15Ways to being a happier person

Good News Stories is all about making you feel positive and we’d like to share some of that good energy with a few ways to be a happier person!

cornish beach
Go to the beach!

Don’t Worry, Choose Happy

The first step, however, is to make a conscious choice to boost your happiness. In his book, The Conquest of Happiness, published in 1930, the philosopher Bertrand Russell had this to say: “Happiness is not, except in very rare cases, something that drops into the mouth, like a ripe fruit. … Happiness must be, for most men and women, an achievement rather than a gift of the gods, and in this achievement, effort, both inward and outward, must play a great part.”

Today, psychologists who study happiness heartily agree. The intention to be happy is the first of The 9 Choices of Happy People listed by authors Rick Foster and Greg Hicks in their book of the same name.

“Intention is the active desire and commitment to be happy,” they write. “It’s the decision to consciously choose attitudes and behaviors that lead to happiness over unhappiness.”

Change and adapt.

Society is a changeable commodity. We need to change and adapt. If you sit too tightly on your chair, you will not be happy.

Not many things are certain in life, but two things are: We all will die; and more importantly, things will change. Your job won’t last forever, your kids will grow up, your house will age, and your spouse will change.

We all need to change and adapt. Take the opportunity to have fun with it. See it as a positive.

Foster Forgiveness

Holding a grudge and nursing grievances can affect physical as well as mental health, according to a rapidly growing body of research. One way to curtail these kinds of feelings is to foster forgiveness. This reduces the power of bad events to create bitterness and resentment, say Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons, happiness researchers who edited The Psychology of Happiness.

In his book, Five Steps to Forgiveness, clinical psychologist Everett Worthington Jr. offers a 5-step process he calls REACH. First, recall the hurt. Then empathize and try to understand the act from the perpetrator’s point of view. Be altruistic by recalling a time in your life when you were forgiven. Commit to putting your forgiveness into words. You can do this either in a letter to the person you’re forgiving or in your journal. Finally, try to hold on to the forgiveness. Don’t dwell on your anger, hurt, and desire for vengeance.

 

Do things for others

Caring about others is fundamental to our happiness. Helping other people is not only good for them; it’s good for us too. It makes us happier and can help to improve our health. Giving also creates stronger connections between people and helps to build a happier society for everyone. It’s not all about money – we can also give our time, ideas and energy. So if you want to feel good, do good.

Cultivate Gratitude

In his book, Authentic Happiness, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman encourages readers to perform a daily “gratitude exercise.” It involves listing a few things that make them grateful. This shifts people away from bitterness and despair, he says, and promotes happiness.

Take care of your body

Our body and mind are connected. Being active makes us happier as well as healthier. It instantly improves our mood and can even lift us out of depression. We don’t all have to run marathons – there are simple things we can do to be more active each day. We can also boost our wellbeing by spending time outdoors, eating healthily, unplugging from technology and getting enough sleep. Ensure you have good medical and travel insurance over 85 too if you are holidaying abroad.

Counteract Negative Thoughts and Feelings

As Jon Haidt puts it, improve your mental hygiene. In The Happiness Hypothesis, Haidt compares the mind to a man riding an elephant. The elephant represents the powerful thoughts and feelings — mostly unconscious — that drive your behavior. The man, although much weaker, can exert control over the elephant, just as you can exert control over negative thoughts and feelings.

“The key is a commitment to doing the things necessary to retrain the elephant,” Haidt says. “And the evidence suggests there’s a lot you can do. It just takes work.”

For example, you can practice meditation, rhythmic breathing, yoga, or relaxation techniques to quell anxiety and promote serenity. You can learn to recognize and challenge thoughts you have about being inadequate and helpless.

Follow your dreams

I’m not talking about “a good job,” “a fine house” or “an okay life,” or, for that matter, taking up knitting, which you’ve dreamed about for years. I mean truly and utterly opening the channel to your inner core and seeing what you find. I mean doing what you really want to do with the rest of your life.

Impossible, you say? Well, I don’t mean quitting your job and jumping into the unknown. I mean, setting up a plan and some goals to start doing what you’ve always dreamed about, step-by-step if you like. And when you do, (wo)man will you glow.

Keep learning

Learning affects our wellbeing in lots of positive ways. It exposes us to new ideas and helps us stay curious and engaged. It also gives us a sense of accomplishment and helps boost our self-confidence and resilience. There are many ways to learn new things throughout our lives, not just through formal qualifications. We can share a skill with friends, join a club, learn to sing, play a new sport and so much more.

