Meatless Monday’s BFF — DeStress Monday
Originally posted for Huffington Post on 3/20/2017
You know, I could totally love Mondays (like I ever thought I’d say that). Maybe it’s because I’m coming off three days of bliss at World Happiness Summit . Maybe it’s because today’s the International Day of Happiness, Maybe it’s because the Monday Campaigns — the same folks who brought you Meatless Monday — have launched DeStress Monday.
Meatless Monday and DeStress Monday play well together. Stress is a killer — and not just a buzz kill. It beats down our immune systems, never a good thing and now it’s cold and flu season. Happiness is just as contagious as the flu, and a lot more fun. It can be your secret weapon, and today’s the best day of the week to deploy it. Each Monday lets you start each week fresh, energized, with new positive intentions. Starting the week with an up frame of mind not only puts you in a better mood, it contributes to better health, reducing blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease. You sleep better, you eat better. Which brings us to Meatless Monday. A produce-rich diet is another secret weapon linked to lower blood pressure and risk of heart disease. It’s also proven to reduce your cholesterol and your risk of everything nasty from cancer to diabetes even while it increases your risk of happiness.
These days, you can’t avoid stress. But DeStress Monday helps you manage it with techniques “to refresh your mind,” says Monday Campaign President Peggy Neu. There’s audio meditations (including some led by Neu herself — a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, by the way), yoga videos and infographics that change up your energy and makes you smile. In honor of International Day of Happiness, DeStress Monday’s spreading happiness with Happy New Week cards. Designed and developed with pros at NYU Langone and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the program, the cards and the happiness are all free.
The World Happiness Report ranks countries on overall happiness, using a metric of
- GDP per capita
- social support
- healthy life expectancy
- freedom to make life choices
In the findings for 2017, just released today, America came in #19 among nations for overall happiness, and down six rankings from 2016 — not so happy. We also came in dead last when it comes to the amount of time we spend in the kitchen and at the table. You can’t tell me there’s not a connection.