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Life Improves With Laughter June 15, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Health & Wellness.
38 comments

Stressed out?

Find something to laugh about.

Yup.  It can even be something silly.

Seriously.

Laughter is the yin to stress’s yang . . . counterbalancing many of the nasty negative effects of stress.

Plus, laughing feels good.

“We do not laugh because we are happy . . . we are happy because we laugh.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

To read more:  Does Laughing Have Real Health Benefits?

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Feed The Birds June 4, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Happiness, Home & Garden.
28 comments

Unlike most bird feeders that can be filled with seeds, hummingbird feeders are specially made for a hummingbird’s diet.  They contain a mock nectar solution that can easily be made at home.

Here’s the recipe:

  • Fill a 1-cup measuring cup to 200 milliliters with water.
  • Heat the cup in the microwave for 90 seconds.
  • Add sugar to the heated water until the contents of the measuring cup hit 250 milliliters.
  • Stir the cup’s contents until the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Let the solution fully cool.
  • Pour the sugary drink into the hummingbird feeder.

It’s really that simple.

Other recipes may call for honey or red food dye, but Bell, a staff scientist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s Microbial Ecology Lab and an avid bird watcher, strongly recommends against these additions, as they could cause health issues for the tiny birds.

Aah . . . that’s simple syrup!

To read more:  Feeders Help Hungry Hummingbirds (Shorelines)

Ya, Mon May 18, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Music & Dance.
32 comments

We’ve been watching musical “documentaries” lately ~ Bohemian Rhapsody, Joan Jett, Muscle Shoals, and Marley.  What they have in common is a desire to elevate the musicians to the highest possible pedestal.

We didn’t buy into the hype.

That said, there’s something to be said for Jammin’ on a Saturday morning.

And sometimes it pays to Stir it Up.

Other times we have to accept the “what is.”

Cos every little thing gonna be all right.

Especially if we have One Love.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

. . . And We All Fall Down! May 10, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Happiness, Humor.
35 comments

Our letter carriers are collecting nonperishable food items tomorrow morning to deliver to local food banks and pantries.

Last night, I started collecting  a few items to include in our donation bag ~ Quaker Rolled Oats, Lipton Tea Bags, Black-Eyed Peas, etc.

Some of the items were out of reach.  Since BFF was still eating dinner, I stepped up on my handy dandy step stool . . . armed with a spatula to extend my reach still further.

No luck.  The Tea Bags were still out of reach.

I swapped out the step stool (10″ high) for a ladder back chair (17″ high) so I could reach the box of tea bags stashed in the tippy top of the pantry.

SUCCESS!

Until I stepped off the chair . . . into thin air!

I had forgotten where I was and “muscle memory” kicked in.  It knows that I always use a 10″ high step stool to reach out-of-reach pantry items.  As soon as my left foot had descended 9″, muscle memory caused my body weight to shift from right leg (still on the chair) to left leg (dangling in air).

Muscle memory made sure that I was ready for a soft landing as soon as my left foot dropped the last inch and reached the floor.

Only the floor didn’t cooperate.  It was still 7″ away and didn’t rise to the occasion.

Down I toppled.

But muscle memory came to the rescue . . . saving me a trip to the ER.

When I was 13, I took a Judo self-defense course that taught us, inter alia, How To Fall.

Instead of tensing up, I relaxed and absorbed the weight of the fall on the balls of my feet, the palms of my hands, and on my well padded butt.  Instead of slamming my head into the cabinet, the counter top, or the floor, I curled into a “ball” by curving my spine and rolling as I made contact with the floor.

All said, I feel a bit bumped and bruised this morning, but that beats being broken and battered hands down!

Just ask Humpty!

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Middle Path April 19, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
25 comments

IMGP2584bA husband asked a Zen master to intercede on his behalf with his wife as she had a very uncharitable nature.

The Zen master agreed to speak with her.  He put his clenched fist under her nose and asked, “If your hand was always like this what would you call it?”

“Deformed.”

He then held his hand wide open and asked, “If your hand was always like this what would you call it?”

“Deformed”

The Zen master nodded.

“A naturally functioning hand opens and closes. It remains flexible, neither locked into one extreme nor the other.  Just as a hand at rest is neither clenched nor wide-spread so too is our natural state.  We are not one thing or another.”

With that, he walked away.

Aah . . . that’s better!

No iPod Required March 13, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Life Balance, Nature.
35 comments

Have you ever noticed that bikers, walkers and runners wearing headsets look decidedly less relaxed and happy than those without cords sticking out of their ears?