Think positively.

Our thoughts are so powerful that it rocks my soul at the core when I think about it. And yes, we’ve heard it all before. But we humans think so many negative thoughts every day, and it’s in this negative sphere that we live and breathe.

Can you sense the contaminated thought-air? I can. Well then, change it!

Foster Friendship

There are few better antidotes to unhappiness than close friendships with people who care about you, says David G. Myers, author of The Pursuit of Happiness. One Australian study found that people over 70 who had the strongest network of friends lived much longer.

“Sadly, our increasingly individualistic society suffers from impoverished social connections, which some psychologists believe is a cause of today’s epidemic levels of depression,” Myers writes. “The social ties that bind also provide support in difficult times.”

Find ways to bounce back

All of us have times of stress, loss, failure or trauma in our lives. How we respond to these events has a big impact on our wellbeing. We often cannot choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react to what happens. In practice it’s not always easy, but one of the most exciting findings from recent research is that resilience, like many other life skills, can be learned.

Be comfortable with who you are

Nobody’s perfect. But so often we compare a negative view of ourselves with an unrealistic view of other people. Dwelling on our flaws – what we’re not rather than what we’ve got – makes it much harder to be happy. Learning to accept ourselves, warts and all, and being kinder to ourselves when things go wrong increases our enjoyment of life, our resilience and our wellbeing. It also helps us accept others as they are.

Engage in Meaningful Activities

People are seldom happier, says psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, than when they’re in the “flow.” This is a state in which your mind becomes thoroughly absorbed in a meaningful task that challenges your abilities. Yet, he has found that the most common leisure time activity — watching TV — produces some of the lowest levels of happiness.

To get more out of life, we need to put more into it, says Csikszentmihalyi. “Active leisure that helps a person grow does not come easily,” he writes in Finding Flow. “Each of the flow-producing activities requires an initial investment of attention before it begins to be enjoyable.”

Be part of something bigger

People who have meaning and purpose in their lives are happier, feel more in control and get more out of what they do. They also experience less stress, anxiety and depression. But where do we find meaning and purpose? It might come from doing a job that makes a difference, our religious or spiritual beliefs, or our family. The answers vary for each of us but they all involve being connected to something bigger than ourselves.

British Doctors could be on brink of a cure for paralysis

This news could be the biggest of the good news site for many years.

cancer-research

In the UK doctors have maybe made a huge breakthrough in the treatment of paralysis that could give hope to millions around the globe who are confined to wheelchairs.

Here is some video news of the findings…

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMJLg5K40U0

How some of the news papers and agencies are reporting this around the world…

LONDON, United Kingdom – A parayzed Bulgarian man can walk again after receiving revolutionary treatment in Poland in a breakthrough hailed by one of the British scientists responsible as “more impressive than a man walking on the Moon”.

Darek Fidyka was paralyzed from the chest down following a knife attack in 2010, but can now walk using a frame after receiving treatment in which nerve cells from his nose were transplanted into his severed spinal column, according to research published in the journal Cell Transplantation on Tuesday.

 

“When there’s nothing, you can’t feel almost half of your body. You’re helpless, lost,” the patient, who is now recovering at the Akron Neuro-Rehabilitation Center in Wroclaw, told BBC’s Panorama programme.

“When it begins to come back, you feel you’ve started your life all over again, as if you are reborn. It’s an incredible feeling, difficult to describe,” the 40-year-old said.

Specialist olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), which form part of the sense of smell, were used in the treatment as they are pathway cells, enabling nearby nerve fibers to be continually regenerated.

The treatment involved two operations.

Pawel Tabakow, consultant neurosurgeon at Wroclaw University, led a team of surgeons in removing one of the patient’s olfactory bulbs before transplanting cultured cells into the spinal cord.

Scientists think that the cells, implanted above and below the injury, enabled damaged fibres to reconnect.

“What we’ve done is establish a principle, nerve fibres can grow back and restore function, provided we give them a bridge,” said Geoff Raisman, chair of neural regeneration at University College London’s Institute of Neurology, who led the British research team working on the joint project.

“To me, this is more impressive than a man walking on the Moon. I believe this is the moment when paralysis can be reversed.”

Tabakow said it was “amazing to see how regeneration of the spinal cord, something that was thought impossible for many years, is becoming a reality”.

‘Door will open in life’

For two years after sustaining the injury, Fidyka showed no sign of recovery despite intensive five-hour physiotherapy sessions.

