Redefining the Happiness Baseline
I believed I was on a quest for happiness. My search was both rigorous and exhaustive. I scaled mountains, explored ocean depths, spilled poetry from my gut, rambled to anyone with the patience to listen, and devoured pages upon pages of text. What I’ve found was the futility in the pursuit of happiness as a quest to some specific end. Happiness is not a tangible thing with a clear distinct form, there is no beginning nor end. It is a state of being; defined as good fortune, pleasure, contentment. A state of being that’s been grossly redefined with an elevated baseline comprised of higher expectations of abundance in the tangible and intangible, all whilst maintaining such indefinitely.

Read further.

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Lifting Weights Eases Anxiety and Depression
Wellness. At the beginning of the year, when I was coming out of a rough experience with obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression, I decided to switch from running regularly to lifting weights. This was despite mountains of evidence pointing to the benefits of aerobic exercise for mental health.

Outside Magazine contributor Brad Stulberg has become a strong voice and advocate for mental wellness. In this piece he speaks to the impact strength training had on helping him with his anxiety and depression and cites some new studies that support his personal experience. 

"In addition, she says, weight training helps you learn to “endure the physical and emotional discomfort” that comes with pushing hard, which Hopkins says is actually congruent with the goals of clinical approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy."

Take A Walk in the Woods
Wellness & Nature. Forest bathing, or immersing yourself in nature, is being embraced by doctors and others as a way to combat stress and improve health.

The Japanese tradition of shinrin-yoku is gaining traction in the States. The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy offers certification to become forest therapy guides. Bottom-line: Nature is good for you so get out on your own or with a guide that can improve your engagement with nature.

Lewis Pugh is Swimming the English Channel to Raise Awareness for Ocean Pollution
Adventure & Environmentalism. Pugh is the world’s preeminent cold-water and long-distance swimmer and an endurance athlete who has set or broken dozens of records, and he’s been training in these waters [off the coast of South Africa near Cape Town] for his next big expedition.

Pugh left July 12th. He plans to swim six miles a day for 50 days to cover 350 miles. He swims to bring awareness of the poor state of our oceans and makes a plea for governments to set aside marine reserves. You can follow his progress via his twitter account:

Midlife Fitness Lowers Risk of Depression
Wellness & Science. Men and women who are more physically fit at midlife have a lower risk of depression and cardiovascular mortality after a diagnosis of depression in later life, suggesting that fitness is an important part of a primary preventive strategy for cardiovascular disease and depression across the lifespan.

Doing, Being, and the Great In-Between
Wellness. We all want our lives to have meaning—but sometimes we’re unsure what that is. This question of meaning has many significant threads: it’s a question that touches upon our sense of identity and worthiness, and asks us to explore what we’re committed to in this life. George Eliot once wrote, “It seems to me that we can never give up longing and wishing while we are alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good and we must hunger for them.”

Why You Should Stop Being So Hard on Yourself
Wellness. Self-criticism can take a toll on our minds and bodies. It’s time to ease up.

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