Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
According to a Reader’s Digest article “8 Tricks to Add Years to Your Life”, a Dutch researcher found that “happiness predicts longevity”. So follow entertainer Bobby McFerrin’s advice “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, with special backup provided by comedian Robin Williams and Sesame Street’s Mr. Noodle. You and your family should really do as the YouTube video of this 1988 song suggests, laugh and be happy!
Is it true that your friends can actually help you ward off sickness? According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, a 1997 study titled “Social Ties and Susceptibility to the Common Cold”, monitored 276 healthy subjects ranging in ages from 18 to 55, who had received nose drops with rhinoviruses (common colds) and concluded that resistance to upper respiratory illnesses improved greatly with social ties.
Of those 276 subjects, those with 6 or more varied social contacts had a significantly reduced susceptibility to colds, regardless of age, sex or the type of virus they were exposed to. So the next time you or your family feels a cold coming on, your best prevention could be getting together with supportive friends, face-to-face at work or church, over the phone, or perhaps online with FaceBook friends, as confirmed in the Reader’s Digest article “7 Tips to Steal from People Who Never Get Sick”.
A National Institutes of Health research study, exploring pet ownership as it relates to our wellness (2008) proves beneficial, as cited in the Reader’s Digest article “Are Pets Good for Your Health?” Dog owners were more likely to survive a heart attack (regardless of the severity) and were more socially active, as well as physically fit, due in part to walking their dogs.
Family pets also benefit a child’s health, playing an important role in developing emotional empathy through bonding, and are great sources of comfort, consoling your child when sad or angry. The Centers for Infectious Diseases (CDC) attributes decreases in loneliness and depression, as well as lowering blood pressure (which results in lower healthcare costs) due to the “Health Benefits of Pets”.
A powerful video series from the Military Channel online is “No Dog Left Behind”, and shows how pets provide emotional bonding opportunities, as well as therapy for soldiers with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The “Therapy for Returning Soldiers” video explains the emotional bonding between returning soldiers and their wartime-canine companions, who provide “inexpensive and effective therapy.”
Don’t skimp on the fun, social aspects of parenting and family life. “Don’t worry, be happy” and your entire family will do just fine!