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Happiness - The Evidence Behind the Emotion

Sunrise on the Isle of Palms, SC – Sep 2013

I recently completed a short continuing education course called “Happiness – The Evidence Behind the Emotion”.  (The author is Cynthia Saver, RN, MS.)  I LOVED the content, and everything she wrote about made complete sense!  That’s always a good thing, right?!  I chose this specific course because everyday I wake up, my goal for the day is to be happy!

She states that there are two dimensions of happiness – transitory happiness (present benefit) and enduring happiness (future benefit).  For our day-to-day well-being, happiness plays a crucial role!  (I couldn’t agree more!)  You’re probably asking how you measure happiness?  Well, it mostly involves questionnaires such as Authentic Happiness from The University of Pennsylvania, Flourishing Scale, Scale of Positive and Negative Experience, and The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire.

We could probably all agree that happiness produces physiological changes, but are we actually born happy?  There is definitely some evidence of genetic influence.  Believe it or not, there is a happiness formula and a sustainable happiness model – see below!  All in all, the formula and model are trying to let us know that happiness is under our own control, for the most part.  Obviously, there are some things you can’t control.

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HAPPINESS FORMULA

H = S + C + V

  • H = Enduring Happiness,
  • S = Set point (50%),
  • C = Circumstances of a person’s life (i.e. health),
  • V = Factors under our voluntary control (i.e. engaging in a meaningful life

Source: Seligman and Happiness

SUSTAINABLE HAPPINESS MODEL

  • Set point (50%)
  • Life circumstances (10%)
  • Intentional activities that are varied and episodic (40%)

Source: Pursuing Happiness: The Architecture of Sustainable Change

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So, what exactly makes us happy?  According to some researchers, some possible factors are age, religiousness and spirituality, money and marriage.  As for behavioral strategies, researchers find that you can take charge of connecting socially, keeping a positive attitude, being grateful, tending to your body, leaving baggage behind, being kind to your mind, pursuing goals, and living a meaningful life for increased happiness.

I hope this article helped, and that YOU find your happy place :-)

Certified Health Education Specialist – Practice questions/answers from November 8th

Please see the post from November 8th - Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) – Preparing for a CHES exam – Questions from a practice exam.  The questions and answers are from: The Health Education Specialist: A Companion Guide for Professional Excellence 6th Edition purchased from National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC).

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Question 1:

The three key domains of evidence-based health policy include:

a.  process, content, outcomes.

b.  process, impact, outcome.

c.  formative, summative, impact.

d.  impact, surveillance, outputs.

Area of Responsibility VII.  (Page 173)  Competency 7.4.2. Communicate and advocate for health and health education/Engage in health education advocacy/Develop an advocacy plan in compliance with local, state, and/or federal policies and procedures.

Brownson, Chriqui and Stamatakis (2009) describe three areas of policy development:

  1. policy process investigates options to increase adoption;
  2. policy content uses data to investigate effective elements;
  3. policy outcomes evaluate the impact of policy. 

Question 2:

Smoking bans are an example of which of the following strategies:

a.  Health-related community service

b.  Health-related educational

c.  Health policy and reinforcement

d.  Health communication

Area of Responsibility II.  (Page 53)  Competency 2.3.3 Plan Health Education/Select or design strategies and interventions/Select a variety of strategies and interventions to achieve stated objectives.  Mandate actions through laws, regulations, policies, or rules.  Such actions are justified on the basis of “the common good”; that is, they are actions implemented to protect the public’s health (McKenzie et al., 2009)

Question 3:

The highest level of classification in Bloom’s taxonomy is:

a.  Analysis

b.  Synthesis

c.  Application

d.  Evaluation

Area of Responsibility VI. (Page 147). Competency 6.2.6 Serve as a Health Education Resource Person/Provide training/Use learning theory to develop or adapt training programs.  Table 6.4 – Taxonomy and Skills Demonstrated.  Lowest to Highest – Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation.

