This study tested the psychological benefits of a 14-day preregistered clinical intervention to increase fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption in 171 low-FV-consuming young adults (67% female, aged 18–25). Participants were randomly assigned into a diet-as-usual control condition, an ecological momentary intervention (EMI) condition involving text message reminders to increase their FV consumption plus a voucher to purchase FV, or a fruit and vegetable intervention (FVI) condition in which participants were given two additional daily servings of fresh FV to consume on top of their normal diet. Self-report outcome measures were depressive symptoms and anxiety measured pre- and post-intervention, and daily negative and positive mood, vitality, flourishing, and flourishing behaviors (curiosity, creativity, motivation) assessed nightly using a smartphone survey. Vitamin C and carotenoids were measured from blood samples pre- and post-intervention, and psychological expectancies about the benefits of FV were measured post-intervention to test as mediators of psychological change. Only participants in the FVI condition showed improvements to their psychological well-being with increases in vitality, flourishing, and motivation across the 14-days relative to the other groups. No changes were found for depressive symptoms, anxiety, or mood. Intervention benefits were not mediated by vitamin C, carotenoids, or psychological expectancies. We conclude that providing young adults with high-quality FV, rather than reminding them to eat more FV (with a voucher to purchase FV), resulted in significant short-term improvements to their psychological well-being. These results provide initial proof-of-concept that giving young adults fresh fruit and vegetables to eat can have psychological benefits even over a brief period of time. Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12615000183583
Margarita Tarragona's insight:
Comer frutas y verduras aumenta el bienestar psicológico de los jóvenes.
Physical activity, both exercise and non-exercise, has far-reaching benefits to physical health. Although exercise has also been linked to psychological health (e.g., happiness), little research has examined physical activity more broadly, taking into account non-exercise activity as well as exercise. We examined the relationship between physical activity (measured broadly) and happiness using a smartphone application. This app has collected self-reports of happiness and physical activity from over ten thousand participants, while passively gathering information about physical activity from the accelerometers on users' phones. The findings reveal that individuals who are more physically active are happier. Further, individuals are happier in the moments when they are more physically active. These results emerged when assessing activity subjectively, via self-report, or objectively, via participants' smartphone accelerometers. Overall, this research suggests that not only exercise but also non-exercise physical activity is related to happiness. This research further demonstrates how smartphones can be used to collect large-scale data to examine psychological, behavioral, and health-related phenomena as they naturally occur in everyday life.
Margarita Tarragona's insight:
La actividad física (tanto el deporte como simplemente el moverse) se correlacionan con la felicidad. Y las personas están especialmente felices cuando están haciendo una actividad física.
While correlational evidence exists that humor is positively associated with well-being, only few studies addressed causality. We tested the effects of five humor-based activities on happiness and depression in a placebo-controlled, self-administered online positive psychology intervention study (N = 632 adults). All of the five one-week interventions enhanced happiness, three for up to six months (i.e. three funny things, applying humor, and counting funny things), whereas there were only short-term effects on depression (all were effective directly after the intervention). Additionally, we tested the moderating role of indicators of a person ? intervention-fit and identified early changes in well-being and preference (liking of the intervention) as the most potent indicators for changes six months after the intervention. Overall, we were able to replicate existing work, but also extend knowledge in the field by testing newly developed interventions for the first time. Findings are discussed with respect to the current literature.
In the spring semester of the school year, I teach a class called ‘Happiness’. It’s always packed with students because, like most people, they want to learn the secret to feeling fulfilled. ‘How many of you want to be happy in life?’ I ask
The New York Post – December 24, 2016 By Vicki Salemi The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day means one thing: checking off the final items on your end-of-year to-do list. Whether you’re taking a few personal days away from the office or are sitting at your desk enjoying a light workload, make sure... Read More
Margarita Tarragona's insight:
5 cosas que hacer para empezar bien el año nuevo en lo laboral
It's the little things. Some habits just seem to have the power to lift your spirits. Whether it's taking a few minutes to dive deep into your favourite novel, jotting down some things you're grateful for, or spending some time in nature, there's plenty of psychological research to suggest that certain activities can help improve your mood and your health.
Background Increasing evidence has suggested that major depression (MD) is associated with an increased risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD). We examined this association in Chinese adults using data from the China Kadoorie Biobank study.
Methods and Results Over 0.5 million adults aged 30 to 79 years were followed from baseline interview (2004–2008) until December 31, 2013. Past year MD was measured with the modified Chinese version of Composite International Diagnostic Interview‐Short Form at baseline. Incident IHD cases were identified through linkage to related medical databases, and defined as having International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision codes of I20 to I25. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% CIs for the MD‐IHD association with adjustment for sociodemographic variables and established cardiovascular risk factors. During 3 423 542 person‐years of follow‐up, 24 705 incident IHD cases were documented. Higher IHD incidence was observed in participants with MD compared with those without (8.76 versus 7.21 per 1000 person‐years), and the multivariable‐adjusted hazard ratio was 1.32 (95% CI 1.15–1.53). Geographic location modified the association ( P for interaction=0.005), and a positive association was observed in urban residents (hazard ratio 1.72; 95% CI 1.39–2.14) but not rural residents (1.13; 0.93–1.37). Compared with participants without depressive symptoms, the hazard ratio (95% CI) of IHD was 1.13 (1.04–1.23) for those with depressive symptoms only and 1.33 (1.15–1.53) for those with MD.
Conclusions Past year major depression was associated with an increased risk of IHD in Chinese adults, independent of other major cardiovascular risk factors.
