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How is it that the wor

takes over

your life, leaving you burned out, even


miserable? It doesn't have to be tnat

way. Here's how to make it all better.


BY DANA TANYERI
AYBE IT'S A CHAR-GRILLED STEAK AND A BONE-DRY MARTINI. OR BEING

in love, playing with the dog or perhaps a new pair of Jimmy


Choos. It could also be that warm glow you get looking over a full
dining room on those rare nights when everything hums along perfectly.
Turns out, happiness-deep, lasting satisfaction as
opposed to pleasures that evaporate as quickly as the
last drops of gin in that martini-is considerably more
complex. Scientists who spend their lives studying the
subject contend that it's some combination of genetics,
values and life experience that lead to a happy life.
Whatever happiness is for you, chances are you don't
have enough of it. You spend most of your time just
trying to make sure that everyone else-customers, staff,
suppliers, reviewers, inspectors-is happy. You work
while others play and the days when life controls you far
outnumber those when you control life. Employees don't
show, prices rise, bad weather kills your traffic, the dish-

washer's been lifting steaks and


your spouse has had it with your
schedule. You're on the firing line
every day, and that's one tough place
to find happiness.
But figuring out how to find it does
more than put a smile on your face. Happy
people are healthier, tend to be more successful-and they live longer too. According to
Dr. Ed Diener at the University of Illinois, a leading researcher in the science of happiness, "Not only
does happiness feel good, but happy people appear to
function better than unhappy people-making more

ILLUSTRATIONS BY BILL MAYER

30 Restaurant Business May2007 restaurantbiz.corn

restaurantbiz.Gom May2007 Restaurant Business, 31

money, having better social relationships, being better organizational


citizens at work, doing more volunteer work and having better health."
Diener cites one study that found
that, on average, happy people lived
10.7 years longer than unhappy people.
Another study tracked a group
of nuns in a Milwaukee convent.
Before joining the order back in the
1930s, each nun agreed to keep a
diary. The language used and emotions exhibited in those journals
were analyzed over the years and
enabled researchers to separate
the group into "happy nuns" and
"not so happy nuns." According
to Diener, two-thirds of the not so
happy nuns died before their 85th
birthdays, while 90 percent of the
happy nuns lived past 85-and
under almost identical living conditions. On average, the happy nuns
lived nine years longer.
"That's huge," says Diener. "We
look at the impact of smoking cigarettes on life expectancy, which can
cut three years off the life of people
who smoke a pack a day. So nine
years related to happiness is very
significant. There's a different pattern of biological responses that
allows happy people to remain in a
healthier state for more years."
Dr. Martin Seligman, director
of the University of Pennsylvania's
Positive Psychology Center and
author of 'Authentic Happiness," is
hailed as the founder of the new
positive psychology movement.
While traditional psychology focuses
on helping to make the world a less
unhappy place by confronting the
distresses that bring people down,
positive psychology focuses on positive emotions, character traits and
institutions to help make the world
a more happy place. That shift in

RELAX
BY MICHAELA CAVALLARO

two sides of a biological see-saw.


When oneAND
is up
the other
is down.
APPINESS
STRESS
REPRESENT
British researchers have pinpointed a
measurable indicator of this, the hormone
cortisol. When you get stressed, there's
more cortisol in your blood. When you're
happy, there's less.
Why decrease stress? "In a nutshell,
stress will kill you, via high blood pressure,
strokes, eating disorders or diabetes,"
says Dr. Edward Creagan, a professor of
medical oncology at the Mayo Clinic.
"But, more importantly, it erodes the
spirit." Herewith, seven ways

Clear your calendar. Cut out all but the


most essential meetings, prioritizing
those that are about decision-making
rather than simply sharing

information.
Redecorate. Is your desk chair comfortable? Do you have a photo on the wall
that spurs positive feelings? Does your
filing system work for you? If not, you're
creating long-term, chronic stress that'll
put a hit on your body, not to mention
your soul.
Look back. "Think about what you have

to get happier by limiting your stress:

achieved and give yourself a pat on the

Exercise. "The new

back," says Jessica Pryce-Jones, a partner in iOpener, a British consulting firm

research shows that


you don't have to work out for 20 to 30
minutes to get the benefit," says
Kathleen Hall, director of The Stress

that specializes in happiness at work,

Institute in Atlanta. "You can do a few


10-minute intervals throughout the day.
Even if you have just a couple minutes,

serotonin;' a brain chemical that affects

go up and down a few


steps and get your heart

Crank up the tunes. "The minute you


listen to music you love, you release
your mood, says Hall. "If you can hum
or sing along, you get an extra immune
boost, too.'

