Health & Fitness

Harvard researchers know the secret to happiness

Health & Fitness

Harvard researchers know the secret to happiness

Finding the Joey, Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel and Phoebe of your life can make you feel a whole lot happier. A long-standing study out of Harvard University – they’ve followed 724 men and their families since 1938 (#dedication) – has determined that friendship is one of the key components of finding joy in your life. “It turns out that people who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community, are happier, they're physically healthier, and they live longer than people who are less well connected,” says study lead Robert Waldinger in his famous Ted Talk. “People who are more isolated than they want to be from others find that they are less happy, their health declines earlier in midlife, their brain functioning declines sooner and they live shorter lives than people who are not lonely.” The lesson: head to your local Central Perk to hang with your buds, stat.

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Two new reasons why you may be overeating
We’re listening, science. Reason number 1: a messy kitchen. That’s because – according to research out of Australia– when you’re in a chaotic environment, you are more likely to feel out of control. The train of thought goes like this: There’s no order in this kitchen, so why shouldn’t I be out of control too? Concentrating on your chewing may also keep you from downing that whole bag of chips. Researchers at Brigham Young and Colorado State universities found that focusing on the noise that chewing makes in your ears will help you eat less. So turn off the House of Cards marathon.

Thumb’s down to another dangerous health challenge
Remember the collarbone challenge when women would see how many coins they could fit in their collarbone as an indicator of their thinness? Now, there’s another new – and equally disturbing – fitness trend called the A4 Challenge. On the Chinese social networking site Weibo, some girls are hashtagging #IhaveanA4waist celebrating that their waists are smaller than an “A4” sheet of paper, which is 8.5 inches wide. Stop. Just stop.

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Socially drained
Check Facebook. Write a few sentences. Check Instagram. Write a few more sentences. Check Snap. Repeat. This is how most of us work, amirite? New research from the University of California suggests that we may be more apt to log onto social media to procrastinate when we’re tired. The reason? Simple: because we’re your groggy, you’re more prone to distraction and therefore less productive. Yet another reason to get into bed early.

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Health & Fitness

Harvard researchers know the secret to happiness