Interesting article from GOOD about how happiness and health are closely related.
“emerging research has begun to validate what many wisdom traditions have intuitively known—that having a sense of peace, fulfillment, and purpose leads to a healthier, more balanced, and longer life.”
Social Scientist Martin Seligman has proposed a “happiness formula”—
Happiness = Set Point + Conditions in Life + Voluntary Action
which indicates that happiness is partly genetic, partly a result of circumstance, and partly an outcome of conscious decision-making.
In a time of such immediate gratification, something about this simple project really feels radical. Artist Jonathan Keats asks others to create a kind of slow motion documentary of your own life. I find this project quite intriguing; Keats artwork challenges us to think about ones own personal physical history over the next hundred years and engages us to make something which you yourself will never see the product of.
The most striking thing about these recordings is the synthetic-sounding descending tones caused by the phenomenon of the dispersion of sound waves. The high frequencies of the popping and cracking noises are transmitted faster by the ice than the deeper frequencies, which reach the listener with a time lag as glissandi sinking to almost bottomless depths. (via the amazing silent listening)
“Sea horses, more than most animals, inspire wonder—they draw our attention to the astonishing similarities and discontinuities between each kind of creature and every other. They can change color to blend in with their surroundings, and beat their dorsal fins nearly as fast as a hummingbird beats its wings. Because they have no teeth or stomach, food moves through them almost instantly, requiring them to eat constantly. (Hence such adaptations as eyes that move independently, which allow them to search for prey without tunring their heads.) Not terribly good swimmers, they can die of exhaustion when caught in even small currents, so they prefer to anchor themselves to sea grasses or coral, or to each other—they like to swim in pairs, linked by their prehensile tails. Sea horses have complicated routines for courtship, and tend to mate under full moons, making musical sounds while doing so. They live in long-term monogamous partnerships. What is perhaps most unusual, though, is that it is the male sea horses that carries the young for up to six weeks. Males become properly “pregnant,” not only carrying, but fertilizing and nourishing the developing eggs with fluid secretions. The image of males giving birth is perpetually mind-blowing: a turbid liquid bursts forth from the brood pouch, and like magic, minuscule but fully formed sea horses appear out of the cloud.”—
These are great suggestions (See below)! Thanks adeandabet!
Another great thing to do, is to give a gift in honor of someone else by making a donation to an organization/cause they care about instead of buying them something.
This could be to an arts organization, or the local park, or an animal shelter, or the public radio station. Trust me, there are non-profits for all most anything you can think of and they all would love a donation!
Find a place to volunteer that match your interests here: idealist.org
"Many of you have contacted me asking how you can get involved with charity/volunteer work this holiday season, so here are some of my recommendations:
New York Cares Coat Drive (December 1-31): Consider hosting a coat drive by setting up a donation site in your lobby, office, church, school cafeteria (I did this last year), or just stop by a donation site near you with your gently used coats (no other items are accepted, so leave the sweaters, hats, etc at home).