9. December 2009 12:06
Would you like to live a happier, more fulfilled life? I don't know a single person who would answer "No." I recently came across an article that had some simple ideas about how we can all achieve greater happiness in our lives... just by following a ver simple formula.
In a recent study by Professor Ed Diener, psychologist at the University of Illinois, people rated how happy they were based on a number of questions. Diener compared the answers across the spectrum of age, sex, marital status, income, and health. Strong evidence showed that happiness leads to better health and a longer life – no surprise there.
But what did come as a surprise is that levels of happiness changed based on age and social involvement. Here are a few of the specific factors researchers found that made people feel happier:
• Family and Friends. The better and more fulfilling the relationships with family and friends, the happier people felt. Having friendships was shown to have a protective element against illness. Researchers found that friendship actually had a bigger effect on the average person’s happiness than a person’s income.
• Marriage. Being married also seemed important. Marriage added an average seven years to a man’s life, and four years for women.
• Meaning in Life. People who felt there was a larger purpose to their life - religion, philosophy, or spirituality were happier.
• Goals. Happier people had pleasing long-term goals they worked toward and enjoyed achieving.
In several supporting studies, Dr. Martin Seligman, professor at the University of Pennsylvania, found that practicing simple exercises can increase a person’s level of happiness and decrease depression. Dr. Seligman has designed “Happiness Building Exercises” to increase people’s happiness and well-being. You can find out more information about these exercises at www.reflectivehappiness.com
2. December 2009 11:50
Most of the team members here on the Marc Austin Highfill Team are parents. We all love our families, but its not always easy to know if we're doing a good job. Helping kids grow up successfully is every parent’s goal, especially with such a bright and amazing future ahead of them. Here are 7 valuable tips we found to help parents prepare their children to reach their fullest potential and enjoy that future:
- Let your child work things out without your help. At an early age, let your child find solutions to challenges he or she may face.
- Support your child’s interests and passions. Praise your child for who he/she is becoming…not what you want them to be.
- Teach your child how to manage money. Teach them about saving (start with piggy banks and savings accounts), allowances, and earning money from doing household jobs.
- Let your child learn how to deal with disappointment. Playing sports and board games teach kids how to handle disappointment.
- Teach your child how to negotiate conflicts. Teach your kids how to negotiate using words and how to resolve conflicts.
- Encourage your child’s dreams. Be supportive of your child’s dreams, but help them set achievable goals along the way.
- Support their independence. Increase your child’s responsibility a little bit each year. It’ll build a strong foundation for their lifetime.