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Be generous to live happily: Study

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Happy-Girl

London, July 12: Want to live a happy life? A mere promise to be generous is enough as it can trigger a change in the brain areas that can make you happier, a study has shown.

The findings showed people who behaved generously were happier afterwards than those who behaved more selfishly. However, the amount of generosity did not influence the increase in contentment.

“You don’t need to become a self-sacrificing martyr to feel happier. Just being a little more generous will suffice,” said Philippe Tobler from the University of Zurich. 
The results also provided insight into the interplay between altruism and happiness.

Simply promising to behave generously activated the altruistic area of the brain and intensified the interaction between this area and the area associated with happiness.

“It is remarkable that intent alone generates a neural change before the action is actually implemented,” Tobler said.

“Promising to behave generously could be used as a strategy to reinforce the desired behaviour, on the one hand, and to feel happier, on the other,” he added.

For the study, detailed in the journal Nature Communications, 50 participants were promised a sum of money that they would receive in the next few weeks and were supposed to decide to spend it on someone they knew (experimental group) or on themselves (control group).

The results showed that depending on whether the people committed to generosity or selfishness, their brain areas such as the temporoparietal junction (where prosocial behaviour and generosity are processed), the ventral striatum (which is associated with happiness), and the orbitofrontal cortex (where we weigh the pros and cons during decision-making processes) interacted differently.

IANS

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Choco lava cake hot favourite among lovebirds

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Choco lava cake

New Delhi, Feb 19: Lovebirds indulged in some sugary goodness, including choco lava cake, on Valentine’s Day, reveals a survey.

According to findings derived from Swiggy’s order analysis for Valentine’s Day on February 14 and eight Wednesdays before that, love-struck Indians stuck to their favourites, the most shareable pizza and fries, as their order increased sharply by 55 per cent and 38 per cent respectively.

Choco lava cake saw an increase of 73 per cent. There were four times more donuts orders and red velvet items were also ordered 3.5 times more, read a statement.

The 2018 Valentine’s Day food trends are on the basis of Swiggy’s order analysis of the cities of Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi/NCR, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Jaipur.

“Despite the usual excitement around making Valentine’s Day special, an increasing number of urbanites made the choice to spend it at home with their loved ones.

“Deterred by urban challenges like long working hours, traffic, planning and reservation and parking, many couples opted to have their Valentine’s dates over great food, in the privacy of their homes,” said Srivats TS, Vice President, Marketing at Swiggy.

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Here’s how materialism may harm your married life

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Couple fight

New York, Feb 16: Do you often end up having heated discussions with your spouse over money matters? Beware, your fondness for material possessions may affect your love life and push your marriage towards an unhappy ending, says a new study.

The study found that when materialism — the pursuit of money and possessions — gets prioritised over other dimensions of life, it harms conjugal bonding.

Materialism crowds out other life priorities and creates a scarcity of time for other priorities such as communication, conflict resolution and intimacy.

It thus decreases the importance and sense of satisfaction in a marriage.

“Marriage dissatisfaction occurs because those who highly value money and possessions are less likely to value their marriage and are thus likely to be less satisfied in their relationship,” said lead author Ashley LeBaron, Professor at the Brigham Young University (BYU) in Ohio.

Further, materialism may also be associated with a possession-oriented rather than a relationship-oriented approach to happiness.

In other words, materialistic spouses may be seeking happiness in possessions, rather than people, which means they end up putting less time and energy into making their marriage a success, the researchers noted, in a paper published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

Despite the findings, the researchers believe that changes can be made by couples to solve this issue.

“Many people are not fully aware of their materialism or the degree to which the pursuit of money is becoming an unbalanced priority in their life,” explained Jason Carroll, Professor at BYU.

“It is helpful for spouses to evaluate and openly discuss the time patterns in their lives and make sure they are devoting enough time to prioritize and strengthen their marriage relationship,” Carroll suggested.

For the study, the researchers asked 1,310 married individuals to fill a questionnaire in order to measure their materialism, perception of marriage importance and marital satisfaction.

IANS

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Lifestyle

Ditch flowers, perfumes; gift your Valentine something different

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Valentines day date

New Delhi, Feb 14: Give chocolates, flowers and fragrances a miss, say experts who suggest a box-full of natural sanitary pads for your girlfriend and gift your man a coffee maker on Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated on February 14 every year.

Prem Dewan, Retail Head, OSL Luxury Collections Pvt Ltd at Corneliani; Ravi Saxena, Managing Director at Wonderchef; Tanvi Johri Co-founder at Carmesi and Yatin Hans, Co-founder at Bigsmall.in and Ute Pauline Wiemer, co-founder at Lovetreats, have listed a few quirky options:

* Cufflinks look small but do wonders to simple and boring outfits. There are number of designs and textures available that can bring instant fun to the look. Cufflinks with Aztec design works best for formal attires. Those imprinted in different motifs like skull, bear and bottles, can be gifted to someone who likes to keep it funky and hippie.

* Buy him/her a pair of footwear. A pair of white sneakers is not a desire but a need that will complement a casual styling.

* You could gift her diamonds or that gorgeous dress she mentioned a few days back, but you can also show that you care about her by getting her a chic black box that consists of natural sanitary pads. The top-layer of the pads is made with corn starch, the middle layer or the core is made of bamboo fiber, while the bottom is made with corn-based bioplastic.

The box has one-month pack of pads along with a tea box, a scented candle and essential oil. These will help make her hardest time of the month, a lot more bearable.

* If she loves her ice cream tub, get her a heart-shaped ice cream scoop and if she loves different glasses, how about getting her a heart-shaped glass in which she can sip her whiskey or hot chocolate.

* Your boyfriend/girlfriend loves coffee? Invest in a good duet coffee maker which can brew two cups of finely brewed coffee with one fill.

* For a special and intimate night on Valentine’s Day, be a bit more daring by gifting him or her a vibrating sex ring, pleasure sleeve for men, lucky ball masturbator or glow in the dark condoms.

IANS

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