Novel Corporate Wellness Program Goes Virtual to Bring Health and Happiness to Tired Employees – MENAFN.COM

(MENAFN – GetNews) Healthy and happy employees create great places to work. The new Corporate Wellness Program offered by Rhode Island Nutrition Therapy aims to create this ideal scenario in every corporate office and organization. Investing in the health and wellbeing of employees results in many benefits, including fewer sick leaves and medical bills, and an overall improvement in productivity.

‘Our weight loss challenge is always a big hit! Employees, also known as ‘Challengers, compete against one another to see who can lose the greatest percentage of their body weight, says Wendy Leonard, Registered Dietitian and owner of Rhode Island Nutrition Therapy.

The program is tailor-made by a dedicated wellness coordinator who works with the clients to create a customized plan based on goals and requirements. In today’s situation, all wellness activities are being conducted virtually. 

The Corporate Wellness Program comprises several activities and events: live weekly lunch and learn presentations, weekly wellness emails and healthy meal plans with grocery lists, recipes, and nutrition information, a 6-week weight loss challenge with a live kick-off event, and a 9-week live presentation event to keep everyone inspired. A free HIPAA-compliant app allows for tracking of activities, diet, and weight, and a secure chat room allows for energetic sharing of information, tips, and advice with fun.

“Since I have been eating healthier, I feel so much better! I took my dog for a walk and I was ecstatic – no joint pain! Usually, my knees or my hips bother me. This is a testimony as to what you eat does determine how you feel!” said a client.

The Program includes a 90-Day outcomes report to check changes in overall health, energy & employee morale. There are interesting add-ons as well, like one-on-one nutrition counseling, live stress management, smoking cessation classes, or guided meditations. The program concludes with a Challenger Awards Ceremony.

The interested corporate representatives can schedule a free informational call or email Rhode Island Nutrition Therapy.

For more information, please visit:

Media Contact

Company Name: Rhode Island Nutrition Therapy, LLC

Contact Person: Wendy Leonard, MS, RDN, LDN

Email: Send Email

Country: United States



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Odie the Shih-Poo brings happiness and love to his humans – The Star Online

Your Pet Story

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My pet, Odie Valentino, was born on July 7,2013, to a Shih Tzu mum and a Miniature Poodle dad. What an odd combination, you may think, but the Shih-Poo breed is irrefutably considered the cuddliest and most adorable cross breed designer dog in the pet market today.

Described by the breeder as cute, affectionate, friendly, and highly adaptable to condo living, Odie was our obvious choice.

At seven weeks, he was already potty trained and responded to the name we had chosen for him.

Odie Valentino was named after a character in Garfield the comic strip and cartoon show. He is the lovable, yellow-furred, brown-eared Beagle who is Garfield’s best friend (and usual victim).

As we were selecting from a litter of four newborn puppies, Odie stood out for the white mark over his forehead. We observed that he possessed a determined and strong character while sniffling out his new family with pricked ears and earnest wobbly steps.

My late mum christened him with his last name, Valentino, which means strong and healthy. And so our courageous pup became part of a family of four female co-owners of different ages.

So began my new life as a dog person.

Odie is extremely smart and alert, even as a young pup, and it was easy for all of us to train him. Considered to be loyal, loving and affectionate, Odie enjoys the attention and loves being taught new tricks. Just as he is easily trainable, like many small dogs of this breed, he tends to act stubborn at times.

Odie hates the tone of strict and authoritative language and can sometimes ignore the hand that feeds him. But if you ever were to live in a dogs’ world and master the canine tongue, you would be pretty good at understanding what they are saying. You can tell a nervous yip from a menacing growl, a bark that says hello from a bark that says “I cannot find nor reach my ball”. You can read the body language that says happy, sad, tired, scared (especially during a thunderstorm) and finally that which says “please, please, please play with me right now!”.

As a long-haired dog, his fur needs grooming every two months. Otherwise, you can be sure that his mop of fur around his face, button brown eyes, short nose, hanging ears and barrel-shaped torso will make him resemble a fat lamb with tangled fleece. After his main meal, he would definitely demand a fair amount of ball time as part of his daily exercise routine which helps to manage his weight. Then he is a happy pup, dozing on the cool floor or taking in the view from our breezy balcony.

And while Shih-Poos have never functioned as guard dogs, Odie’s vigilance, superior sense of smell and hearing have been effective in alerting the family to the presence of strange faces or noises.

