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What are the top 5 things that matter in life?

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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:14 am    Post subject: What are the top 5 things that matter in life? Reply with quote

What are the top 5 things that matter in life?
I will try to give one thing every day!
1. Your health.

Your health has a major contribution on how long you are going to live and how effectively you can use it. Take good care of that. Note that your health is dependent on what you eat and what you do daily.

My suggestion is to eat when you are hungry and sleep when you become sleepy. Better to have 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day. It is good if you can go to bed early and get up early. Do some pooja early morning and while going to bed (this will give you mental peace)

Spend a minimum of 30 minutes to do some exercise-best and cheapest is brisk walking. Learn and do yoga, pranayama and meditation.

Eat nutritious food. Avoid fast food. Minimize non-vegetarian food. Take enough time to eat. Enjoy your food. Also enjoy whatever you do.
It is not the quantity of food but the quality of food that matters.

Start the day with protein food like egg omelette. Eat handful of nuts like almonds, peanut, and walnut.


Eat different kinds of fruits every day

The first thing you take daily in the morning in your empty stomach is very important for your  heath. For most of us it is a cup of coffee. Please change it from tomorrow to 500 ml to 1 litre of Water!

Check the following site to know the benefits of drinking water in empty stomach, advocated by Japanese:

You can also drink our good old Ayurvedic drink made with ginger,lemon and honey-This will not only improve your health (It is a home made cold and flu remedy) but also  rev-up your metabolism.

It is also better to drink small quantity of water (200 ml) while going to bed.

Finally regarding habits that may affect your health:

1. If you are a smoker, please Stop smoking (https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm)
2. If you are a drinker, drink in moderation- one glass of wine or beer once in a week or month![https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body]
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Dr. N. Subramanian
General Sponsor
General Sponsor

Joined: 21 Feb 2008
Posts: 5435
Location: Gaithersburg, MD, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:09 pm    Post subject: Re: What are the top 5 things that matter in life? Reply with quote

What are the top 5 things that matter in life?
I will try to give one thing every day!
2. Your family.

Your family is the only place you can get solace whenever there is a misfortune in your life like  losing your job,  incurred loss in your business, loss of close loved relative, having serious health issues, mentally distressed, failing in your attempt to pass an exam or getting some award or coveted position, someone spoke ill of you, you had serious fight with someone, or just simply, when you feel lost and do not know what to do. Love them. If they dont love you, nevermind, just do
your job.

In the excellent book " The 5 Love languages(R)-The secret of Love that Lasts"(which has sold 11 million copies), the author Gary Chapman shows you to keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life. He says that people experience love most strongly through one of the following 5 love languages-quality time, words of encouragement, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.

Though the above book is to keep your love alive and flourishing with your spouse, these five love languages can also be useful to keep a healthy and long-lasting relationship with anyone of your family. Give it a try!
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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:53 pm    Post subject: Re: What are the top 5 things that matter in life? Reply with quote

[quote="Dr. N. Subramanian"]What are the top 5 things that matter in life?
I will try to give one thing every day!
Your state of happiness.

In the book, "The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living" (Riverhead, 1998, ISBN 1-57322-111-2), the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, and Nobel Laureate Dalai Lama (and Howard Cutler, a psychiatrist who posed questions to the Dalai Lama) says that having a process of mental development is the key for attaining happiness. The very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. Happiness is found through love, affection, closeness and compassion.

Note that no one in your life truly cares about whether you are happy or unhappy.
Your boss will care only if you are efficient and  hardworking. Your friend will care if you will invite them to  the next party. Of course, your spouse will care, but if you are always complaining, she/he also will not care.

