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New and diverse experiences linked to enhanced happiness, study shows

When people had more variability in their physical location–visiting more locations in a day and spending proportionately equitable time across these locations–they reported feeling more positive.

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Photo by Jakob Owens from Unsplash.com

New and diverse experiences are linked to enhanced happiness, and this relationship is associated with greater correlation of brain activity, new research has found. The results, which appear in the journal Nature Neuroscience, reveal a previously unknown connection between our daily physical environments and our sense of well-being.

“Our results suggest that people feel happier when they have more variety in their daily routines–when they go to novel places and have a wider array of experiences,” explains Catherine Hartley, an assistant professor in New York University’s Department of Psychology and one of the paper’s co-authors. “The opposite is also likely true: positive feelings may drive people to seek out these rewarding experiences more frequently.”

Previous studies using animal subjects had shown similar results.

“Collectively, these findings show the beneficial consequences of environmental enrichment across species, demonstrating a connection between real-world exposure to fresh and varied experiences and increases in positive emotions,” adds co-author Aaron Heller, an assistant professor in the University of Miami’s Department of Psychology.

The researchers, who conducted the study prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, recognize that current public-health guidelines and restrictions pose limits on movement. However, they note that even small changes that introduce greater variability into the physical or mental routine–such as exercising at home, going on a walk around the block, and taking a different route to the grocery store or pharmacy–may potentially yield similar beneficial effects.

In the Nature Neuroscience paper, the researchers investigated the following question: Is diversity in humans’ daily experiences associated with more positive emotional states?

To do so, they conducted GPS tracking of participants in New York and Miami for three to four months, asking subjects by text message to report about their positive and negative emotional state during this period.

The results showed that on days when people had more variability in their physical location–visiting more locations in a day and spending proportionately equitable time across these locations–they reported feeling more positive: “happy,” “excited,” “strong,” “relaxed,” and/or “attentive.”

The scientists then sought to determine if this link between exploration and positive emotion had a connection to brain activity.

To do this, about half of the subjects returned to a laboratory and underwent MRI scans.

The MRI results showed that people for whom this effect was the strongest–those whose exposure to diverse experiences was more strongly associated with positive feeling (“affect”)–exhibited greater correlation between brain activity in the hippocampus and the striatum. These are brain regions that are associated, respectively, with the processing of novelty and reward– beneficial or subjectively positive experiences.

“These results suggest a reciprocal link between the novel and diverse experiences we have during our daily exploration of our physical environments and our subjective sense of well-being,” observes Hartley, who also has appointments at NYU’s Center for Neural Science and NYU Langone Health Neuroscience Institute.

The paper’s other authors were: Tracey Shi, a researcher in Hartley’s lab at the time of the study and now a doctoral candidate and medical student Columbia University; C.E. Chiemeka Ezie, a researcher at the University of Miami at the time of the study and now an MD candidate at NYU Grossman School of Medicine; Travis Reneau and Lara Baez, researchers at the University of Miami; and Conor Gibbons, an undergraduate at the University of Miami.

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Pru Life UK empowers communities with learning sessions on financial management, mental health

Organized in partnership with the Mandaluyong City government represented by Councilor Leslie Cruz and Rotary Clubs of Mandaluyong-Biyaya and Mandaluyong East, the session also covered best practices and tips on livelihood and how the residents can be entrepreneurs.

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Life insurance company Pru Life UK equipped Mandaluyong residents, mostly women and solo parents, with financial management and mental health tips aligned with the company’s commitment to driving up financial awareness, literacy, and inclusion in communities.

Psychologist Marika Melgar and Pru Life UK Branch Manager Jovelyn Tungcul-Torres led the session, sharing their expertise on mental health and tips on how families can efficiently manage their finances. They highlighted the connection between mental health and finances – how mental state can influence financial decisions and vice versa.

Organized in partnership with the Mandaluyong City government represented by Councilor Leslie Cruz and Rotary Clubs of Mandaluyong-Biyaya and Mandaluyong East, the session also covered best practices and tips on livelihood and how the residents can be entrepreneurs.

Through these community learning sessions, we want to help more Filipino families, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, manage and protect their finances. We also include mental health and livelihood topics to help build long-term resilience in communities. These learning sessions are part of our commitment to being the most trusted partners and protectors of many Filipino families,” shares Maricel Estavillo, Pru Life UK VP for Government Relations & Sustainability.

