Thursday, February 28, 2013

#2 Ain't So Bad

Gallup put out a well-being index score for U.S. states recently.  The data was based on daily surveys done from January to December 2012 calculating on a scale of 0 to 100 (100 being ideal well-being) areas such as emotional health, physical health, healthy behavior, outlook on life, job satisfaction, and work environment.

Want take a guess as to which state ranked #1?  Go on, I bet you can guess.

Yes, that’s right.  Hawaii.  I believe my well-being would be pretty high if I lived in Hawaii. 

But I shouldn’t complain because Colorado came in at #2, then Minnesota (#3), Utah (#4) and Vermont (#5).  At the bottom were Arkansas (#46), Tennessee (#47), Mississippi (#48), Kentucky (#49) and lastly West Virginia (#50).

Here’s a map of the U.S. and the rankings.  How is your well-being?

Monday, February 25, 2013

No pain, no gain, right?

According to WebMD, when you exercise your body releases endorphins and these endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.  Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body (sometimes described as “euphoric”).  Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety, boost self-esteem and improve sleep.

I must be doing it wrong.  I got a gym membership in May 2012 and have been going to the gym regularly (3-6 times a week, 45-50 minutes each visit) since then and I haven’t once felt “euphoric” after a workout.  I feel sore, tired and sweaty.  All those wonderful things that are supposed to be happening aren’t.

I still feel stressed and have anxiety.  My self-esteem isn’t any better and I’m not sleeping all that great.

The photo above had the caption, “Nothing beats that post-workout glow.”  Bullshit.  I have never, ever, had a post-workout “glow.”  I look like crap when I’m done working out.  My hair is all matted with sweat, my clothes are sticking to me and I usually walk funny because I’m sore.   I’m still waiting for those endorphins to kick (anytime guys).

Sunday, February 17, 2013

THINGS that Matter

We surround ourselves with things, cars, furniture, clothing, electronics.  And if we are honest, we all probably have too many things, things that we don’t really need.  But there are things in our lives that matter, for various reasons.

Some of the things that matter to me have to do with memories of people and places.  I have photographs all over my home.  Photographs of my family and friends and places I’ve been, and all of these things matter to.  I have things that belonged to my father and grandparents that matter, a desk, a ring, a contact lens case.  Books are also things that matter to me and I have books cases filled will books I read when I was 12, signed books by my favorite authors, and classics that I read over and over again.

The window in the photo is another thing that matters to me.  It was given to me for my 40th birthday by a very dear and close friend.  It hangs in my living room and it makes me happy when I look at.

The frames in the other photo are something I just recently started.  In those frames is sand from different beaches I’ve visited.  They hang next to my bed.  I look at them every morning when I wake up and every night before I go bed.  They remind me of happy times and that one day I want to live close to the beach and the ocean.

In the last couple of years I have really tried not to buy things that don’t matter and that I don’t need.  Yes, there are things that are necessities but what about everything else?  We all know we buy things to make us feel better; because we saw it in a magazine, or it’s the newest, trendiest thing, but do these things a really matter?

I recently saw an Nate Berkus interviewed.  He is the interior design who became famous after being on Oprah and who lost his partner in the December 2004 tsunami.  He wrote a book called “Things That Matter.”  He said a couple of things that stuck with me.  First, surround yourself with things that bring you joy.  Newest gadget may be entertaining but do they really brining you joy?  And second, stop a moment before you purchase anything, a piece of furniture, clothing, toys and think about whether you really need it.

Why do we hold on to so many things that don’t really matter?