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January 2016 Updates

The World Health Organization says that your "health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being (emphasis mine) and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

As a health psychologist, I provide monthly updates of resources for individuals and families that support well-being.
Cheers, Marilyn Wilts Click on Read More below.

Note: I am not responsible for the content, claims or representations of the listed sites and post these links for informational purposes only.

In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.
---Lao Tsu, philosopher and poet of ancient China

Five Easy Questions to Assess and Increase Your Well-Being by Marilyn C. Wilts, Ph.D.

One way of assessing your own well-being is to look at how you have been feeling over the last two weeks. The World Health Organization developed the WHO (Five) Well-Being Index (1998 version). Online versions in MULTIPLE languages are provided by New Zealand’s Psychiatric Research Unit, which was a WHO Mental Health Collaborating Centre from 1995 to 2003.

WHO-5 Questionnaires

This simple subjective assessment is something you can use to see how often during the past two weeks you have experienced well-being ("all of the time, most of the time, more than half of the time, less than half of the time, some of the time, at no time").

The questionnaire asks you to rate how much of the time during those two weeks you have felt 1) cheerful and in good spirits, 2) calm and relaxed, 3) active and vigorous, or 4) awakened feeling fresh and rested, and 5) had a day filled with things that interest me?"

I suggest you ask these questions at the start of every day, and then act - even in some small way - on your answers:

"What can I do to feel cheerful and in good spirits? To feel calm and relaxed? How can I become more active and vigorous? What will help me wake up tomorrow feeling relaxed and refreshed? And what is something that interests me that I can do today?"

Sheryl Sandberg Shares New Year's Resolution in Touching Facebook Post

This is from an article written by Amy Kraft CBS News December 31, 2015, 4:19 PM
Here are excerpts:
[begin excerpts]
Facebook's Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, is sharing her reflections on the past year and her hopes for 2016 in a touching Facebook post. The 46-year-old billionaire and author of the New York Time's bestseller, "Lean In," said that this New Year's is more meaningful to her than any other. It comes eight months after the sudden death of her husband, David Goldberg, while on a family vacation in Mexico. She writes: "When I first lost Dave, I felt overwhelmed with just getting through each day. My friend, Adam Grant, suggested that every night before bed I write down three things I did well that day. I tried to do this, although some days I had such a hard time thinking of anything I did well that I'd end up listing 'Made a cup of tea.' But over time, focusing on things I'd done well helped me rebuild my confidence. Even if it was small, I could record something positive each day."

Sandberg says that she will continue this positive practice in the New Year by writing down three joyful moments each day. She writes: "So I will try to focus on finding joy in the mundane and the profound -- joy in the small things that make my children smile, joy in the moments of friendship that might otherwise pass by unnoticed, joy in the ability to appreciate the gift of life in a way I never did before."

Sandberg credits her ability to carry on after the death of her husband to the support of her Lean In Circle, a group of female friends that Sandberg says have supported her "through ups and downs, laughter and tears, life and now death. Together, we have been through adolescence, college, starting careers and families. They've advised me on everything--from what dress to wear to the prom to what job to take."
"I believe deeply that everyone needs this kind of help and connection. We all need people who encourage us, believe in us, and remind us that we are not alone. For women, this kind of support can be especially important in navigating our lives and pursuing our ambitions. Too often the world tells women why they can't do something; our friends are the ones who tell us we can... and help us figure out how."
[end excerpts]
The full article is available at CBS News : Sheryl Sandberg shares New Year's resolution in touching Facebook post

Six FREE Ways to Make Yourself Smarter in 2016

The following is courtesy of Ken Pope's list. Dr. Pope is a psychologist who selects articles from journals, newspapers, etc. that be believes are worth knowing about and posts them on his list. "The *Toronto Star* includes an article: "Six free ways to make yourself smarter in 2016; From Berkeley to Princeton to U of T, MOOCs -- massive open online courses -- can school you in everything from canine cognition to the financial crisis" by May Warren."
Here are excerpts:
[begin excerpts]

1. The Science of Happiness
What do neuroscience and psychology have to say about happiness?
Offered by: University of California, Berkeley
What: The course provides a "basic overview of what researchers from psychology and neuroscience have discovered about happiness," says co-instructor Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas.
Students also explore how research on happiness can be applied to their own lives. But make sure to take it seriously. The course has both a mid-term and a final exam.
Duration: Eight weeks of material. Four to five hours per week.
<snip>Cost: Free. Verified certificate: $49 (U.S.)

2. Dog Emotion and Cognition
Ever wonder what your dog was thinking?
Offered by: Duke University
What: This course on dog psychology covers the latest science behind those puppy-dog eyes.
"Dogs are helping people in more ways than ever before," says Brian Hare, associate professor of evolutionary anthropology. "(The course is about) how we use the information about how they actually think, to help them help us even more."
Duration: 10 to 15 hours
Cost: Free. Certificate of completion: $64 (Canadian)

3. Introduction to Sustainable Development
Sustainable development considers the "complexity of our interconnected world."
Offered by: Columbia University
What: You don't have to fork over thousands of dollars and move to New York to be taught sustainable development by world-renowned expert Jeffrey Sachs.
In a YouTube video, Sachs describes the course as "a way to look at the complexity of our interconnected world and its impact on the planet."
Duration: Five hours
Cost: Free

4. Effective Altruism
Can helping others give you a better life?
Offered by: Princeton University
What: This course examines how to be a good person.
Student review: "Effective altruism is an emerging movement of people who want to make the world a better place and are using their abilities to reason and use evidence to decide how best to do that," says bioethics professor Peter Singer.
Duration: 10 to 15 hours
Cost: Free

5. The Global Financial Crisis
Former U.S. treasury secretary Timothy Geithner can help explain the 2008-09 financial crisis -- he was there.
Offered by: Yale University
What: For those of us who never quite understood the global financial crisis of 2008-09, this course features guest lectures by someone who was there: former U.S. treasury secretary Timothy Geithner.
"It's trying to explain the causes, the government policy reactions and the consequences of the financial crisis," says Andrew Metrick, professor of finance and management at Yale.
Duration: 11 weeks of study. Four to six hours per week.
Cost: Free. Certificate of completion: $69 (Canadian)

6. Introduction to Psychology
Intro to Psych is "an opportunity to learn about yourself and the people you interact with every day."
Offered by: University of Toronto
What: The first time this course was offered, the students came up with the name "the cognitive cannibals" for themselves, says psychology professor Steve Joordens.
"The idea was these were a bunch of human minds kind of feeding on themselves. Learning about their own minds," he explains. "It's an opportunity to learn about yourself and the people you interact with every day."
Duration: Eight weeks of study. Four to six hours per week.
Cost: Free

[end excerpts]
The article is online at:
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"In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists."
--Eric Hoffer (1902-1983)

Ken Pope
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