Study: Snack might help avoid fight with spouse

SnickersAdMaybe the 2011 Superbowl commercial from Snickers had a point that “You are not you when you’re hungry.” A study out of Ohio State University proposed that low blood sugar can make spouses touchy and a snack could prevent major fights between husbands and wives. Psychology researcher Brad Bushman stated that it can make them “hangry,” a combination of hungry and angry.

“We need glucose for self-control,” said Bushman, lead author of the study, which was released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Anger is the emotion that most people have difficulty controlling.”

The researchers studied 107 married couples for three weeks. Each night, they measured their levels of the blood sugar glucose and asked each participant to stick pins in a voodoo doll representing his or her spouse. That indicated levels of aggressive feelings.

The researchers found that…Read the full story on the AP website.

What would you do if you were given a gift of time?

clock1This last spring, the bosses at Barrie D’Rozario Murphy, a Minneapolis based ad agency, gathered their 18 employees and gave them paid time off. While most of us spent the summer working, with maybe a week or two of vacation, the ad agency gave their employees 500 hours of their life back and told them “to figure out what they are passionate about and go and do it.”

So let’s do the math…500 hours of paid time off equals 12 and a half weeks (based on a 40 hour work week) or a little over three months off. Again this was paid time with benefits!

Watch the story from NBC Nightly News by clicking the picture or going to:


You can also view stories from some of the staff about how the 500 hours changed their lives on the Barrie D’Rozario web page.

What would you do if you suddenly had 500 hours of paid time off?

As a Federal Civilian that just finished taking 6 furlough days over 6 weeks, I too had some free time given to me. Despite the reduced paycheck creating a hardship, it was nice having the time to get things done around the house that I don’t normally have during a busy work week.

The ad agency bosses hoped that the staff would realize that the things they wanted to do, they could always be doing and find a place for them in their life.

I remember as a kid I would say to my mother often, “I don’t have time for…(whatever she was asking me to do)” and her response would always be to me “Make time for it.”

So whether we are lucky enough to have an employer that gives us time off or we make the time ourselves, don’t let the each day pass by. Take time for those things that can enrich your life or those dreams that you always find yourself saying you will do some day if you have the time.

“Music is the soundtrack of your life”

With the passing of Dick Clark last week, many people are experiencing a flood of emotions. Some of those emotions are feelings of grief and loss, but others may be emotions and memories from their lives based on the music that Dick Clark was associated with. In fact, it was Dick Clark that is quoted as saying, “Music is the soundtrack of your life.”

For me, I have always found music a great way to entertain myself as well as a way to de-stress and relax. If you looked at the music on my iPod you would find everything from classical, country, rock, pop, and even old school rap. There are many songs that bring back memories for me, but there are a few that I could just name and remember all the details of a memory tied to it. Examples would be Restless Heart’s song Bluest Eyes in Texas reminds me not only of my first exposure to country music, but sitting in my dorm room at tech school with my roommate playing this song over and over. Def Leppard’s song Photograph puts me on the black diamond ski slopes in Winter Park, Colorado, skiing the moguls in the winter of 1985 with my Sony Walkman and a cassette of mixed music I made just for downhill skiing. The next song on the tape was She’s a Beauty by The Tubes and it not only puts me on the slopes, but also reminds me of when I met an old girlfriend, Kristin.

Kristin passed away in 1986, so that song, as well as Andrew Gold’s Thank You For Being Friend and Dionne Warwick & Friend’s That’s What Friends Are For, which were both played at her memorial service, bring up strong emotions for me.

In February 2011, Thelma Duffey and Shane Haberstroh had and article in Counseling Today where they discuss musical chronologies and how music can be used in a therapeutic setting.

There have been many links showing memories are tied to our senses. In fact, musical chronologies have been shown to be an effective therapy tool. According to Duffey and Haberstroh, a musical chronology is like a musical scrapbook and “uses meaningful music to help clients connect with feelings, thoughts and memories, identify relevant life experiences and bring perspective to these experiences.”

In the article they also discuss a study conducted by Catherine Somody that focused on musical chronology and older populations. Participants reported that the emotions evoked by the music increased their self-awareness and reconnected them with “important memories and values.” In using the chronology, depending on their recollections, they experienced feelings of pride and accomplishment when remembering hardships. When they reported feelings of regret, they experienced forgiveness and “opened the door to hope.”

So what is you music chronology or the soundtrack of your life? What are some of the songs that will illustrate your personal story or “life themes.” As we grow older, new genres, artists, and musical trends will be added to each of our chronologies. You might be surprised several years from now what songs will transport you back to the events in your life.

In the meantime, explore where you have been and become more self-aware of those events that have shaped who you are today. Learn from the hard memories while enjoying the happy ones.

A Musical Chronology and the Emerging Life Song, Thelma Duffey & Shane Haberstroh; Counseling Today, February 2011