On more than one occasion, I’ve noticed that those sprouting ear buds feature frowns on their faces as they move through their paces.

In contrast, those without a techno-gadget clipped to their belt, or held in their hand, seem more inclined to radiate happiness as they commune with sky, trees, water, birds, flowers, and the occasional splash of flying fish.

Connecting with nature connects us with the moment.  As we tune in to the here and now, our inner bliss surfaces suffusing us with joy.

No iPod required.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

RX = Nature March 2, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.
28 comments

Now that the days are getting longer and warmer, head to the park for some R&R.

Doctors orders!

Spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, is one of the fastest ways to improve your health and happiness. It’s been shown to lower stress, blood pressure and heart rate, while encouraging physical activity and buoying mood and mental health. Some research even suggests that green space is associated with a lower risk of developing psychiatric disorders — all findings that doctors are increasingly taking seriously and relaying to their patients.

***

The medical community is increasingly viewing green space as a place for their patients to reap physical and mental health benefits. Some physicians, like Dr. Robert Zarr, a pediatrician in Washington, D.C., are even writing prescriptions for it.

These “nature prescriptions” — therapies that are redeemable only outdoors, in the fresh air of a local park — advise patients to spend an hour each week playing tennis, for instance, or to explore all the soccer fields near their home. The scripts are recorded in his patients’ electronic health records.

To read more:  Here’s What Being Outside Can Do For Your Health

Aah . . . that’s better!

3-Minute Mindfulness February 25, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
8 comments

Want to learn how to “keep calm and carry on” when life tosses you a curve ball?

David (at Raptitude) is offering a free mindfulness course with 5 simple lessons:

It will teach you:

  • What mindfulness actually is
  • Three ways you can practice it anytime, anywhere
  • Why you might want to do that

Your homework is literally one minute a day. 

Got that?  Five quick lessons in five days.

Interested?

Sign up HERE by providing your e-mail address.  The lessons will arrive in your e-mail box at no charge.

At the conclusion of the course, you’ll get information on signing up for Camp Calm (David’s 30 day meditation course), along with other tips and techniques to reinforce your new mindfulness practice.

There is NO obligation to enroll in Camp Calm.  Per David:  “If you just want to do the mini-course and leave it at that—no worries, and no hard feelings.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  A Simple Trick For Becoming A Calmer Person (Raptitude)

 

 

Three Zebras and an Ass February 21, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness, Word Play.
26 comments

IMGP2754bThree zebras wandered a dirt road enjoying the day, convivial conversation alternating with companionable silence.

An enormous ass ambled over to them and began to bray.  Loudly.

The ass, delighted to have an audience for his grievances, complained about the weather, the surface of the road, the cost of carrots, his mother-in-law’s tongue, the state of the barn . . .

As the ass dumped his ponderous pile of dung at the zebras’ hooves, the zebras did their best to cheer him up.

To no avail.

No matter what the zebras said, the ass insisted that HIS view of the world was the right view of the world.

Zion smiled, “At times, we must choose between being right and being happy.”

“Poppycock!  I’m happy BECAUSE I’m right!  It just annoys me when people are rude and don’t apologize for being boorish.  Why just the other day . . .  ”

With that, the ass launched another stale tale.

Ziggy grinned, “We see the world behind our eyes.”

The ass snorted, “What utter nonsense!  I see things exactly as they are.”

Zodiac pricked up his ears, “I expect you’re right . . . most asses do see things exactly as they are.”

Satisfied, the ass ambled off in search of another audience.  As soon as he was out of sight, the zebras burst into fits of convulsive laughter.

“What an ass!”

zebras

Aah . . . that’s better!

Stick With Chocolate! February 14, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Humor.
34 comments

Certain foods, like chocolate, may enhance your mood and relieve anxiety.

Other foods, like candy and carbohydrates, provide temporary feelings of euphoria, but may ultimately increase feelings of anxiety and depression.

My RX for this Valentine’s Day:  stick with chocolate!

With a side of flowers!

But don’t take my word for it.  To read more: 8 Scientifically-Backed Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

I’ll add a 9th Scientifically Backed Way to Beat the Winter Blues ~> LAUGH!

To get you started . . .

A guy wandering the beach found a bottle washed up on the sand.  A genie popped out and gave him three wishes:

“I want a  million dollars.”

Poof!  A million dollars.

“And a Jaguar convertible.”

Poof!  A Jaguar convertible.

“Last wish.  Hmm . . . I know!  Make me irresistible to women.”

Poof!  The genie turned him into a box of chocolates.  

Aah . . . that’s better!