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Hope you did well! :-)

November is National Diabetes Month

diabetesribbon

Source: Support Diabetes Awareness

Dr. Mario Trucillo, Managing Editor of The American Recall Center, kindly asked me if I would help raise awareness and write a blog in regards to an increasing illness in our society…DIABETES.  (The American Recall Center - Life with Diabetes: What to Know From Diabetic Bloggers.)  I am always honored to promote health information on my blog :-)

There are a few types of Diabetes – Type I, Type II, and Gestational.  All of them are very important to discuss, but I would like to focus on Type II because it is preventable.

You might ask, “What exactly is Diabetes?”.  Basically you have too much glucose (blood sugar) in your blood.  Glucose is an important source of energy for your muscle and tissue cells.  It is also your brain’s main source of fuel, as well.  Diabetes can lead to serious health problems.  It can affect your eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves…most of all, your quality of life.  If you experience symptoms like frequent urination; thirst; hunger even though you’ve eaten; extreme fatigue; blurry vision; weight loss; cuts/bruises that health slowly; tingling, pain, or a numb feeling in your hand(s) and/or feet, you should contact your doctor.

By taking simple, positive steps – change your diet, increase your physical activity – you can prevent this disease.  Educate yourself and your family.  There is a lot of information on this disease – on the Internet, magazines, informational pamphlets in stores, etc…  For some quick references, I linked some sites and recent articles below.  Below, I also included an infographic, which is a quick and clear graphic visual of Diabetes information.

If you need more information, PLEASE contact your doctor.

Quick links:

National Diabetes Education Program

American Diabetes Association

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Article from November 13, 2013

Prevention magazine – Diabetes

diabetes

For those that are preparing for the next CHES exam, here are a few questions from a practice exam.  (From: The Health Education Specialist: A Companion Guide for Professional Excellence – 6th edition)  Try to answer the questions without looking at notes, study guides, etc…  I will post the answers within the next week.  If I get positive feedback from posting questions, I’ll post some more within the next month.  So, let me know if this helps! Good luck, prospective exam takers!

Question 1:

The three key domains of evidence-based health policy include:

a.  process, content, outcomes.

b.  process, impact, outcome.

c.  formative, summative, impact.

d.  impact, surveillance, outputs.

Question 2:

Smoking bans are an example of which of the following strategies:

a.  Health-related community service

b.  Health-related educational

c.  Health policy and reinforcement

d.  Health communication

Question 3:

The highest level of classification in Bloom’s taxonomy is:

a.  Analysis

b.  Synthesis

c.  Application

d.  Evaluation

Zumba!

Do you like to dance? Do like to dance to funky, diverse music? Zumba is the answer!

I first discovered Zumba at a women’s health expo in Tacoma, WA in January 2009, and loved the energy! Eventually I tried it at the local YMCA, and was hooked! The classes last about an hour, and the music consists of Latin and International flair. I NEVER dread going because I LOVE to dance and LOVE music! AND…you burn calories! :-)

What are you waiting for? It’s simple…join the party! 

To find a Zumba class near you – http://www.zumba.com/en-US

Spontaneous Happiness!?

Book:  Spontaneous Happiness – Andrew Weil, MD

I love to peruse the clearance section at bookstores!  I came upon this book, flipped through it, and immediately felt it should belong to me.  (Plus…$5!  Couldn’t pass it up!)  The first paragraph of the inside cover said – “Everyone wants to be happy.  But what does that really mean?  Increasingly, scientific evidence shows us that true satisfaction and well-being come only from within.”  Y-E-S!  This is exactly what I needed to read!

There are so many meaningful points throughout this book!  It’s broken up into three sections – Theory, Practice, and Putting It All Together.  In the latter section, it gives you an opportunity to test your knowledge. Dr. Weil has designed an eight-week program where you can assess your well-being, lifestyle, and set attainable goals.  Personally, I haven’t done the program…yet!

EVERYONE should read this book!  It just makes sense!

For more information, please visit the following sites: www.drweil.com and Spontaneous Happiness

I’m B-A-C-K!

As you can see, I’ve been completely slack about blogging!  I’m not sure why?!  But…all I can say is…I’m B-A-C-K!  Thank you to my sweet cousin for giving me that little extra push :-)

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