Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Halloween Cookies

Australia is very slowly embracing halloween.  I remember being about 8 years old, cutting two holes in an old sheet, smearing my mother’s blue eye shadow all over my face and traipsing over to my neighbour’s house, plastic bag in hand, shouting “trick-or-treat” at the top of my lungs.  After my mother spending about 15 minutes attempting to explain the concept of halloween to my elderly neighbours, they finally relented, but sadly all they had were some apples and a bag of prunes.  Not the magical haul of chocolate and lollies my 8 year old imagination had been dreaming of.


`These days it’s different – halloween is catching on… I decided to yet again embrace halloween (I might even destroy another perfectly good bed sheet to make a new ghost costume).


I saw this pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe on The Butter Half Blog, and had to give it a whirl!!  In Australia, pumpkin usually is for savoury purposes….but I can certainly get on board with pumpkin flavoured desserts!!

The only change I had to make was the tinned pumpkin.  In Australia, it’s really difficult to find canned pumpkin….instead I bought a butternut pumpkin and cooked and pureed it (which didn’t take long at all – just allow time for the pumpkin puree to cool before you start).


  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (or pureed cooked butternut pumpkin)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix together the pumpkin, sugar, butter, sour cream, egg and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt to one cup of flour. Add it into the wet mixture, thoroughly mix, then add in the remaining cup of flour. Pour in the chocolate chips until everything is well mixed.

3. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to drop a small mound of dough (about the size of a golf ball) on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes on 375°F. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then serve warm.pumpkin-3-copy


They’re pumpkiny….chocolatey…. what more could you want!?  Do you love halloween?  Who has a costume idea that’s not a sheet with two holes in it!?

Do you have a growth mindset?

Do you have a growth mindset?  Have you ever convinced yourself that “I’m just not a maths person,” or “I’m no good at learning languages”? Have you ever given up on a problem because you feel you’re just not smart enough to finish it??  This may have due to your mindset around your ability to change and grow.

Carol Dweck’s mindset theory is about how people implicitly attribute the causes of their intelligence and other factors.  Our mindset is often shaped through how we are praised and rewarded during childhood.

With a growth mindset comes the belief that basic qualities and abilities can be developed through hard work, effort and dedication (“if I work hard, I can succeed at this,” “if I put in more effort next time, I could get a better outcome”).  A growth mindset is linked with receiving praise or feedback for your effort, progress or strategy on a task, as opposed to receiving praise for intelligence or being talented.   As a result, those with a growth mindset are more resilient in the face of setbacks and see setbacks as learning experiences.   They are more motivated, they seek out learning opportunities and perceive effortful or difficult tasks as making them feel capable or smart.

In contrast, a fixed mindset, is the belief that traits and abilities such as intelligence, personality, talent or particular skills are fixed traits which we can’t change (“I was never a numbers person”, “I wasn’t born smart” etc).  A fixed mindset is associated with being praised for outcomes (winning or losing!) or being praised as intelligent or talented.   As a result, those with a fixed mindset may avoid challenges, and may feel incapable when a difficult task requiring effort comes along, as they fear that failure is a reflection of their character, and may reveal they’re not intelligent or talented.  Those with a fixed mindset are less likely to show resilience and perseverance in the face of setbacks and will show decreased motivation for difficult tasks.  Children with a fixed mindset may also show increased distractibility in the classroom, and will try and validate their intelligence through performance.

Do you want to learn more about how a fixed or growth mindset can be developed in children?  Click here to watch a fantastic video!!

How can you develop more of a growth mindset?  Try these simple tips.

