tv NBC10 Issue NBC December 4, 2016 11:30am-12:00pm EST
happiness is sharing and caring and being around family members. >> what's unhappiness to you? >> negative people. >> can that negativity spoil your own happiness? what about those close relationships with family and friends? is that the key to unlocking your happiest self? we discuss the science behind happiness and whether it's possible to have a more positive outlook on life. >> >> preparing for college. we'll show you a brand-new app that helps students and parents in the philadelphia region navigate the journey. >> and born too soon, some sobering news about pre-term births in our area. today we'll discuss breakthroughs that could turn
the tide. >> good morning, i'm rosemary connors. the scientific research behind what makes us happy and what enables us to flourish, it's a growing field in psychology. >> you're only as happy as your least happy child. and i've got three happy kids right now. >> i come from a latin america so i'm away from my family. when they are here, i'm the happiest man ever. >> what makes me happy is i woke up this morning and i'm blessed with the holy ghost and married to a wonderful man. >> karen is a positive psychology expert with a local private practice and known on sir yus channel as the happiness guru, one of few hundred in the world to earn a masters from
applied positive psychology. when i was at penn, i wish i had taken your course. >> i wish you would have too. it would have been fun. >> first thing, what does the research show about what drives our happiness? >> so, happiness is a compilation of a few different factors. one is genetic. someone out there might be saying, listen, karen, i was born into a depressive family, had no hope, right? there's genetics and life circumstances. someone else might be saying, i grew up in an abusive household or in a certain gender or sexual orientation or race or what not, right? then there's voluntary activities what you choose to do with your time. what we know is genetics, research done with twins separated at birth. we know genetics only plays about 50% of the overall happiness. it would blow your mind.
that gives us something called a set point. basically, if you're doing all of the right activities that i'll talk about in a moment, you could be at the top of your set point. if you're doing act tiflts that are not going to make you happy, you'll be at the bottom. that is all based on your genetics and life circumstances, this will probably surprise you, only 10%. only 10% of the variants, gets down to the color of your skin and circumstances you were born in, if you've had an accident and lost a limb, only about 10% which leaves 40% of our happiness in our own control. there's a number of different factors that go into the 40% but it really says that we can control our own happiness. >> how do we make the most and best of that 40% we can control? >> if there's any happiness killer out there, it is your mind. what we know from science, there's something called negativity bias that we are more geared towards the negative than -- >> really? all of us?
>> most of us. it would surprise you. if you think of our ancestors millions of years ago, they always had to be on the lookout for threat. >> sure. >> saber tooth tigers, how do we feed our family tonight? the brains are wired to look for the threat, in other words to be negative. you could be having a fantastic day and it's the end of the day, get in your car and someone cuts you off and that is what you go home with and really sitting with you. the negative is so much stronger than the positive. >> that's actually very comforting to hear that. >> it's not just you. >> we number one have to be able to get control of our mindset and notice where in your life are you saying i can't do that because -- i can't switch jobs because i need this income. well, you do need income, right? we live in a society where you need money to pay your bills and have food on the table. does it have to be this job? you might hear yourself saying,
i should do this this weekend even though i don't really want to? should according to who? you need to get control of where's your brain going into the shoulds and nevers and always and can'ts and be able to flip it and really being able to take control of what you want and how can i and what else is possible. going from a pessimistic mindset, that will never happen or i'm always alone. this always happens to me, i have a client who has -- having a difficult time with love and she says, i'm always alone. it never happens for me. well, in that mindset, it's never going to happen for you. instead, what we know, people who have a pessimistic mindset and think a difficult situation is permanent and it actually can take as many years off your life as smoking, it causes stoch stress which makes your cardiovak vascular and heart have an attack. we want to get control of the
mindset and who are you hanging out with? like, are you letting -- are you spending more time with people whoe drain you or more time with people who lift you up? >> we heard that from one of the women in the opening sequence, it's negative people making you unhappy. >> it's amazing. what the research shows here, emotions have up to three degrees of separation. you and i have a great conversation today then you're talking to a producer and she becomes happier because you're happier and she calls her partner at home and that person is happier and goes to the grocery store happier to the cashier or opposite way. if everything falls apart today at work, now you're being grouchy and miserable, now you're producer is starting to feel the heat for you and your producer will be angry when she goes home and it goes on. so other people's emotions have a big impact on us. >> it almost sounds like the end of the day vent that we i think all do to some degree, maybe we
should tamp that down a bit. >> it would be in your best interest to tamp it down. we need to get it out but don't dwell there. this is not happiology meaning you'll only have happy feelings. if you're angry, be angry. there's a difference between sadness and depression where now you're wall lowing in it three days later or anger and rage where you won't let it go. you have to let yourself feel the emotions and work throw it then say what else is true? what else is possible? what is good? what can i focus on? >> you touch on being depressed. what is the connection or lack of connection between depression and happiness? >> good question. the opposite -- depression is like being hopeless. a real sense of hopelessness about life, where you basically give up on the idea of anything vital. unhappiness is more commonly thought of as in the moment, today i'm not feeling so happy
or right now i'm unhappy. and so you can overall be a generally happy person and not necessarily be depressed and i thenk you even can go through bouts of depression in life. it is a clinical illness. last year people asked me, you must be happy all the time? no, i'm human, right. i had a miscarriage last year and right after my miscarriage i lost my dog two weeks later and my stepson went into the hospital. i ended up depressed. a real depression. overalthough i still felt like i have a good life and hadn't given up all sense of hopelessness but i needed to work through that period of time and then be able to heal and be able to say what else is true. >> one of the things we actually know is that humans are resilient and the ability to bounce back is super important to happiness. >> you've touched on income money. does money make you happy?