No matter the time of day, our pooch waits in anticipation by the door for the sound of keys and barks away in excitement, as my adult children arrive home from a work day. They are greeted by the most excited tail wagging and pouncing of an energised pooch. Odie’s clockwork sense of timing is so instinctive, and he knows the hurried routines and habits of our combined daily lives.

His love for us grew as did our love for him, and he understands us all. He miraculously knows when you are not feeling good and allows you to smother him with love and snuggles.

Odie is the apple of his family's eye.Odie is the apple of his family’s eye.

After living with us for this long, our pooch has learnt to recognise voice tones and actions that notify him he has done something wrong. Then he will obediently go into his cage without even wanting to come out – till it reaches a point where you start feeling bad for putting him in his place. The children secretly think their dog is the master of reverse psychology and we love every bit of it.

I cannot imagine life without Odie, and just hope the inevitable is not for another few more dog years. That unbridled happiness and unconditional love makes me suffer separation anxiety whenever I take short breaks away from my pet. I really enjoy my quiet alone time with Odie while I watch my favourite TV shows or do my daily reading.

He understands every single word I say, even when I sound illogical.

I firmly believe having a dog has made me a calmer person. The bond between a human and their much-loved pet is able to smoothen out most of what life throws our way.


How Happiness, Anger and Anxiety Can Help You Negotiate – INSEAD Knowledge

Don’t suppress your emotions – harness them to negotiate better.

Will, a marketing manager, was anxious about his upcoming review as he knew that his company was about to cut his department budget once again. During the review, his boss, Felicia, praised him for meeting a number of ambitious targets he had set. However, as the Covid crisis had hit other divisions, compensation had to be slashed across the board. Will was initially angry that he would be paid less despite meeting his own targets. But he managed to keep a happy, upbeat attitude throughout the call, which ended on a positive note: Felicia agreed for Will to contribute 25 percent of his time to the logistics department, a skills-enhancing move he had been hoping for.

Emotions can add value to a negotiation

You might have heard the advice “Separate the people from the problem”, which was pioneered by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 negotiation classic, Getting to Yes. The idea is to set aside any potentially damaging emotions you might have about your counterpart and rather focus on the problem at hand in order to reach an agreement. 

It may sound like great advice, but in practice, it is hard to ignore overpowering emotions. While seasoned negotiators, such as real estate agents, might stay cool after sealing scores of similar deals, most negotiators are bound to be overcome by emotions at some point. After all, the oldest structure in our brains is the centre of emotions.

In fact, emotions may even be critical for decision making. In 1848, Phineas Gage, a railroad construction supervisor, suffered an accident which left him with a large iron rod driven through his head. Although he survived, the rod destroyed much of his left frontal lobe. Gage’s intelligence was left intact, but at least by some accounts, his ability to make decisions was severely limited because he could not process emotions.

Research over the last couple of decades suggests that emotions (expressed or felt) can serve as valuable negotiation aids. Instead of trying to act like a robot, it may be more helpful to recognise – and harness the power of – the emotions experienced during a negotiation. Just like in our scenario above, virtually every negotiator experiences three emotions: happiness, anger and anxiety. Let’s examine them one by one to see the influence they might wield.


Everyone likes to be around happy people, but in a negotiation, displaying happiness might signal that you are more flexible and that, thus, smaller concessions are needed. On the other hand, negotiators who express happiness during a negotiation are perceived as more trustworthy and as having higher integrity than negotiators who remain neutral or display ambivalence and anger, particularly in a competitive context.

Similarly, in a cooperative context, outwardly happy negotiators are seen as more moral and competent than ambivalent ones. When counterparties do not know each other prior to the negotiation, expressing happiness increases your likeability and the willingness of your counterparty to share information in a cooperative scenario.

Since happiness enhances relationship building and the exchange of information, it would be wise to reserve this emotion for the pre-negotiation stage – when parties discuss their interests and generate options– as well as for the post-negotiation stage. To ensure that your counterparty does not misinterpret your signs of happiness as an (excessive) willingness to concede, it is best to appear neutral during the bargaining phase of a negotiation. However, you should also avoid appearing ambivalent as you may be perceived as less moral and competent.