The first signs of improvement came three months after the surgery, when his left thigh began putting on muscle.

Three months later, Fidyka was able to take his first steps with the aid of parallel bars and leg braces. He can now walk outside using a frame and has also recovered some feeling in his bladder and bowel.

“I think it’s realistic that one day I will become independent,” said the patient.

“What I have learned is that you must never give up but keep fighting, because some door will open in life.”

The research was funded by the UK Stem Cell Foundation and the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (NSIF), set up by chef David Nicholls after his son Daniel was paralysed in a 2003 swimming accident.

NSIF has given £1 million ($1.6 million, 1.26 million euros) to researchers in London and £240,000 to the team in Poland. Both camps say they will not seek to profit from the research.

“It would be my proudest boast if I could say that no patient had had to pay one penny for any of the information we have found,” said Raisman.

NSIF said it would acquire any patents and make them freely available.

“When Dan had his accident I made him a promise that, one day, he would walk again,” Nicholls told the BBC.

“I set up the charity to raise funds purely for research into repairing the spinal cord. The results with Darek show we are making significant progress towards that goal.”

The UK Stem Cell Foundation said the team was now searching for the best source of olfactory ensheathing cells and developing prototype nanofibre biomaterials on which transplanted OECs could grow.

They hope to raise enough money to hold clinical trials on 10 patients in Britain and Poland.

 

More on this story…

The 38-year-old Bulgarian man is believed to be the first person in the world to recover from complete severing of the spinal nerves, with sensation now returned to his lower limbs.
Darek Fidyka, who suffered his injury four years ago, can now walk with a frame and has been able to resume an independent life, even to the extent of driving a car.
Surgeons used nerve-supporting cells from his nose to provide pathways along which the broken tissue was able to grow.
Despite success in the laboratory, it is the first time the procedure has been shown to work in a human patient.

Researchers said the man was “not dancing but absolutely delighted” by the breakthrough.
Professor Geoffrey Raisman, whose team at University College London’s Institute of Neurology discovered the technique, said: “We believe that this procedure is the breakthrough which, as it is further developed, will result in a historic change in the currently hopeless outlook for people disabled by spinal cord injury.”
A Polish team led by one of the world’s top spinal repair experts, Dr Pawel Tabakow, from Wroclaw Medical University, performed the surgery.
The procedure involved transplanting olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) from the nose to the spinal cord.

OECs assist the repair of damaged nerves that transmit smell messages by opening up pathways for them to the olfactory bulbs in the forebrain.
Re-located to the spinal cord, they appear to enable the ends of severed nerve fibres to grow and join together – something that was previously thought to be impossible.

So could this be the cure for paraylsis?

cure for the first time after a new technique pioneered by British doctors allowed a man with a severed spinal cord to recover the ability to walk.

A revolutionary implant of regenerative cells has knitted back together the spinal cord of a wheelchair-bound firefighter paralysed from the chest down in a knife attack, restoring sensation and muscle control to his legs.

The astonishing breakthrough by an Anglo-Polish medical team is the first ever instance where a complete spinal paralysis has been reversed and represents the potential conquering of one of the greatest challenges in medical science. If validated, it offers hope of a life-changing therapy to the 2.5m people paralysed by spinal injury in Britain and across the world.

The technique, developed by researchers at University College London and put into practice by surgeons in the Polish city of Wroclaw, uses specialist human cells which repair damage to nasal nerves to enable spinal nerve fibres to re-grow and bridge a severed cord.

 

Julie Weiss Completes 52 Marathons!

Julie Weiss is the Energizer Bunny of marathon runners. For 52 weeks, she kept on going and going and going.
On Sunday, she finally stopped. As she crossed the finish line of the Los Angeles Marathon, she reached her goal of running a marathon every week for a year to raise awareness for the disease that killed her father.

“Pancreatic cancer is my only competition out there and I intend to beat it,” she told TODAY.
The 42-year-old California mother of two started her year-long journey after her father passed away in November 2010, only a month after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The experience stunned her.
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“People don’t know what we’re dealing with here,” she said. “It’s almost like a death sentence.”
She started her mission with a marathon in Rome and followed with a race every weekend throughout the United States and Canada. She would work her 9-to-5 job during the week and then immediately hop on a plane. She finished each race with a huge smile and arms raised — and then head back home Sunday.
“We have never had anybody do what Julie Weiss has done,” said Pam Marquardt, founder of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Weiss and her dad, who died a month after his diagnosis.
So far, Weiss has raised $177, 378 for the charity, according to her website www.MarathonGoddess.com, a play off the nickname she’s been dubbed by fans.
David Levine, her fiancé, acknowledged it has been a hard journey.
Story: Police officer’s act of kindness goes viral
“Psychologically, it was taxing, difficult, tiring,” he said.

