Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Socializing boosts health, happiness

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

As students’ summer classes and work schedules fill their days to the brim, many may feel that the time crunch requires them to neglect their social life.

But not spending enough time with family and friends can compromise human health, UCLA researchers have found.

“(Social contact with others) has effects on the body that are more powerful than cigarette smoking and your cholesterol level,” said Shelley Taylor, a distinguished professor of psychology. “The magnitude is very strong.”

Click here for the full article.

Do you hear that, all you fellow college students who take too many hours of classes and participate in too many extracurriculars and run around being busy busy busy OMG SO BUSY?

You (and I) need a break.

Grab some friends, sit down (prefereably outside in the bright Indian summer sunshine) and relax.  Talk.  Play around, even.

You’ll be glad you did – much more glad, in the long run, than you would be if you stayed in and studied.  I assure you, with few exceptions, your grades are not that important, in the grand scheme of things.

Australia: Women aren’t as upbeat as men

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008


Women’s sense of wellbeing has fallen to its lowest level in seven years as inflation erodes the family budget and creates concerns about future economic security, a new study shows.

The findings, from the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index study, show a precipitous decline in women’s sense of wellbeing, but men’s wellbeing has stabilised at record-high levels.

The latest survey, based on a sample of 2000 people, was taken in April and May. For the first time in the history of the survey, which has charted the nation’s mood on 19 occasions since 2001, the wellbeing of males was higher than females.

Click here for the full article.

I don’t mean to whine or insult my male readers, but could the fact that women generally bear the most responsibility and worries of child-rearing be contributing their lower levels of happiness?

Such worries would be compounded in single-mother households.  Add the possibly lower salary that women receive (there is still a gender gap in salaries in the US, and I’m just assuming there may be one in Australia also) to the mix, and you have the perfect equation for a lot of stress and strain and unhappiness.


What kind of house brings happiness?

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

What housing would bring real happiness?
In his book, “Stumbling on Happiness,” Daniel Gilbert notes that most people are ineffective at forecasting what would make them happy.
“People know what it feels like to be happy, but they’re very poor at predicting the sources of their satisfaction,” says Gilbert, a Harvard University professor of psychology.
Human beings are especially likely to misjudge the satisfaction they’ll derive from having more money.
“More money makes people happier if they’re living under a bridge and can move up to the middle class. But making a lot more money doesn’t make middle-class people a lot happier,” he says.
By the same token, moving from a modest home to a fancier property won’t necessarily increase your happiness, unless it translates to meaningful improvements in your lifestyle.
A larger home could make you happier if, for instance, it provides more space for your grown children and their families to visit. In this case, the more spacious property would support your deep desire for more family solidarity.

Click here for the full article.

The Happiest Places In The World

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

It’s fashionable these days to speak of the death of geography. We live in a wireless, Internet age, where place no longer matters.

Or do we? Rumors of geography’s demise, it turns out, have been greatly exaggerated. The fact is that place matters, and in unexpected ways. The Internet remains a largely local phenomenon, and the number of people traveling–for work and pleasure–is on the rise.

Take happiness. You would think that, in this day of globalization and instant messaging, national differences in happiness would fade. They haven’t.

In Pictures: World’s Happiest Places

Video: Happiest Nations On Earth

Psychologists at the University of Leicester in Britain recently produced the world’s first map of happiness. Using data from the emerging science of happiness, they created a color-coded atlas of bliss, a topography of the human spirit, from Swaziland to Singapore. Happiness, it turns out, is like oil. Some countries are awash in it; others are bone dry.

The map contains more than a few surprises. Latin American countries, for instance, are among the happiest in the world, despite their relative poverty and often shaky political situations. “The Latino bonus,” some researchers have dubbed this phenomenon. One explanation: the close family ties found in Latin American countries, and among many Latinos in the U.S.

Click here for the full article.

Women Are Happy Being Single

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

It seems that Bridget Jones has been ousted by a new breed of women who are happy being single and living alone.

“Freemales” is the label that has been given to the growing number of women content in their single life.

The latest research from the Office for National Statistics shows the number of women living alone, between the age of 25 and 44, has doubled in the past two decades.

And research also shows single women no longer feel they need to be in a relationship to be happy.

More and more women are shunning the idea of marriage in favour of living alone and increasing numbers of women are divorcing and staying single.

These single women are happy with their lives and content with the intimacy they get from other close relationships with family and friends.

In fact, their lives are so full with work and socialising they have little time to worry about finding Mr Right.

This just goes to show that it’s far more important to have stable and supportive relationships in your life, than it is to find a partner just for the sake of having one.

Click here for the full article.

Money Can’t Buy Happiness?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008


Last month the Journal’s Jonathan Clements that money alone doesn’t buy a lot of happiness. Here, happiness blogger Gretchen Rubin takes a different point of view.

Money can’t make people stay in love, connect with friends or enjoy a hike in the woods. But money, spent wisely, can contribute greatly to happiness.

Recent articles in the news media tackle the money-happiness connection. A study this summer in Science magazine showed that when participants were asked to record the previous day’s activities and describe their moods, being wealthier didn’t have great impact on their moment-to-moment experience.

A different sort of study presents another picture. According to a Pew Research Center 2006 report, the percentage of people who declare themselves “very happy” goes up as family income rises. People were asked: “Taken all together, how would you say things are these days, would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?” Twenty five percent of people with incomes of $30,000 or less said they’re “very happy.” That compared with 50% of people with incomes of $150,000 or more.

Click here for the full article.


Happiness and having kids? Do they mix?

Friday, April 11th, 2008

…I have no doubt that there are parents who reflexively rank parenthood as their No. 1 joy in life because they think they’re supposed to. On the other hand, there’s a big difference between finding happiness in parenting and finding happiness in every minute of every day spent caring for kids. Parenthood can be intense and exhausting, hilarious and tedious, all in the same day; and 1-year-olds don’t always make the best conversationalists. But the satisfaction of parenthood isn’t something you can take apart, rating each little task to come up with an average “happiness score.” Like all relationships, raising kids is too complex for that…

Click here for the full article.