Just like happiness, expressions of anger could have a positive or negative impact on a negotiation. A recent meta-analysis of 64 different studies revealed that showing anger can lead to gains by soliciting concessions from the counterpart. However, the anger must be deeply felt, as staged anger can backfire. Fake displays of anger are associated with increased demands and lesser concessions by the counterpart.

Low-power negotiators are more likely to infer that anger means toughness and to offer concessions to high-power counterparts. High-power negotiators, on the other hand, are less likely to concede to the demands of a low-power counterpart expressing negative emotions. Of course, the gains obtained from displays of anger involve a trade-off: Counterparties subjected to this treatment become unwilling to trust and work in future with the “angry” negotiator.

In practice, real anger might benefit high-power negotiators in a one-off transaction. For the benefit of building trust and safeguarding future interactions, however, parties interested in the continuity of the relationship are advised to leave displays of anger aside.


Anxiety is one of the most pervasive emotions experienced by negotiators, especially as they are about to begin a negotiation. This is unsurprising because negotiations are associated with high uncertainty and a lack of control. While anger often motivates individuals to escalate a conflict, anxiety promotes a “flight” response in some negotiators. Anxious negotiators tend to make lower first offers, respond quicker to offers and exit bargaining situations earlier. Ultimately, they obtain worse outcomes.

Interestingly, anxiety remains mostly harmless for people who believe in their ability to negotiate effectively (what researchers term “high negotiation self-efficacy”). In this case, the stress caused by negotiations results in arousal, which at moderate levels improves performance on difficult tasks that require attention, memory and problem solving.

As such, it is worth trying to reframe negotiations as an exciting challenge – or at least in a more positive light – in order to bring anxiety to more manageable levels. Another coping strategy would be to improve self-efficacy through additional negotiation training.

In our performance review story above, Will encountered all three emotions – anxiety, anger and happiness – during an important conversation with his boss. Anxious about the fate of his job, he channelled his fear into preparing well for the meeting. While he felt angry by the salary cuts despite his own excellent performance, he was ultimately happy to retain his job. With all emotions properly managed, he maintained a great working relationship with his boss, which helped him get his foot in the door of another department.

Alena Komaromi (INSEAD MBA ’12D) is a financial services professional.

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Disney’s Us Again: Happiness Is Ageless – Cast Interview – The Koalition

You’re never too old to follow your dreams to appreciate the life around you. This is the theme of Disney’s Us Again, a vibrant and original new theatrical animated short from director Zach Parrish that brings together dance, music, emotional storytelling and inspired animation.

Set to debut exclusively in theaters worldwide beginning on March 5, playing on the same bill as Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Raya and the Last Dragon, this visual feast is Disney Animation’s first new theatrical short since the 2016 release of Inner Workings, which accompanied Moana.

Scheduled to make its streaming debut in June on Disney , Us Again, which was directed by  Zach Parrish is told entirely without dialogue and set to an original funk and soul musical score telling the story of an elderly couple who have lost their spark in life and are trying rekindle their youthful passion for each other while learning life and begin again at any age.

In celebration of Us Again’s release, Disney held a a press conference with director Zach Parrish, choreographers/dancers Keone and Mari Madrid, and producer Brad Simonsen to learn more about bringing an idea about aging to life.

“Us Again” Short Coming To Disney  In June | What's On Disney Plus

“This idea in particular came from a time in my life when I was kind of struggling with the changes that go along with aging. I was bemoaning my aging body. I’m not a super old person, but I was starting to recognize those changes in myself and it led me to these conversations with my mom where she would always talk about all the great things she was gonna do when she grew up and it really made me stop and realize I kinda had my priorities wrong. I was looking in the wrong direction, and if I’m always looking in the past, then I’m gonna miss the beauty in the now. I’m old by my own definition, and she’s young by hers. And so that idea of youth being a state of mind really got my gears turning and I really thought it’d be fun to do a fountain of youth story,” said Zach.

While Zach knew the story wanted to tell, music was just as important to crafting the story that’s told entirely without dialogue. Instead of words, music not only helps move that story along but defines a characters personality while helping to express emotions.

“As we started the process, Zach knew the foundation of this had to be the music. [The] choreography and music were the foundation of the short and Tom McDougal who is head of music at Disney Animation brought in Pinar Toprak, who did the score [for] Captain Marvel. What we didn’t know it at the time was although Pinar’s amazing at doing scores, she loves funk. So for this [vision] was always to have a funk soul, old and now feeling, and she brought it. She was such an incredible collaborator. And normally you wait and do the score at the end of the movie, and you have temp music in, but we knew that we needed the actual score. So, Pinar was challenged to make a song for the movie without really having the movie yet. She had a very rough pass of what was not the final movie, and she was creating that. We were sharing along the way to make sure we were all on the same path. Once they got the final music and had boards, it actually went really fast because we had been working for so long together,” said Brad.