Completing 52 marathons in 52 weeks means that Weiss has run 1,362.4 miles. That’s roughly the distance between St. Louis to Boston.
Although Weiss runs each race in memory of her father, she dedicates each marathon to a cancer victim.
“In memory of Lydia Jack, she passed at only 52, so Lydia 52 is also for YOU!” she wrote on her blog.

Weiss now plans to take a break, but she said she plans to pick up her race pace again soon. Her next goal is to run another 52 marathons in 52 weeks by 2020 to reach her ultimate goal of raising $1 million dollars for pancreatic cancer research and awareness.

The Doctor is back – and he means business!

Most science fiction enthusiasts had a really long summer, waiting for the eighth season of the revived TV series Doctor Who to hit the screens this August. There was a bit of anxiety mixed into their anticipation, as the Doctor has taken a brand new persona this summer – played by Scottish actor Peter Capaldi, known for his roles in The Thick of It and The Musketeers (he plays Cardinal Richelieu).

The bad news is that the Doctor has changed into a person completely different from his predecessor. If Matt Smith was a Doctor with much humor, clumsiness, energy and fun, Capaldi’s Doctor looks like a much darker, much more serious character. Sometimes he seems to show his age – he is over 1,200 years old by this time. His long age shows in his grey hair and old eyes, too.

This episode had a bit of surprise for real fans – the moment when he left Clara, his long time companion, behind in the (spoilers!) chamber with the dormant clockwork droids. Some were surely shocked by this action – just to be relieved when Clara had put her faith in the Doctor and was not mistaken to do so. I won’t say more, for the sake of those who haven’t had the chance to see the latest episode yet.

All in all, the new Doctor has shown that he means business. After a few clumsy moments in the beginning, with his mind not being “rebooted” yet, he found himself and got things done, showing that he means business. As usual.

Peter Capaldi is the fifth actor to be cast in the title role of the revived Doctor Who TV series (or the fourth, if we don’t count John Hurt’s single episode presence) and the twelfth (thirteenth) actor to be playing the beloved character since the series premiere in 1963. An interesting fact – the Scottish actor was 55 years old when he was cast for his role as the Doctor, the same age as William Hartnell when he was cast as the first Doctor. Capaldi has appeared in the series before – he played Caecilius in a Pompeii-themed episode in season four of the revived series, and John Frobisher in the third season of the spin-off series Torchwood.

Again, the good news: the Doctor is finally back, and he means business. The bad news, in turn, is that we will have to wait a week for the next episode. This is the hardest part – when you finally get a few bits of good stuff, and have to wait patiently for more. I think I’ll play our vast selection of table games each day until the day comes when I get to see some more of the Twelfth Doctor…

Amputee Hits The Right Note

Richard Mangino from Massachusetts suffered from a serious bloodstream infection in 2002 and lost his lower arms and legs. This left him unable to do some of his favorite activities such as drawing, playing piano, and tossing the football around with his grandkids.

In 2011, Mangino underwent a double hand transplant and the surgery was successful. A team of over 40 surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, residents, radiologists and physician assistants operated for more than 12 hours to perform his surgery.

His wife told journalists

“One day in July, Mangino told his family, “I’m going to try to swim, go get the    camera,” he recalled. Carole Mangino said she held her breath as he took his strokes. “I said, ‘Oh, my God, he’s going all the way to the end!’ ” Her husband easily swam the length of the pool and then held up his arms in victory.

“It was like watching someone taking his first steps,’’ said Carole, who was so moved she cried. Mangino did drive before the transplant, using a device on the steering wheel his prostheses fit into, enabling him to turn. Playing football with    grandsons Trevor, 6, and Nicholas, 4, is new, and that is when the boys, who had not known their grandfather with his original hands, finally realized the transplant had changed him, Carole said.

Her husband, she said, “is on a cloud,’’ and the bumps in the road have been relatively minor.

Mangino takes medication for nerve pain in his arms, which bothers him especially at night. Pomahac said doctors do not have a good explanation for this type of pain. “The nerves are regrowing, and they not only provide sensations but       provide some random pain stimulus,” he said. “It will eventually go away.’’