* Health Plan via Worldwatch

via Wellness Wednesday – Volume 3 – Week 11 — TRC’s STARS Enhanced Health Plan

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10 Reasons You Should Smile More Often…

Mother Teresa once said “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” We have been smiling all our lives. And to some degree, we already possess the inherent knowledge that smiling not only feels good but it actually does good too.

Yet many of us shy from smiling as often as we ought to. I’m not the one to judge; we all have our own problems to deal with in life. But way too often, we actually punish ourselves by choosing not to smile when we really should be smiling our brains off!

So, the next time you get the opportunity to smile, just smile, and enjoy all that positivity it spawns. If you’re not convinced, well here below are reasons you should be.

1. Smiling makes you look attractive.

Your smile says a great deal about you. It really is true. Not convinced? Try this. Try to think of some of the people you’re attracted to. Done? How many of those were actually smiling? Well, you don’t have to tell me because I already know the answer.

We are naturally hardwired to be attracted to people who smile. Something about seeing someone smile builds up all this positive energy in our minds. And every time we see them, we associate them with all that positive energy.

So, the next time you’re around a bunch of friends or strangers (it really doesn’t matter) and you want to attract attention, just smile.

2. Smiling makes you happier.

Now this is as true as it is strange. Smiling actually makes you, the person smiling, happier regardless of the situation. Normally we are hardwired to smile only during pleasant situations.

The brain in turn releases endorphins which lowers stress and improves your overall mood, hence making the situation pleasant. But it being a voluntary action, we can actually trick the brain into believing that an otherwise dull situation is actually pleasant by simply smiling.

So the next time you’re bored, or god forbid sad, try this — kick back, take a few deep breaths and smile. Just smile, and watch your brain work its magic!

3. Smiling improves your immune system.

It has been reported that when you’re smiling, the body releases more white blood cells than it usually does. And the prime purpose of white blood cells are to protect the body against both infectious diseases and foreign invaders.

So, smiling more often actually makes your body more immune to diseases and hence makes you healthier. In fact, that is the prime reason why so many famous celebrities are invited to children’s hospitals. If they can get the children to smile, that will, to some degree, boost their overall health.

So with this in mind, don’t just go smiling on your own from now on. Make others smile too!

4. Smiling makes you a better leader.

Smiling encourages trust. We can all agree to that. A person who is constantly smiling appears more trustful than someone who is not. And what more do we look for in a great leader than trust?

Take a look at all the popular leaders of the world. I don’t say the great leaders, because not all of them may be popular. But the popular ones, who are also the more successful, smile more often than others.

This is true for leadership in all levels. Fear and intimidation may work like a charm for a while, but they never last long. The leaders who truly make a mark in history are the ones that smile.

5. Smiling helps you make a better impression.

Have you ever been in a room with strangers and struggled to socialize to the extent you wish you could? Wouldn’t you in turn want to be that person who can get along with everyone in the room in a jiffy?

Well, if you look at the people who can actually do this, you will find that the key to their success is, you guessed it, smiling. Yes, they’re smiling more than you are. But guess what? Their personality is no match for yours. Put on more smiles, and you’ll be sweeping all the charm towards your direction in no time!

6. Smiling makes you more productive.

We talked about the value of smiling as a mood booster earlier, but it doesn’t end there. The effect of one good smile follows you to your workplace and in fact, helps improve your overall performance there.

And this is actually backed by research. A 2010 research led by Andrew Oswald, a Professor of Economics at Warwick Business School, proved that employees who smile more often are significantly more productive and creative in the workplace.

So whether you’re an employee or an employer, smile more often and make others around you smile more often too. It will be great for everyone involved.

7. Smiling makes you more approachable.

Imagine yourself in a room with two people you’ve never met before. You need to ask them a favor. And it’s not just any favor. It would actually be of mutual benefit. Both persons are on their phones. One is smiling, the other is not.

After a while, they put their phones down, and you’re ready to approach them. Which of the two would you go to, or at least go to first? Once again, I know the answer.

There is something about smiling that attracts trust. It makes the person wearing the smile appear warm and kind. The very qualities that make one approachable.

8. Smiling makes you more confident.

Not only does smiling make you look more confident, it actually makes you confident in the long term. If you’re someone who smiles often, you tend to attract more attention, trust and respect than others around you.

This in turn makes you look for the attention, trust and respect in every situation which is the hallmark of confidence — believing that you deserve something.

And how do you do that? The only way you’ve ever known. Smiling more! Which in turn makes you even more confident. It is almost like a chain reaction. A never ending cycle that only makes you more confident and happier with every iteration.

9. Smiles are contagious.

Well, they are, aren’t they?  How many times have you seen someone smile and get no reaction from the other party? Very few, right? People smile, even if to be polite. And we’ve talked about the seer effect of just smiling, even in pretense.

