“Your Happy Place for Good News” offers the latest truly good news that you can use. Articles that contain information that is actionable as well as informative.
Happiness is Being Here Now
Mindfulness meditation is a stress reducer. New research from the Shamatha Project at the University of California, Davies, has been published and the results show that becoming present in the moment significantly reduces your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Tonya Jacobs, a postdoctoral researcher at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain and first author of a paper describing the work said, “This is the first study to show a direct relation between resting cortisol and scores on any type of mindfulness scale.”
“Previous studies from the Shamatha Project have shown that the meditation retreat had positive effects on visual perception, sustained attention, socio-emotional well-being, resting brain activity and on the activity of telomerase, an enzyme important for the long-term health of body cells.”
5 Secrets for a Happy Life According to Harvard
The secret to happiness has been pursued by many, and now a new university study is offering a scientific explanation.
A group of Harvard researchers took 32 years to produce answers to the most fundamental questions in life with a study they called the “Harvard Grant Study.” George Vaillant a Harvard psychiatrist directed the team and was the lead in the research.
Here are the top five secrets and lessons from this study that you can apply in your own life:
Love Holds the Key
According to Mr Vaillant, love is one of the two main pillars of happiness in anyone’s life. The other pillar is finding ways to go on with life without losing love. It is one of the most important findings of the study that relationships are what really matters in life. Anyone can have all the money and success in career and health but without loving relationships, one can never experience true happiness.
It’s Never Too Late For Anyone To Be Happy
No matter how bleak life may be for you, it is still not too late to find that key of love.
More Connections in Life, More Happiness
The Harvard Grant Study also discovered that when people develop strong connections or solid social ties, the more that it can improve the overall sense of being of each person. It can also lead to living a longer life and much improved health as it is related to having lower stress levels.
Beyond Money and Power
To have money and power in your life can certainly give happiness but they only take small parts of a bigger picture. Contentment is what’s needed to live a meaningful life, for money and power can only just diminish in time.
Live Up To the Challenge of Caring For Others
The final lesson that anyone can learn…is how caring for others and coping with the challenges of life can bring happiness. It leads to the conclusion that for one to be happy, it also requires people to find ways to cope with the hardships of life by seeing what’s positive even in the most negative of situations.
The Smile Prescription
Smiling is beneficial whether you ‘mean’ it or not, at least according to the latest research. Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman of the University of Kansas completed a study, published in Psychological Science demonstrated that cracking a large smile, one big enough to cause the muscles around the mouth and eyes, can have a measurably lower your heart rate after a stressful experience.
Tara Kraft explained that the science show that the beneficial effects and it doesn’t matter, “Whether you feel happy while smiling…”
Sarah Pressman, Kraft’s partner suggested, “The next time you are stuck in traffic or are experiencing some other type of stress, you might try to hold your face in a smile for a moment.”
Carnegie Mellon University in a press release offered the first scientific evidence that “self-affirming activities” can be used to protect us against the negative effects of stress and its related health issues.
Participants in the study suffering from chronic stress were only able to solve half the number of problems that their non-stressed colleagues could in the same amount of time. After completing the self-affirming activities, “the process of identifying and focusing on one’s most important values” the stressed out participants preformed as well as the less stressed out group.
David Creswell assistant professor of psychology put it this way, “People under high stress can foster better problem-solving simply by taking a moment beforehand to think about something that is important to them,” Creswell said. “It’s an easy-to-use and portable strategy you can roll out before you enter that high pressure performance situation.”
Happiness is in the Company You Keep
Happiness is contagious, but beware so is stress. Elaine Hatfield a professor from the University of Hawaii led a study that demonstrated that stress can be as contagious as the flu.
Professor Hatfield’s study suggests that the brain acts like a sponge subconsciously absorbing all the emotions we come into contact with, including our behavior, facial expressions, even our body-language.
Professor Hatfield has a couple pieces of advice. “Pay careful attention to the emotions you experience in another’s company,” and, “If they’re negative, don’t take on too much. And if they’re positive, seek out that persons company.”