Technology’s Contribution to Happiness

Woman 20s sitting on a bench in a park sending a test message on her smart phone

You couldn’t imagine living without the Internet. But would you actually be happier in a less connected world?

Fully 90 percent of people say the Internet has been a good thing for them personally. But the answer to whether or not that means they’re happier, healthier or more satisfied with their lives takes a little more untangling.

The folks over at Happify, an app that features games and activities geared toward improving emotional wellbeing, compiled some of the best recent data on how technology can boost or challenge our happiness.

Consider, for example, that while most people report being treated kindly online, a quarter of people say they have been attacked or bullied. And that 74 percent of couples say that the Internet has had a positive effect on their marriages, but 38 percent report that (for better or worse) online communication makes them less likely to rely exclusively on their partners as confidants.

When it comes to bringing people together, though, the web gets mostly good reviews. Sixty-seven percent of Internet users say that email, texting and social networking has strengthened their relationships with family and friends. And 56 percent say they have borne witness to people rallying together online to help someone else, as exemplified by such touching stories as the movement to “wear yellow for Seth,” the boy with no immune system, the $100,ooo raised to buy a car for a Detroit man who walked 21 miles to work, and the viral photo that got Chester the dog adopted after five harsh years in a shelter.

How does social media affect the 74 percent of adults who use it? As you’d guess, it’s complicated. Social media users are, not surprisingly, less likely to be socially isolated. They’re also more likely to feel a sense of support and are more trusting (which might help explain the preponderance of Facebook hoaxes). On the flip side, social networking is linked to feelings of envy, lower self-esteem and an overall decrease in life satisfaction.

As Happify’s infographic below shows, little tweaks in how you use it can make a big difference.

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Improve your Yoga Postures


The next time you find anyone slouching their shoulders, it will remind you of the arch of a bow.

And the next step would be to practice the asana that would bring a confidence to your posture.

One of the most effective ways to prevent problems with the spine is to maintain proper back posture. Poor back posture is one of the leading causes of chronic soreness in the neck, back, and surrounding muscles.

Yoga – blending body, breath and mind through an effortless process.

When done to perfection, Dhanurasana is a superb back strengthener. In Dhanurasana you extend the body back into the shape of a bow as the arms reach back straight and taut, forming the “string” of the asana. Arching the body backward opens the chest and provides a powerful stretch for the front of the shoulders and the quadriceps. Regular practice of this pose helps keep the spine flexible and counters the tendency to slump forward.

Dhanurasana is dynamic and energizing—stretching the front body increases the flow of blood to the digestive tract and enhances the efficiency of the stomach, liver, and intestines, while contracting the back body stimulates the kidneys and adrenals. This pose enhances the backstrengthening and catching the feet or ankles integrates the posture. It can also compress the back. For this reason, it’s important to create space between the vertebrae and to stay as relaxed as possible while you’re in the pose.


Patanjali in the yoga Sutra says “Sthiram Sukham Asanam” which is translated as “steadiness” and “ease.” If you don’t feel steady and at ease in this asana, back off to easier versions until you do. Challenge yourself but don’t strain. You do not have to catch your feet or ankles to gain great benefit.

Since Dhanurasana provides an intense stretch of the shoulders, spine, and thighs, warm up these areas properly. Begin with Balasana (Child’s Pose) and bring awareness to the lower back. On an inhalation, come onto all fours.

 Next exhale and stretch back to Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose). Inhale back to all fours and exhale to Balasana, repeating this series of linked poses five or six times, synchronizing movements with your breath.

You might also be interested in learning how you can use yoga for stomach & digestion.

Yoga is Much More Than Exercise

Yoga Rave is a party like none other in the world, a new concept in fun where the body responds only to the stimulation of music, yoga & meditation. The initiative sprang forth from the Art of Living Foundation, the largest volunteer-run NGO in the world.

Music performances set the mood for the evening, followed by a series of rejuvenating yoga poses that apparently boost the energy and provide a natural high, alleviating the need for drugs or alcohol.