Barbara "Cutie" Cooper, 94, has written a beautiful book about her 73 year marriage to her late husband Harry. In her new book, she details steps that made her marriage a success and give advice to others both young and old. One of her tips - never be too tired or too busy to love your significant other.
Henry and Barbara Cooper - Image Credit: www.chroniclebooks.com/
In addition to the wonderful new book, Barbara hosts a blog (www.the-ogs.com) where individuals can "Ask grandma anything" :)
And that's what's good,
I closed my eyes last night with a smile on my face thinking about the wonderful weekend in front of me. I woke up on Saturday morning with a smile thinking that the world was just as beautiful in the morning as it was the night before. It did not end yesterday as a few individuals predicted.
Yes, we all knew that the world would not end yesterday, but it's never too late to appreciate all of the incredible things in our lives. Sure there are both ups and downs, but there are sooo many beautiful people, places, food, music, cultures, ideas, and feelings that I'm grateful and appreciative for it all.
Go out and do something new today. Breathe the air like it's your first time. Love like you've never loved and do good for yourself, for others, and for the world because it's an amazingly beautiful place!
Peace & Love,
- The Good World News
When was the last time that you received an actual handwritten letter in the mail? If you are like most people, then it probably has been a while. Nowadays it is so easy to get in contact with people by email, telephone, text, twitter, facebook (eek!), that many choose not to spend the time to sit down and hand write a beautiful letter.
Now think back to the last handwritten letter that you received in the mail. It was a great feeling, right?! It probably brought an incredible smile to your face as if you were opening a surprise present!
Try sending one person a personal letter this week and brighten their day. Give them some good news. Let us know how it goes and bring a smile to our face!
Peace and Love,
Good World News
As long as you do it for the right reasons and not to impress others
THURSDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- If you buy life experiences such as an exotic vacation or tickets to a major concert in order to impress other people, you won't get much of a happiness boost, a new study finds.
However, if you spend money on a trip or an adventure for the right reasons -- that is, because it fits with your interests and values -- you can derive happiness from the experience, said Ryan Howell, an assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University.
"Why you buy is just as important as what you buy. When people buy life experiences to impress others, it wipes out the well-being they receive from the purchase," he said in a university news release.
For this study, Howell and colleagues surveyed 241 people and found that those who buy life experiences because it meshes with their desires, interests and values reported an increased sense of fulfillment and well-being. These people were more likely to feel less lonely, more competent and self-sufficient.
On the other hand, people who buy life experiences in order to impress others reported feeling less self-sufficient, competent and connected to others.
"The biggest question you have to ask yourself is why you are buying something. Motivation appears to amplify or eliminate the happiness effect of a purchase," Howell said.
The study was published online June 13 in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
I enjoy relaxing and definitely enjoy my vacations. On the other hand, life is short so I do tend to pack in as much as possible :) Usually when I get a vacation I head out as far as I can to explore a distant land or I visit friends and family. There are so many things to do at home and places to explore, but I do not always have the time...
Recently I planned a vacation abroad for two weeks. I was very excited, but unfortunately plans fell through and I found myself at home with two weeks vacation. I was happy two have a vacation, but I suddenly did not have any planned family or friends to see, nor did I have any new lands to discover...or so I thought.
I decided to do a "staycation" in my home of Raleigh, NC for at least the first week. So far it has been amazing! I have discovered wonderful restaurants and bars - great great food! Let's see, had a breakfast that makes my mouth water just thinking about it at Dame's Chicken and Waffles in Durham, had an incredible dinner at Sitti in Raleigh and the staff there was unmatched, and much more! Discovered a local wine shop and chocolate factory! I saw about 4 movies that I've been wanting to see and had a chance to see a couple local museums!
So far my staycation has been a breath of fresh air. It really has been awesome and I highly recommend it to anyone. Think about making your next vacation a STAYcation ;)
Peace and Love,
A few days ago, I had a wonderful conversation with a friend about what it takes to be happy. The conversation convinced me that we often make it more complicated than it needs to be. Of course, there are sometimes external situations that make the immediate experience of happiness difficult. But to the extent that we are masters of our own fate, our happiness is largely in our own hands.
The problem – or one of them – is that we sometimes over-think what makes us happy. Many of us have deeply rooted emotional issues that prevent us from listening to our intuition. We want to live up to the expectations of our families, for example. Or perhaps we are afraid of failure. Whatever the issues are for each of us, they get in the way of our ability to follow our hearts. In turn, our analytical brains begin working overtime, trying to rectify what we think we should do with our lives with what we authentically want to do. Suddenly, it feels challenging – if not impossible – to understand what it is that will bring us happiness and satisfaction in life.
