HOW important is it to be happy? We all want health, many strive for wealth, but ultimately the elusive happiness is what drives us in the choices we make.
I would even go as far as to say that you probably came to this country, throwing caution to the wind, in search of a sunnier and happier life.
Happiness is of course not country-specific, or else we would find the whole of the world's population on top of one another in one place; Canada, for example; or Norway, which both feature high on the list of the most contented countries on the planet.
But personally, I find it is so much easier to have a smile on my face when the sun warms the sky and not bundled up in 20 layers of clothing.
One theory is that our happiness is relative to that of our neighbours'. If the Jones' next door suffice with a sturdy Skoda, you will feel royally smug lording it up in your Mercedes, but the moment they upgrade to a Ferrari, your bubble will burst.
Expectations are also said to have a bearing on our general cheer. Achievable goals are important, but lofty aspirations of world domination are more likely to see you ending up on the shrink's chaise longue than as Head of State.
Since keeping up with the Jones' is a tedious and tiresome pursuit, what else can we do to keep the smile alive? Happiness, experts say, is mostly down to personality; in particular our thoughts and behaviour. Difference in circumstances accounts for a mere 10 per cent of root causes once basic human needs are taken care of.
So, by trying to be happy and telling yourself that you are indeed happy, you can programme your mind to believe it. Back on the chaise longue, they call this cognitive-behavioural therapy, or seeing the proverbial glass as half full rather than half empty.
Starting each day with a life-affirming mantra and a smile is more likely to lead to a good day than a moan and assumption that all will go pear-shaped the moment you leave your front door.
Research also shows that people who consider themselves generally happy tend to devote more time to friends and family; they appreciate what they have and they live in the moment with an optimistic outlook.
Other catalysts for happiness are said to be trying something new. Anything to bring about a change of mindset or meeting new people can help. Exercise is also a key blue-day buster, releasing the positive serotonin hormones to do their jolly work.
Other than that, a touch of altruism goes a long way. Buddhists believe we are all connected to the degree that if you harm someone you are in effect harming yourself, so do onto others as you would onto yourself and see the positive karma come back into your life. Small acts of random kindness can make someone's day that little bit happier, and probably yours too
Published in Ulrica Marshall
BRITISH tourists visiting Spain can face medical bills for thousands of euros if taken ill while on holiday.
Yet one in ten over 55-year-olds admit failing to take out travel insurance before travelling even though more than half suffer from a medical condition.
The British Embassy in Madridyesterday (Wednesday) announced that 35 per cent of Britons travelling to Spain avoid taking out insurance because they are ‘only going on a short break’, 27 per cent claim it’s too expensive, whilst 18 per cent refrain because they believe they are covered by their bank.
Each year, around 5,000 British nationals seek assistance from consular staff in Spain; some with medical bills of thousands of euros.
Dave Thomas, Consular Regional Director for Spain, advised British expatriates in Spain : “If you have over-55s visiting this year, tell them to get insurance before they travel. Taking out a comprehensive policy and declaring any medical condition may be an added expense but it’s a small investment compared to what you could end up paying if something goes wrong.”
A British Embassy spokesman, added: “All British visitors to Spain, including over-55s, need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Apply on the NHS website for free or call 0845 606 2030. If you then have an accident or become ill, you can get the necessary state-provided medical healthcare at reduced cost or sometimes free. But it is very important to realise that an EHIC does NOT cover all your medical costs, private treatment or repatriation to the UK. You still need travel insurance to ensure you are fully covered for all eventualities.”
Details of how the Foreign Office can provide support to British nationals when things go wrong are outlined in Support for British nationals abroad: A guide:www.fco.gov.uk/travel.
Published in Costa del Sol
EATING an apple in the morning can wake you up better than drinking a cup of coffee. Apples can also boost your health in ways that benefit early morning activities. Apples contain high levels of vitamins and antioxidants and contain carbohydrates to kick start your energy levels in a healthy way. Drinking coffee may give you a boost but can also run down blood sugar levels soon after drinking.
Published in Food
With Christmas over and New Year Resolutions made (maybe even already broken or forgotten), many of us will be putting our best foot forward and will start to exercise. Sadly there are also many of us who wish they could exercise, even if it meant only going for a walk (the best form of exercise) but can’t because of their knees.
There is a Clinic here on the Costa del Sol that can help. This Clinic has no surgical affiliation, avoiding surgery wherever possible and has had so many successes with knees that they opened a Specialist Knee Unit.
When dealing with any part of the body, it cannot be stressed how important a proper physical assessment is. Here, you will get a detailed and thorough evaluation by a Consultant English Chartered Physiotherapist who is registered with both the UK’s Health Professions Council (HPC) and the Spanish National and Local Authorities. If necessary, thermal imaging, X-rays and/or MRI scans can be arranged, often on the same day, and onward referral to an orthopaedic consultant can also be made if deemed necessary and appropriate. It should be noted that the clinic is also fully registered with all the local and national authorities.