rate up" This prompts the

Do what you love. "You

body to up production of

will never be miserable if


you have a passion for

endorphins, which create


a sense of well-being.

something, whether it's a


dog, your family, your
work,' says Creagan.

Get a hobby. "Find something other than work


that will let you zone out;'
says Creagan at Mayo
(see page 37).

-"

$536.9

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300

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reasons to be happy we're


this business

32 Restaurant Business May 2007 restaurantbiz,cour

I We get to eat for free.

ales should reach a new


rlecord this year:

$
'"l'

",

pq

3 quick steps to calm

_o rtsleepy

STEP 1 Eat Starting your day with


breakfast increases your metabolism,
stabilizes your blood sugar - and
staves off the onset of hungerinduced irritability.

increases the flow of oxygen to your


brain, which then lowers your heart
rate and relaxes your muscles.
STEP 3 Talk. Come up with a
positive, three- to five-word
phrase (e.g., "life is good,"
"I am powerful") to use as a
mantra or affirmation in tense

STEP 2 Breathe. Take a


deep breath, inhaling
from your diaphragm,
pausing and exhaling
deeply. Focus on the physical
sensation. Repeat twice more.
Besides simply creating a moment of

moments. The catch: You have


to actually believe it in order for
it to work. If you do, you'll lower your
cortisol levels, according to Kathleen
Hall of The Stress Institute.

quiet reflection, deep breathing

How do you deal with stress?


"Go into one of the
restaurants at prime
time, watch the action.
Brings me back to my
roots."--JOF XING, LE COLONIAL

"Kneading dough is...


extremely calming and
requires you to center
and focus" -LIONEL

"Head to the nearest


golf course and whack
the ball as hard as I
can:' -JORDI VALLES,SALT

"I like to sit down to a


good game of computer

chess:'

-FRANKLIN BECKER,

BRASSERIE
VATNET, LA FARM BAKERY

"I knit The repetition of


the stitches clears my
mind and relaxes me."
-NICHELLE D. RaTER, CONSOU-

DATEDRESTAURANT OPERATIONS

"Turn off my cell phone


and tell everyone to call
my business partner for

one whole day'


SCtNEIDE,

-SHAR;

FUNKYDINER

"I find therapy in retreating to the butcher shop:"


-BRYAN

MOSCATELLO,

INDIGO LANDING

"I play war games on


my PlayStation 3, then
eat a big sandwich
standing in the kitchen'
.- ADOLI-OSUAYA,THE LODGE

"Play pinball. When


you're hitting your
ramps all is right in the
worldr' -ERIC GREENSPAN,
THE FOUNDRY ON MELROSE

"I eat a pint of Haagen


Dazs and a bag of cookies then I go for a run:'
-TENNEY

FLYNN,GW FINS

STTING
A G0OD NIGHT'S SLEEP ISN'T A LUXURY TO
Gbe
lndutged in as your schedule allows.
Says Dr. RuseII Rosenberg, director of the Atlanta
Sleep Institue "There's plenty of scientific evidence
to demo trate'hat sleep loss affects moods in a
negativ way and adds to-.stress"
So .I you want to be happier and decrease the
amount of stress in your life, you've got to catch
moe Zs. Experts agree that the optimal amount of
p is 75 to 8 hours a night But Rosenberg says
it's important not to get overwhelmed by the thought
of finding several more hours for sleep in an
already jam-packed schedule. "Even just adding 30
minutes onto your nightly sleep can help," he
says, "You don't have to go from getting five hours
to eight hours to notice a difference"
No matter when you go to bed, try to wind down
first, whether you read, watch TV or do some gentle
stretching (vigorous exercise should be avoided
before bedtime). The key, says Rosenberg, is to
put a buffer between your work day and bedtime.