When you’re smiling, you’re actually asking the other party to join in on the fun with you. And 99 percent of the time, they do join you. Smiles are one of the most contagious things in the world, behind probably only to laughter, which is in a way just a louder smile. So smile more, and spread the joy!

10. Smiles are free.

We have discussed a lot of benefits of smiling. But we are yet to discuss the most important reason you should smile more often –- because they’re free! When was the last time you blew away something so beneficial yet absolutely free? Smile, just smile.

You’ll be happier and you’ll make everyone around you happier. Dale Carnegie wrote this on his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”: “A smile costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.” Old Carnegie sure was onto something!

seagirll

Mother Teresa once said “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” We have been smiling all our lives. And to some degree, we already possess the inherent knowledge that smiling not only feels good but it actually does good too.

Yet many of us shy from smiling as often as we ought to. I’m not the one to judge; we all have our own problems to deal with in life. But way too often, we actually punish ourselves by choosing not to smile when we really should be smiling our brains off!

So, the next time you get the opportunity to smile, just smile, and enjoy all that positivity it spawns. If you’re not convinced, well here below are reasons you should be.

1. Smiling makes you look attractive.

Your smile says a great deal about you. It really is true. Not convinced? Try…

View original post 1,104 more words

Tragic end for Hunstanton whale as it dies after getting trapped in rocks

A whale beached in Norfolk is believed to have been part of a pod that stranded and died in the Netherlands.

The 50ft (14.5m) young adult male was part of a group of six spotted in the Wash at Hunstanton on Friday.

A team from the RNLI, HM Coastguard, Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary and rescue divers tried to help the whale back into deeper water but it died at around 11pm the same day.

MORE: Handyman’s note to military mother will restore your faith in humanity

Handout photo issued by Kathryn Robbins of a dead sperm whale beached in Norfolk. The 50ft (14.5m) young adult male was part of a group of six spotted in the Wash at Hunstanton on Friday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday January 23, 2016. A team from the RNLI, HM Coastguard, Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary and rescue divers tried to help the whale back into deeper water but it died at around 11pm the same day. See PA story ANIMALS Whale. Photo credit should read: Kathryn Robbins/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
The young adult male was part of a group of six spotted in Hustnanton on Friday (Picture: PA)
It is believed the animal became distressed and injured its tail thrashing around in the shallow waters.

There are fears at least two of the other whales could become stranded, he said.

Dr Peter Evans, director of the Seawatch Foundation, said the whales probably swam south looking for food but got disorientated.

‘They feed on squid and what’s probably happened is that squid came in and the whales fed upon them but ran out of food,’ he said.

Handout photo issued by Jonathon Holt of a dead sperm whale beached in Norfolk. The 50ft (14.5m) young adult male was part of a group of six spotted in the Wash at Hunstanton on Friday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday January 23, 2016. A team from the RNLI, HM Coastguard, Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary and rescue divers tried to help the whale back into deeper water but it died at around 11pm the same day. See PA story ANIMALS Whale. Photo credit should read: Jonathon Holt/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
They may be linked to a pod that was found washed up in the Netherlands (Picture: PA)

‘The further south they got the shallower the water gets and when they got to Norfolk, which is very, very shallow, it’s quite difficult to navigate and they tend to lose their way and actually strand.’

He believes they could have been part of a large pod, some of which beached in the Netherlands and Germany.

‘There have been 12 other sperm whales that stranded and died, six in the Netherlands and six in Germany,’ he added.

‘They were probably all in the same group, quite a big group which are usually adolescent males a few years old.’

The UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, which investigates all UK strandings, will send a team of scientists to perform a post-mortem examination on the whale in Norfolk.
The 50ft young adult male was part of a group of six spotted in the Wash at Hunstanton on Friday.

Source: Tragic end for Hunstanton whale as it dies after getting trapped in rocks

Univ. of Utah study finds increased temperatures reduce toxin tolerance of some animals

Add this to the growing list of environmental complications due to global warming.

PatriceKurnathWoodrat5788_300dpi.jpg

U Study Finds That Increased Temperatures Reduce Toxin Tolerance of Some Animals

on January 20, 2016 at 6:00 am

Research conducted by U Ph.D. student Patrice Kurnath finds that at warmer temperatures the toxin tolerance of certain mammals is reduced — adding yet another problem to the growing list of environmental complications due to global warming.

Plants often generate toxins as a natural defense. Desert woodrats, the plant-eating species used by Kurnath and chair of the U’s biology department Denise Dearing in the study, generate certain enzymes to counteract the effects of these toxins that are ingested when consuming the plants.

