t it worth making a practice of deliberately creating situations that force you to do the healthy things you know you should do?

– Dr. Steve Levinson is a clinical psychologist, author and inventor who specializes in helping people follow through on their own good intentions. His work is featured at http://habitchange.com.

6 Ways To A Happier, Healthier Heart

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By Kac Young PhD, DCH, ND.

womantwistingHappiness begins from the inside out. You can’t purchase happiness at your local department store, you can’t order it online, and you can’t order it for dessert in a restaurant with a cherry on top. Happiness and other positive emotions play an even more important role in health than previously thought, according to a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine by Carnegie Mellon University Psychology Professor Sheldon Cohen. The study confirms the results in which Cohen and his colleagues found that people who are happy, lively, calm or exhibit other positive emotions are less likely to become ill when they are exposed to a common cold virus than those who report few of these emotions.

Try these 6 ways to increase your happiness.

1. Spend more money on experiences and less on material goods. That is, spend your dollars on leisure activities–vacations, adult-education classes, concert tickets–instead of on more “stuff.” Experiences stay with you but possessions break, go out of style and have no emotional connection.

“The problem with many purchases is that they tend to just sit there,” said Kennon Sheldon, professor of psychological sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. “They don’t keep on providing varied positive experiences. Hence, many purchases tend to be only quick fixes.”

2. Don’t be afraid to share your money generously. Giving money or gifts strengthens social bonds. Social connections amplify happiness and activate the brain areas associated with receiving rewards.

A 2008 study by Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton and colleagues found that giving money to someone else lifted participants’ happiness more than spending it on themselves (despite participants’ prediction that spending on themselves would make them happier). Happiness expert Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, saw similar results when she asked people to perform five acts of kindness each week for six weeks.

Trade out many small pleasures for one large one, especially if money is limited. The buzz that comes from a large purchase wears off relatively quickly.

3. Trade out many small pleasures for one large one, especially if money is limited. The buzz that comes from a large purchase wears off relatively quickly. As Ashley convincingly states in her blog,

“Whatever it is, I’ve had a hard time reminding myself that spending money doesn’t make me happy. I think the clothes I buy will make me happier. The storage bins, the throw pillows, perhaps a bottle of nail polish. And while it’s true for a day, it doesn’t bring me real, lasting happiness. It gives me a bit of a happy high.

I have to remind myself that I have four garbage bags full of clothes I’m not wearing. That having less junk and more space in my house makes me happier and is better for the planet and our budget. Marketing and advertising are phenomenally effective on me – I convince myself that purchases can make me happier, thinner, prettier, more successful, and more calm. Here’s the thing: If I am not already working towards those things on my own, no amount of money spent at Target is ever going to make me happier, thinner, prettier, more successful, and more calm.” (1)

4. Delay consumption, prolong anticipation. Looking forward to an event is an enormous primary source of pleasure, even if the event itself disappoints.

Delayed gratification is associated with resisting a smaller but more immediate reward in order to receive a larger or more enduring reward later on. (2) A person’s ability to delay gratification relates to other similar skills such as patience, impulse control, self-control and willpower, all of which are involved in self-regulation. Delayed gratification leads to a host of other positive outcomes, including academic success, physical health, psychological health, and social competence.

smile5. Happiness is found in the little things. Happiness is often shaped by the “uplifts” of daily life, and unhappiness by the irritations, more than by major life events.

The philosopher Nietzsche, in a rare moment of deep stillness, wrote, “For happiness, how little suffices for happiness!…the least thing precisely, the gentle thing, the lightest thing, a lizard’s rustling, a breath, a wink, an eye glance—little maketh up the best happiness. Be still.”

Find the little things that take your breath away and make you feel calm inside. Incorporate more of the wonders of nature into your life and let those enjoyments fill your soul. The memory of a sunset will do you more good than a five star meal.

6. Pay close attention to the happiness of others. Research suggests that the best way to predict how much you’ll derive pleasure from something is to see how much others have enjoyed it.

New research from Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Diego suggests that happiness is influenced not only by the people you know, but by the people they know.

The study showed that happiness spreads through social networks, sort of like a virus, meaning that your happiness could influence the happiness of someone you’ve never even met.

“We have known for a long time that there is a direct relationship between one person’s happiness and another’s,” Fowler tells WebMD.

“But this study shows that indirect relationships also affect happiness. We found a statistical relationship not just between your happiness and your friends’ happiness, but between your happiness and your friends’ friends’ friends’ happiness.” (3)

healthyheartBy enhancing your happiness you are supporting your immune system and the health of your heart.

“People who are usually happy and enthusiastic are less likely to develop heart disease than those who tend to be glum,” Karina Davidson of Columbia University Medical Center wrote in the study in the European Heart Journal.

“Davidson’s team said one possible reason for the link between happiness and heart risk could be that people who are happier tend to have longer periods of rest or relaxation, and may recover more quickly from stressful events and not spend as much time “re-living” them. Their observational study was the first to show an independent relationship between positive emotions and coronary heart disease.” (4)

Put these 6 ways to work and you’ll be on your way not only to a happier and healthier heart, but to a more fulfilling life, too.


(1) http://ourlittleapartment.com/

(2) Carducci, B. J. (2009). “The psychology of personality: Viewpoints, research, and applications.” John Wiley and Sons, p. 443.

(3) http://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20081204/happiness-is-contagious

(4) http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/02/18/us-heart-disease-idUSTRE61H00K20100218

– Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a Ph.D. in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author 10 books. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding.

While earning her Ph.D. in Natural Health and a Doctorate in Naturopathy, she completed 36 courses in nutrition from Baylor University.

She also earned a doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy. Her practice includes, weight control, smoking cessation, behavior modification, stress reduction, past-life regression, meditation training and phobia management. Her books include: “Heart Easy, The Food Lover’s Guide to Heart Healthy Eating,” “Discover Your Spiritual Genius,” “Feng Shui the Easy Way,” “Dancing with the Moon,” “21 Days to the Love of Your Life,” “Gold Mind,” “Cheese Dome Power,” The Path to Fabulous,” “The Quick Guide to Bach Flower Remedies” and “Supreme Healing.”