We are grateful to our like-minded partners from the government and community-based organizations who share our mission to empower more Filipinos through financial and health education,” she continues.

To date, Pru Life UK has organized climate and health community-based learning sessions in four locations across the country.

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I.E. Medica and MedEthix win healthcare awards in Singapore

The pharmaceutical companies received the Supply Chain Initiative of the Year, Hospital Partnership of the Year, and the Most Differentiated Service of the Year awards.

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The Philippines’ major pharmaceutical importers and distributors, I.E. Medica, Inc. and MedEthix Incorporated, were recently awarded three (3) major healthcare awards at the Healthcare Asia Pharma Awards 2024 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

The pharmaceutical companies received the Supply Chain Initiative of the Year, Hospital Partnership of the Year, and the Most Differentiated Service of the Year awards. This marks the first time native Philippine pharmaceutical brands have won in these categories. The brands are active proponents in the importation, registration, and supply of healthcare products in the Philippines.

I.E. Medica and MedEthix executives, Monaliza Balnig Salian, co-founder, president and CEO, and Ma. Victoria P. Sugapong, COO, accepted the awards on behalf of the pharma group.

In her acceptance speech, Monaliza B. Salian said, “The Philippine pharmaceutical industry is heavily dependent on importation; thus, we continuously look for ways to improve our supply chain operations. As a young pharma group, I.E. Medica and MedEthix are aware of the overwhelming need of our countrymen for quality, affordable, and accessible healthcare solutions—and so we will continue to respond to these unmet needs, as Filipinos, for the Filipino.”

Salian’s acceptance speech in the prestigious awards program is a fitting capstone to the young local pharma group’s contribution to easing the burden of healthcare for Filipinos.  The awards conferred by the respected regional publication Healthcare Asia magazine put I.E. Medica and MedEthix in the league of outstanding pharma companies in Asia and the Pacific that have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence and have redefined pharmaceutical excellence.

I.E. Medica: Implementing enhanced end-to-end supply chain operations that could enhance the nation’s healthcare product supply chain requirements

I.E. Medica is driven to continuously improve its supply chain operations to comply with Philippine Customs Administration import guidelines: from obtaining the Super Green Lane certificate in 2017 to having demonstrated its initial compliance with the cargo security risk management framework required for accreditation as an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Importer.

The company is also on track to securing the Level 1 AEO Certification, affirming its observance of supply chain security standards and the benefits of improved accessibility to healthcare goods brought about by streamlined import-export systems across borders, ultimately benefiting Filipinos and earning it the Supply Chain Initiative of the Year award.

MedEthix: Introducing a game-changing COVID-19 treatment in the country 

The impact of COVID-19 has been widespread, with its magnitude affecting the stability of social, economic, and political structures in many countries. It has particularly challenged national healthcare systems and their capacity to respond to large-scale outbreaks.

Filipino pharmaceutical company MedEthix went beyond its way as the first importer to secure its first four (4) hospital partners from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the compassionate special permit (CSP) for Molnupiravir. This oral drug is indicated for mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 infection, enabling the standard of care to go beyond the confines of the overstretched hospital wards into the comforts of the patient’s home.

MedEthix further expanded the distribution of Molnupiravir from the first 4 CSP grantees to over 80 health institutions and over 500 doctors across the country as soon as it successfully secured the Emergency Use Authorization from the regulatory authority. Healthway QualiMed, the hospital network of AC Health, played a valuable role in its success. The hospital network, along with I.E. Medica and MedEthix, are partners of AC Health. The expanded access to affordable alternative treatment for COVID-19 greatly benefited Filipinos during the pandemic and earned the company the Hospital Partnership and The Most Differentiated Service of the Year awards.

A commitment to every Filipino

As the recipients of the three prestigious awards for the pharma category in the Philippines, I.E. Medica and MedEthix remain committed to providing a wide range of products that cover almost all therapeutic areas to meet the ever-changing healthcare needs of Filipinos. 

As the men and women of I.E. Medica and MedEthix interact with doctors, retail outlets, distributors, suppliers, regulatory authorities, and consumers daily, the hallmark of excellence exemplified by the three awards continues to inspire them to make a difference in the lives of their countrymen.

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Bookshelf PH announces book collections from diverse genres

Publishing house Bookshelf PH, with its collection of books from diverse genres, has heart-swooning reads that touch all five love languages.

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Love is given, felt, and explored in ways we never expect.

