A Publication of WTVP

Jingle Bells, Jumping Sales

Retailers can expect to see solid sales gains this holiday season, according to the Chicago-based research firm ShopperTrak. Merchants are predicted to see a 3.3-percent revenue increase in November and December, just slightly below last year’s holiday boost of 3.7 percent. But it’s not like it was in the good ol’ days. During past economic booms, the biggest shopping season of the year often brought revenue increases of five percent or more.

Stop and Smell the Roses

According to a study of more than 68,000 people from the University College London and the University of Edinburgh, those who reported experiencing anxiety were significantly more likely to die over a 10-year period than those who did not. Even those with low levels of psychological distress were 23 percent more likely to die from accidents or injuries, and 25 percent more likely to die from heart disease, stroke or heart failure. A good night’s sleep, a healthy diet and exercise can all help reduce your stress — and potentially lengthen your life.

America’s Expanding Waistline

By 2030 more than half of the country will be obese, according to a recent projection from the nonpartisan policy group, Trust for America’s Health. About two-thirds of Americans are currently overweight, 36 percent of which are obese (defined as having a BMI of 30 or more). In less than two decades, it’s predicted that 13 states will have obesity rates above 60 percent, 39 states will have rates over 50 percent, and no state will have a rate less than 44 percent. Illinois’ obesity rate, currently at 27 percent, is expected to jump to 54 percent. Medical costs from treating obesity-related diseases are also likely to increase to $66 billion annually by 2030.

Young Leaders’ Young Dreams

What do you want to be when you grow up? When you pose that question to children today, you’ll still get some classic answers (firefighter, police officer) while others will come up with a more unique, sometimes impossible response (Spiderman, SpongeBob SquarePants). This year’s class of 40 Leaders had big goals and aspirations as children… some quirkier than others! Here’s what they wanted to be when they grew up:

The Key to Happiness

Self-pity. At times, we’re all guilty of it. A bad breakup, a terrible day atthe office… even just losing our car keys can spin us into a tirade of negativity. But in times of stress, the best support often comes from within. Instead of burying our emotions, paying someone else to listen or resorting to medication, experts suggest first trying self-compassion. Instead of beating yourself up over every little mistake, build yourself up with encouraging thoughts, as studies indicate that self-compassionate people generally cope better with anxiety triggers and life’s little stressors.

Even if you are a notorious pessimist, experts say anyone can rewire the brain to focus on the positive by changing the way you interpret your experiences. Try turning your thinking around with these tips:

Source: The Wall Street Journal