Posted tagged ‘optimism’

The higher education health effect

March 2, 2011

You knew that going to university is good for your intellectual health, but what you may not have known is that it is also good for your blood pressure. Researchers at Brown University in Rhode Island have discovered that the more stages of education you go through, the lower your blood pressure will be as you go through life; those with postgraduate degrees fare particularly well.

But if you really want to improve your health and your chances of longevity, you should also – as another study at the Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina has shown – go through life with an optimistic attitude. Doing so visibly reduces heart disease and strokes. So your formula for a long and healthy life is to go through higher education up to a PhD, and then use your qualifications to effect and stay optimistic. Just don’t read or listen to the news.

California dreaming

December 16, 2008

I think it is exactly 40 years since the Mamas and the Papas released the hit single, California Dreaming. Of course the point of the song was that the singer was somewhere else (not California) in the winter, reflecting on what it would be like to be in California, away from the grey skies and the cold weather. So it may not be entirely right for me to be thinking of the song right now, as I am actually in California (though only for a few more hours). It is a beautiful day here, with a perfectly blue sky and temperatures in the 20s (Celsius).

I love visiting California in the winter, and have done so on several occasions around Christmas – and I even find the Christmas decorations in the warm sunshine quite wonderful. California has a huge budget deficit, and a major energy supply problem, and woodland fires – but somehow worrying about that doesn’t feel the same when you can lie in the sun in December while doing it. And maybe that also explains why, all in all, there appears to be a spirit of optimism here in LA.

There is also a major buzz here about the new political era that people believe is about to begin. Let us all hope that this optimism carries the day and is not punctured, and that it helps to lift us all out of the gloom in the New Year.