Get happy = get healthy

I’m traveling in Virginia this week, and a good friend told me about a study out of UCLA that explains four ways to make you to feel happier. The Dalai Lama worries that Americans don’t feel they have a right to be happy and that being happy shouldn’t be a goal. He says that’s nonsense, and if the Dalai Lama says “Go for it – it’s okay,” who are we to argue?

Here’s what’s important about happiness as explained by UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb:

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Tea, tea, tea

A few years ago, I decided to reduce my caffeine intake as part of an overall plan to cut back on acids in my system. I wasn’t a huge coffee drinker but knew I’d miss hugging a warm mug in the morning and decided to switch to lightly caffeinated green tea for my morning brew.

I’ve been very happy with the switch AND during the last Food Revolution Summit, was amazed to hear about many of the health benefits of green tea. One of the speakers this year said there wasn’t anything wrong with coffee except that if drinking it meant you were drinking less green tea, then you were missing out!

What’s so great about green tea? Here are some facts from Dr. Dean Ornish’s book, The Spectrum: Continue reading

Little pops of energy

If you’re feeling out of sorts and a big project is too much to focus on, try fixing a small thing to boost your energy.

Here are a few energy boosters that work for me: Continue reading

The Creamer Dinners

A few years ago, it occurred to me that I had said the same phrase several times without taking action on it: “We should get together sometime.” Mostly this came up in the theater where I met folks in a show, got to know them, and then didn’t spend time with them again until I worked with them on another show and would once again hear myself saying, “We should get together sometime.”

As much fun as theater is, you don’t get a lot of time to talk and I was hungry for a good conversation with many folks I had met.

And I got to thinking about other friends and family I saw often but always in big groups. Big groups are fun but aren’t always great for conversation. Continue reading

How Do You Define Yourself?

This poster came out my first year of college. I had never heard the term “preppie” – then looked around me at the University of Virginia and realized I was surrounded by them. Was I a preppie? No. But would my choice of college tell others I was? Probably.

Like it or not, you’re defined to a great measure by the groups you choose to be part of or choose to not be part of. At UVa, I knew that preppie wasn’t my crowd, but they appeared to be the leaders and I like running things, so could I try to fit in? Continue reading

100 Days of Wellness

I’ve been looking for a local meditation class and stumbled on this site with 100 wellness exercises. The videos are short, 4-6 minutes each, and focus on different aspects of feeling better – by being more grateful, clearing clutter, getting more sleep, beating sugar, and… you get the idea. It’s a great list.

Being a “get it done” kind of girl, I was like, “I’ll do all of these today,” and started to click through one to the next. But I decided instead to stop and spend a day on each one. I’ve tried to remind myself lately that I have time. I don’t have to get everything done right away. It’s a huge temptation for me to think, “Yes. Check. Got it done. Move on.” And rarer for me to take the time to deeply contemplate a thought or idea – especially if it’s a challenge or something negative about who I am or how I think. Continue reading

Take a walk!

Inspired by the recent Food Revolution Summit, I am reading Dr. Dean Ornish’s book, The Spectrum. The bottom line of Dr. Ornish’s thinking: If you want to live a long, healthy life, pay attention to what you eat. Exercise, but not to excess. And practice stress reduction techniques like meditation or yoga.

There’s no big news there, but what was news to me is how exercise helps you beyond being in better shape and maybe losing a little weight.

According to Dr. Ornish’s studies, regular exercise: Continue reading