Marian @ Krysan


Planting Golden Seeds in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, and Durham




H A P P I N E S S   &   W E L L B E I N G


Marian Moore





Do not believe what you have heard.  Do not believe in tradition because it is handed down many generations.  Do not believe in anything that has been spoken of many times.  Do not believe because the written statements come from some old sage.  Do not believe in conjecture.  Do not believe in authority or teachers or elders.  But after careful observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason and it will benefit one and all, then accept it and live by it.  BUDDHA (563 BC - 483 BC) 


Do not be desirous of having things done quickly.  Do not look at small advantages.  Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.  Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.  CONFUCIUS (551 BC - 479 BC)





1   Connect.  With the people around you.  With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.  At home, work, school or your local community.  Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them.  Building these connections will support and enrich you everyday.


2   Be Active.   Go for a walk or run.  Step outside.  Cycle.  Play a game.  Garden.  Dance.  Exercising makes you feel good.  Most importantly, discovery a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.


3   Take Notice.   Be curious.  Catch sight of the beautiful  Remark on the unusual.  Notice the changing seasons.  Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends.  Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling.  Reflecting on your experiences will help you apprciate what matters to you.


4   Keep Learning.  Try something new.  Rediscover an old interest.  Sign up for that course.  Take on a different responsibility at work.  Fix a bike.  Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food.  Set a challenge you enjoy achieving.  Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.


5   Give.   Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger.  Thank someone.  Smile.  Volunteer your time.  Join a community group.  Look out, as well as in.  Seeing yourself, and your happiness, as linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.


Foresight Mental Capital and Wellbeing Project (2008) final Project report - Executive summary.  The Government Office for Science.  London



More Advice on ... 




Gardening, friendship, dancing, pregnancy and the odd glass of wine could improve your mental prowess
Stephen Pincock
The Guardian, 22 September 2009
Tango dancing, San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina


A study showed older people who learned to tango saw improvements in balance, posture and co-ordination. Photograph: Anthony Cassidy/Corbis

Our lifestyles can boost or drain our brain power. But what activities have the greatest affect on our intellectual capacity? Below are seven factors with points for the relative improvements they bestow.

Mental health problems

1 point: Aristotle said that there is no great genius without some touch of madness. And lists of geniuses who suffered conditions such as manic depression (bipolar disorder) or schizophrenia abound, from Charles Dickens to mathematical prodigy John Nash. But how might madness promote genius? The manic phase of bipolar disorder is associated with quick thinking, greater verbal fluency and self-confidence; while schizophrenic people can experience sudden jumps in their thought processes (known as Knight's Move thinking), which can free them from following preconceived patterns. And around one in 10 people with autism are said to have "savant" abilities – remarkable gifts in the fields of music, mathematics and art.


0.5 points: According to the popular "baby brain" myth, pregnancy turns your brain to mush. But there is good evidence that the opposite may be the case. By studying mice, rats and humans, researchers have shown that hormonal changes during pregnancy remodel the brain. Some studies have shown it boosts neuron size in the hippocampus, which is involved in memory, learning and emotions. And in studies of rats, mothers have been shown to navigate mazes more efficiently, have less anxiety and fear and they also excel at multiskilling.

Being sociable

3 points: Intelligence is much more than being good at maths or languages. According to the psychologist Howard Gardner, there are nine types of intelligence, ranging from sensitivity to the natural world, to the capacity to think in three dimensions. One of the most significant types is social intelligence – the ability to understand and interact with others. In 1999, US researchers studied nearly 3,000 older people, correlating their mental status with the number of social contacts they had. Those with no social contacts were approximately twice as likely to develop cognitive problems compared with those with five or six contacts.

Learning a new skill

2 points: One of the most profound observations made by scientists recently is that adult brains are more adaptable and capable of change than was once thought. Give the brain something new to grapple with and it will make new connections. In 2008, UK researchers suggested that when people learn new skills such as playing the piano or riding a bicycle, new brain cells bring into play pre-formed circuits that were wired but not yet fully functional.


2 points: If you want a sharp brain, cultivate green fingers. Australian researchers followed nearly 3,000 people over the age of 60 for 16 years and found that daily gardening reduced their risk of developing dementia by 36%. The benefits of gardening are easy to imagine. It provides exercise, stress relief and a creative outlet, all of which have a positive mental impact. Gardens can also provide the fresh fruits and vegetables needed for a healthy diet.


2 points: Exercise in general is good for the brain, but dancing is particularly effective. Not only does it keep you fit, it also provides a workout for your grey matter. When US researchers studied the link between leisure activities and the risk of dementia in senior citizens, dancing was the best prevention. In the 21-year study, people who regularly danced were, on average, 76% less likely to develop dementia. Another study showed older people who took tango classes saw greater improvements in balance, posture and motor co-ordination than those who walked for exercise. They also performed better at a complicated cognitive task while walking. It could be that the mental effort involved in remembering steps and making split-second adjustments to your movements stimulates the brain's ability to make new connections between cells. The brain only does this when it is challenged. There is another benefit, too: dancing is a social activity.

Alcohol in moderation

1 point: When it comes to alcohol and intelligence, less is definitely more. Overindulging is unquestionably bad for your brain, but sensible, moderate drinking may improve brain function. In 2000, researchers in Tokyo tested the IQ of 2,000 people aged between 40 and 79. Men who drank less than 540 ml (1 pint) of sake or wine a day had an IQ 3.3 points higher than men who did not drink at all. And women drinkers scored 2.5 points higher than teetotallers. In America, one study found that women who have up to one drink a day may be at lower risk of cognitive decline as they age, while another showed that low doses of alcohol improve problem-solving capability and short-term memory. Recently New Zealand researchers found that in rats, moderate doses of alcohol had a beneficial effect on signalling between brain cells in the hippocampus, which is important in the formation of memories.

Extracted from the Intelligence Equation by Stephen Pincock, published by New Holland on 7 October priced £5.99.



ENDS | 2,994 hits @ 2015-07-11


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