"I take a mambo dance


class. It keeps me
focused on my footwork7
-- VICTORIABURGHI,
CAFE CENTRO

"Sing songs to my ninemonth-old baby boy:'


-GWEN TROST, SANDRINE'S

"Call somebody who's...


more stressed than
I am and compare days:'

BISTRO

-MIKE HILL, F REPL

"I ride around on my


scooter and soak up
some sunshine:'

"Karate is the key for


me. It clears my mind of

-DAVE QUERY, BIG RED F

THE PLAZACAFE

"I [take] short vacations


into the walk-in. I vent; 5
minutes later I'm a new

everything' -DOUG

GULIJA,

"Play squash. The only


person you have to
please or push is yourself:' -FRANK BONNANO,

"I count to 10 in
Spanish, but using my
twin boys' voices."

"Get a neck massage,


watch Law & Order reruns
that I've seen before.'

-ANTHONY

-KYLESHADty, NUTRITION
&

man." -MICHAEL

LucA 0WITALIA

NANARESTAURANT

CULINARY
CONSULTANTS

MACYW
S CrLiAR BAR

"I like to take my Lotus


out to the racetrack and
put the pedal to the
metal7 -CHRISTIAN SHAFFER,

"Paddle out into the


ocean-away from land
and work-and just be:'

"[Make] a big pot of my


mother's famous meatballs and red sauce,:

"Take a long walk in


Central Park:'

-JOHN KOWALENK.o,
HAMPTONS

-MICHAEL

AVENUE

EVENT MANAGEMENT

GROUP RESTAURANTS

3 We get hassled a lot by the courts, but at least Mickey D's didn't
actually have to pay that lady when she spilled hot coffee on herself.

C. BOMEACt,

SALM-O,

& GRILL

-TONY MAY,SAN DOMENICO

ERICKSON, FIFTH
-COMPILED

BYPATRICIACORE

4 We're the backbone of the U.S. economy: our economic input


will be $1.3 trillion this year and we'll employ 12.0 million people.
restaurantbiz.com May2007 Restaurant Business

33

The study puts the lifespan of


marrieds at seven years longer than
non-marrieds.
A study by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention also suggests
that married people are healthier.
Based on interviews with 127,545
adults, between 1999 and 2002, the
study found that married adults,
among other things, are:
o Less likely to be in fair or poor
health, and to suffer from health conditions such as headaches and serious
psychological distress.
* Less likely to be limited in various
activities, including work.
* Less likely to smoke, drink heavily or
be physically inactive.

scientific thinking has spurred new


research into happiness and new
efforts to measure the most import
contributors to it. While some have
said that trying to get happier is like
trying to get taller, the positive psychology camp contends that people
can, indeed, induce or elevate their
happiness by focusing on a number
of key contributors. Here's the latest
on what they've learned.

Abe Lincoln once said, "I have noticed


that folks are generally about as happy
as they have made up their minds to
be." Tolstoy was more direct: "If you want
to be happy, be." It's mind-over-misery
and social psychologists say studies
have shown that simply choosing to be
and acting happy can be habit forming
and life changing.

Are you happy?


D

R. ED DIENER, A LEADING HAPPINESS

researcher at the University of


Illinois, developed a tool for gauging
happiness. Called the "Satisfaction
with Life Survey;' it's considered by
many in the psychological community
to be a valid indicator of a person's
overall level of happiness, or "subjective
well-being? Think you're happy? Take

Diener's test and find out.