is there a threshold? >> our society in western -- in the western world in america, we think money is going to make me happier, right? we get caught up in it. i'll be happy if i can get the next $10,000 raise and you get it and that spread out over 12 months and now you have a bigger apartment or car broke down and it's gone. what we actually know from research, if you don't have money to pay your bills, you can't afford food and rent and not going to be as happy as somebody who can. >> basic necessities. >> exactly. >> at a certain point and that is about $75,000, the extra dollar doesn't make you that much happier. and it might surprise you -- >> what about the extra $100,000 or $500,000? >> great question. the next jump is $250,000. somebody who makes 75,000 or $95,000 their lives are not that
much different, they are not affording that much different in their lives. once you get to 250, now you can afford your kid's college or be able to afford two vacations a year. it's going to make a difference in your overall quality of life but anyone who's out there thinking i would be happier if i could make more money, it's not going to make you happier. it's called a hed donic treadmi and the chase for the dollar will make you more miserable. >> we heard one woman talk about religion and spirituality. what kind of factor does that play? >> it plays a big factor. people who are religious or have a spiritual faith say they are happier. and the reason for that, their spiritual faith gives them meaning. and meaning above all else, above having activities that you love to do and above having people that you love in your life, when you feel your life
has purpose, you have the highest overall life satisfaction, that said, the opposite is not true. just because you don't have religion in your life doesn't mean you're necessarily going to be unhappy. you want to take the piece in there that you can learn in people who are religious or spirit you'll, which is meaning and say what is meaningful for me. and if you're out there living a life where you hate your job and feel like i'm not making a difference and i yearn to do that or not spending quality time with your family, not doing anything that's meaningful for you, that is where you really want to start shifting your life. >> thank you so much for being with us and thank you for sharing with us today. we appreciate it. >> coming up next, new help for college bound students and their parents and, an app that takes you step by step through the entire process.
students and their parents make and it's not always easy to know where to turn for help or how to find it. noup a brand-new app that anyone can download offers a step by step guide to becoming college ready. >> questions to ask on a college visit, tips on conquering the fafsa and finding scholarships -- >> joining me now is kimberly lewis, director of outreach for philadelphia futures. thanks for being with us. >> good morning, thank you, rosemary. >> for a long time and still today you put a lot of information a wealth of information in this book. now you're expanding to an app. >> philadelphia futures, we're a non-profit that helps first generation of college students get the tools and opportunities and resources to apply to and ultimately succeed in college. as you've said, we've been doing step up to college grid for 25 years and we've expanded our outreach through our outreach futures initiative to provide more resources for students.
