10 Facts That Prove Helping Others Is A Key To Achieving Happiness

When you do good for others, the recipients of your kindness aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits. There are a ton of perks in it for you, too.

This year’s International Day of Happiness falls on March 20. To honor the cheery holiday, we’ve brought you 10 ways helping others can put a smile on your own face. Check them out below, and perhaps you’ll feel inspired to go out and lend a helping hand.

Helping Others Will Actually Make You Feel Great

Giving back has an effect on your body. Studies show that when people donated to charity, the mesolimbic system, the portion of the brain responsible for feelings of reward, was triggered. The brain also releases feel-good chemicals and spurs you to perform more kind acts — something psychologists call “helper’s high.”

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Vegan: Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip

Make this delicious Vegan dip for your New Years Eve party! Your guests won’t know the difference!

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews (unsoaked)
  • 3/4 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (I like almond or soy, but your choice)
  • 2 1/2 – 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-2 medium-large cloves garlic (use less/more to taste)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry (ground) mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups frozen artichoke hearts, partially thawed (helps for pulsing in blender)
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) spinach leave
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3 Unexpected Ways the Holidays Can Improve Your Health

Sometimes December feels like one long cheat day—more food, less exercise, and promises that we’ll make up for it all in January. But getting into the spirit of things might also have unexpected wellness benefits. Here are some ways the holidays can help your health.

Socializing Can Be a Lifesaver
The extra hours you spend talking, laughing, or caroling with friends and family may increase your chances of living a longer, more robust life. When researchers looked at nearly 150 studies on social relationships and mortality, they found that people with stronger social ties had 50 percent higher odds of survival than those with weaker connections. (That’s comparable to the longevity boost you might get from never smoking.) On the flip side, a separate analysis found that social isolation and feelings of loneliness increased mortality risk by an average of 29 and 26 percent, respectively. Another recent study showed that blood pressure and levels of inflammation, which can indicate stress or disease, increased with social isolation.

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Vegan Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean Cookies

Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup espresso beans
  • 10-12 oz. bag vegan chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life ), divided
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/4 cups spelt or all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup vegan margarine at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
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CBD vs. THC: Why is CBD Not Psychoactive?

cbd

Why is THC psychoactive and CBD is not? How can one cannabinoid alter the mind so profoundly, and the other seemingly not at all?

When we’re talking about cannabis and psychoactivity, we’re dealing exclusively with CB1 receptors, which are concentrated in the brain and the central nervous system. The difference between CBD vs. THC comes down to a basic difference in how each one interacts with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor. THC binds well with CB1 cannabinoid receptors. CBD has low binding affinity for CB1 receptors. That’s where the two diverge.

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10 Steps To Plan Your Best Year Yet

2017

You may be tempted to countdown the days until you can kiss the year goodbye, but this is the perfect time of year to reflect on the past 12 months and plan for a happy and fulfilling year ahead.

Here are 10 steps to plan for your best year yet.

1. Reflect on the year that was.

Take a few moments to look back on your year. Where did you experience the most joy or satisfaction? What areas of your life are not working so well? What life lessons did you learn and what did you discover about yourself?

Your answers to these questions will provide vital clues and insights into what you need to focus on and how you can positively transform your life in the new year.

2. Choose to let things go.

We all have old resentments from the past, regrets or mistakes that we carry around with us. They weigh us down and holding onto them is not serving us.

Make a list of memories or events from your past that you are willing to finally let go this month. You may also like to physically declutter items your home (like excess clothing, broken furniture and old paperwork).

By doing this, you will be making space for new dreams to come to you in the new year.

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Can Medical Cannabis Be Used as an Anorexia Treatment?

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A characteristic feature of cannabis is that it causes the “munchies,” which begs the question: could cannabis be used to treat anorexia nervosa? Cannabis has been widely studied as a treatment for anorexia (or cachexia) associated with cancer and HIV/AIDS. However, there’s little research on whether it would be an effective treatment to treat the type of anorexia that most people are familiar with: anorexia nervosa.

It’s unfortunate so little research has been done given how many people are affected and what the consequences are of leaving anorexia untreated. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 20 million women and 10 million men will develop an eating disorder at some point in their lives, with anorexia being one of the most common disorders. Among college students, the numbers are even more staggering: the National Institute of Mental Health estimates 25% of college students suffer from an eating disorder. Left untreated, the consequences can be dire. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate (12.8 percent) of any psychiatric disease. A shocking 6 percent commit suicide.
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Whole roasted cauliflower

For a vegan alternative to a classic roast, this spiced, roasted cauliflower is just the ticket!

roasted-cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ a small bunch of fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon , zest and juice of
  • 1 large cauliflower , (1kg) with outer leaves left on
  • 4 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 x 400 g tin of plum tomatoes
  • 40 g flaked almonds
  • ½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil
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