“We’re answering the big question of how warmer temperatures might be affecting animals that eat plants and how they deal with the toxins produced by those plants,” Kurnath said.

The diet of desert woodrats, which are common in Utah and western North America, consists mainly of creosote bush, which produces so many toxins in its resin that laboratory rats often die eating the same amount as the desert woodrats.

The idea behind the experiments hypothesized that as woodrat toxin tolerance levels decreased with temperature increases, that they would reduce food intake and lose weight. Woodrats were removed from the experiment if they lost more than 10 percent of their body weight.

“[Kurnath] really pushed the envelope with this work and expanded knowledge from a different study,” Dearing said. “Not only did she work with different species and a different toxin, she did processes and experiments we have never done before.”

Desert woodrats were able to eat more food at cooler temperatures in both experiments at the end of the research, while almost all of the woodrats in higher temperature climates were removed due to weight loss.

“The most recent study found that warmer temperatures resulted in reduced tolerance in rats,” Kurnath said.

This research adds another dimension to the problems associated with global warming for these species as they deal with an increasingly more toxic diet.

“Not only are surface temperatures increasing, severe weather storms, this is another obstacle that these woodrats and other species are going to have to face,” Kurnath said.

Kurnath plans to extend the study by “digging deeper” into the liver functions and genetic structure of these mammals consuming a highly toxic diet and by “stepping back” and examining their behavior in lab settings. Dearing is working on studying this same trend in marsupials and expects to see results by next year.

Dearing said, “We hope that it will inspire research in other species of mammals.”

b.hart@dailyutahchronicle.com

@BeauHart13

Source: Univ. of Utah study finds increased temperatures reduce toxin tolerance of some animals

America’s Drinking Water Crisis. Profit v. Poison

Source: America’s Drinking Water Crisisflint-water_-lead

After the shocking news of extremely high levels of lead found in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, The Guardian reports: “Water authorities across the US are systematically distorting water tests to downplay the amount of lead in samples, risking a dangerous spread of the toxic water crisis that has gripped Flint.”

The controversial approach to water testing is so widespread that it occurs in “every major US city east of the Mississippi” according to an anonymous source with extensive knowledge of the lead and copper regulations. “By word of mouth, this has become the thing to do in the water industry. The logical conclusion is that millions of people’s drinking water is potentially unsafe,” he said.

Documents seen by the Guardian show that water boards in cities including Detroit and Philadelphia, as well as the state of Rhode Island, have distorted tests by using methods deemed misleading by the Environment Protection Agency.

Dr Yanna Lambrinidou, a Virginia Tech academic, warned that the issue of misleading test results was widespread. “There is no way that Flint is a one-off,” she said.“There are many ways to game the system. In Flint, they went to test neighbourhoods where they knew didn’t have a problem. You can also flush the water to get rid of the lead. If you flush it before sampling, the problem will go away.

“The EPA has completely turned its gaze away from this. The system is absolutely failing.”

Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore has called for the arrest of Michigan’s governor over the scandal in Flint. “Thanks to you, sir, and the premeditated actions of your administrators, you have effectively poisoned, not just some, but apparently ALL of the children in my hometown of Flint, Michigan. And for that, you have to go to jail.

“To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat. Even international terrorist organizations haven’t figured out yet how to do something on a magnitude like this.”

 

Tiny B&B in Chester celebrating after being voted the world’s best boutique hotel

*Books mini-break*. edgar-house-2

Anyone fancy a trip to Chester?

We hear the B&Bs are pretty decent. And they’re not a bad price either.

Edgar House, a tiny seven-bed B&B overlooking the River Dee in Chester is probably treating itself to a little Bucks Fizz over breakfast today after being voted the world’s best small hotel in TripAdvisor‘s Travellers’ Choice awards.

The modest B&B beat off competition from boutique hotels in New Zealand, Australia, Costa Rica and Capri to take the title.

The award winners were determined based on the millions of reviews collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travellers worldwide.

Edgar house
(Picture: Edgar House)
Co-owner Mike Stephen said he was ‘thrilled and humbled’ with the win.

And when you check out what the little hotel has to offer, it’s perhaps not so surprising it’s proved so popular.

The views are amazing.
As is the food.
Each of their seven bedrooms is individually designed and the beds come with snuggly goose feather and down pillows, and egyptian cotton sheets, as standard.

Edgar house 2
(Picture: Edgar House)
The bathrooms have rain showers, freestanding baths, French porcelain tiles and underfloor heating.
There’s also an honesty bar hidden in a phone box.
And a mini cinema serving ice cream.

Oh, and you can get bed and breakfast for £99.50 per person.

When do we go?

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Source: Tiny B&B in Chester celebrating after being voted the world’s best boutique hotel