  1.  Reflect on a time you’ve had a positive outcome on a work task, assignment or other important goal.  What was it that you did that helped you to succeed?  How much time did you spend preparing or practising?  What was the strategy you chose which helped you achieve your goal?
  2.  Next time you set yourself a goal around achieving a particular outcome, also set yourself a learning goal.  Despite the outcome of the goal, what could you learn through the process of striving to achieve your goal?  For example, if I had a goal of successfully delivering a presentation at work, I could set concurrent learning goals such as developing my knowledge in the presentation topic, developing my confidence in public speaking, and developing my skills in leading a project.
  3. Reframe your failures as “learning opportunities.”  Consider a time you didn’t achieve the outcome you set out to achieve.  What did you learn from this failure?  What were the skills or learnings you gained whilst working on the process of the goal?
  4. Are you finding the thought of a difficult task daunting?  Set yourself small but achievable goals, and break the larger task down into smaller more manageable chunks.  Do you need more knowledge or information before you start the task?  Set this as your first goal!  When you achieve this, spend time reflecting on the learnings you gained.
  5. Have realistic expectations around the time and effort needed to learn a new skill or accomplish a task.  Learning something new takes time – be sure to reward yourself for the effort you’re putting in along the way, and remember to keep your focus on the learnings you’re gaining along the way, rather than a win or lose outcome!!

Would you try these tips?  Is your mindset a growth mindset?


  1. Dweck, C. S. (2012). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Constable & Robinson Limited.

Funfetti Cupcakes

Nothing spells party time like sprinkles!!  Little Dash turned two this weekend, so it was time for some serious baked goods!!  Whilst it’s well known that the key to an excellent children’s party is ample amounts of wine for the adults, these funfetti cupcakes were a hit!!  Thankfully there weren’t many of these left over after the party, or I most likely would have eaten all of them!!

Funfetti cupcakes

I used this recipe from Crazy Crust….the cakes themselves were perfect….with the addition of buttermilk, they were seriously delicious!!  They’re sugary….they’re buttery….they’re delicious!!


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 125 grams butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (or combine 3/4 cup milk + 1 teaspoon white vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup Sprinkles


  • 250 grams butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Additional Sprinkles, for decorating


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line cupcake tins with liners (makes 15).
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Add melted butter to a large bowl and mix in sugar with a hand mixer for 30 seconds, until thick and yellow. Add eggs one at at time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
  4. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Don’t over mix! Stir in sprinkles. Divide batter among liners, filling 2/3 full (about 1/4 cup of batter per cupcake). Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. (Mine took less than 20, so check at 15!) Cool completely before frosting.
  5. To make the frosting: Beat butter until creamy. Beat in salt and 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time until it’s all added. Beat in vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream. Add more cream as needed for desired consistency.
  6. Frost cupcakes by placing frosting in a pastry bag. I like the 1M tip, it gives pretty swirls. Add sprinkles for fun!
  7. Note: you can make the frosting the day before, but let it come to room temperature before using.


Dash can’t stop saying “good birthday” and it’s too adorable!!  I’m sure these delightful cakes had something to do with it!!

Do you have a shopping ADDICTION? How to beat it!!

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Is your Visa bill bigger than your savings account? Do you continuously find yourself eating two minute noodles until your next pay cheque comes and you can afford to live large again? Then this post is for you!!

Fear not, you are not alone! One in 12 Australians report compulsive shopping, also known as Oniomania (Intill, 2004).   Research also shows that women are more often affected than men. Oniomania is often a response to feelings of sadness, depression, low self esteem, loneliness or anger. As we feel worse, our urge to spend increases. Have you found that post shopping binge, those same feelings return? Whilst spending may relieve painful emotions short term, the job of shopping is a temporary fix only. Those negative feelings often return, intensified….especially when this is coupled with a large credit card bill or poor financial choices.

Why is purchasing such a pleasurable experience? Why do some people have more trouble controlling the urge to purchase than others? Biological components are also at play.

Dr Joshua Buckholtz (2011) showed that people with high concentrations of the neurotransmitter Dopamine were more likely to engage in compulsive behaviour, such as overspending and even behaviours such as gambling and drug use. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter present in all healthy brains, is associated with “reward” and high levels may cause individuals to seek reinforcement through negative behaviours. The implications of this are that compulsive spenders may also engage in other compulsive behaviours such as overeating or risky.

How is shopping addiction treated?

