Five-part prescription for happiness

by Kirby Messinger

Wouldn't it be nice for your doctor to write you a prescription for happiness? Tulane University medical alumni Drs. Carrie and Alton Barron did just that as they presented their cure for creativity to faculty members and students at the medical school on Dec. 5. The presentation was based upon their book, The Creativity Cure: How to Build Happiness With Your Own Two Hands.

The husband and wife team drew upon the latest psychological research, their combined 40 years of medical practice and personal experience to write the self-help guide.

The five-part prescription is meant to bring awareness to daily life. The Barrons advise that you can find a content and authentic life with this five-part prescription:

Insight

Spend about 10 minutes every day in inner dialog. Taking a break from social media, the computer and television is important for everyone but especially for children.

Movement

Exercise and physical movement have numerous benefits that have been shown to combat anxiety and depression.

Mind rest

Downtime and leisure are essential. There has to be a time when the mind can roam free.

Your own two hands

There is a link between working with our hands and brain exercise. Meaningful hand use such as crafting or even writing a note to a friend can bring inner peace.

Mind shift

A shift in behavior and outlook occurs when you are able to participate in the previous four prescriptions and change the way your mind works.

"We must think differently in order to create an appropriate balance in our lives," says Carrie Barron, a board-certified psychiatrist/psychoanalyst on the clinical faculty of the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons who also has a private practice in New York. Alton Barron is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and is president of the New York Society for Surgery of the Hand. He has been a surgeon for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera for more than a decade.

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