Hence, it is important to make sure that whatever things/decisions you take in your life or things you are doing, or going to do, will make you happy. Make sure you work in a job because you are happy working in the office and doing that job. Make sure you choose that friend because you are happy  being with them, and not only because you are trying to make them happy.
Here are 10 science-based ways to be happier:

1. Exercise: 7 Minutes Could Be Enough

Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it is an effective strategy for overcoming depression. In a study cited in Shawn Achor's book The Happiness Advantage, three groups of patients treated their depression with medication, exercise, or a combination of the two. The results of this study are surprising: Although all three groups experienced similar improvements in their happiness levels early on, the follow-up assessments proved to be radically different:

The groups were then tested six months later to assess their relapse rate. Of those who had taken the medication alone, 38 percent had slipped back into depression. Those in the combination group were doing only slightly better, with a 31 percent relapse rate. The biggest shock, though, came from the exercise group: Their relapse rate was only 9 percent.

You don't have to be depressed to benefit from exercise, though. Exercise can help you relax, increase your brain power, and even improve your body image, even if you don't lose any weight.

A study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who exercised felt better about their bodies even when they saw no physical changes: yes. Even if your actual appearance doesn't change, how you feel about your body does change.

2. Sleep More: You'll Be Less Sensitive to Negative Emotions

We know that sleep helps our body recover from the day and repair itself and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out sleep is also important for happiness.

In NutureShock, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman explain how sleep affects positivity:

Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories yet recall gloomy memories just fine.

Of course, how well (and how long) you sleep will probably affect how you feel when you wake up, which can make a difference to your whole day.

Another study tested how employees' moods when they started work in the morning affected their entire work day.

Researchers found that employees' moods when they clocked in tended to affect how they felt the rest of the day. Early mood was linked to their perceptions of customers and to how they reacted to customers' moods.

And most importantly to managers, employee mood had a clear impact on performance, including both how much work employees did and how well they did it.

3. Spend More Time With Friends/Family: Money Can't Buy You Happiness

Social time is highly valuable when it comes to improving our happiness, even for introverts. Several studies have found that time spent with friends and family makes a big difference to how happy we feel.

George Vaillant is the director of a 72-year study of the lives of 268 men.

In an interview in the March 2008 newsletter to the Grant Study subjects, Vaillant was asked, "What have you learned from the Grant Study men?" Vaillant's response: "That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people."

He shared insights of the study with Joshua Wolf Shenk at The Atlantic on how men's social connections made a difference to their overall happiness:

Men's relationships at age 47, he found, predicted late-life adjustment better than any other variable. Good sibling relationships seem especially powerful: 93 percent of the men who were thriving at age 65 had been close to a brother or sister when younger.

A British study found this: Actual changes in incomebuy very little happiness. So we could increase our annual income by hundreds of thousands of dollars and still not be as happy as we would if we increased the strength of our social relationships.

The Terman study, covered in The Longevity Project, found that relationships and how we help others were important factors in living long, happy lives:

Surprise: our prediction was wrong... Beyond social network size, the clearest benefit of social relationships came from helping others. Those who helped their friends and neighbors, advising and caring for others, tended to live to old age.

4. Get Outside More: Happiness is Maximized at 57

In "Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles That Fuel Success and Performance at Work", Shawn Achor recommends spending time in the fresh air to improve your happiness:

Making time to go outside on a nice day also delivers a huge advantage; one study found that spending 20 minutes outside in good weather not only boosted positive mood, but broadened thinking and improved working memory...

This is pretty good news for those of us who are worried about fitting new habits into our already-busy schedules. Twenty minutes is a short enough time to spend outside that you could fit it into your commute or even your lunch break.

A UK study from the University of Sussex also found that being outdoors made people happier:

Being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments.

The American Meteorological Society published research in 2011 that found current temperature has a bigger effect on our happiness than variables like wind speed and humidity, or even the average temperature over the course of a day. It also found that happiness is maximized at 57 oF (13.9C), so keep an eye on the weather forecast before heading outside for your 20 minutes of fresh air.

5. Help Others: 100 Hours a Year is the Magic Number

To make yourself feel happier, you should help others. In fact, 100 hours per year (or two hours per week) is the optimal time we should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich our lives.

