Healthy "U" November Newsletter
by Deidre Trapp, RN
We are inundated with "advice" every year about how to avoid eating too much or overindulging in other ways during the Holiday Season. And if we fail to follow all this advice, then we turn to New Years' resolutions to help us re-focus. However, one thing we might consider as we approach this season is the concept of Happiness and what really makes folks happy, and by extension, healthier. Click here to watch The Happy Movie, a documentary by acclaimed film maker, Roko Belic. However, if you don't have time to watch, here is a brief rundown of things to consider.
5 Ways to Feel Happy
1. A Sense of Friendship and Community. Having strong relationships and a large support network is a leading factor in happiness all over the world. In Denmark, which consistently ranks 1st as the happiest nation on earth, most Danes believe they have someone other than a family member they can rely on.
2. Caring and Doing for Others. According to scientists interviewed in "Happy," compassionate thoughts and generous actions actually change the chemistry of the brain, producing dopamine, a hormone that is believed to trigger happiness. In addition to feeling good, people report that doing something for others adds meaning to their life.
3. A Personal Involvement with Nature. Many people report that time spent outdoors is a very joyful experience and, like compassion outreach, helps them connect with something larger than themselves.
4. A Balanced Life with Plenty of Leisure Time. Workaholics definitely don't rank high on the happiness scale. On the island of Okinawa, there are more centenarians than anywhere else in the world. Perhaps it's because the islanders care for each other and have never forsaken their tradition of intergenerational communication and connection.
5. Engaging in Activities that One Finds Enjoyable. According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, "Flow is the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. The experience itself is so enjoyable they will do it, even at great cost, for the sheer sake of it."
Food Day - Rescheduled
Sandy delayed "Food Day" at Hood, but it was NOT eliminated. It has been rescheduled for Monday, November 19 at Coblentz Seminar Room. Tickets to the dinner have SOLD OUT, but doors will open after dinner to everyone at 7:15 p.m. for a brief presentation by Brent Kim from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. "Food Day" is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. "Food Day" at Hood is co-hosted by the Healthy "U" Committee and student environmental club, HEAT.
Mindfulness Meditation - Mondays
Meditate with Beth O'Malley, on Mondays from noon-12:30 p.m. in the McHenry Interfaith Prayer Room in the Coffman Chapel basement.
Yoga at Hood - Mondays and Thursdays
Free yoga classes, made possible by Sol Yoga, are held Mondays 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. and Thursdays 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m. in the Dance Studio in Gambrill Gymnasium.
Hood Walking Group - Still Walking on Tuesdays
Leaving at noon from the plaza between Alumnae Hall and Hodson, the group walks for approximately 30 minutes rain or shine. Congratulations to our Hood Walking Group. Coordinator JoAnne Bodine '09 and her group leaders Amy Kaufman MacLeod '08, Jane Moore, Krista Schaffert '04, and Phyllis Townsend just celebrated one year of walking with their group.
Hope to see you at any or all of these events!