Neither chocolate, nor wine: This is the one thing you need to improve your mood

Walking around and offering kindness to others in the world reduces anxiety and increases happiness.

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Try to wish for the happiness of other people.
WASHINGTON D.C. [USA]: A piece of chocolate, good music, a glass of wine, we all have our remedies of dealing with a bad mood. A recent study suggests that another way of lifting our spirits is by wishing others well.

"Walking around and offering kindness to others in the world reduces anxiety and increases happiness and feelings of social connection. It's a simple strategy that doesn't take a lot of time that you can incorporate into your daily activities," said Douglas Gentile, lead researcher of the study.

As part of the study, a team of researchers tested the benefits of three different techniques intended to reduce anxiety and increase happiness or well-being. They did this by having college students walk around a building for 12 minutes and practice one of the following strategies:


Loving-kindness: Looking at the people they see and thinking to themselves, "I wish for this person to be happy." Students were encouraged to really mean it as they were thinking it.

Interconnectedness: Looking at the people they see and think about how they are connected to each other. It was suggested that students think about the hopes and feelings they may share or that they might take a similar class.

Downward social comparison: Looking at the people they see and think about how they may be better off than each of the people they encountered.
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The study, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, also included a control group in which students were instructed to look at people and focus on what they see on the outside, such as their clothing, the combination of colors, textures as well as makeup and accessories. All students were surveyed before and after the walk to measure anxiety, happiness, stress, empathy, and connectedness.

The researchers compared each technique with the control group and found those who practiced loving-kindness or wished others well felt happier, more connected, caring and empathetic, as well as less anxious. The interconnectedness group was more empathetic and connected. A downward social comparison showed no benefit and was significantly worse than the loving-kindness technique.
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Students who compared themselves to others felt less empathetic, caring and connected than students who extended well wishes to others.

"At its core, downward social comparison is a competitive strategy," Sweet said. "That's not to say it can't have some benefit, but competitive mindsets have been linked to stress, anxiety, and depression."

The researchers also examined how different types of people reacted to each technique. They expected people who were naturally mindful might benefit more from the loving-kindness strategy, or narcissistic people might have a hard time wishing for others to be happy. They were somewhat surprised by the results.
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"This simple practice is valuable regardless of your personality type. Extending loving-kindness to others worked equally well to reduce anxiety, increase happiness, empathy, and feelings of social connection," said Lanmiao He, lead author of the study.

Social media is like a playground for comparisons: he makes more money than I; she has a nicer car. While the study did not look specifically at social media, Gentile says the results demonstrate that comparison is a risky strategy.

"It is almost impossible not to make comparisons on social media. Our study didn't test this, but we often feel envy, jealousy, anger or disappointment in response to what we see on social media, and those emotions disrupt our sense of well-being," said Gentile.

According to the researchers, comparison works well when we are learning something or making a choice, Gentile said. For example, as children, we learn by watching others and comparing their results to ours. However, when it comes to well-being, comparison is not as effective as loving-kindness, which consistently improves happiness.


Secret To A Happy Life! Smart Lifestyle Changes Can Keep Your Heart Healthy
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In times when lifestyle induced diseases are on the rise, it becomes important to understand the risk factors and work in the direction to eradicate them especially, if one has a family history of heart diseases.

Here are five smart ways listed by Anjali Malhotra, Chief Customer Marketing and Digital Officer Aviva Life insurance to prevent heart problems in today's busy life.
In times when lifestyle induced diseases are on the rise, it becomes important to understand the risk factors and work in the direction to eradicate them especially, if one has a family history of he..
Read More
In order to keep your heart healthy, it is important to indulge in exercise each day.

A daily exercise schedule in any form of physical activity for a period of 30-45 minutes is crucial to ensure that the arteries remain flexible.

Small changes in your physical activity can help in bringing positive change in your routine.

Studies have shown that brisk walking may add about two hours to the life expectancy of some adults.

Few changes in lifestyle such as taking the stairs instead the elevator, parking at the furthest end of a parking lot and taking a break from the office for a short walk during your lunch hour help in keeping the body in shape and inculcating a habit of healthy living.

In addition, few yoga asanas such as Virbhadrasana, Tadasana, Utkatasana, Bhujangasana and Vrikshasana also helps in preventing heart problems. If you practice these five yoga postures daily, you can reduce substantial risk of heart problems.
In order to keep your heart healthy, it is important to indulge in exercise each day. A daily exercise schedule in any form of physical activity for a period of 30-45 minutes is crucial to ensure th..
Read More
Eating right is the key to a healthy heart and a healthy life. However, majority of us tend to ignore it.

What you eat directly affects your heart. Therefore, ensure the intake of green and leafy vegetables, exclude sugar and aerated drinks from your diet, replace sweetened beverages with water as much as possible and bring down the intake of processed foods and refined flour.

Too much sodium can also cause excess fluid in the body that puts an extra strain on your heart. Therefore, it is best to adapt to variety of spices, herbs and flavours that are an alternative to salt.

Also, exclude red meats from the diet in order to avoid bad cholesterol. Keep the intake of oil and sugar minimal which will further help in reducing the risk of heart problems.
Eating right is the key to a healthy heart and a healthy life. However, majority of us tend to ignore it. What you eat directly affects your heart. Therefore, ensure the intake of green and leafy ve..
Read More
Excess body weight is dangerous for the heart. Keep an eye on weight as it elevates chances of getting high cholesterol levels, which may lead to diabetes, risk of artery disease, and blood pressure.

Keep a check on BMI (Body Mass Index) and maintain it to optimal levels.
Excess body weight is dangerous for the heart. Keep an eye on weight as it elevates chances of getting high cholesterol levels, which may lead to diabetes, risk of artery disease, and blood pressure...
Read More
Smoking and alcohol will have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. These habits are known to elevate blood pressure, causing irregular heartbeat and stokes.

Not only that, it leads to overall disruption in the normal functioning of the heart. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid consumption of both or consume it in moderation and gradually phase it out. It may be difficult to follow but worth the effort.
Smoking and alcohol will have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. These habits are known to elevate blood pressure, causing irregular heartbeat and stokes. Not only that, it leads t..
Read More
Various studies have established that stress is one of the biggest triggers of heart problems. It can cause aches and pains, trigger feelings of anxiety and depression, and lower your energy.

Try and keep stress at bay. Look for activities other than work which helps keep stress levels in check.

Indulge in a hobby or a positive self-talk, listen to music or reading a good book or meditate.

These techniques have helped in reducing stress and developing a positive outlook towards work and life.
Various studies have established that stress is one of the biggest triggers of heart problems. It can cause aches and pains, trigger feelings of anxiety and depression, and lower your energy. Try an..
Read More

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