we have instructional videos and we also have a website and now we're launching the mobile app. and hopefully this will make it easier for parents and students to connect and get that information literally at their fingertips. >> this information is so important and critical for students and parents to be able to navigate the college search process and the app allows us to deliver that information and meet students where they are. >> this -- anybody can download this app. philadelphia futures is geared towards students in the city and in the region but really anybody can download it. >> anyone. we're hoping that students and parents and educators, whether they are in the city or outside of the city, download the app because it's going to be applicable to anybody about to take on the college search process. >> what can people find on the app and what can they do on the app? >> there are a number of activities, some that folks might find especially helpful, we have what we call the find your fit activity. this is where students can put
in all of the information about whether they want a big school, small school, what sort of major they want. what type of campus community is important for them to have so they can find the best academic social and financial fit for them and allow students to compare the fit for themselves for a number of different colleges and universities. we also have the cost calculator and i think this will be especially important for students at the end of the process so they can take all of the information from those financial aid packages and put it into the app and it will actually determine how much aid you receive from the school and total cost but most importantly, it's going to calculate that cash gap, which is the number that most families are thinking about when they are making that final decision. >> the book and i'm sure obviously the app too gives a lot of information about scholarships and where to look for scholarships. >> yes, we have a tab on the app that links student to local and national scholarship opportunities, that's especially
important. and we also link directly to the fafsa. students who are about to fill out the free application for federal student aid can do so on the app and we have checklists. the checklists are important for families and students so that every step of the college process, they know exactly what they should be doing and they know that this is the time they fill out financial aid and that's especially important in the planning as well. >> kimberly lewis, thank you so much for being with us. we really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> the app a free download. if you'd like more information on how to get the printed guide or more info on preparing for college on social media and more on the app, go to step up to college.org and you can call the offices of philadelphia futures at 215-790-1666 for help. >> after nearly a decade of decline, the rate of premature births is going up. next the babies who doctors say
born too soon. for first time in eight years the number of preterm babies in the us has gone up, giving the united states one of the highest premature rates of industrialized countries. according to a report by the march of times the chance of a premature baby surviving is based in part on where they are born. in new jersey and delaware and pa received a c rating. they all had premature birth rates nearing 10%. the city of philadelphia got a d. in addition to the human toll, which is the loss of more than 23,000 babies a year, employers pay $12 billion annually in excess health care costs for premature babies. the march of dimes calls report a step backward for the u.s. and suggests it's better to have
a baby in many other countries. prenatal care is key but as tracy davidson discovered, there are underlying causes that doctors still don't understand. recently tracy spoke with the director from the maternal health research program at the university of pennsylvania. >> the pre-term birth rate in philadelphia county is almost 11%. that compares to 9% of montgomery county. the major cause of that is a tremendous racial disparity. black women have a 45% higher rate of pre-term birth than caucasian women. the biggest problem is racial disparities not new in pre-term birth but we don't understand why. >> we talk pre-term birth, there are some things we know that can help a mother have a regty baby but a lot is the mystery. explain what you're trying to find out. >> what trying to find out why pre-term birth happens. when i give these talks, people want to know, i don't understand, why would we not
know? we know about cancer and heart disease. and i asked him a very simple question. why do women go into labor at term? we don't actually know that answer. if we don't understand the normal processions that lead a woman to go into labor at term. how do you begin to discuss when something happens when something goes arye and woman differs at 25 instead of 38 weeks. until we're able to understand normal processes, we're not going to make a difference in pre-term birth. >> you're involved in finding that answer in a very unique way with these research centers across the country. explain that? >> the march of dimes did something that was brilliant. they said we love you, o.b. researchers you're great, you're insufficient and they were right. there's five centers across the country and university of pennsylvania is one of them but they made a mandate, didn't say we're going to give you money to do pre-term birth research, you have to find people from other fields, nothing to do with obstetrics and bring them in and
make them interested and do research with you. be innovator and discovery. that's what we're doing. >> how has that been? >> it's been one of the most amazing experiences as a researcher in 20 years. >> on our team, i have an immune oelgs and three microbiologists and orthopedic guy and engineers and it's been eye opening to have their insight into some of the reproductive tissues and what they know from their expertise and begin to apply that to pre-term birth. >> this has never been done before, pulling in all of these disciplines, right? >> it's been done but on a very small level, on a level where they were brought into what our assumptions were, instead of saying forget assumptions. we're talking about the certificate vix. it has collagen in it. my colleague in engineering in orthopedics, they deal with collagen all the time in tendons, he brings this idea
about what happens to those tissues that we've never applied to understanding what the certificate vix does. >> how hopeful are you? >> i'm very hopeful. i think in the last two years alone, just that penn has been funded to doing this, we made tremendous discoveries. if we see on the path there are they were putices that three years ago i thought we were ten to 20 years off. >> learning the signs of preterm labor is one way to reduce the risk of a baby being born too early before 37 weeks of pregnancy and that's where dads or partners can help. they should look for contractions or vaginal bleeding or low back pain or cramps. other things include helping the mom quit smoking, drinking alcohol or abusing prescription drugs, getting her the help she needs and making sure you're both vaccinated against infection like the flu and
>> you know the song, the 12 days of christmas. who doesn't, right? >> three french hens and two turtle doves and partridge in a pear tree. a financial services group says the overall cost increased just .7% or 233 bucks from last year. you'd have to spend a little more on the turtle doves, 11 pipers piping and 12 drummers drumming, the other nine stayed the same or became cheaper. in case you're thinking of giving all 12 to your holiday sweetheart the total price is about $34,000. that's it, you can join me again every weekend morning beginning at 5:00 on saturday and 5:30 a.m. on sunday. thanks for watching and have a great day.
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