10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Incredibly Happy

Courtesy of Jeff Haden @ Inc.com:

It’s easy to think of happiness as a result, but happiness is also a driver.

One example: While I’m definitely into finding ways to improve personal productivity (whether a one-day burst, or a lifetime, or things you should not do every day), probably the best way to be more productive is to just be happier. Happy people accomplish more.

Easier said than done though, right?

Actually, many changes are easy. Here are 10 science-based ways to be happier from Belle Beth Cooper, Content Crafter at Buffer, the social media management tool that lets you schedule, automate, and analyze social media updates.

Here’s Beth:

1. Exercise: 7 Minutes Could Be Enough

Think exercise is something you don’t have time for? Think again. Check out the 7 minute workout mentioned in The New York Times. That’s a workout any of us can fit into our schedules.

Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it is an effective strategy for overcoming depression. In a study cited in Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage, three groups of patients treated their depression with medication, exercise, or a combination of the two. The results of this study are surprising: Although all three groups experienced similar improvements in their happiness levels early on, the follow-up assessments proved to be radically different:

The groups were then tested six months later to assess their relapse rate. Of those who had taken the medication alone, 38 percent had slipped back into depression. Those in the combination group were doing only slightly better, with a 31 percent relapse rate. The biggest shock, though, came from the exercise group: Their relapse rate was only 9 percent.

You don’t have to be depressed to benefit from exercise, though. Exercise can help you relax, increase your brain power, and even improve your body image, even if you don’t lose any weight.

We’ve explored exercise in depth before, and looked at what it does to our brains, such as releasing proteins and endorphins that make us feel happier.

A study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who exercised felt better about their bodies even when they saw no physical changes:

Body weight, shape and body image were assessed in 16 males and 18 females before and after both 6 × 40 minutes exercising and 6 × 40 minutes reading. Over both conditions, body weight and shape did not change. Various aspects of body image, however, improved after exercise compared to before.

Yep: Even if your actual appearance doesn’t change, how you feel about your body does change.

2. Sleep More: You’ll Be Less Sensitive to Negative Emotions

We know that sleep helps our body recover from the day and repair itself and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out sleep is also important for happiness. Continue reading

20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire

Courtesy of The Economic Collapse Blog:

If you have been waiting for the “global economic crisis” to begin, just open up your eyes and look around. I know that most Americans tend to ignore what happens in the rest of the world because they consider it to be “irrelevant” to their daily lives, but the truth is that the massive economic problems that are currently sweeping across Europe, Asia and South America are going to be affecting all of us here in the U.S. very soon. Sadly, most of the big news organizations in this country seem to be more concerned about the fate of Justin Bieber’s wax statue in Times Square than about the horrible financial nightmare that is gripping emerging markets all over the planet. After a brief period of relative calm, we are beginning to see signs of global financial instability that are unlike anything that we have witnessed since the financial crisis of 2008. As you will see below, the problems are not just isolated to a few countries. This is truly a global phenomenon.

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Over the past few years, the Federal Reserve and other global central banks have inflated an unprecedented financial bubble with their reckless money printing. Much of this “hot money” poured into emerging markets all over the world. But now that the Federal Reserve has begun “tapering” quantitative easing, investors are taking this as a sign that the party is ending. Money is being pulled out of emerging markets all over the globe at a staggering pace and this is creating a tremendous amount of financial instability. In addition, the economic problems that have been steadily growing over the past few years in established economies throughout Europe and Asia just continue to escalate. The following are 20 signs that the global economic crisis is starting to catch fire…

#1 The unemployment rate in Greece has hit a brand new record high of 28 percent.

#2 The youth unemployment rate in Greece has hit a brand new record high of 64.1 percent.

#3 The percentage of bad loans in Italy is at an all-time record high. Continue reading

THE MANIPULATORS WILL LOSE THEIR #GOLD WAR: GATA’S BILL MURPHY

Courtesy of Inteligencia Financier Global:

Bill Murphy
The Inteligencia Financiera Global blog (Global Financial Intelligence Blog) is honored to present another exclusive interview now with GATA’s Bill Murphy.

Thanks Bill for accepting this interview.

-Maybe most of people in the gold world know about you and GATA. Nevertheless, for those who don’t know: Who is Bill Murphy? Where do you come from a financial point of view and what did motivate you to found the Gold Anti- Trust Action Committee (GATA)?

Hello Memo.

Thanks so much for your interest in what GATA has to say. I have a Wall Street background and worked for Shearson Hayden Stone and Drexel Burnham Lambert in Manhattan in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. At one point I became a limit position trader in the copper market after forming my own company, so I am very versed in how the futures market works in the US. In 1998 I realized the Internet was going to be a big deal and opened up http://www.LeMetropoleCafe.com as a subscription website which would focus on the gold/silver markets, as well as provide coverage of the US and world economies. Soon after opening up for business, the famed hedge fund Long Term Capital Management blew up. They were known to be short hundreds of tonnes of gold and that would have to be covered. However, it was clear that bullion banks such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Deutsche Bank were capping the price around $300 in a collusive manner. My future colleague Chris Powell had anti-trust experience via his newspaper business. He suggested we try and stop it, so GATA was formed.

