A better life?

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The world is always offering tips about how to live better. I came across these tips and decided to see if they will really help us. My research backs them up … mostly.
These suggestions are said to help us have a happier, healthier life. Hmmmm:
“People who laugh a lot are healthier than those who don’t.” It appears a California researcher has discovered that laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the entire body, because it will increase levels of the hormone known as beta-endorphins. I’ll bet you’ve heard of it.
Laughter also helps to increase the levels of human growth hormone, which can enhance bone muscle mass and reduce body fat. Of course that’s important. How easy this laughter is for us to do and doesn’t cost us one penny.
“If you sit for more than 11 hours a day, there’s a 40 percent chance you’ll die within the next three years.” This is really creepy! According to Forbes magazine this is absolutely true. We all know we need to get more exercise, and apparently also need to spend less time sitting. The report was from a large British study of over 220,000 people and it helped prove that sitting is associated with a higher death risk, even if we exercise for 30 minutes daily.
So get up and move, or maybe just stand up while eating, working and watching television (one of the biggest reasons for sitting.) Take a 30-minute walk every day and smile or laugh while you walk. It’s the ultimate antidepressant!
“Laziness and inactivity kills just as many people as smoking.” (See the paragraph above.)
“Sleeping without a pillow reduces back pain and keeps your spine stronger.” I didn’t find a lot of support for this theory and I also have tried it. Clearly, I cannot sleep without some sort of pillow. I did read that a thinner pillow is the answer if you sleep on your back. Some say pillows can throw your neck forward too far and this can cause your spine to be misaligned, which can cause a lot of other problems. Egad, is nothing simple. Oh yes, smiling is simple.
“There are three things the human brain cannot resist noticing – food, attractive people and danger.” This fact is just to increase awareness. I’m sure when you think about it you’ll realize this is true and it is based on the perspective of the old brain (or reptilian) theory. It is said to be the part of our brain that develops first and is very similar to the brain of a reptile. They think, can I eat it, can I have sex with it and will it kill me? When you think about it, this is important. Without food you’ll die, without sex the species won’t continue and if you’re killed, the first two questions don’t even matter. It’s interesting to think we might be just as basic as reptiles are.
Also, have you ever thought about why traffic slows when people are driving by an accident? Well, it’s not their fault. It’s the part of their reptilian brain that can’t resist a response to danger.
“Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.” Just as too much noise can cause stress and tension, research has found that silence has the opposite effect, releasing tension in the brain and body. One study says that just 10 minutes of silence is more relaxing than listening to relaxing music. This is based on blood pressure readings and blood circulation in the brain. I will seriously have trouble with this! Quiet is just not part of my life. Maybe it should be!
“Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.” I’ll bet everyone will agree with this idea. Our lives are certainly filled with many foods containing preservatives and other chemicals. Let’s add more fruits and vegetables, like blueberries, broccoli and almonds.
“Try to make at least three people smile each day.” Isn’t that one of our duties on earth? Bring happiness to those around you! If you are not a funny person, then at least smile to strangers, whether in the grocery, on the street or in your workplace. You will see they often smile back at you and you can count how many smiles you get each day. Smiling is good for them and you.
“Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positives of your life.” Enough said here.
“Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for everything.” Remember, you don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
And finally, “Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.”
So, smile, laugh, walk, be silent a few minutes, eat fresh foods and be happy!
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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