5 Habits Of Those Who Are Truly Happy

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By Janet Miller

womantwistingHappiness. Everyone wants it, everyone is seeking it, but few actually have it. Is our quest for success, money, and accomplishment actually limiting our happiness? Having met with many entrepreneurs and C-level executives around the world in my previous job, I took a few notes along the way. Here are the 5 habits I found that distinguish those who are truly happy:

1. They accept their calling. Not everyone knows what their calling is in life. Equally, however, many people might find what they think is their calling, and abandon it out of fear. Instead of shying away from what you’re good at, because you’re afraid of the hard work, notoriety, or anything else associated with it, actively pursue this calling. If you find your purpose, or have a hunch you have, seek it, and don’t look back. Focusing on your true strengths, and what you believe your purpose is, will help unlock true happiness.

2. They don’t chase money. Contrary to what some supremely successful people may portray, money does not bring happiness. Beyond a certain amount, the amount required to live comfortably and indulge occasionally, more money does not necessarily bring more happiness. In fact, a single-minded quest to pursue money might block out friendships, family, leisure, health, and other things that are critical to long-term happiness. There will always be someone richer, and more money to make. Those who are truly happy stop worrying about money.

3. They sleep. There are those people for whom sleep is a waste of time and work is their only source of achievement and happiness. For most others, however, sleep is important. Everyone knows how a good night of sleep feels. Sleep is a trade off in time with work, relationships etc., but often it is one worth making. Many of the truly happy people I have met are very generous with the sleep time they give themselves.

happyteens4. They laugh. Laughter is often the sign of good relationships between friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers. Laughter releases chemicals in the brain that make you feel momentarily happy. Have enough of those moments, and you have got a pretty good base of happiness. One morning routine that some people use very effectively is to look at themselves in the mirror for 5 minutes and to simply smile from ear to ear. This sets a positive tone for the rest of the day.

5. They give. Giving is related to caring and charity, but is itself something different and worth focusing on. There are plenty of worthy and righteous reasons to give, say, to charity. One of the lesser-mentioned reasons is that giving makes the giver feel good. The notion of “the gift” is complex, and sometimes tied up in a weird “who owes who” psychology. However, if you can avoid this, there are lots of benefits from giving. Giving to friends, family, and charity, all have their virtues. It feels good to help someone in need, and it is a reminder of your own good fortune. You cannot control whether or not you receive help in a time of need, but you can control when you help others.

– Janet Miller is a certified yoga instructor, nutritionist and seasoned work at home mom of four. She worked for more than 10 years at a Fortune 100 corporation before deciding to work at home full time. You can reach her at her blog.

Southern Diet Linked To Death In Those With Kidney Disease

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newsEating a Southern-style diet results in higher death rates in those with kidney disease, according to research published in the August issue of the National Kidney Foundation’s American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

“This is the first study to identify a regionally specific diet pattern that is highly associated with adverse outcomes among persons with kidney disease,” said lead author Orlando Gutiérrez, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “It’s well known that the Southern region has poor health outcomes in a number of different areas including stroke, heart disease and sepsis, and that the style of diet plays a role.”

According to the National Kidney Foundation, modifying lifestyle through healthy diet as well as controlling blood pressure and blood sugar, quitting smoking, regular exercise and maintaining a normal weight, can reduce the risk of kidney disease and related conditions.

Using the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study, the research team identified 3,972 participants who had stage 3-5 chronic kidney disease, but had not started dialysis. They then analyzed dietary patterns in those individuals. Those who primarily ate a cuisine of processed and fried foods, organ meats and sweetened beverages, items popular in Southern diets, had a 50% increase in risk of death over a 6.5-year follow-up period.

While many studies have looked at individual nutrients such as sodium or potassium and their effect on longevity in kidney patients, this study focused on dietary patterns.

“People don’t eat nutrients in isolation,” said Thomas Manley, director of scientific activities, National Kidney Foundation. “This study suggests that those caring for people with kidney disease should be focusing on patterns of eating and reducing processed foods and saturated fat, rather than on individual minerals and nutrients. It’s the overall patterns that are strongly associated with adverse outcomes.”

Surprising Results

The same study showed that while a healthy diet alone — comprised primarily of whole foods, fruits and vegetables – was associated with improved survival, it had no protective benefit when it came to progression to kidney failure.

“This doesn’t mean that eating a healthy diet doesn’t help, but it suggests that healthy lifestyle overall — not smoking, exercising and eating right — the combination of these things is more important for kidney health,” Dr. Gutiérrez said.

Kidney Disease Facts from the National Kidney Foundation

· 1 in 3 American adults is at high risk for developing kidney disease today. The risk increases to 1 in 2 over the course of a lifetime.

· High blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure and being over 60 are major risk factors for developing kidney disease.

· 1 in 9 American adults has kidney disease — and most don’t know it.

· Early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease.

· Kidney disease risk can be reduced by controlling blood pressure and blood sugar, quitting smoking, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding excessive use of pain medications.

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk. For more information, visit kidney.org.

– Submitted by Ellie Schlam of the NKF.