Psychological treatment focuses on helping people with shopping addictions to change their behaviour patterns. This involves looking at the underlying feelings or thoughts that drive the spending, and then helping to address and change those thoughts and feelings. Treatment may also involve helping to replace shopping with more positive behaviours and building alternative coping strategies.

Anti-depressant medication may also be utilised if compulsive shopping stems from underlying depression. Some anti-depressants may also assist in reduce impulsivity, which also may be a factor underlying compulsive shopping.

Could changing the way you spend your money be a useful strategy? Can you get more bang for your buck!?

Money doesn’t always buy happiness, so they say! (Although, I wouldn’t know, having not yet experienced the money part of the equation….). Dunn, Aitkin and Norton (2008) posit that the way we spend our money may be at least as important as how much we earn.

In a study by Dunn, Gilbert and Wilson (2011), the authors outlined several key concepts which underlie why spending doesn’t always bring happiness and provided some key learnings to help us get more “value” from our money.

1)   Purchasing of experiences brings more happiness than the purchasing of material goods. Think about the happiest moments you’ve experiences in the past year…. Did they include “that time you bought that fabulous $200 sweater you wore once, then shortly ruined after misreading the dry clean only tag!?” or were they the memories you shared with friends… An overseas trip, seeing an amazing live band or learning to scuba dive…

2) Many small pleasures trump excessive large ones – savouring a small piece of chocolate is often far more satisfying than gorging on the whole box. A special treat like a good coffee, a delicious cupcake, a massage or a night out will bring you far more satisfaction than a whole box of cupcakes or having a night out every night of the week. One new handbag will probably bring you more happiness than 10 new handbags.

3) Delay consumption!! The anticipation of a new purchase makes it all the more exciting. As adults, no one tells us what we can and can’t have. Without setting our own limits, it’s easy to fall into an “I want it all, now!” trap.   By delaying purchases, we are better able to consider the value of that purchase and are more likely to make a wiser choice. It also means that when we do make a purchase, that it’s all the more satisfying!

4) Using money to benefit others brings us more happiness than using the money to benefit ourselves. Dunn, Aitkin and Norton (2008) conducted a study where people were randomly assigned to spend money on either themselves or others. Participants assigned to spend money on others experienced greater happiness than those assigned to spend on themselves.

Ok great….so spending differently might help but what can I do to reduce my spending entirely?

1)   Set yourself a goal – examples may include saving a small amount each week for a special purchase, such as a holiday, without using credit card or savings. The more meaningful you make this goal, the more likely you are to stick with it. Just remember to make this goal realistic and attainable!! A small success will encourage you to set bigger goals.

2)   Delay consumption! Next time you have a sudden urge to purchase a fabulous new bag or delightful pair of shoes, stop and reflect. Often once we take away the emotion from the purchase, we realise we never needed it that much in the first place. Try waiting 24 hours before you go back to the store/website

3) Unsubscribe from shopping related mailing lists and newsletters. Each day my inbox is flooded with emails about various sales, new products, fantastic deals etc…. Try removing yourself from online shopping mailing lists. Unsubscribe/stop viewing “consumer blogs” such as fashion blogs. If there are certain blogs which influence you to spend, try and avoid these pages. Consumer blogs often project an ideal picture of what it’s like to “have it all.”  Bloggers may seem to have a new outfit every day, but stop and reflect – they’re probably a) given these items from sponsors, or b) live out of their car so they can afford shiny things. If you also find magazines are also motivating you to spend, trying eliminating these for a while and replacing them with reading a novel or interesting article instead.

5) Avoid spending time in shopping centres/malls! If you don’t see it, you won’t be tempted to buy it!!

5) When the urge strikes, engage in exercise instead. A short walk or trip to the gym can help us to disconnect from the urge to spend.

6) Examine the underlying thoughts that are driving you to spend. Are you shopping to deal with feelings of depression and anxiety? Are you lonely or bored? Are you trying to boost your self esteem through material goods? Once you understand the underlying motivation behind your spending, you’ll be better able to deal with negative emotions in a healthier way.

