Archive for June, 2015

7 Science-Backed Reasons Why Generosity Is Good For Your Health

June 21, 2015

Generosity

Giving of yourself — whether it be your time, energy or money — isn’t just a boon to those you’re helping. A wealth of research shows that generosity can also have benefits for the receiver, ranging from a better outlook at your job, to more years of life. Check out these science-backed reasons to make generosity a regular part of your day.

It will keep stress in check.
Being stingy — and ashamed of said stinginess — is linked with higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, according to a study from social psychologist Liz Dunn. Scientific American reported on the findings of the study, which examined cortisol levels in response to giving away money, and choosing to keep more money for yourself. The more money people chose to keep in the experiment, the greater shame they felt — and the higher their cortisol levels were. While some stress is good, chronically high levels of stress have been linked to a number of health ills.

Happiness at work depends on it.

Helping others while on the job could boost your happiness at work, according to research out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The study, published in the journal American Review of Public Administration, showed that being altruistic not only improves well-being at work, but also makes people feel more committed to their work and less likely to quit. “More and more research illustrates the power of altruism,” study researcher Donald Moynihan, a professor in the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the university, said in a statement. “Our findings make a simple but profound point about altruism: Helping others makes us happier. Altruism is not a form of martyrdom, but operates for many as part of a healthy psychological reward system.”

It’s beneficial to the greater good.
Generosity trumps selfishness when it comes to success in the long run, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that in a strategic game involving multiple people, being generous — where there is cooperation and everyone benefits from working together — led to more success than being selfish — where one person dominates the other, forcing them to receive a lower payoff. “You might think being generous would be a stupid thing to do, and it is if there are only two players in the game,” study researcher Alexander Stewart explained in a statement. “But, if there are many players and they all play generously, they all benefit from each other’s generosity.”

You’ll enjoy more years of life.

Researchers from the University of Buffalo found a link between giving and unselfishness and having a lower risk of early death. Published in the American Journal of Public Health, the findings show that helping others — whether it be by helping to run errands, watching their children or giving them a lift somewhere — is linked with a decreased mortality risk. “Our conclusion is that helping others reduced mortality specifically by buffering the association between stress and mortality,” study researcher Michael J. Poulin, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo, told PsychCentral.

It keeps the cycle of “good” going.
Thinking about the times you’ve given of yourself makes you feel selfless and want to help others, compared with thinking of the times you’ve been on the receiving end of things, according to a 2012 Psychological Science study. In other words, thinking about times you’ve helped others will then make you want to help others again — and what can be better than that?

Your marriage will be stronger.

Generosity is one of the key factors for a happy marriage, according to a 2011 report from the National Marriage Project. Elizabeth Marquardt, the associate editor of the report, told HuffPost Weddings that people “are happier in their marriages when they make a regular effort to serve their spouse in small ways — from making them a cup of coffee, to giving them a back rub after a long day, to going out of their way to be affectionate or forgiving.”

It promotes mental health.
Earlier this year, a huge review of 40 studies on the effect of volunteering on general health and happiness was published in the journal BMC Public Health. The results? Volunteering not only improves well-being and life satisfaction, but it’s also linked with decreased depression and a lower risk of dying early. “Since people reporting stronger social relationships have a reduced risk of mortality, the social aspects of volunteering may contribute to the observed survival differences,” the researchers wrote in the review. “Taken together, this review suggests that bio-social and cultural factors may influence both a willingness to engage in volunteering, as well as the benefits that might accrue.”

Article sourced from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/01/generosity-health_n_4323727.html

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Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Citrus Herb Veal

June 18, 2015

veal

10 Principles About Life to Look at Every Day.

June 16, 2015

life-1
Via  on Feb 14, 2013

1. Bad situations in life are only temporary.

“If you are going through hell, keep going.” ~ Winston Churchill

Life is messy—bad things happen to good people. We all face hardships, but what makes us human is the ability to bounce back. We can become more resilient than we were before. Some things happen that we have no control over.

You can find strength in situations that you never thought possible if you just keep moving forward.

2. Be open and compassionate.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~ Albert Einstein

Sometime events occur in your life that cause you to close. You assume every situation is going to occur the same way: if you were hurt once, you will be hurt again. This is not true. It’s better to forgive than to hold a grudge.

 3. Things aren’t going to always work out the way you plan.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few. ” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

Don’t approach life with expectations of how things should or shouldn’t be. So many conflicts in life occur because someone is attached to a plan on how things should or shouldn’t work.

It’s alright to have goals, aspirations and dreams, but you don’t have to be set on a particular outcome. Sometimes the worst tragedies in people’s life turn out to be the best.

 4. People’s opinions of you are not who you are.

 “If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” ~ Paulo Coelho 

Some people might say terrible things to you—who cares!? They might make a comment on your work, or your blog post. There’s no reason you need internalize it. Some people aren’t conscious of the things they say to people. So just be compassionate towards them.

 5. You’re going to fail at things.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fail, fail and fail some more. Find inspiration in children, how many times does a child fail before they get something right, children are constantly trying new things and failing. Learn from them!

Go out and try new things! No one has ever been good at something without failing.

 6. Find a reason to laugh every day.

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” ~ Charlie Chaplin

I think there is no greater mood lifter than to find a way to laugh every day. Find people every day to have a good laugh with.

 7. Some days are good; some days are bad.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them—that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ~ Lao Tzu

I one time was in line at a bank, and I heard something that changed my life. The clerk said to a customer, “How’s business?” The customer responded, “Some days good, some days bad.” Then the customer smiled.

You’re not your car; you’re not your fear; you’re not your feelings. Some days you will have good feelings, some days you will have bad feelings.

8. Do what you love every day.

“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” ~ Rumi

If you’re a writer, do it every day. If you’re a musician, do it every day. If you’re an actor, do it every day. If you’re a bobsledder, do it every day.

Whatever you like to do—just do it. But make sure you do it every day. Because if you do it every day you’ll become good at it, and when you’re good at something you can make a living out of it, if you decide to.

Who do you need permission from—your friends? This is not their life. This is your life. Do what you love to do.

9. Find some time to do some meditation.

“I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.” ~ Gandhi

I don’t care if you hate spirituality and you think meditation is for people that live on top of a mountain and eat plants. You might just feel better if you take some time throughout the day to close your eyes and check in with your breathing.

If you think meditation is weird—that’s your opinion—it doesn’t mean it’s right. There are over 3,000 studies on the effects of meditation and over 2,500 years of Eastern philosophy behind it. I don’t understand why everyone in the world doesn’t at least try meditation. I think the world would be a better place.

 10. Be a rebel—with a cause.

“I rebel; therefore I exist.” ~ Albert Camus

Break the rules. Who cares?! Don’t get arrested for doing anything illegal, but it’s alright to break the rules. Anyone who ever did anything worth doing was a trouble maker. Steve Jobs—trouble maker. Albert Einstein—trouble maker. Amelia Earhart—trouble maker. It’s alright to be a troublemaker and break free from the status quo.

About Robert Piper

Robert Piper is a speaker, writer, specialist in Eastern meditation systems, and an advocate for a happier society. His new book is called Meditation Muscle: America’s New Workout for the Mind to Increase Happiness, Build Resiliency, and Excel Under Pressure. You can find him at his website robertpiper.org on Facebook and Twitter.