A good life is one lived without working any overtime, right?

Friday, 5 August, 2016

Work less. Live a better life. Easier to say, than to do, though?

Countless studies have shown that people who work less are more satisfied with their lives. In a recent poll conducted among working women, German researchers quantified the “perfect day”. The largest share of minutes (106) would go toward “intimate relationships”. Down at the bottom of the list were work (36) and commuting (33). The researchers noted that “in order to maximise wellbeing it is likely that working and consuming (which increases GDP) might play a smaller role in people’s daily activities compared with now”.

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I need an easy ear, should I go to Japan and see a paid listener?

Tuesday, 26 July, 2016

Do you enjoy listening to others, and consider such an attribute to be one of your strong points? It could be then that work awaits you in Japan, where people are paid to simply listen, with a sympathetic ear, to others talking about their problems.

Other clients include a fisherman who was sick of waiting in solitary silence for a catch, a college student with ambitions to get into show business but who lacked family support, and an awkward young employee who did not know how to behave around his direct supervisor.

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Not everybody’s succeeding for the weekend, how to join them

Friday, 22 July, 2016

Since it’s almost the weekend, I’m wondering what I can do to lower my game. As it happens, there is rather a lot. All I have to do is take a leaf or two from the book of an unsuccessful person. And if you can’t make a success of your weekend, what can you make a success of?

Here are a few suggestions for stuffing up the weekend, based on what the unsuccessful do:

  • They don’t have a plan
  • They let technology take over
  • They don’t enjoy themselves
  • They sleep the entire time
  • They laze around and regret it

If that’s not enough, find more ideas here.

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Quietly as you go, making an argument for silence

Wednesday, 13 July, 2016

The value of silence in maintaining our health and well being seems to be much underestimated. On the other hand, the harm, and discomfort even, that excess noise can occasion, is likewise miscalculated.

Dislike of noise has produced some of history’s most eager advocates of silence, as Schwartz explains in his book Making Noise: From Babel to the Big Bang and Beyond. In 1859, the British nurse and social reformer Florence Nightingale wrote, “Unnecessary noise is the most cruel absence of care that can be inflicted on sick or well.” Every careless clatter or banal bit of banter, Nightingale argued, can be a source of alarm, distress, and loss of sleep for recovering patients. She even quoted a lecture that identified “sudden noises” as a cause of death among sick children.

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Are some cancers preventable by adopting healthy behaviours?

Friday, 8 July, 2016

Is developing cancer unavoidable, and down to bad luck, or might we have some control over remaining free of these diseases? Possibly seems to be best answer. Adopting “low-risk behaviours”, such as eliminating alcohol and tobacco consumption, and exercising more, among other things, can help reduce the risk of developing some cancers, but not all.

Of the nearly 90,000 women and more than 46,000 men, 16,531 women and 11,731 men fell into the low-risk group. For each type of cancer, researchers calculated a population-attributable risk, which is the percentage of people who develop cancer who might have avoided it had they adopted low-risk behaviors.

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To find the right path through life, listen out for the silence

Monday, 30 May, 2016

If our inner voice is forever haranguing us into doing something, does that mean we are doing the wrong thing? On the other hand, if this mind’s voice is quiet, silent, does that mean we may be on the right track? Might then the path of least resistance be the one we should be on?

If there is silence, then your mental chatter is finally quiet, right? There is nothing for it to oppose. So you must be moving in a direction that your spirit accepts, wants, maybe even needs, must you not? Towards completion, wholeness, growth, into possibility: a better chance to be fully alive, aware.

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Sleep deficit, and the reasons why it needs to be avoided

Friday, 8 April, 2016

Lack of sleep, or sleep deficit, is a problem in the US and the UK, and I should think, elsewhere as well. While it may be easier to say than to do, there are a number of compelling reasons why we need to make a full night’s sleep a priority.

The report pointed out that consistent poor sleep has been linked to increased risk of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, and death (from any cause) in several studies. Researchers think prolonged routines of short sleep may raise 24-hour blood pressure, heart rate, salt retention, and activity of the sympathetic nervous system (what controls the body’s fight-or-flight response), all of which can lead to hypertension.

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The desire to constantly joke is no joke, in fact it may be an illness

Friday, 11 March, 2016

People who feel compelled to constantly tell jokes – and by constantly I mean during their every waking hour, and then some – may be suffering from a medical disorder known as witzelsucht.

One of the first noted cases of this pathological joking emerged in the strangest circumstances by the German neurologist Otfrid Foerster in 1929. Foerster was operating on a male patient to remove a tumour. The man was still conscious – as was common practice at the time – but as he started manipulating the cancerous growth, the man suddenly erupted in a “manic flight of speech”, compulsively recounting pun after awful pun.

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Don’t worry, be unhappy, at least it won’t affect your health

Monday, 14 December, 2015

Is happiness the key to a long life? While the notion appears to make clear sense, it may not necessarily be the case. In other words, unhappiness, of itself, may not be a health hazard, according to the conclusions of a recent study:

In an initial analysis, the Lancet ​study did find an association between mortality and unhappiness, but that association disappeared once they adjusted for baseline health. “I think the interesting implication is we’ve got very few things that really matter as far as health is concerned,” Peto says. He names smoking and obesity as two things that are very good predictors of mortality. But unhappiness, it seems, is not at all on their level.

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It’s possible to be too clean? Surely not?

Monday, 23 November, 2015

Long showers, possibly several times a day, may feel as if they are at the forefront of a healthy, clean, lifestyle, but the reality sounds like another matter all together. Being “too clean” runs the risk of removing too much of the “good bacteria” that helps keep us in good health:

Overall obsessive washing “disrupts the normal flora which keep you healthy by competing with harmful organisms”, says Ruebush. “Operating your immune system in an environment of sterility is like a sensory deprivation for the brain. Eventually, it goes insane, thus the increased amount of allergy and autoimmunity associated with persons who try too hard to avoid all exposure to anything in their environment,” she says. A long shower every day may not be advisable, as it removes the “good bacteria” from our skin. But you should wash around your genitals and anywhere you sweat a lot. And you should change your underwear every day.

So now you know.

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