7) Avoid shopping when you’re feeling depressed. You’ll be far more likely to use purchasing as an emotional bandaid and potentially make impulse buys. If you’re having a bad day, try engaging in meaningful activity such as exercise or a hobby, or arranging a time to meet up with a friend or chat to them over the phone.

8) Use positive self talk when you feel tempted to spend. For example “I can choose not to spend” or “imagine how good I’ll feel if I reach my savings goal.”

9) Practice gratitude!! It could help improve your self control!! Try keeping a log of three things you’re grateful for each day!!

Do you struggle with shopping addiction!?  Do you want to change your habits?  Try some of these tips!!  If you’re finding shopping addiction is interfering with day to day life, see your doctor for a referral to a psychologist or call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

There’s been far too many healthy recipes on Pop Therapy of late, so it was definitely time to bake something devious!!  I made these cupcakes for a friends birthday and they were a hit…. easy to make, and loved by all!!

Nothing beats an Oreo…..except maybe combining it with delicious chocolate cake, coating it in cookies and cream icing, then topping it with another Oreo….and don’t forget to serve with milk….possibly milk which contains additional Oreos…. and maybe a side of ice cream, also containing Oreos…

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I used this recipe from Bakerella

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup hot water
24 Oreos, plus more for crumbs

250 grams butter
250 grams icing supar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 or more teaspoons Oreo cookie crumbs

For the cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  • Line tray with 12 baking cups.
  • Place one whole cookie in each cup or break apart at least 12 cookies and place the broken pieces into each cup.
  • Mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl using a wire whisk.
  • Add the eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix well until thoroughly combined. Add the hot water and mix until combined.
  • Transfer the batter (it will be very liquid) to a large measuring cup and then pour batter into each baking cup so it’s about three quarters full. You should have a little left over.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes.

Makes at least 12 cupcakes

For the frosting:

  • Beat the butter in a mixer until smooth.
  • Add vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Add the powdered sugar in three additions, scraping down the sides after each addition.
  • Add a Tablespoon of milk at a time and mix together until you achieve the consistency you like.
  • Add the cookie crumbs and mix until completely combined. You can add more if you like, but I just wanted a light speckling to show off the white frosting.
  • Place frosting in a decorator bag with a 1M tip and swirl on top of each cupcake.
  • Insert a cookie on top of each cupcake.
  • You can also apply frosting on each cupcake in a mounded shape. Turn upside down and roll the top around in a small bowl of cookie crumbs to coat.

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Would you try these?  Are you an Oreo lover?  What’s your dream cupcake flavour!?

Boost your Mental Toughness!!

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When you hear the term “Mental Toughness” it’s easy to think of sportspeople, or people putting themselves through extreme feats like climbing Mount Everest!!  Mental Toughness seems to be everywhere today, and is frequently referenced in sporting literature…. but do you need to be super sporty, or hike through mud and snow to be mentally tough?  Or can mental toughness help anyone achieve their goals?  Are there mentally tough musicians, dancers, office workers, accountants etc!?

Anyone, in fact, can be mentally tough….regardless of your interest or lack of interest in sport/ice bucket challenges/Tough Mudder/eating insects etc.  *Phew!*

Mentally toughness can be defined as “a collection of values, attitudes, behaviours, emotions, which enable and individual to persevere through any adversity, and to maintain concentration and motivation when things are going well” (Gucciardi & Gordon, 2007).  So in a nutshell, it’s about having qualities which can help direct you to persevere towards your goals and to be motivated to keep persevering!!

So what are these wonderful qualities which make up mental toughness?  Clough & Strycharczyk (2011) use the 4 “C’s” model of mental toughness, which breaks mental toughness into:

  •  Challenge – this is about embracing change, and seeing challenges as opportunities for growth!
  • Control – this is about having a “can do” attitude, feelings of accountability and belief you can achieve the outcomes you want, as well as your ability to control your emotions.
  • Confidence – a belief in your own abilities, as well as confidence in your ability to influence others!
  • Commitment – an ability to set clear goals, and to persevere towards them!

