Posts Tagged ‘Stress’

Take Breaks

Friday, September 5th, 2008
This is #5 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Take Breaks. It’s a fact that taking breaks will increase productivity. It’s been proven in studies. If you need to, find someone to help ensure you take a morning and afternoon break.

My favorite way to take a break is through a short nap, followed by a rich cup of coffee (although some researchers recommend that you drink coffee prior to napping, so that the caffeine will act as a natural alarm clock when it kicks in 20 minutes later).  In Japan, where workdays often  last 12 hours, naps are becoming a common tactic to maintain mental agility throughout the day.  Read more about their innovative nap salons here and here. I wish every public space has a safe, clean place to take naps.  Can you imagine how well rested and cheerful we would all be?

Another effective way to take a break at work is through “desk yoga.”  I always feel better at work, physically and mentally, when I take a few moments every now then to stretch out my cramped legs, strained back, and typing-weary fingers.

If you’re a guy, and you’re about to skip reading this section of the article because you think of yoga as a predominately female activity, wait just a second.  Read through these simple yoga-inspired stretches and seriously consider giving them a shot.  They are designed to increase alertness and release stress, and most people find that they really do work.  Read instructions for desk yoga here and here.

What kind of breaks do you take to stay contented and alert on the job?

-MJ

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.

-MJ

Money Makes Way For Happiness, But Happiness Still Can’t Be Bought

Monday, August 25th, 2008

http://www.worldchanging.com/2051810786_938f3d3167.jpg

Imagine a ladder with 10 rungs. Now, imagine that the lowest rung (0) is the worst possible life that you could have and the highest rung (10) is the best. Where would you fall on that ladder?

If you’re like almost half (49 percent) of Americans, you’re “thriving” on rung seven through 10, according to the most recent Gallup World poll. Another 47 percent of us are “struggling” on rungs five through six, and four percent are “suffering” below rung four.

Looking into the backstory behind the overall estimates of “thriving” vs. “suffering,” we learn that the vast majority of Americans surveyed (84 percent) experienced enjoyment the day before participating. In comparison, only 38 percent experienced stress, 30 percent were worried, and 23 percent felt physical pain. A large percent (67 percent) ate healthy food the day before, 60 percent did something interesting, while only 33 percent worried about money. It’s these factors—not feeling pain, not worrying about money, and having options to do and eat what we enjoy—that are associated with happiness.

As we learn just what makes us happy and how reliable our happiness polling can be, researchers and policy makers are trying to decide just how much our happiness can and should affect policy and vice versa. First, the ultimate question: does money bring happiness?

Click here for the full article.

In my opinion, the problem with questions like, “Does money bring happiness?”  is that they all focus on just one factor of a person’s overall well-being.  No one thing, like money, family, freedom, or anything else, will make or break your happiness.  Happiness is determined by a combination of internal and external factors.

For example, having money might help you have a good education, but it will not necessarily give you the intellect to utilize that opportunity or the personality to appreciate it.  Under these circumstances, the education purchased with that money fails to make you happy, and therefore that money has ultimately failed to make you happy.  You had an external factor of happiness, but lacked a corresponding internal factor of happiness.

I do believe that it is easier for people with a certain amount of available capital to be happy.  People at a particular income level can afford better healthcare, safer shelter, and warmer clothing, and they therefore should have fewer worries.

What do you think?

-MJ

New Free Sample of Natural Formula Created to Bring More Happiness and Love – Love Potion No. 9 Parfum

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Behappy is giving away free samples of their new formula Love Potion No. 9 Parfum to bring more happiness and love. In this time of great economic hardship and stress; Love Potion No. 9 Parfum was created to help people feel more happiness and love without stress. New Love Potion No. 9 Parfum was created to provide a feeling of happiness and love using a soothing and 100% natural scent of spicy sandalwood or exotic floral. Love Potion No. 9 Parfum utilizes pure plant and delicate flower essential oils known for attraction properties. 21 different essential oils are combined from all over the world, slowly simmered and steeped in special antique containers using centuries old techniques to create layers of scent to subtly help you feel happier and draw that special someone to the wearer.

Click here for the full article.

I wonder if this would really work?  I’ve read that there is some truth to scents affecting one’s mental state, but I’ve always distrusted perfumes and colognes that claim to do anything more than make its wearer smell better.  Actually, I’ve begun switching to as many non-scented products as possible, and I feel like my sinuses and olfactory system have been thanking me for sparing them from constant stimulation.

- MJ

Music & Emotions: Can Music Really Make You a Happier Person?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

How many times have you turned to music to uplift you even further in happy times, or sought the comfort of music when melancholy strikes?

Music affects us all. But only in recent times have scientists sought to explain and quantify the way music impacts us at an emotional level. Researching the links between melody and the mind indicates that listening to and playing music actually can alter how our brains, and therefore our bodies, function.

It seems that the healing power of music, over body and spirit, is only just starting to be understood, even though music therapy is not new. For many years therapists have been advocating the use of music in both listening and study for the reduction of anxiety and stress, the relief of pain. And music has also been recommended as an aid for positive change in mood and emotional states.

Click here for the full article.

World’s largest health study: We’re stressed, we’re struggling and we like weekends

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

The Gallup Organization and Healthways, Inc., released the first data from the country’s largest poll on health and happiness today, showing that almost half of all Americans characterize themselves as “struggling” on those fronts.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index polls 1,000 people a day nationwide, including Spanish speakers, cell phone users and other people normally left out of national opinion surveys. It’s the largest ever survey of its kind, and Gallup has committed to doing it for the next 25 years. It began Jan. 1.

Almost 40% of those polled said they were significantly stressed the day before. Two-thirds said they had at least one of a list of chronic health problems, including high blood pressure or cholesterol. Almost a third, 28%, said they were not well-rested. A third said they worried about money the day before, 30% said they had a lot of worries in general and 23% said they were in physical pain.

Click here for the full article.

Looking for happiness? Try Sydney

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

It might come as a surprise if you’re struggling with the mortgage, the smog or the morning commute, but Sydney is apparently associated with the word “happiness”.

A global survey of urban lifestyle trends in 14 cities interviewed 8500 people, 630 who live in Sydney.

Those residents said Sydney was one of the world’s greatest cities, and a “pleasant, clean and charming” place to live.

In fact, the harbour city was ranked among the top three of the world’s “easy to live” cities, praised for low levels of population density and closeness to nature, with residents reporting they are optimistic and not very stressed.

Click here for the full article.