Fast Way to Long Term Happiness

>> Sunday

Want to feel good more often? Do you want to feel good into your old age? It would really help if you didn't have diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or Alzheimer's. And there is something you can do that may very well reduce your risk of all these at once — and possibly reduce your risk a lot. It is simply to go without food once in awhile for a short period of time.

Watch this one-hour program by a British journalist who talks to experts on longevity who are all, in one way or another, coming to the same conclusions. As Klassy Evans puts it, "The problem the developed countries are having with obesity isn't so much because we're overeating. The problem is we are underfasting." Apparently our bodies need to occasionally experience hunger. The good news is that the hunger need not be prolonged or very uncomfortable to make a difference.

Watch the video and see what you think. See what the scientists are discovering — that when we go without food every now and then, it stimulates our brains to make more brain cells. And that one of the effects of even a brief fast is that the body stops creating new cells and starts repairing existing cells instead — and that includes repairing the DNA in those cells, which may explain fasting's effect on cancer.

If you've never tried to go without food, it can be scary. But it is easier than you'd think and although sometimes you feel hungry, the feeling doesn't last very long and fasting also creates other positive feelings you don't normally have. This is definitely a practice worth exploring for those of us who want to feel good more often (and for a long time to come).

Watch the video here: BBC Horizon 2012: Eat, Fast and Live Longer.

Read more:
The Best Fasting Method
Under-fasting and the Fountain of Youth
Fasting, Metabolism, and Happiness

Adam Khan is the author of Self-Help Stuff That Works and Cultivating Fire: How to Keep Your Motivation White Hot

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Ikigai is Good For You

>> Saturday

The first time I took the "signature strengths" questionnaire at authentichappiness.org, I received an update on Martin Seligman's work, as I mentioned awhile ago. Here's another passage from that update, also an excerpt from Seligman's new book, Flourish:

There is one trait similar to optimism that seems to protect against cardiovascular disease: ikigai. This Japanese concept means having something worth living for, and ikigai is intimately related to the meaning element of flourishing (M in PERMA) as well as to optimism.

There are three prospective Japanese studies of ikigai, and all point to high levels of ikigai reducing the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, even when controlling for traditional risk factors and perceived stress. In one study, the mortality rate among men and women without ikigai was 160 percent higher than for increased CVD mortality as compared to men and women with ikigai.

In a second study, men with ikigai had only 86 percent of the risk of mortality from CVD compared to men without ikigai; this was also true of women, but less robustly so.

And in a third study, men with high ikigai had only 28 percent of the risk for death from stroke relative to their low-ikigai counterparts, but there was no association with heart disease.

It is healthy to add more meaning and purpose to your life, and it will improve your mood. To explore this, start here:

Why Goals Are Good

How to Find a Purpose in Life

Immediate Practical Benefits to Having a Purpose

Visualizing Goals

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary projects, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind trancends limitations; your consciousness expands in every direction; and you find yourself in a great new and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be."

- Patanjali

Adam Khan is the author of Antivirus For Your Mind: How to Strengthen Your Persistence and Determination and Feel Good More Often and co-author with Klassy Evans of Viewfinder: How to Change the Way You Look at Things.

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Feel good more often and become more effective with your actions. Check it out on Amazon: Self-Help Stuff That Works.

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