Shawn Achor  says this about helping others:
...when researchers interviewed more than 150 people about their recent purchases, they found that money spent on activities-such as concerts and group dinners out-brought far more pleasure than material purchases like shoes, televisions, or expensive watches. Spending money on other people, called "prosocial spending," also boosts happiness.

So spending money on other people makes us happier than buying stuff for ourselves. But what about spending our time on other people?

In his book "Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being", University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman explains that helping others can improve our own lives:

...we scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.

6. Practice Smiling Smile: Reduce Pain, Improve Mood, Think Better

Smiling can make us feel better, but it's more effective when we back it up with positive thoughts, according to this study:

A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts-such as a tropical vacation or a child's recital-improve their mood and withdraw less.

Of course it's important to practice "real smiles" where you use your eye sockets. (You've seen fake smiles that don't reach the person's eyes. Try it. Smile with just your mouth. Then smile naturally; your eyes narrow. There's a huge difference in a fake smile and a genuine smile.)

According to PsyBlog, smiling can improve our attention and help us perform better on cognitive tasks
A smile is also a good way to reduce some of the pain we feel in troubling circumstances:

Smiling is one way to reduce the distress caused by an upsetting situation. Psychologists call this the facial feedback hypothesis. Even forcing a smile when we don't feel like it is enough to lift our mood slightly (this is one example of embodied cognition).

7. Plan a Trip: It Helps Even if You Don't Actually Take One

As opposed to actually taking a holiday, simply planning a vacation or break from work can improve our happiness. A study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life showed that the highest spike in happiness came during the planning stage of a vacation as people enjoy the sense of anticipation:

In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks. After the vacation, happiness quickly dropped back to baseline levels for most people.

Shawn Achor has some info for us on this point, as well:

One study found that people who just thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent.

If you can't take the time for a vacation right now, or even a night out with friends, put something on the calendar-even if it's a month or a year down the road. Then, whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it.

8. Meditate: Rewire Your Brain for Happiness

Meditation is often touted as an important habit for improving focus, clarity, and attention span, as well as helping to keep you calm. It turns out it's also useful for improving your happiness:

In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants' brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.

Meditation literally clears your mind and calms you down, it's been often proven to be the single most effective way to live a happier life. According to Achor, meditation can actually make you happier long-term:

Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy. And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness.

9. Move Closer to Work: A Short Commute is Worth More Than a Big House

Our commute to work can have a surprisingly powerful impact on our happiness. The fact that we tend to commute twice a day at least five days a week makes it unsurprising that the effect would build up over time and make us less and less happy.

Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert says, "Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day."

We tend to try to compensate for this by having a bigger house or a better job, but these compensations just don't work:

Two Swiss economists who studied the effect of commuting on happiness found that such factors could not make up for the misery created by a long commute.

10. Practice Gratitude: Increase Happiness and Satisfaction

There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things you're grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.

In an experiment where participants took note of things they were grateful for each day, their moods were improved just from this simple practice.

Quick Final Fact: Getting Older Will Actually Make You Happier

As we get older, particularly past middle age, we tend to naturally grow happier. There's still some debate over why this happens, but scientists have a few ideas:

Researchers, including the authors, have found that older people shown pictures of faces or situations tend to focus on and remember the happier ones more and the negative ones less.

Other studies have discovered that as people age, they seek out situations that will lift their moods--for instance, pruning social circles of friends or acquaintances who might bring them down. Still other work finds that older adults learn to let go of loss and disappointment over unachieved goals, and focus their goals on greater well being.

So if you thought getting old will make you miserable, it's likely you'll develop a more positive outlook than you probably have now.

Have you noticed that several points were mentioned when I talked about your health. That is why I put it in the first place!

Reference: https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/10-scientifically-proven-ways-to-be-incredibly-happy-wed.html
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