This all sounds great in theory, but are some people just born more “mentally tough” than others!?  Well luckily, mental toughness can be taught, and there are several strategies which have been tried and tested in the field of sports psychology, which are now translating to coaching and management literature.

There is no quick fix to become mentally tough, but through a combination of strategies, you can increase your mental toughness….here are a few of my favourite strategies!!

  1.  Goal setting.  Whilst this sounds simple, setting clear goals can help to direct your attention to the important tasks you need to focus on, and can enhance your commitment to goals.  Just remember to set your goals at a level of difficulty that is at the right level of challenge.  You may start which smaller, easier to achieve sub goals, then work towards increasing your sense of challenge buy progressing setting more difficult goals.  Think about how you will measure your goals….how will you know when you’ve achieved them?  Think about the support or resources you might need to achieve your goals.
  2. Mindfulness.  Mindfulness compliments mental toughness in many ways – mindfulness is actually a fantastic tool for helping you to develop attentional control and focus (a key element of the “control” component of mental toughness!).  In turn, when you’re better able to focus and remain in control of your emotions, you may just find you experience increased confidence as a result of this!
  3. Imagery.  Imagery, or mental rehearsal, is commonly used by athletes who are trying to practice and perfect their technical skills, without engaging in physical practice, and can also help increase your feelings of confidence and control.  Whatever you’re working on developing your mental toughness for, you can apply imagery to.  Are you giving a performance?  A speech?  Playing in a tennis match?  Whatever the task, close your eyes and imagine performing the task in real time.  Imagine yourself in the same setting where you would perform the actual task.  Think of the feelings you would typically have at the time of the task, and try and bring those to mind.  Practice your task/performance in as much detail as you can, using all your senses (imagining the task, imagining the sensations you would feel, imagining the sounds that you would hear).  Imagine yourself performing the task perfectly!
  4. Reflection.  Mentally tough people regularly reflect on their successes and setbacks…what worked well and what didn’t.  Reflection is a key tool to help you to review your progress, acknowledge your successes and improvements, and to make adjustments to your goals and strategies to achieve them if they’re not working!!  You could also reflect on your past successes in similar situations to increase your optimism and confidence even more!!

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Leather Necktie - Jewellery by Others

Remember, like all changes, building mental toughness takes time and persistence!!  Enlisting social support from friends and loved ones can also be a great tactic to help support you in your changes.

Would you try some of these strategies?  Would you go on a mental toughness journey to help you to achieve and persevere at your goals?

Change your habits

Change is hard work!!  It’s often much easier to maintain the status quo than to challenge ourselves to change habits.

Here are a few of my favourite posts on goal setting to help you get started on the path to achieving your goals!!

What do you want to achieve?  Why does it matter to you?  Would you try some of these tips?

A simple strategy to improve your self regulation

I for one, know what it’s like to set goals just to realise I haven’t come close to achieving them!!  I’ve set about many resolutions to increase my exercise, save money, improve my diet etc, but haven’t got there…why is this? Did I not clearly define what I wanted to achieve?  Was I not motivated to actually achieve the goal? Or could it have been that I hadn’t taken the time to look at what I was currently doing, and reflect on this is relation to what I wanted to achieve.

Self regulation lies at the heart of goal setting.  Self regulation is about firstly setting a standard for our desired behaviour, then monitoring our current behaviour….if the fit between our desired goal and our current behaviour is right, then we don’t need to act to change what we’re doing….. but if what we want to achieve does not match up with what were currently doing, this discrepancy (also known as Cognitive Dissonance) then motivates us to act!!

So….when preparing to make a change, firstly, set a clear goal for what you want to achieve (for example, I want to reduce my coffee consumption to one cup per day)…and then spend some time collecting some observations about what you are currently doing (currently drinking four cups!). It’s likely that simply comparing what you’re currently doing, to the goal or standard you wish to achieve, will increase your motivation to act towards change, as you have a clear baseline for what you want to address.  Taking the time to really notice what we’re doing, also helps us to notice when we’re doing things on “auto-pilot” and to reflect on possible triggers for our behaviours. Is it that in fact I go for another coffee when I’m in need of a break, or is it to relieve boredom?

