The secret to happiness may be in your next meal. According to findings from studies that have examined the connection between food and mood, what you eat plays a role in how content you feel. As fitness professionals, you can pass along some of the research results on mood and emotional state and give your clients one more reason to eat correctly, feel great and live well.
Looking on the sunny side of life may help you be both happier and less likely to have a heart attack, according to a recent research review of more than 200 published studies.
“We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction, and happiness are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease regardless of such factors as a person’s age, socioeconomic status, smoking status, or body weight,” said lead author Julia Boehm, research fellow in the department of society, human development, and health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
Have you ever found yourself in a state of complete absorption in a complex and challenging activity that stretches your skills? This wonderful state is called flow, and is described in the best-selling book Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD (Basic Books 1997). Csikszentmihalyi believes that being in flow generates the peak experiences in our lives. The more flow we experience, he suggests, the happier we are.
When you’re developing weight loss programs for niche populations, it may be important to understand the role that environment plays in successful outcomes. One example comes from the Journal of Black Psychology (2012; 38 , 81–103). The study’s primary goal was to determine compliance among 55 overweight or obese African American women entering obesity treatment. For 13 weeks, 36 of the women were involved in a program held in churches; the other 19 attended a program in a university setting.
A new study involving more than 11,000 people has added to the growing body of evidence that regular exercise can reduce depressive symptoms, suggesting it may even provide a preventive benefit. People who were active three times per week reduced the odds of being depressed by 16%, according to findings in JAMA Psychiatry (2014; doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.1240).
Researchers believe they may have honed in on a fountain of youth, and it could be all in our heads. According to a new study, people who “feel” younger live longer.
The researchers asked 6,489 individuals, aged 52 and older, a simple question: “How old do you feel you are?” Then they compared responses with actual ages, all-cause mortality rates and deaths from cancer and cardiovascular disease during a 99-month follow-up.