When it came to using dance as a medium, “We looked at all kinds of reference. I’m a huge animation nerd, I’m a huge film nerd, and so we looked at all kinds of reference. And there’s a long history at Disney of using

dance as a medium to express story going back to Mickey shorts, we even got to attend an event  at the Academy Theater that was about eccentric dance and animation and their intersection and so go we looked at a lot of that stuff. I also looked at a lot of Fantasia reference because it’s amazing the storytelling that they did in those short films without dialogue, driven mostly by music and movement,” said Zach.

Disney is Set to Premiere Its First Animated Short in Half a Decade! -  AllEars.Net

“So I was thinking of this idea for the film and knowing that I wanted to do the entire thing through dance. It sparked this memory of this video that I saw, this incredible couple online, it was to Bob Marley’s This is Love and they were dancing as an old couple. It was perfect because as an animator, I’m very familiar with pose to pose animation and their style of dance had this perfect animation to it but also they have this incredible ability to tell stories with the way that they dance. And all dance is storytelling, but theirs was so deep, and so emotional, and the connection between them was so visceral that it felt perfect for this film. And from the very beginning, even when I was pitching the idea of the short, I was actually using examples of Keone and Mari as this is what I would love for it to look like,” said Zach.

Set in a vibrant city surrounded by constant rhythm and movement, Us Again tells the story of an elderly man and his beautiful wife who rekindle their passion for life and each other on one magical night. Lovers of dance, their style is an expression of the love and the elderly man’s mental state as he sees the changes in his now aging body.

For choreographers Keone and Mari, they were excited at the offer to work with Disney Animation. Known for choreographing for Justin Bieber, BTS, and Billie Eilish, they have been Disney fans for years and considered this a dream come true. Us Again was the first project that allowed them to participate in telling a story through dance.

“For us we’ve been dancing for so long and choreographing. The one thing we’re so passionate about is story, and just  the marriage of the project was just instantaneous as soon as we heard what the ideas were, we’ve been trying to tell stories through dance our entire careers. We find that’s where Disney’s power in animation or in storytelling is. Developing the characters and finding out how they would move, all of those things were so important to us, where usually projects are, like, ‘okay, just choreograph to this set of music, and then give it to the artist and that’s it.’ But we usually don’t get to use the other half of what we love to do, which is tell stories. I think being a married couple, we can relate ourselves to what they’re going through,” said Keone.

Disney is going back to shorts: How to see the short film 'Us Again' – Film  Daily

At its core, Us Again is about never taking the people around you for granted because just like life, time is fleeting.

“We’re living through a moment in time when that’s something that we shouldn’t take for granted. We really should love who we’re with and-and tell them that and care for them and enjoy the moment that we have. The idea for the short was always something I struggle with, and it shows up a little bit in Puddles, my previous short. But it’s about taking time to focus on what’s truly important, and what’s around you and what makes your life beautiful,” said Zach.

“I think many people think it’s about being okay with aging and sure, that’s a part of it too. But the core of the idea is less about about age and it’s more about any age not focusing on things that are holding you back. Not focusing on the past. Not focusing on anything that’s distracting you from the beauty that is the world around you. And appreciating those who are on that journey with you and make your life beautiful. That’s really where Dot’s character really comes into play is that she’s encouraging Art to see that, but she’s also that person who carries so much of the beauty of his world for him, and hopefully, all ages can take that away, and if nothing else, they just love to dance,” Zach concluded.

To learn more about Us Again, check out the full press conference in the video above.


Feeling Workplace Burnout? 5 Ways to Increase Happiness While You Work –

woman standing desk

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February 28, 2021 — 17: 04 PM

On a scale of 1-10, how happy do you feel while working? I am not talking about job satisfaction; I mean how many pleasant emotions are you feeling each day? (Emotions such as excitement, calm, amusement, and joy.) It’s not realistic to feel pleasant emotions all day every day, but the goal is to feel more pleasant than unpleasant—and certainly more pleasant that painful emotions. (At work, “painful emotions” can include anger, fear, chronic stress, and so on.) My goal is to give you five powerful, proven tools to increase and sustain happiness while working.

