Top 10 Happiest Songs (of all-time!)

After you look and/or listen to these songs, let us know what song(s) you would put on this list. Let me know if you agree/disagree, what song is missing that I didn’t put on the list. Have fun! And remember, don’t worry, be happy!!!

  1. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

  2. Ode to Joy – Ludwig Beethoven

  3. Happy – Pharrell Williams

  4. Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin

  5. Happy Together – The Turtles

  6. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

  7. Shiny Happy People – R.E.M.

  8. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys

  9. I’m a Believer – The Monkeys

  10. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves

Leadership Manifesto

leader /’līdәr/ n: Anyone who holds her- or himself accountable for finding potential in people and processes.
WE WANT TO SHOW UP, WE WANT TO LEARN AND
WE WANT TO INSPIRE.
WE ARE HARDWIRED FOR CONNECTION, CURIOSITY, AND ENGAGEMENT.
WE CRAVE PURPOSE, AND WE HAVE A DEEP DESIRE TO CREATE AND CONTRIBUTE.
WE WANT TO TAKE RISKS,
EMBRACE OUR VULNERABILITIES, AND BE COURAGEOUS.
WHEN LEARNING AND WORKING ARE DEHUMANIZED –
WHEN YOU NO LONGER SEE US AND NO LONGER ENCOURAGE OUR DARING, OR WHEN YOU ONLY SEE WHAT WE PRODUCE OR HOW WE PERFORM – WE DISENGAGE AND TURN AWAY FROM THE VERY THINGS THAT THE WORLD NEEDS FROM US: OUR TALENT, OUR IDEAS, AND OUR PASSION.
W H A T W E A S K I S T H A T Y O U
ENGAGE WITH US, SHOW UP BESIDE US, AND LEARN FROM US.
FEEDBACK IS A FUNCTION OF RESPECT;
WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE HONEST CONVERSATIONS WITH US
ABOUT OUR STRENGTHS AND OUR OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH, WE QUESTION OUR CONTRIBUTIONS AND YOUR COMMITMENT.
ABOVE ALL ELSE, WE ASK THAT YOU SHOW UP, LET YOURSELF BE SEEN, AND BE COURAGEOUS.
DARE GREATLY WITH US.

from Daring Greatly by Brené Brown Copyright © 2017 Brené Brown, LLC.

Tips for Vitality & Serenity

Be Realistic – Accept your basic personality, utilize your strengths and accept your weaknesses.

Appreciate What You Have – rather than focusing on what you don’t have.

Say “No”! – You’re no good to anyone if you are exhausted, resentful, and overstretched.

Say “Yes”! – List to what you want and go for it. You’ll experience more joy and pleasure in life.

Move Your Body – Stretch, strengthen, and get your heart pumping. You’ll look and feel better.

Sleep – You know how much rest you need; aim to get it.

Choose Food Wisely – Include plenty of whole grains, vegetables, and fruit, eat some protein, and avoid excess sugar, fat, and salt. Stop eating when slightly full. Enjoy Simple, Everyday Pleasures – It will brighten each day.

Reduce Guilt – Be clear on what you can and cannot control and move on.

Live in the Present – rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Feel Your Feelings – and express them in healthy ways.

Laugh More – It’s one of the best ways to reduce tension.

Keep Hopeful – A positive attitude helps to create positive outcomes.

Try New Things – Take a risk, keep an open mind, invite spontaneity…it keeps life fresh.

Recognize When You Need Help – and ask for it.

Take Quiet Time – It’s important to reflect and contemplate.

Remember to Relax – and breathe deeply.

Communicate Openly and Honestly – to avoid conflict and confusion.

Embrace Creative Expression – Dance, music, art, and writing are powerful and magical resources.

Connect With Your “Spiritual Self” – however you define it.

Listen to Your Intuition – It has very good advice.

Follow Your Dreams – and keep dreaming … it creates happy people.