Margarita Tarragona's insight:
La depresión mayor se asocia con el riesgo de sufrir enfermedad arterial coronaria
Feelings of positive or negative affect are not restricted to temporary states. They can also determine future affective experiences, by influencing the building of an individual’s personal resources. The present study was designed to understand the daily fluctuations in positive and negative affect more fully. To this end, we examined the involvement of a variety of affect regulation strategies in these fluctuations. The affect regulation strategies we explored included positive reappraisal, problem-focused coping, appreciation and rumination. We adopted an experience sampling method, consisting of five daily assessments over a 2-week period. As expected, within a few hours of experiencing more positive affect, participants engaged in greater positive reappraisal, problem-focused coping and appreciation. In turn, greater use of each of these three strategies was followed by more intense experiences of positive affect. We observed analogous reciprocal influences between rumination and the experience of negative affect, within the same time interval. Changes in affective experience over several hours were also directly influenced by concurrent use of these strategies. More specifically, greater positive reappraisal, problem-focused coping and appreciation accelerated the rise in positive affect that follows low feelings of positive affect, and slowed the decline in positive affect that follows high feelings. Rumination had an analogous influence on change in negative affect. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
Las estrategias de regulación del afecto y las emociones positivas se influyen mutuamente. El reencuadre positivo, el manejo de los problemas y el aprecio aumentan las emociones positivas y éstas a su vez favorecen el uso de estas estrategias. Lo mismo pasa con la rumiación y los afectos negativos: se refuerzan mutuamente.
Cross-sectional research indicated that the application of signature strengths at work seemed to be crucial for perceiving a job as a calling. The present study aimed at testing this assumed causality in a random-assignment, placebo-controlled web-based intervention study. The intervention group (n = 83) was instructed to use their four highest character strengths more often at work for 4 weeks. Meanwhile the control group (n = 69) reflected about four situations (independent from the current workplace) where they excelled. For the evaluation of the effects of the two conditions, participants completed measures on calling and global life satisfaction before (Pretest), directly after the four-week training period (Posttest 1), and 3 (Posttest 2) and 6 months (Posttest 3) later. Calling significantly increased in the intervention group but not in the control group from Pretest to Posttest 1, and remained constant until Posttest 3. Global life satisfaction significantly increased in the intervention group but not in the control group from Pretest to Posttest 2 and from Posttest 1 to Posttest 3. That indicated that the changes on global life satisfaction were less steep than the changes in calling and lagged, but significant long lasting changes were observed likewise. Results supported the assumption that the application of strengths at work impacts calling and life satisfaction. Limitations as well as implications for research and practice are discussed.
(Available in free full text) The claim that most people are happy and satisfied, assuming that high self-ratings on numerical scales indicate good lives, is cross-checked against extensive verbal reports in a large-scale mixed-methods validation study. For a sample of 500 qualitative interviews conducted in Austria, the usual 10-point-scale self-ratings of life satisfaction and happiness were linked to the content of respondents’ actual narrations. Additionally, the narrated well-being was classified according to an alternative evaluation scheme by external raters. The results show that many persons report substantial restrictions to their hedonic experience in spite of high or even very high ratings, and that the narrated well-being evaluation is much more critical than the self-rating. Therefore it is argued that a naïve interpretation of high self-rating values as top life experience systematically ignores negative aspects of life. The claimed predominance of happiness should be substantially reformulated. In particular, more attention should be drawn to resilient satisfaction in the presence of substantial psychological burden, and to the non-negligible group of highly positive life satisfaction ratings which lack evidence of corresponding hedonic experience in the life narratives.
¿Felicidad o sentido en el 2017? Creo que plantearlo como una elección entre dos opciones excluyentes es un error, a menos que se defina la felicidad sólo como sentir alegría. Pero la concepción de la felicidad en la psicología positiva va más allá de las emociones positivas e incluye precisamente el tener una vida con sentido. De todas maneras este artículo que nos hace reflexionar sobre la importancia de encontrar/crear significado en nuestra vida.
Objective To test whether the number of reports of enjoyment of life over a four year period is quantitatively associated with all cause mortality, and with death from cardiovascular disease and from other causes. Design and setting Longitudinal observational population study using the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), a nationally representative sample of older men and women living in England. Participants 9365 men and women aged 50 years or older (mean 63, standard deviation 9.3) at recruitment.Main outcome measures Time to death, based on mortality between the third phase of data collection (wave 3 in 2006) and March 2013 (up to seven years). Results Subjective wellbeing with measures of enjoyment of life were assessed in 2002 (wave 1), 2004 (wave 2), and 2006 (wave 3). 2264 (24%) respondents reported no enjoyment of life on any assessment, with 1833 (20%) reporting high enjoyment on one report of high enjoyment of life, 2063 (22%) on two reports, and 3205 (34%) on all three occasions. 1310 deaths were recorded during follow-up. Mortality was inversely associated with the number of occasions on which participants reported high enjoyment of life. Compared with the no high enjoyment group, the hazard ratio for all cause mortality was 0.83 (95% confidence interval 0.70 to 0.99) for two reports of enjoyment of life, and 0.76 (0.64 to 0.89) for three reports, after adjustment for demographic factors, baseline health, mobility impairment, and depressive symptoms. The same association was observed after deaths occurring within two years of the third enjoyment measure were excluded (0.90 (0.85 to 0.95) for every additional report of enjoyment), and in the complete case analysis (0.90 (0.83 to 0.96)).Conclusions This is an observational study, so causal conclusions cannot be drawn. Nonetheless, the results add a new dimension to understanding the significance of subjective wellbeing for health outcomes by documenting the importance of sustained wellbeing over time.
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