The lines between home and work life have never been more blurred and a lot of the “work perks” are on pause at the moment. Not to mention, human connection is the number one predictor of happiness and we are missing the spontaneous water cooler chats, lunches, and even walks or happy hours after work.

So what can you do to combat work burnout and stress—especially during these trying times? Here, some solutions.

Create something in your organization that helps others.

Harvard’s Annie McKee, PhD, wrote the book, How to Be Happy at Work: The Power Of Purpose, Hope And Friendship, and in it she states, “Keep your eyes open for opportunities to join a group that is trying to solve a problem.”

In every organization there are challenges and frustrations that people face. You can look for ideas that will help your boss, your colleagues, another team, or your customers. When you create a new process, product, or system that is helpful, you will feel pride and gratitude and grow your relationships.

Use your top three strengths at work daily.

Do you know your top three strengths? It’s important to take a thoughtful look at yourself and your work habits, so you can identify the things that set you apart—and bring you joy. These are your strengths. (You can take the free strengths finder survey here.)

Once you know your strengths, brainstorm with your boss, colleagues, and friends on how you can truly use them on a regular basis. This could mean taking on a new responsibility or joining a committee that truly aligns with who you are. Using your strengths at work will make you happier, more engaged, and more productive!

Put Mother Nature in your daily calendar.

It is much easier to stay inside all day while you are working from home. There are great home workouts and technology conveniences that allow us to go from sleep, to eating, to work, to relaxation, and then back to sleep. But there are numerous benefits of prioritizing time outside during your workday to both your psychological well-being and emotional well-being. One study proved that nature walks, and other outdoor activities build attention and focus.

I suggest blocking time off in your calendar to make sure this happens. Ideas include a morning run or bike ride before you start your day, having a walking meetings (especially useful if the meeting is a call!), a gardening break, lunch hike, or stretching or reading outside before dinner.

Nature helps in emotional regulation, improves memory, reduces stress, and can make us more creative! A moment of insight may come when you step away from your electronics and step outside. 

Create a personal vision for your career—a guiding light to inspire you.

Visioning can be extremely powerful when you connect to your future goals and visualize the challenges and successes that you will have along the way. When you create a personal career vision that is meaningful to you, you will be connected to the journey and motivated to keep taking actions daily.

Your vision is a “picture” of what you aspire to, and what inspires you, in your work life. They key to staying motivated toward your vision is breaking down your big, long-term goals into small steps and putting those in your calendar. According to the neuroscience of motivation, each time you complete a small step, you will get a shot of dopamine in the brain, and that motivates to keep working towards your personal vision.

Connect with friends and colleagues daily to laugh, share, and grow together.

Gallup’s research has repeatedly shown a concrete link between having a best friend at work and the amount of effort employees expend in their job. Friendships at work really matter! Set up time on your morning or lunch breaks to chat, joke, and catch up with the people that you are close to in your organization. Share what is going on in your personal life, practice whole-being listening for them, and make friendship a priority while you are working. You can set up interactive zoom games, share humorous stories, and help each other achieve both professional and personal goals. 

Remember that you can feel really happy while working! Just like everything in life, it takes effort, and consistent reflection. I hope these five tips were helpful for you. Share them with a friend or colleague who could use some more joy while working.


Brahmachari Hanuman showed the way for family unity, happiness: Vijay Mehta – Avenue Mail

MYM Steel City organizes programme on ideal family concepts of Shri Hanuman

Mail News Service

Jamshedpur, Feb 27: Marwari Yuva Manch (MYM) Steel city unit organized a programme on Brahmachari (celibate) Hanuman Who however laid down certain norms to ensure unity, peace, happiness and prosperity in a family.

The programme, organized at the Michael John Auditorium in Bistupur on Saturday evening was jointly inaugurated by popular narrator Pandit Vijay Shankar Mehta, chief guest and legislator Saryu Roy, special guest Arun Bankrewal, Ashok Bhalotia, Krishna Agrawal and MYM Steel City president Vishnu Goyal.