-In our last interview, Hugo Salinas Price told us that only a blind or a Harvard economist with a doctorate would not see the gold market is being manipulated. Do you agree? As I understand it, one of the main purposes of GATA is to communicate this fact to as many people as possible, and end this manipulation, but, Bill, isn´t it a lost war? Aren’t the manipulators “too strong to be stopped”?

Yes, Hugo is right on the money. It could not be more obvious. So much so that James McShirley, a speaker at GATA’s London conference in 2011, has written in advance at times what the gold will do on a given day. From a bigger picture someone only need to appreciate what the price of gold did last year compared to the DOW on the same quantitative easing news. The DOW went up 3,000 points and the gold price went down $600. That would have made no sense to anyone ahead of time. Gold went lower as it did because “The Gold Cartel” forced the price down with massive raids in the derivatives paper market, often when few traders were around. Continue reading

‘Housing has become the defining economic issue of our times’

From the governments own report, they state that 250,000 households are formed in the UK per year with 100,000 new homes built. This shortage in supply continues to drive up prices and this systemic issue will not be plugged by Help to Buy, eventually it will fail and drive many millions into long term poverty. Courtesy of The Guardian:

Housing is of greater political consequence than most other areas of government policy. It’s as near as most people get, personally, to what is called the greater economy. Employment comes a close second to housing, but most pensioners and children, and many others, are not employed, whereas everyone is directly affected by housing.

Conversely, many people, especially those who do not have young children, may not care much about what is happening to education, and those who are feeling well can easily pay less attention to changes to our health services. Most people are not affected by the level at which benefit payments are set, nor by how the minimum wage is determined. Cut benefits and crime may rise, but few make such links and, often, those who do simply demand more prisons.

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The people who are most adversely affected by housing policy believe they have little power to alter politics. And, usually, they are right. They are the least powerful in the areas where they live, so politicians can reduce social security spending on the poorest without losing much popular support. Politicians can increase overcrowding in social housing and in much private rented housing and, in the short term, they can get away with it. However, as their housing policies begin to have an impact on a greater and greater proportion of the population, and on the majority of young adults, it becomes harder to sustain such policies. But it also becomes harder to end them. A particular constituency has become reliant on prices remaining high, and rising. Continue reading

Does The Trail Of Dead Bankers Lead Somewhere?

Courtesy of The Economic Collapse Blog:

What are we to make of this sudden rash of banker suicides? Does this trail of dead bankers lead somewhere? Or could it be just a coincidence that so many bankers have died in such close proximity? I will be perfectly honest and admit that I do not know what is going on. But there are some common themes that seem to link at least some of these deaths together. First of all, most of these men were in good health and in their prime working years. Secondly, most of these “suicides” seem to have come out of nowhere and were a total surprise to their families. Thirdly, three of the dead bankers worked for JP Morgan. Fourthly, several of these individuals were either involved in foreign exchange trading or the trading of derivatives in some way. So when “a foreign exchange trader” jumped to his death from the top of JP Morgan’s Hong Kong headquarters this morning, that definitely raised my eyebrows. These dead bankers are starting to pile up, and something definitely stinks about this whole thing.

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What would cause a young man that is making really good money to jump off of a 30 story building? The following is how the South China Morning Post described the dramatic suicide of 33-year-old Li Jie…

An investment banker at JP Morgan jumped to his death from the roof of the bank’s headquarters in Central yesterday.

Witnesses said the man went to the roof of the 30-storey Chater House in the heart of Hong Kong’s central business district and, despite attempts to talk him down, jumped to his death.

If this was just an isolated incident, nobody would really take notice.

But this is now the 7th suspicious banker death that we have witnessed in just the past few weeks… Continue reading

British democracy is dying, replaced by a smug, self-serving technocracy

Courtesy of Douglas Carswell @ The Telegraph:

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“The age of purely representative democracy,” Peter Mandelson once told us, “is slowly coming to an end.”

And he was right. Throughout the Western world, public policy choices which were once in the hands of representatives we elected have been farmed out to technocrats.

Whether it is making decisions about dredging or about monetary policy, ministers might justify and explain what has been decided. They rarely if ever make the decision themselves. The machine runs most ministers, not the other way round. Vanity might stop egocentric politicians ‘fessing up to it, but most ministers are little more than departmental mouthpieces.

Whitehall mandarins have long since stopped pretending that they merely implement policy. They make it. More than that, they routinely overrule elected ministers who want things done differently.

To see the most extreme manifestation of post-representative democracy, look at Italy. Any moment now, the mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, is about to be made the third Italian prime minister in a row who wasn’t actually elected to the role. Renzi in office will probably deliver the same bland policy nothingness that every Italian “leader” seems to have produced for as long as anyone can remember.

Continue reading