Pleasure is its own principle – we seek it for its own good. Oftentimes, we’ll do things precisely for the pleasure. We only stop to think about the activity or issue if it becomes a problem: if despite its short-term pleasure it is detrimental to our overall happiness.
“Happiness” has traditionally been understood as long-lived and useful, often attained in relationships, and typically doesn’t lead to addictions or dependence. In contrast, “pleasure” has been short-lived, fast and fleeting, and can lead to addictions. In the abstract, we can probably see or even “feel” the difference, even when we don’t articulate it as a difference between “happiness” and “pleasure.”
It isn’t just a difference of words, however. There is at least one way to measure the distinction. Happiness is built on serotonin, a hormone produced by the brain that relaxes the body and calms the mind, provides a feeling of general satisfaction and contentmen...
When I started my hypnosis practice it was kind of a joke to me. The two issues hypnosis is best known for are weight loss and smoking cessation. And those were two areas I had absolutely no interest working with.
Then I had my first quit-smoking client.
Wham! They quit, and both of us could see right away the drastic change and improvement in their life. They were happier, healthier, more positive, less stressed and less anxious. They were thrilled. Their spouse was thrilled. They smelled better, looked better, felt better. They walked away from our sessions a non-smoker for life, and they knew they would never go back.
And I was hooked.
Smokers have two things going for them that few of us have: clear, compelling desire to quit smoking, and the support of our culture, their families, and their bodies.
Smokers want to quit, and you can see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, see it in their fidgety limbs and distracted looks around the room. They want it so bad, but they also...
Depression seems at record highs in recent years – and there is evidence to support that. Some point to social isolation with increasing divorce rates and social media. Some point to the increased anxiety in our culture and lifestyle over the past ten-to-fifteen years. But there is also evidence that depression has always been a part of human existence, in every culture around the world.
Now, let me make a distinction between severe, clinical depression and what I call “healthy depression.” There is a healthy amount of mental and emotional reset that takes place when dealing with difficult problems or situations. It could be called melancholy, the blues, feeling down, or “a damp, drizzly November in my soul” (as Herman Melville phrased it). This sort of depression is, I believe, a natural and healthy response to circumstances, and gives us valuable information and motivation, when properly understood.
Rawpsiration is great. It is a cookbook, mini-auto-biography, lifestyle digital-party. It is down-to-earth, fun, easy and deeply healthy.
Written by a 25 year old starting out on her journey with a radically healthy lifestyle, it is written like she is your best friend, chatting, sharing what she’s discovered, her enthusiasm and passion resounding on every page. Rawspiration ($15 e-book) is the fruit of years of research, experimentation and play with a raw plant based diet, including recipes, make-up, kitchen utensils, brands and more. It is a crash course in going vegetarian, or vegan, or raw, or healthy, or sustainable, or all of them at once.
I first met the author, Anne Meinke, a couple years ago, then with a brand-new baby and a fire in her for personal transformation. Right away I was excited about what she was learning, what she was trying, and how she was putting it all together. She had already begun a vibrant online c...
We hardly need convincing. We all know that exercise is beneficial in so many ways. Yet we rarely commit to even incremental increases in our physical activity... if we can help it, or until a doctor prescribes it as part of treatment for disease.
Well, I am not your doctor. Chances are I'm not even your coach. But I am prescribing more exercise for you right now. No matter what your ailment is, almost certainly you can benefit from a few more minutes of elevated activity. Let me explain how.
This is Part One of a two-part series detailing how exercise affects our whole selves. This post will explore the manifold blessings of exercise for the body. (The second part will focus on the brain.)
First, exercise - even moderately elevated activity - helps to improve mobility and prevent falls. Daily exercise strengthens the muscles that hold the bones together making the body structure stronger. Th...
A new study confirms the already well-documented link between eating a lot of meat and increased risk of disease and earlier death. That seems extreme, I know, but there's both good science behind it and a silver lining.
The bad news: red meat particularly is closely associated with a wide spectrum of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
The good news: replacing animal protein with plant protein is equally associated with a decreased risk of death. (Death is, of course, inevitable. But beefing up your plant intake can both forestall that inevitability and make the intervening years more pleasurable.)
An added benefit of relying more on plants for our nutritional needs is that, generally, the North American diet consumes way too much protein, and that generally comes from high meat intake. Plants do have protein (and not just beans or legumes), but they have less protein per volume than...
The root of the word "health" is "whole." Which kind of makes sense.
In many ancient worldviews, disease or corruption or even evil weren't so much distinct entities in themselves, but were rather a fall from the original and good whole. Augustine of Hippo, that famed North African Christian Saint and philosopher of the third century, used the analogy of a hole in a shirt: the hole, while bad, isn't itself a thing, but the absence of the shirt. He was working toward a description of evil and sin as being various degrees of "without God," and he represents one ancient application among many of this wholeness-worldview.
The running assumption of this holistic worldview is that health and wellness are the norm, the expectation, the way things are supposed to be, and that disease or illness represents a disruption of that wholeness, an imbalance, if you will.
When my wife and I were pregnant with our first child, we were living in th...
We all know watching TV isn't good for us, but it turns out that it can actually kill you.
"High amounts of sedentary behaviour have been associated with increased risks of several chronic conditions and mortality." A recent article in the UK medical journal, The Lancet, describes "high amounts of sedentary behavior" as sitting for more than four hours per day - at work and at home (particularly watching tv). The study looked at several groups, including those who sat for more than 8 hours per day.
One finding was that people who exercised for 35.5 hours per week (the highest amount measured in the study) completely reversedor off-set the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting. Another finding was that the group who sat the least but who also exercised the least had an elevated occurrence of death and disease.
Watching tv is, apparently, especially deadly: "Watching TV for 3 h or more per day was associ...