In the course of his two hour long narration, Pandit Vijay Shankar Mehta explained that although Shri Hanuman was a celibate, his guidelines for a united and contented household continued to be applicable through time. Pandit Mehta stated that Hanuman was considered a scientist too. “We should take inspiration from Shri Hanuman. Nowhere else in the world is as unique a family bonding example as in India. God has to be at the centre of a family and every member has to remain in its realms. This is the mantra for a united family that will never break. The best way to bond with Shri Hanuman is through constant reading of Hanuman Chalisa,” Pandit Vijay Shankar Mehta stated in his elaboration.

In his two hour narration Pandit Mehta elaborated on Shri Hanuman’s life and citing examples explained the importance of spirituality and meditation to ensure perennial bonding of families and relations.

All guests were welcomed with saplings and scarves and presented scrolls of honour. People from other cities also attended the programme. In view of COVID-19 strictures, entry was through passes to maintain social distancing.

The success of the programme at short notice was attributed to the united organizational work of the MYM Steel City branch members, stated secretary Prashant Agrawal.  Joint conveners Mohit Shah and Asish Khanna said that post Corona period people had developed a religious bent of mind leading to particular importance of family ties. “This is another reason for organizing this talk,” they said.

The MYM Steel City team of organizers for Saturday’s event included branch president Vishnu Goyal, secretary Prashant Agrawal, conveners Mohit Shah and Asish Khanna, media in-charge Sumit Debuka and other members of the organization.

Even God in human avatar takes preventive measures

During his elucidation of Sri Hanuman’s life, Pandit Vijay Shankar Mehta urged people to adopt preventive measures against coronavirus. He said, “Don’t run after fashion. You have to exercise caution for this virus is showing traces of reemergence. Aligning oneself with God gives provides immunity.” Citing an example, he said, “Even when God takes the form of a human avatar, He exercises caution. Lord Shri Krishna defeated demon king Jarasandh on 17 occasions. But on the 18th occasion, seeing Jarasandh’s army, Shri Krishna fled. That is why the Lord is also known as Ranchhor Das (battlefield deserter). The Lord took protection to prevent disaster.”

My bonding with Pandit Vijay Shankar Mehta is very old: Saryu Roy

Chief guest on the occasion, Jamshedpur East legislator said, “My bonding with Pandit Vijay Shankar Mehta is very old. He is an authority on religious scriptures and projects the relevance of ancient spiritual concepts in modern times. Moreover, his respect for time is exemplified in his punctuality.” Roy also lauded the efforts of the MYM Steel City for hosting the event which he described as timely.

Special guests Arun Bankrewal, Ashok Bhalotia and Krishna Agrawal were full of appreciation for MYM Steel City branch members for their dedicated work for the uplift of the lower segment of society.


PODCAST: What you should be doing now to live happier and healthier post-pandemic – KCRA Sacramento

It’s time to get ready for life post-pandemic. Seriously, it’s going to end. Someday. And, it’s time to start preparing ourselves, both physically and emotionally, for life on the other side. Dr. John Whyte, the chief medical officer for WebMD, says transitioning to a maskless world where you can actually hug your friends may not be as easy as you think. He, and other medical professionals, worry about the mental beating our brains have taken over the last year. And he says we all need to prepare ourselves and our families for some PTSD upon re-entry to “normal.” Whyte has three-step plan of things we can do now to be ready to truly enjoy the freedom of life post-pandemic. In the last 20 years, Whyte has gained a reputation for being as good a medical storyteller as he is a doctor. He spent 10 years at the Discovery Channel as the chief medical expert and traveled the world seeing how diseases affected people in different countries. He’s also worked in government as the director of Professional Affairs for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Now he’s at WebMD because he thinks there’s nothing wrong with diagnosing yourself as long as you get a second opinion from someone who went to medical school. On this Dying to Ask: Three things to do right now to be ready to live happier and healthier post-pandemicThe WebMD search that we’re looking at seven times more than we used to before social distancing became a thingThe question he asks patients knowing they’ve been googling their symptomsAnd who hooked Whyte up with his first TV gigOther places to listen:CLICK HERE to listen on iTunesCLICK HERE to listen on Stitcher


It’s time to get ready for life post-pandemic. Seriously, it’s going to end. Someday.

And, it’s time to start preparing ourselves, both physically and emotionally, for life on the other side.

Dr. John Whyte, the chief medical officer for WebMD, says transitioning to a maskless world where you can actually hug your friends may not be as easy as you think.

He, and other medical professionals, worry about the mental beating our brains have taken over the last year. And he says we all need to prepare ourselves and our families for some PTSD upon re-entry to “normal.”

