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Wise Health
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The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin had plans. One of these days, she’d
begin remembering her friends’ birthdays, reading
Shakespeare and visiting museums. As she passively
waited for the “right time,” she realized something.
She already had everything that she thought
should make her happy – a husband, children, a
career – but she didn’t truly enjoy what she had.
Would she someday look back and realize she’d
been happy, but didn’t know it at the time? What,
she wondered, makes one person happier than
another?
Through research, Rubin
came to believe that
happiness is 50 percent
genetics and 10 to 20
percent a blend of gender,
age, income, marital
status and ethnicity – the
remainder is a result of
how we think and act.
In other words, we each
have our own range of
happiness, and we can reach the top of that range
through our thoughts and actions. But how do we
do that? Rubin embarked on a yearlong mission to
find out the answer. She focused on one resolution
each month, including energy/vitality, love, work/
ambition, parenthood, leisure/play, friendship,
money, eternity, interests/hobbies, mindfulness
and frame of mind. Her search for satisfaction may
inspire you to begin your own “Happiness Project.”
Put this book on your holiday wish list, then
tell us about your “Happiness Project” at
hapwisewoman@hap.org.
HAP Wise Woman
Recommended Reading
Men are 30 percent
more likely to die from
pneumonia than women.
When Is a Cough
More Than a Cough?
Pay attention to that nagging cough that won’t go away …
or shortness of breath … or constant fever and chills. It
could be more than a bad cold or flu symptoms. It could be
pneumonia. At least five million Americans are diagnosed
with pneumonia each year. One million are hospitalized with
it, and up to 70,000 die from it.
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs resulting from an
infection. That infection can be caused by bacteria, a virus or
other irritants. Here’s how to protect yourself:
l
Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
l
Don't smoke
– it inhibits your lungs' natural defenses.
l
Get enough rest and exercise
to keep your immune
system strong.
l
Eat a healthy diet,
including fat-free dairy, fruits,
vegetables and whole grains.
l
Get your seasonal flu shot.
The influenza virus can
cause viral pneumonia.
A pneumonia vaccine is also available. It’s recommended for
anyone at high risk for pneumonia, including smokers and
anyone with heart disease, lung disease or other chronic
condition. Talk to your doctor about getting this vaccine –
it’s effective for 10 years.