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Wanted: Optimistic Happiness | Winter Tonic

From eNewsletter 2/22/2021

DID YOU KNOW that as we come out of the polar vortex, a little green can help perk us up? Better yet, seeing and savoring a yummy green drink (and we don’t mean a shamrock shake) is just what we need to rejuvenate! Winter Green Tonic -4 cups organic chopped baby greens (such as Earthbound Organic...baby romaine/chard/red leaf/arugula/green leaf/spinach/kale) -2 chopped stalks of organic celery -1/2 organic chopped Granny Smith apple (skin left on) -1 T. organic curly parsley leaves -1 T. fresh lemon juice -1/2 cup very cold electrolyte water -1 T. local honey or organic agave syrup For garnish: 2 inner celery stalks with leaves and lemon zest curls Purée all ingredients, except garnish, until very smooth. Strain in a fine mesh sieve. Serve immediately in 2 large glasses with optional chopped ice. Garnish each glass with a celery stalk and lemon zest curl. SERVES: 2

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WANTED: OPTIMISTIC HAPPINESS Steve and Bonnie: Researchers have tried to assess if money really makes you happier. While a consensus has yet to be reached, researchers in a PLOS One study found that the majority of low monetization societies reported remarkably high levels of happiness, to a degree comparable to Scandinavian countries, which typically rate highest in the world.


Low monetization are societies where money plays a minimal role, and which are not usually included in global happiness surveys. The results challenge the perception that economic growth will automatically raise life satisfaction among low-income populations. Even where monetization differs within one country, such as Bangladesh, in the urban communities where money was in greater use, residents reported lower levels of happiness.


The authors found a common theme for achieving happiness unrelated to high incomes and material wealth: a greater proportion of time spent with family and contact with nature. Moreover, the authors state: "When people are comfortable, safe, and free to enjoy life within a strong community, they are happy - regardless of whether or not they are making any money."


Which leads us to our next point...


A recent survey of 2,000 Americans suggests they’re planning to focus more on health and happiness rather than career and success after the COVID-19 pandemic. Two in three people are planning to emerge from quarantine with an entirely new attitude. In fact, seven in 10 respondents said they’re planning to live each and every day to the fullest after COVID. The survey reveals 71 percent of Americans value the little things in life more than ever because of the pandemic, such as speaking to their families more (45%) and speaking their minds more truthfully (43%).


Let's hope we can follow through.


Finally, a new study from The International Journal of Aging and Human Development suggests how we think about who we're going to be in old age is very predictive of exactly how we will be.


Previous research has shown that people who have positive views of aging at 50 live 7.5 years longer, on average, than people who don't. This study looked specifically at the influence of two factors: a person's perceived ability to become the person they want to be in the future; and optimism as a general personality trait.


As predicted, higher optimism was associated with more positive self-perception of aging. "People need to realize that some of the negative health consequences in later life are not all biologically driven. The mind and the body are all interwoven," the lead author said. "If you believe these bad things are going to happen, over time that can erode people's willingness or maybe even eventually their ability to engage in those health behaviors that are going to keep them as healthy as they can be."


COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS

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