In my case, I experienced a period in my twenties in which I was afraid to pursue a career as a writer. Being a writer is not as safe and predictable a career as, say, going and becoming a dentist. There is a lot of uncertainty that goes along with being a writer. So the part of me that was afraid of failure felt that I should pursue a career that was more predictable and “responsible.” The result was that I spent years analyzing – in painful detail – every career choice I made, trying to find something that was more fulfilling than many more stable career paths would have been for me, but was also more predictable than writing. Of course it didn’t work.
Finally, I realized that as long as I am making a significant portion of my income from writing – even if I still have a day job – I will probably be quite happy. It is as simple as that. Our hearts intuitively know what makes us happy, and all we have to do is listen to them. Though of course, that can be easier said than done.
In a newly published review from the Harvard School of Public Health, characteristics such as optimism and happiness were linked to a lower risk for heart and vascular disease.
Among people who had established risk factors for heart disease, those who were the most optimistic were less likely than their least-optimistic peers to have a heart attack or stroke.
The analysis of more than 200 studies is the largest ever to examine the impact of a positive outlook on heart attack and stroke risk, says Harvard research fellow Julia K. Boehm, PhD.
"Historically, studies have focused on the negative impact of depression andanxiety," Boehm says. "We wanted to look at the flip side to see how psychological well-being -- things like happiness, optimism, and having a sense of purpose -- might impact [heart disease and stroke] risk."
Better Outlook, Better Outcomes
Along with Harvard associate professor Laura D. Kubzansky, PhD, Boehm showed that happiness and optimism tended to predict better heart health.
People who reported having a greater sense of well-being were also more likely to have healthier lifestyles, which could explain their better outcomes, Boehm says.
They generally exercised more, ate better, and got more sleep than people who reported having a more negative view of life, and they were less likely to have risk factors for heart disease and stroke, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.
"This suggests that bolstering psychological strengths like happiness and optimism could improve cardiovascular health," Boehm says.
Optimism Can Be Learned
Bryan Bruno, MD, who is acting chairman of the department of psychiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, says the negative impact of depression on heart attack and stroke risk is well established.
"Most cardiologists are aware of the importance of treating depression in patients with heart disease," he tells WebMD. "Study after study has shown that once someone has had a cardiovascular event, their prognosis is a lot worse if they have untreated depression."
He says it makes sense that optimism might have a positive impact on heart attack and stroke risk.
But can people who are not hardwired to be happy change their outlook to improve their health?
Bruno says that while genes certainly play a role in disposition, behavioral therapy and other psychiatric interventions can help people improve their sense of well-being.
"Helping people become more optimistic is often a goal of therapy," he says.
The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation though an "Exploring the Concept of Positive Health" grant.
It appears in the April 17 issue of the American Psychological Association journalPsychological Bulletin.
He doesn't drink or smoke, and centenarian Manohar Aich credits his longevity to a healthy lifestyle in which he minimizes stress and focuses on happiness.
Aich won the Mr. Universe international bodybuilding championship in 1952. He celebrated his 100th birthday on Sunday surrounded by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Kolkata, an eastern city in India.
Standing just 4 feet, 11 inches tall, Aich earned the nickname "Pocket Hercules," the Associated Press said in a report.
His lifestyle and a simple diet of milk, fruits and vegetables along with rice, lentils and fish have kept him healthy, the bodybuilding trainer told the AP.
Aich turned to bodybuilding while he was imprisoned in the 1940s for opposing Britain's continued colonial rule of India. When he was released, he went on to compete as a bodybuilder, earning success in international competition that culminated with his taking the Mr. Universe title.
While his wife took care of their children, Aich traveled, competed and made a living. On his return to India, he trained future bodybuilding champions.
"I didn't become rich. There is not much money in bodybuilding," he told the Indian Express newspaper. "But there is respect. And for that, I wouldn't mind being a bodybuilder in my next life as well."
He has led a fulfilled life, but Aich regrets never having met his fellow Mr. Universe, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He's seen many of the Governator's films, though.
"I like the incredible stunts he does in the movies," Aich told the AP.
Clarke, Suzan. "Mr. Universe 1952 Turns 100, Credits Healthy Lifestyle, Happiness" ABC News. 19, March 2012. Web.