Adapted from materials provided by the Social Work Department of Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
https://roswellpark.org

The Friend Effect

The friend effect: why the secret of health and happiness is surprisingly simple

A study has found that regularly eating meals alone is the biggest single factor for unhappiness, besides existing mental illness. Why is hanging out with friends so helpful?

Jenny Stevens

@jenny_stevens

Wed 23 May 2018 01.00 EDT Last modified on Wed 23 May 2018 10.54 EDT

People who eat socially are more likely to feel better about themselves. Photograph: PeopleImages/Getty Images

For some, eating alone can be a joyous thing: forking mouthfuls of pasta straight from the pan, peanut butter licked off a spoon, the unbridled pleasure of walking home from the chippie alone on a cold night. But regularly eating meals in isolation is a different story. This one factor is more strongly associated with unhappiness than any other apart from (unsurprisingly) having a mental illness. This is according to a new study by Oxford Economics that found, in a survey of 8,250 British adults, that people who always eat alone score 7.9 points lower, in terms of happiness, than the national average.

This research is far from the first to suggest a link between eating with others and happiness. Researchers at the University of Oxford last year found that the more that people eat with others, the more likely they are to feel happy and satisfied with their lives. The study also found that people who eat socially are more likely to feel better about themselves and have wider social and emotional support networks.

Robin Dunbar, a professor of psychology, worked on the Oxford University study. He says that “we simply don’t know” why people who eat together are happier. But it is clear that this is a regular social ritual, a moment of union and communion in our often chaotic lives. It can be a place of conversation, storytelling and closeness.

Loneliness linked to major life setbacks for millennials, study says

Read more

“At a psychological level, having friends just makes you happier,” says Dunbar. “The kinds of things that you do around the table with other people are very good at triggering the endorphin system, which is part of the brain’s pain-management system. Endorphins are opioids, they are chemically related to morphine – they are produced by the brain and give you an opiate high. That’s what you get when you do all this social stuff, including patting, cuddling and stroking. It is central to the way primates in general bond in their social groups and relationships.”

Our face-to-face relationships are, quite literally, a matter of life or death. “One of the biggest predictors of physical and mental health problems is loneliness,” says Dr Nick Lake, joint director for psychology and psychological therapy at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. “That makes sense to people when they think of mental health. But the evidence is also clear that if you are someone who is lonely and isolated, your chance of suffering a major long-term condition such as coronary heart disease or cancer is also significantly increased, to the extent that it is almost as big a risk factor as smoking.”

One of the most striking pieces of evidence for this, says Dunbar, is a meta-analysis of 148 epidemiological studies that looked for the best predictors that patients would survive for 12 months after a heart attack. “The best two predictors, by a long way, are the number and quality of friends you have and giving up smoking,” he says. “You can eat as much as you like, you can slob about, you can drink as much alcohol as you like – the effect is very modest compared with these other two factors.”

Human beings are biologically engineered for human interaction – and particularly face-to-face interaction. One study from the University of Michigan found that replacing face-to-face contact with friends and family with messages on social media, emails or text messages could double our risk of depression. The study also found that those who made social contact with family and friends at least three times a week had the lowest level of depressive symptoms.

Loneliness is a hazard of old age. A phone call can mean a lot

Michele Hanson

Read more

We are the most social of all the animals,” says Prof Paul Gilbert, a psychologist and the founder of compassion-focused therapy. “Our brains and our bodies are built to be regulated through interactions with others from the day that we are born.” This is not the case with many creatures, such as turtles and fish, that procreate in vast numbers. “They don’t need looking after,” says Gilbert. “Many of them will die before they reach reproductive age. The caring behaviour [associated] with mammals is a major evolutionary adaptation – it changes the brain and the physiology of the body so that a parent is interested in staying close to an infant. One of the most important things is the human capacity for soothing and engaging. So, when a mother smiles at a baby and makes eye contact, that positive emotion in the face and the voice of the mother is stimulating positivity in the child. You can see why it’s called mirroring, the baby smiles back.