Whyte has three-step plan of things we can do now to be ready to truly enjoy the freedom of life post-pandemic.

In the last 20 years, Whyte has gained a reputation for being as good a medical storyteller as he is a doctor. He spent 10 years at the Discovery Channel as the chief medical expert and traveled the world seeing how diseases affected people in different countries.

He’s also worked in government as the director of Professional Affairs for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Now he’s at WebMD because he thinks there’s nothing wrong with diagnosing yourself as long as you get a second opinion from someone who went to medical school.

On this Dying to Ask:

  • Three things to do right now to be ready to live happier and healthier post-pandemic
  • The WebMD search that we’re looking at seven times more than we used to before social distancing became a thing
  • The question he asks patients knowing they’ve been googling their symptoms
  • And who hooked Whyte up with his first TV gig

Other places to listen:

CLICK HERE to listen on iTunes

CLICK HERE to listen on Stitcher


‘Happiness Vehicle’ allows Purim celebrations to continue during COVID – Israel Hayom

‘Happiness Vehicle’ allows Purim celebrations to continue during COVID  Israel Hayom


How To Be Happy: Turia Pitt’s one-word happiness trick – New Zealand Herald

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3 minutes to read

Turia Pitt has revealed her secrets to happiness. Photo / Instagram

In 2011 Turia Pitt’s life changed forever when she was caught in a bushfire while competing in an ultra-marathon.

The mining engineer suffered burns to 65 per cent of her body and wasn’t expected to survive her injuries.

But despite the odds Turia recovered and has since flourished becoming a best-selling author, motivational speaker and mum of two.

In’s new podcast How To Be Happy, Turia tells host, journalist and former editor-in-chief Kate de Brito about the surprising reason he is happier now than she was before the burns incident.

“I think the Turia from 10 years ago, it’s not like I was unhappy because I was a happy person, but I was very much focused on what I didn’t have in my life,” she said.

Turia Pitt's life changed forever when she was caught in a bushfire in 2011. Photo / Instagram
Turia Pitt’s life changed forever when she was caught in a bushfire in 2011. Photo / Instagram

“I was focused on what wasn’t going good for me.”

Turia said being caught in the fire taught her “to be grateful for my life as it is now”, which she admits can sound counterintuitive at first if you’re ambitious.

“Whenever we’re focusing on what we’re grateful for in our lives we’re focusing on the positives and I think that helps us to build a more positive mindset,” she said.

In her new book, Happy (and other ridiculous aspirations), Turia explains her GSA method to being happier: gratitude, savouring and anticipation.

“Savouring is about I guess being mindful in the moment that you’re in and trying not to get caught up in massive to-do lists and the laundry and all the work you’ve got to do … just enjoy the present moment and savouring in it and relishing in it,” she said.

Turia with her now husband Michael before the bushfire incident. Photo / Supplied
Turia with her now husband Michael before the bushfire incident. Photo / Supplied

But what about when the present is not so good? Well, Turia believes the bad shouldn’t be skipped over.

It’s much more gratifying to instead drop the “bullst facade that everything is OK” and acknowledge what is happening, she said.

“If the moment isn’t pleasant I would probably recommend that you don’t try and savour and relish and extenuate that moment,” she said.

“But I also think if you’re having a bad day, whether that’s a flat tyre or going through this coronavirus pandemic that a lot of us are facing right now, if you’re having a bad day there’s a real power in just accepting it and acknowledging it and saying it’s actually a really crap day.”

Turia’s other happiness tips include:

It’s not always going to be lattes and laughter at work: Remember that not all aspects of your job, especially when you’re working towards a bigger goal, are going to be great all the time.

Today Turia is a mother to two boys, Rahiti and Hakavai, and is also a best-selling author and motivational coach. Photo / Instagram
Today Turia is a mother to two boys, Rahiti and Hakavai, and is also a best-selling author and motivational coach. Photo / Instagram

“I’m sure even Beyonce has to eat some kind of st sandwiches that she doesn’t necessarily froth on, I think we all do,” Turia said.

“It’s just about how many st sandwiches are you willing to eat to get to where you want to be.”

Your tribe will impact your vibe: “I think if you’re spending time with people that make you feel like st and like crap then they’re probably not the best people to be spending time with,” Turia said.