This Knee Clinic has many unique and technically advanced tools to aid in the conservative treatment of knees. There is the cutting edged Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MRT), currently the only such system in Spain. MRT is a fully medically trialled and tested derivative of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scanner technology. MRT delivers energy to the cartilage cells at a specific frequency, forcing these cells to harden and repair, and also drastically reduces bone inflammation, the major cause of arthritic pain.
Interestingly, foot posture problems are the main cause of non-specific knee pain and this can easily be rectified by the fitting and wearing of prescriptive orthotics. A computerised gait analysis system, unique to mainland Europe provides for the necessary accuracy and a video assessment helps both your consultant and yourself pinpoint areas of concern. Prescriptive orthotics from this system are small, discreet, unobtrusive and can be worn in the majority of shoes. They may be small but do not underestimate the power of such devices!
A straight knee is essential to how you walk but after trauma, be it an injury or surgery, the knee protects itself by being in a slightly “bent” position. This new specialist knee clinic has patient controlled technology that gently stretches and straightens that knee, helping to prevent future problems.
Injury affects muscle control and strength and new specialised biofeedback technology stimulates muscle activity improving strength, stability and function around the knee.
The clinic also carries a range of supplements which helps to keep you, your knees and your cartilage, healthier for longer.
If you want your knee problems solved without the need for surgery or if you have had surgery and need the best of rehabilitation, call The Bodyworks Clinic on 952 883 151 or visit www.TheBodyworksClinic.com.
HEART attack victims will have a better chance of life after a town installed life-saving equipment in its streets.
From now on the 700 inhabitants of Sedella will be assured prompt attention in the event of suffering heart problems.
Two semi-automatic defibrillators have been installed in two streets and eight people have received training in how to use them.
That means residents can be treated for any heart and breathing problems within four minutes of an attack, greatly improving recovery rates.
By February all sporting venues and places where large numbers of people gather will be required to have defibrillators by law.
Sedella has been congratulated for taking the initiative in this scheme as the first five minutes after a heart attack are the most crucial due to the fact that lack of oxygen and blood to the brain can lead to irreversible brain damage and death.
The use of a defibrillator can save 90 per cent of heart attack victims if treated within one minute, although for every minute that passes the success rate is reduced by 10 per cent.
At the moment the survival rate for heart attacks in Andalucia is only 2 per cent.
Published in Axarquía - Málaga East
A CAT’S mood can be identified by looking into its eyes. If it's hungry, once an owner reaches for the food dish, their pupils will expand. The area of the pupils can increase to between four and five times their former size in less than one second.
Cats also respond better to women than they do to men, and react more readily to names that end in an ‘ee’ sound. Spending up to 18 hours sleeping each day, they dedicate the rest of their time to grooming.
Published in David the Dogman
SEVERE migraines can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in women.
Scientists carried out a 15-year study following 27,860 women, 1,435 of whom suffered from severe migraines with vision problems and flashing lights. According to the study only high blood pressure was a bigger indicator of heart attacks and strokes.
GARLIC may keep vampires (and partners) at bay, and it could help protect you from colds and flu.
The pungent food is being used to help combat winter ailments thanks to a virus-killing chemical it contains called allicin. “This chemical has been known for a long time for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal powers,” said Helen Bond, a consultant dietician. “Because of this, people assume it is going to boost their immune systems.”
Scientists remain divided on garlic’s ability to combat colds and flu. An investigation last year by the Cochrane Database found that increasing your garlic intake during winter can cut the duration of cold symptoms by one day but said more research was needed. Meanwhile, nutrition scientists at the University of Florida (USA) found eating garlic can boost the number of T-cells in the bloodstream which strengthen the immune system.
TAKING a short stroll in the fresh air can help you live longer.
Older people who take a 15 minute walk four times a week can reduce the risk of an early death by 40 per cent, according to Italian researchers. They monitored more than 200 residents of an elderly people's home for ten years noting their lifestyle and habits.
Those who walked regularly were also less likely to be depressed and had better health.
IF you suffer from asthma you may need to change your job.
New research suggests that hairdressers, hospital workers and plumbers are most likely to be affected due to the chemicals they are exposed to.
Other high risk occupations include spray painters who are exposed to chemicals in paint and cleaners who use detergents. Those who work in the food and tobacco industry who are exposed to vegetable proteins also have a heightened risk.
The researchers tracked 13,000 randomly selected adults in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Estonia and found that people who have other allergies such as hay fever are also more likely to be affected by asthma.
- Costa del Sol
- Costa Blanca South
Latest Reader Comments
- Spain to restrict private holiday rentals (Spain) Written by Denny How lucky you are to be able to pay spanish… on Sunday, 19 May 2013 20:54
- A bright start in life thanks to youngsters (Mallorca) Written by MOSES OLA-OLU FAMUYIWA Saliu says the true, because Senegal is a Islamic country,… on Sunday, 19 May 2013 10:00
- British armed robber arrested on Costa Blanca (Costa Blanca North) Written by John Harper "He was detained and remains in custody until a decision… on Sunday, 19 May 2013 08:37