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Submitted by Denise Daub
Sometimes, when you’re looking to make some new healthy changes to your life, the last thing you want is another calorie-counting food journal or specific list of exercises that tone each troublesome body part. Instead, a simple mantra or two will do.
That’s the premise behind The New Health Rules, the latest book on living well from Frank Lipman, M.D. and Danielle Claro. Their combination of single-page yet comprehensive health tips and photography that would inspire anyone to get moving with the coordinating rules create a new kind of health guide that focuses on sustainable healthy living instead of short-term (and overly specific) solutions. For those who know they want to lead a healthier life but don’t know where to start, any page of this book offers an entry point.
Submitted by Denise Daub
by: Galit Breen
Over good food and good wine, I was talking to two women about one important topic that threaded us together. They were new friends who shared so much between motherhood, Minnesota winters and current and past teaching careers. As our voices got louder, and more urgent, we leaned in closer. We were talking about happiness, debating whether or not it belongs on our top five wants for our kids.
It’s tempting to say no because there are so many other things our society needs — kindness, compassion, education, even humor.
But there are two secrets that will always keep my kids’ happiness at the front and center of my heart lists. The first is that we adults are ever-striving for it as well. And the second is that all of these other needs lead to happiness if we choose to see it that way.
The happiest women I know realize that there are habits they’re in control of that lead to joy. Here are eight of them.
Contributed by Denise Daub
Despite its long-sung reputation as “the most wonderful time of the year,” the holiday season is easily one of the most stressful times as well. A recent Virgin Pulse study of more than 1,000 full-time employees in the United States and Canada found that 70 percent of people are feeling significantly more stressed as 2014 reaches its end, affecting their work productivity, health and happiness.
Ken Larsen is one of the founders of Mental Health & Happiness and one of our bloggers at the site. Ken is the person in charge of the technical side of bringing you this Summit. Along with the rest of the MHH Team, he works tirelessly to promote positive mental health and happiness.
Ken is one of the interviewers for the Mental Health & Happiness Summit. Don’t miss it!
By Barnes Boffey
An interesting mental health paradox is that one of the most destructive attitudinal and behavior patterns we can have in our lives is often held up as a prize to be cherished. PERFECTIONISM! When we can’t stand criticism, we learn to be perfectionists, and yet helpful criticism is a cornerstone of growth and healthy living. It is courageous to be open to criticism, and that courage spreads to accepting our mistakes is a centerpiece in what it means to be a strong and creative human being.
The most powerful way to confront perfectionism is to understand that we are not supposed to be perfect; that is not part of our human makeup any more than being able to fly without a plane or being able to feel happy all the time. Perfectionism is a myth, and a destructive one. In attempting to get everything perfect to avoid criticism, we only grow more fearful of making mistakes and more enmeshed in a web of self-criticism and self-generated defeat.
A friend of mine once said “Perfection is a wonderful ideal and a terrible standard.” Seeing perfectionism as an ideal like perfect beauty or unconditional love may be inspirational in theory, but to try to live with these as standards as a measure of our humanness in real life is a step in choosing an unhealthy life. Whatever God there is did not design us to be perfect; God designed us to be human and to use our mistakes as ways to learn, grow, and feel compassion for others.
The trick is not to just accept that we can’t be perfect; the trick is to stop trying to be perfect.
By Dr. Ken Larsen
I remember the first time I heard the legend of Sisyphus, the Greek king who was condemned to roll a large boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down so he could push it back up again. He was doomed to repeat this over and over and over for the rest of time. This story is a good example of some of our frustrating behaviors. Sometimes we get stuck doing the same thing over and over, wondering why we don’t get the desired result.
Fortunately for many of us we experience some sort of crisis when we are stuck in this endless repetition of frustrating behavior. For an addict or alcoholic, it may be that 3rd DUI, or an intervention with friends or family. For others it may be a relationship that is falling apart and we realize we’re losing something or someone that we don’t want to lose. Or maybe we missed a promotion or got fired. Something in our life that looms large enough to force us to take a look at where we’re going.
In our culture “crisis” is often looked at as a bad thing. I’m suggesting it may be a good thing if it helps us change our life’s direction. I see a crisis as nothing more than a crossroads where we are faced with two things. One is the realization that the road we are on is not taking us where we want to go. The second thing is we are forced to face alternative choices.
Dr. Bob Wubbolding, a longtime colleague of Dr. Glasser’s, formulated a useful acronym that is helpful when we find ourselves in crisis. That acronym is WDEP. Let’s look at how this can help.
A good thing to do at his point in your search for mental health and happiness is to read “Choice Theory” by Dr. Wm. Glasser. If you have already read it, read it again. I guarantee you will gain fresh insights each time you read it.