“The ability to stimulate positive emotions, which is linked to happiness, begins in interactions with others who are having positive emotions about you. So, when we see our friends and they say, ‘Good to see you’ – it’s important.”

But there are many factors that might prevent us from seeing friends and family: mental ill health, immobility, a lack of money. Alison Harris is a consultant clinical psychologist and professional lead for psychological services in Salford. “Austerity has a huge influence on the loss of happiness and wellbeing,” she says. “Homelessness and unemployment in particular takes us out of contact with others. In addition to the obvious harms of homelessness, it does massively increase social isolation and anxiety. To take that even further, many people are in exile from their communities. In mental health services, we see an enormous amount of grief, depression and anxiety in people who are asylum seekers and refugees and much of that is not just due to trauma or torture or detention or fleeing from their country, but from the severe rupture of being cut off from their families and communities of origin.”

When we are around others, it has an effect on our body. Some forms of friendship – going to parties, getting married, having positive interactions with others – stimulate our sympathetic nervous system. Gilbert says that the parasympathetic nervous system (otherwise known as the “rest and digest” system) “is stimulated through the verbal and voice tone of relations with each other. As far as we know, it’s not that stimulated through texts. Generally speaking, you’re designed to respond to voice tone and expression, and stroking. We are physiologically designed for face-to-face interaction.”

Of course, for those struggling with depression, the idea of physical contact can be impossible to fathom. At those moments, the capacity to lift up a mobile phone and type out a text is an enormous mark of progress. It may not be the ideal form of interaction, but it’s a vast improvement on staring at a wall.

Dragging ourselves out of low energy states – be that by trying to cultivate compassionate voices internally or having compassionate relationships with others – is key to Gilbert’s work. “If you ask someone, ‘What is your internal critic most frightened of?’ [you will find] it’s frightened of rejection, of being seen as no good. Of being unlovable, of not being wanted. All the raging that goes on beneath us, the thing that we fear most is shame – not being good enough or wanted. We are frightened of being revealed to be not so nice.”

He says that what has happened in the past decade, with the rise of social media, “is that it has become a very plastic society. We are all living like theatrical actors, presenting ourselves as our best. That can’t be real, and so we have many people who feel like failures or useless. They say: ‘I’m not as attractive as that, I’m overweight, I’m not kind or compassionate to others.’”

As Gilbert says, the best relationships are the ones where people love us for our perceived dark sides and flaws. “People forget that love is about loving you for the difficult things, not the easy things,” he says. It is those who know us intimately who can provide that, and they do it through their physical presence, through touch, and through eating, drinking and sharing with us. Spending time together is social nourishment. So, instead of texting a friend or messaging them on social media, why not knock on their door, look them in the eye and make yourselves both feel better?

  • This article was amended on 23 May 2018. Dr Alison Harris works for the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS foundation trust, and not Salford Royal NHS foundation trust, as an earlier version said.

The Man I am in My Heart

The man I am in my heart is the change I want to see in the world. I am a man of peace and kindness whose intention is to harm no one. A man that is genuine with no need to wear a mask…with no need to be anything other than myself. A man that believes in himself, his abilities, his skills, and his capacity to continue to learn. A man that possesses the innocent heart of a child before it has witnessed the evil ways of the world, felt the pain and suffering of loss, and had to endure the tragedies of life just to survive. A man that loves his family with the same empathy, compassion, loyalty, and forgiveness that they have so generously given to me. A man whose generous spirit loves unconditionally. A man whose handshake is as good as a signed contract. A man that can be trusted with the care of others, and counted on in both good times and tough times. A man whose words carry weight, purpose, meaning, and can be truly believed. A man of integrity in all his affairs and compassion for all those that suffer. A man that is honest, open-minded, and willing to do all that is necessary to leave this world better than I found it. A man whose behavior reflects his values and beliefs. But more than anything else, for without it I am nothing but a man waiting to die, the man in my heart embraces sobriety. I choose life so that I can feel deeper, share deeper, experience deeper, and love deeper.

Darryl Lambert~