We’re no strangers to the concept of feeling kilig, an emotion that makes hearts swoon and flutter whenever we give or receive love. Speaking of giving and receiving love, we might prefer one over the other but overall, these five love languages create a holistic relationship with our loved ones whether that’s through physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gift-giving, or acts of service.

Publishing house Bookshelf PH, with its collection of books from diverse genres, has heart-swooning reads that touch all five love languages. From affirming poems to small acts of service, here are five books that explore love’s different manifestations, each with stories to tell of how we can give and receive love in ways we prefer the most.

1. Jasmines in Her Hair – Words of Affirmation

Love is expressed through the gentle whisper of words. ”Jasmines in Her Hair” by Kalpesh Desai is a poetry collection that features the themes and facets of love. From tender beginnings of infatuation to depths of enduring connection, each poem will captivate readers to immerse themselves in passionate sensibilities found in delight, sorrow, grief, acceptance, and resilience, capturing the essence of the heart’s universal experiences. 

Poetic words are as powerful as daily communication and this book might be the perfect bond for lovers. If you love compliments, notes, or sweet whispers, then words of affirmation may be your cup of love language. It’s not too old-school to write personal notes inspired by these poems to show appreciation to your Lovey-dovey.

2. Laws of Motions and Attraction – Physical Touch

“Alex never believed in love at first sight. But right then she realized, maybe she had loved him all along. It had been a long time coming, but it turned out ‘maybe someday’ was worth the wait, after all..”

Missing those back hugs and forehead kisses? How about those tender traces of his fingertips to your cheeks? Just when you know that physical touch becomes a language of its own, it speaks volume where words fall short. This is your sign to reminisce about the past and reflect if he is worth the second chance.

Gravitate your senses with Kaye Allen’s contemporary romance novel, “Laws of Motions and Attraction” as it brings you the story of Alex, a driven student who finds herself captivated by the most ideal suitor on campus only to discover that destiny has other plans. In this enthralling examination of love, accompany Alex on a journey fraught with twists and turns, and let her story touch your heart brimming every moment with sweet affection.

3. Warm Blankets in Cold Midnights – Gift-Giving

Who says love month is over? February may have passed but it’s never late to surprise someone with a thoughtful present. Let your cozy affection be felt by giving Warm Blankets in Cold Midnights to express the language of gift-giving!

Share the warmth with your loved one as you immerse in Janella Ventura’s short story collection, “Warm Blankets in Cold Midnights,” featuring 23 heartwarming love stories to uplift your spirits and 18 tear-jerking tales that will leave you deeply moved. From handmade treasures to heartfelt gestures,  Warm Blankets in Cold Midnights reminds readers that the true value of a gift lies not in its material worth, but in the love and care with which it is given.

4. Words, Fate, and Accidents – Quality Time

“…We may not know each other well but sometimes people could find comfort in the most unlikely places. Be it in a good book, a playlist with all favorite songs, or even in a foreign country, standing beside a stranger you met by accident.”

Another heart-touching craft from Kaye Allen is her “Words, Fate, and Accidents”, which is a story of connection and companionship. In a world where time is fleeting and fate is unpredictable, two strangers found solace in each other’s company, forging bonds that withstand the test of time. If you value quality time for your loved ones, then this book might remind you that time isn’t measured in minutes or hours, but in the profound moments shared between kindred spirits.

5. Lost You, Found Me – Acts of Service

“Lost is a state we will perpetually be in and the life is best approached by embracing it as it is.”

Picture this: late-night study sessions, surprise coffee deliveries, and shoulder-to-cry-on moments. Everyone has been through the rough stage between college and adulting where those small acts of service matter most in times when we feel most alone. You’re not lost sweetie, because a story that resonates has found its way to you!

Testament to the power of selfless devotion, Zara Carbonell’s “Lost You, Found Me” takes  readers into the tumultuous journey of love, loss, and self-discovery—a celebration of love through acts of sacrifice. Set against the backdrop of the exhilarating transition from college into the unknowns of adulthood, Lost You, Found Me offers a unique perspective on the exploration of life’s nitty-gritty.

Each of these books provides a fresh view on the languages of love and illustrates the diverse ways we communicate and receive affection. Whether through verbal affection, intimate gestures, shared warmth of hugs, or acts of selflessness, these authors capture the universality of love–transcending barriers and resonating deeply within our beings.

Thrilled to grab a copy of one of these books that pulsates your love language?

Visit Bookshelf PH  and discover the perfect read for you.

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