Reading books

Read a book, extend your life!

Reading makes you live longer. Don’t believe me? Check out this article from Newsy:

Researchers say they found book readers live an average of two years longer than people who don’t read at all.

The study’s authors analyzed data from more than 3,500 people who were participating in a larger health study. They were all over the age of 50 and answered several questions about reading.

Reading books-2

Researchers then divided the participants into three groups: those who didn’t read any books, those who read books for up to three and a half hours a week and those who read books longer than that.

After controlling for certain factors such as gender, education level, income and race, the authors found those who read for up to three and a half hours per week were 17 percent less likely to die over 12 years of follow-up.

And those participants who reported reading more than that were 23 percent less likely to die.

The study’s senior author told the New York Times, “People who report as little as a half-hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read.

The jury is still out as to why precisely reading has such a positive impact on life expectancy. I’d posit that, especially in today’s fast-paced, anxiety-dense environment, reading lends itself to true relaxation, leisurely enjoyment, and the ability to progress forward at a pace set by the individual, not one imposed by those who might otherwise run us, wire us, and wear us out for the purpose of outside agendas.

Or consider the latest from Brain Flux:

What do you think?

Ten things you should (or could) do to improve your life

Cornell lamentations. Our hope for the future?

Cornell lamentations over Trump’s victory. Our hope for the future?

In the aftermath of the raucous 2016 presidential election, many Americans – if the stories of protests and college cry zones are to be believed – are in hysterics (aka: wussified madness) over what to do next.

How do you combat the hyper-inflated boogieman created by false perceptions of racism, sexism, and the dreaded xenophobia? And for those who are elated at the election, while experiencing after-the-win adrenalin withdrawal, how do you deal with those Americans suffering under said delusions is similarly problematic.

The solution? Stay in your lane. Be the change you want to see. And just relax. Here are a 10 suggestions from Psych Central to help you do just that:

  1. Write a better story for your day: “Put life on pause, for at least a few moments a day, and consider what you’d like to accomplish today, and the vibe you want to carry,” advises Joyce Marter, LCPC, psychotherapist and owner of Urban Balance, LLC.
  2. Identify what’s keeping you stuck. According to Deborah Serani, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist and author of the book “Living with Depression”, “This approach (That is to stop, look, and listen) gets you to be both reflective and active, [which are] two steps necessary for change.”
  3. Get to bed earlier tonight. As clinical psychologist Ari Tuckman, PsyD, said, getting enough sleep is “an obvious but often overlooked” strategy.
  4. Participate in a physical activity you enjoy. Tuckman, also author of the book “Understand Your Brain, Get More Done: The ADHD Executive Functions Workbook,” said, “Regular exercise is an important part of not just physical health, but also mental health. It’s also one of the first things to go when we get busy. To prevent it from getting squeezed out, make it sacred and don’t let anything else intrude.”
  5. Focus on right now. “Honor the past, learn from it,” says Joyce Marter, LCPC, psychotherapist and owner of Urban Balance, LLC. “Accept it and let it go. Don’t obsess or worry about the future. Life is more manageable when you are grounded in the present. Achieve clarity through mindfulness practices such as deep breathing and meditation.”
  6. Set a realistic and attainable goal. “When setting your mind to reach a goal,” Alison Thayer, LCPC, CEAP, a psychotherapist at Urban Balance, LLC suggests, “Ask yourself “Is this realistic and can I actually attain this goal?” If the answer is no, consider breaking the goal down into intermediate steps or modifying it altogether.”
  7. Reframe a situation in a positive light. Thayer further suggests referring to the adage, “When life throws you lemons, make lemonade.” It has been around for years. When things aren’t going right, ask yourself “Could things be worse?” or “Is there anything I can take out of this that can be a benefit to me?”
  8. Be grateful, and pass it on. “If you focus on what you don’t have, you will be unhappy and attract negativity,” Marter goes on to explain. “Be grateful for what you have and you will be attracting positivity, opportunity and success.”
  9. Relinquish what you can’t control. “Empower yourself to change what you can, and let go of the rest. Don’t expend your energy trying to control others. Focus on yourself.”
  10. Create an intention. According to Marter, “As in sports psychology, positive visualization increases the likelihood of success. We largely create our own realities through our thoughts and intentions, so clarify them by writing out your careers goals and objectives.”

Thayer suggested carving out time to set intentions for the following day. “Make it a ritual and part of your daily routine, like in the shower, when driving to work, or drinking your morning coffee,” she said.

My personal favorite is number nine. What’s yours?

Thirty crazy things (just for fun?) you’ll see in Japan

Diet water

Apparently KFC is Japan’s favorite food, advertised oddly enough by Colonel Sanders wearing a full-length kimono and bearing a slice of watermelon. Shaving the baby “dolls” are also popular. So is diet water. Don’t believe me? Check out this link to see the lowdown on some of the funky stuff going on just across the Pacific.

“Fat shame” those ballet dancers!

Ballet dancers

National Ballet Company of Canada gets slammed for being fit and healthy in an ad campaign that paired them with the Toronto Transit Commission. The idea was to combine forces to get folks to use mass transit to travel into the city for its myriad cultural offerings. But I guess promoting anything must necessarily equate to shaming someone else.

Great way to shut down free speech, diversity or anything that isn’t exactly what we think it should be.

Take a look at this bit by Rebel Media.

Good grief!

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