Happiness isn't something that happens to you, it's determined by your personality, thoughts, and behaviors. Although you may have thought, as many people do, that happiness comes from being born rich or beautiful or living a stress-free life, the reality is that those things don't confer lasting happiness. Lasting happened is cultivated when you focus on the positives in the present moment.
I recently came across this brief video from the Mayo Clinic that demonstrates the way in which nicotine stimulates receptors in the brain to release dopamine, thus triggering a pleasure response, and how, over time, the brain's anatomy changes as the number of nicotine receptors increases.
Last week, I wrote about the possibility of counteracting the aging effects of stress with light to moderate exercise. Now that we've explored ways to get the heart pumping to more effectively manage stress, it's time to take a look at various relaxation techniques that you can also use to deal with stress in order to lead a more healthy, happy life.
There's a lot of talk these days about the effects that mindful eating (which include, among other things, chewing your food slowly, savoring every bite, and eating free of the distractions of a cell phone, computer, or television) have on weight management, much of it centered around a new book by Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung called "Savor."
We all have a lot of stress in our lives. But there's enough compelling information out there that makes a very strong case for doing as much as we can to reduce — or eliminate altogether — stress in our lives.
With evidence mounting that a moderate amount of exercise can offer protection from memory loss and Alzheimer's disease, and three new reports in particular demonstrating that a number of activities may directly influence the health of brains in the elderly, the case for making exercise a central part of your daily routine — at any age — remains strong.
Did you know that high blood pressure and the lack of an exercise routine are closely related? That's because exercising on a regular basis helps to keep your heart healthy and strong so that it's able to pump blood throughout your entire system with ease. But you don't have to begin training for a marathon or become a regular feature at the gym to start reaping the many benefits that exercise can provide. In fact, just making slight modifications to your daily routine can have a tremendous influence on your blood pressure.
Talking to kids about sensitive subjects is never easy. That's especially true when it comes to raising the issue of childhood obesity. But with an estimated 17 percent of all children in the United States classifeid as obese and another 17 percent as overweight, one thing is clear: childhood obesity is one subject that many families across the country just can't avoid talking about.
Good news for moms and dads looking raise healthy, happy kids. A recent study published in the May 28 issue of Pediatrics finds that childern who spend time with kids who are active are more likely to exercise themselves. According to researchers who conducted the study, "...friendship ties play a critical role in setting physical activity patterns in children as young as 5 to 12 years."
We all know about the many health risks associated with smoking, From cancers of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx, to shortened life spans compared to those of non-smokers, the outlook for smokers is never positive. All the more reason, then, to partner with your doctor to find a way to kick the habit — once and for all.