Using the 1-7 scale shown, indicate
your (brutally honest) level of agreement with each of the five statements.
When finished, add up your score and
check it against the happiness scale.
Scale
7= Strongly agree

Or at least don't expect them to boost


your happiness. While parents might
insist their kids are their greatest
sources of joy, research shows that the
emotional and financial toll that
accompanies those precious
bundles of joy cancels out
any happiness gains. British
economists Richard
Layard and Andrew
Oswold found that
children have a statistically insignificant
,
0 impact-and even a small
negative effect-on happiness.
Layard cites a study in which 1,000
working Texas women divided their
average day into "episodes," or specific
activities, and indicated their level of
happiness during each episode. Of 19
identified activities, childcare ranked
16th in terms of associated happiness,
only higher on the scale than commuting and working. The same study
showed that when asked to rank
groups they're happiest spending time
Continuedon page 38

Seligman cites a 35,000-person poll


from the National Opinion
Research Center, in which
40 percent of married
Americans described
themselves as "very
happy," compared
with just 24 percent
of unmarried
Americans who said the
same. He admits that it could
be that happy people are the ones who
get married to begin with. But
researchers generally agree that marriage offers strong emotional security.
If health and happiness are linked,
marriage apparently helps in this
regard. A recent study in the Journal of
Epidemiology and Community Health
supports findings that married people
live longer than those who are widowed,
divorced, separated or never-married.

6= Agree
5= Slightly agree
4= Neither agree nor disagree
3= Slightly disagree
2= Disagree
1= Strongly disagree

Survey statements
In most ways, my life is close to
my ideal.
The conditions of my life are
excellent.
I am satisfied with my life.
So far, I have gotten the important
things I want in life.
If I could live my life over, I would
change almost nothing.
Happiness scale
31-35 Extremely satisfied

26-30
21-25
20
15-19
10-14

Satisfied
Slightly satisfied
Neutral
Slightly dissatisfied
Dissatisfied

5-14

Extremely dissatisfied

6 We know what '86' means.


1955

34 Restaurant Business: May2007 restaurantbiz,com

Present

0
CI)

A-

Of
z

Lii
0
O3
02

U)

h1
5 Restaurants' share of the
food dollar keeps growing:

z
0

7 Blood oranges, tomatillos, yuzo and other exotic and


hard-to-source ingredients are now just exotic.

Continuedfrom page 34
with, kids came in fourth, after friends,
parents/relatives and spouse and only
above co-workers, self/alone and boss.

findgod
Embracing religion has been shown to
contribute to happiness. Dutch sociologist Ruut Veenhoven, who directs the
World Database of Happiness, a compilation of more than 1,500 surveys
around the world, found that countries
with the highest degree of religious
participation also report the highest
degrees of happiness.
Psychologists offer three explanations
for the link. social support networks
involved in organized religion; a firm
belief structure and a feeling of being
close to God; and "religion itself," which
generally provides for positive experiences and holds the promise of relief
from the pain of this life.

Dogs can make you healthier, too,


and not just because of all those daily
walks. Research from the University of
Missouri-Columbia suggests that simply stroking a dog prompts a release
of so-called "feel good" hormones that
lower blood pressure and decrease
depression and anxiety.
Getting a dog isn't something to rush
into, though. Daisy Okas, a spokesperson for the American Kennel Club, says
that you're making a 10- to 15-year
commitment with significant lifestyle
and financial implications.

nurture friendships
Money might not buy happiness, but
friendship does. According to Diener,
"We need good friends and family,
and we may need to sacrifice to some
extent to ensure that we have intimate,
loving relationshipspeople who care about us
and about whom we
care deeply. The happiest
people of all seem
to have good friends."

setgoals

get a doQg
A recent Market & Opinion Research
International poll reveals that dogs
bring more happiness into people's
lives than steady relationships and job
satisfaction. In fact, owning a dog
came out atop the happiness index,
with 81 percent of the 2,000 people
surveyed stating that their happiness
"significantly improved" upon
getting a dog.

have more. As such, you're never


truly satisfied. That treadmill, they say,
accounts for the fact that dramatic
increases in wealth and standard of
living in the past 50 years have resulted
in no increases in levels of happiness.

forget money
Except in situations where basic
needs are not met, money doesn't buy
happiness. In a 1995 survey, Diener
determined that people on the
Forbes 100 list reported being
only slightly happier than the
average Joe. And a 1978 study
found that 22 lottery winners were
no happier than a control group.
Say what? Scientists chalk it up
Sto a phenomenon called the
"hedonic treadmill." Basically,
regardless of how much you
make and how much stuff you
accumulate, your expectations continue to stray upwards, you continue
to compare yourself against those who

14 Americans have more disposable


income than ever before.

