Thursday, December 4, 2008

Want to be happy? Talk to your neighbor

A Harvard Medical School study is about to be published in BMJ (a British journal) that adds weight to SSO's definition of stress: Stress is a reaction that commonly occurs when your current situation doesn't match your ideal version of that situation.

The operative word is commonly.

According to the NY Times article the study shows a positive impact of people around you being happy - particularly those who see and are physically close to.

"A next-door neighbor’s joy increased one’s chance of being happy by 34 percent, but a neighbor down the block had no effect. A friend living half a mile away was good for a 42 percent bounce, but the effect was almost half that for a friend two miles away. A friend in a different community altogether can win an Oscar without making you feel better. “You have to see them and be in physical and temporal proximity,” Dr. Christakis said."
This study also confirms the efficacy of the 6th R of Stress Release - Remind. The more reminders you have about your progress and desired state, the easier it will be to maintain.

So go out there and hang out with happy people!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Caffeine vs Napping

I've always found the siesta to be a great idea. Working from home most days has facilitated this greatly.

For those of you who may not be able to justify to themselves why it really is okay to do so, whose boss may still not see the benefit, or who insist that an afternoon coffee is still the way to be productive in the afternoon - I give you a link to further proof that the siesta is the way to go...

The NY Times just ran an article illustrating how a nap from 1-3 is more effective than a caffeine pill (or a placebo) at 3pm.

Send it around, then claim the spot for your afternoon nap. I recommend finding a place where you can go horizontal rather than just slumped in your chair.