“And I think conversely if you spend time with people who make you feel good about being the person that you are and that accept you for who you are, I think you’re going to feel a lot better about yourself.”


Ethics and Religion Talk: What is the different between Happiness and Joy? – The Rapidian

Janet H. asks, “The recent column on happiness/unhappiness prompts a further question: Is it happiness humans need, or is it joy? Happiness is fleeting, episodic, emotional.  Joy on the other hand is an internal baseline which can coexist with sadness, disappointment and struggle. Joy is a spiritual condition, a sustaining sense that at the end of the day, all will be well.”

The Rev. Sandra Nikkel, head pastor of Conklin Reformed Church, responds:

“You’re right in saying that happiness is fleeting and that joy can coexist with sadness, disappointment, and struggle. Differentiating between the two can stop the frantic pursuit of things that people are seeking today–thinking they will bring them happiness–but, fame, Money, drugs, alcohol, and power bring only fleeting happiness. Joy, on the other hand, will stay no matter the circumstances. The caveat is to understand where joy comes from. Joy comes from cultivating a relationship with Jesus Christ who gave his life so that we could enjoy all the benefits of the salvation he gives–which includes joy. He is the source of joy that never runs out!”

The Reverend Colleen Squires, minister at All Souls Community Church of West Michigan, a Unitarian Universalist Congregation, responds:

“To fully understand the breath of life people need to experience many feelings. I understand joy and happiness are different emotions, but both are part of the human experience. I believe if we are able to drill down to the root of our feelings, responses or reactions at the core is either Love or Fear. That all emotions have Love or Fear at their root.”

Linda Knieriemen, Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Holland, responds:

“A life of no joy and no happiness has no appeal. Humans need to be able to access both, but joy is the more necessary for human flourishing and contentment because happiness is fleeting and dependent on circumstances.

“This song by the Medical Mission Sisters comes to mind:

I saw raindrops on my window, joy is like the rain.

Laughter runs across my pane, slips away and comes again.

Joy is like the rain.

I saw Christ in wind and thunder, joy is tried by storm.

Christ asleep within my boat, whipped by wind, yet still afloat.

Joy is tried by storm.”

Fred Stella, the Pracharak (Outreach Minister) for the West Michigan Hindu Temple, responds:

“The reader hits upon a very important point. Hinduism acknowledges that in this world of relativity we cannot experience A without experiencing B. In Chapter VII of the Bhagavad Gita it states:

‘By passion for the pairs of opposites, By those twain snares of Like and Dislike, Prince! All creatures live bewildered, save some few; Who, quit of sins, holy in act, informed, freed from the opposites, and fixed in faith, Cleave unto Me.’

“The word ‘Ananda’ in Sanskrit indicates a sense of joy that has no opposite. While we are in the body we are likely to go through life events that are both happy and sad. But to those who have cultivated Ananda through spiritual practices are able have it run like an undercurrent in their consciousness. To attain this exalted state is no easy feat. For those who do, it is not surprising to see them shed great tears of compassion for suffering humanity. Yet the conviction that all pain is temporary allows them to maintain their bliss.”

The Rev. Steven Manskar, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids, responds:

“I think humans need both happiness and joy. One of the founding documents of this nation, The Declaration of Independence, states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Certainly, God desires happiness for all people. It is the fruit of freedom.

“Joy, on the other hand, is a fruit of faith. The Apostle Paul believed joy is a “fruit of the Spirit” along with love, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are habitual characteristics or temperaments born of faith in God. They reflect God’s character. 

“Joy is a form of happiness that is grounded in faith that is more than belief in God. Joy comes when faith is a vital relationship with God. It is confidence in God’s love and forgiveness. Joy becomes part of you as you cooperate with God’s working in you to repair and heal the damage sin has done to the image of God. 

“Joy is accompanied by hope. It is confidence that God is actively working to bring shalom to all people and creation. And that you are included in what God is up to in the world. 

“Happiness is comes from joy. Without joy, there can be no true happiness. Joy and happiness come when we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind; and love who and what God loves. “

This column answers questions of Ethics and Religion by submitting them to a multi-faith panel of spiritual leaders in the Grand Rapids area. We’d love to hear about the ordinary ethical questions that come up in the course of your day as well as any questions of religion that you’ve wondered about. Tell us how you resolved an ethical dilemma and see how members of the Ethics and Religion Talk panel would have handled the same situation. Please send your questions to [email protected].

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