$25

It's working hard toward


goals-not actually
achieving them-that
contributes to happiness,
according to a group of
Swedish researchers. They argue that
people need to stay active and find
fulfillment through setting goals that
are interesting to work on and wellsuited to their particular strengths and
abilities. "From our research, the people
who were most active got the most joy,"
said lead researcher Dr. Bengt Bruelde of Z
Gothenburg University in the BBC's series 0
CZ
on happiness. "It may sound tempting
0
to relax on a beach, but if you do it for too 0
0
long it stops being satisfying."

go withiyour

flow
0

In short, play to your strengths. What


you're after, says Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,
a psychologist at Claremont Graduate
University and author of "Flow-The
Continuedon page 46

&oo
2 JFMAMJJ ASONJFMAMJ

ASONDJ

U)

You've heard it before, but science


backs it up: Laughter is the best
medicine. Researchers at the University
of Maryland School of Medicine in
Baltimore have shown that laughter is
linked to the healthy function of
blood vessels. Situations that provoked
laughter in study subjects caused the
endothelium, tissue that lines the vessels,
to dilate and increase blood flow.

Continuedfrom page 38
Psychology of Happiness," are situations
in which you're completely engaged
in your work and your performance is
effortless. That's a state he calls "flow"
and it leads to feelings of great satisfaction, regardless of the nature of
the work.

,unplugit
From time to time pry yourself away
from cell phones, e-mail, BlackBerry or
whatever other 24/7 communications
gadgets you've come to believe you
can't function without. Jeff Davidson,
author of "Breathing Space: Living &
Working at a Comfortable Pace in a
Sped-Up Society" and founder of the
Breathing Space Institute, says when
you're constantly plugged in your creativity and spontaneity diminish. You
wind up in a continual mode of reacting and responding instead of steering
and directing, the activities that most
business leaders say bring them the
greatest satisfaction.

begracious
Psychologists recommend keeping a
"gratitude journal," in which every day,
or maybe once a week, you record

18 It's so easy to find


skilled, reliable workers...
46 Restaurant Bmsiness May2007 restaurantbiz.rom

three to five things you're thankful for


or that you love. They also recommend
reaching out to others to express
gratitude or appreciation for something
they've done that touched your life in
a positive way.
University of California at Riverside
psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky led a
study that found that, over a six-week
period, taking the-time to count and
document their blessings significantly
boosted subjects' overall satisfaction
with life. A no-journals control group
had no such gain. Psychologist Robert
Emmons, at the University of California
at Davis, found that such exercises
improved health, raised energy levels
and relieved pain and fatigue in
patients with neuromuscular disease.

tryfogiens
Forgiving those who've done you wrong
can do wonders for your happiness and
health, says Dr. Fred Luskin, director
of the Stanford University Forgiveness
Project and author of "Forgive for
Good." Luskin's research found that
being unforgiving raised stress levels
and blood pressure, wore
down the immune
system and deregulated
the nervous system.

19 ...OK, maybe not, but we do have an incredibly diverse


workforce that is the envy of other industries:

Sure, you could just send a check to


support a charity, but happiness
experts say getting engaged and personally involved is the way to go. So
is getting in the habit of performing
smaller, simple, helpful gestures every
day-opening the door for someone
with their arms full, offering to pick up
groceries for an elderly neighbor.

parents

If all else
fails, chalk
your general
level of
satisfaction
(or lack
thereof) up
to genes. University of Minnesota
researcher David Lykken in 1996
published a study of 4,000 sets of twins.
After comparing happiness data on
identical versus fraternal twins, he concluded that roughly 50 percent of one's
satisfaction with life comes from genetic
programming. Genes, he said, influence such traits as general disposition,
ability to handle
5
36

prone to anxiety
and depression.

CL
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stress and being

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20 happy
We make
a living.
for people

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

TITLE: Lets Get Happy!


SOURCE: Restaurant Business 106 no5 My 2007
PAGE(S): 30-4, 38, 46
(C) Copyright (2001) VNU Business Publications, USA. All rights
reserved. To contact the publisher: http://www.vnuemedia.com/