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Watch - by The Fifth - Similar Here

Wanting to change your diet?  Start with a 1 week food diary where you write down everything you eat each day.  Wanting to save money?  Keep a log of every purchase you make (no matter how small) for seven days.  At the end of your week reflect on your log/diary in relation to where you want to be.  Then have a think about the triggers or antecedents that might have led to the behaviour you’ve logged.  This simple self monitoring task is very likely to increase your motivation and help you achieve your goals.  Continue your log as you set about achieving your goal, and this will give you objective feedback of your progress!!

It may sound basic, but it works!!  Have you tried this strategy when making a change?


Watson, D.  (1997).  The principles of self-regulation.  Self directed behaviour:  self modification for personal adjustment. Pacific Grove:  California, pp 111 – 136.

Tumeric glow balls

I was at my local cafe the other day, and in my usual fashion, didn’t have enough coins for my coffee, and had to meet the $10 EFT minimum to pay for my precious cappuccino….usually in such a predicament, I would find this to be the perfect excuse to buy a chocolate brownie….but instead, I decided to try a bright yellow “glow bar” displayed neatly on the front counter…. the yellow “glow”, comes from tumeric, so says the delightful barista…. so I gave it a whirl, and it was delicious!!

I decided to try and make my own version (to save me $4.50 a pop)!!  These are free of sugar, dairy and wheat, but were seriously delicious!!  The addition of pineapple makes them naturally sweet and gives a tropical flavour!!

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  •  1/2 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup tinned pineapple (you could use fresh if you want to also…I just couldn’t be bothered chopping one up!! Or you could use dried pineapple, but if you do, use less almond meal!!)
  • 1 cup almond meal (for more texture, you could also use crushed macadamias or cashews instead)
  • 1/2  a cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • An additional 1/4 cup dessicated coconut for rolling the balls



  1.  In a food processor, blitz the dates and pineapple
  2. Add in tumeric, and , coconut powder and protein powder and blitz again.
  3.  Gradually add in almond meal, stirring to combine
  4.  To make the balls, scoop out approximately two tablespoons of mix, and roll into balls, dipping into the extra coconut to form a coating on the outside.

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These little balls were absolutely delicious, and make the perfect mid morning snack (especially when you’re avoiding chocolate brownies!).  Have you tried tumeric in your smoothies or protein balls?

The biggest predictor of happiness

What is it that you feel you need in order to live the good life?  Is it money, a good career, being able to enjoy creature comforts?  What is it that keeps us happy throughout our lives?

A recent longitudinal study provides us with key insights into what matters most when it comes to happiness.  The Harvard Study of Adult Development is the longest study of adult development that’s ever been done.  The study involved tracking the lives of 75 men, asking them detailed questions about their health, work, family and their home lives.  The participants in the study were a group of two men; the first, a group of Harvard graduates, and the second a group of men from Boston’s poorest suburbs.

The key findings of the study were:

  •  Forget about wealth, fame and success – it’s good relationships that keep people happier and healthier
  • People with good social connections with family, friends and community are happier, healthier and live longer.
  • People who are more isolated than they want to be are less happy, have more declining health, their brain functioning declines sooner and they live shorter lives.
  • It’s not the number of friends that you have, it’s the quality of your close relationships that counts!
  • High conflict relationships can be bad for our health!
  • Positive relationships can serve as a buffer against declining health as we age
  • With age, being in a secure relationship where we can count on the other person, can be protective for our brains (participants in their 80s in secure relationships had sharper memories than those who weren’t!!)

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The study’s director, Robert Waldinger, concludes that “the good life begins with good relationships.”

This study is another reminder that for all the demands life places on us, positive relationships are worth prioritising over all!!    Do you nurture your relationships? What can you do to feel more connected to family, friend or your community?

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