Are you happy? What does happiness mean to you? Happiness is a state of contentment and gives the feeling that things are as they should be. Studies show that optimistic people are the happiest people, and they live longer than their pessimistic counterparts.
Are you searching for health and happiness? Let´s take a deeper look at the health and happiness connection.
Is health the key to happiness?
People generally look for happiness in three areas:
- helping others (charity, small acts of kindness to neighbors, strangers, society)
- engaging in activities they enjoy and are good at (hobbies, etc)
- doing good things for themselves (taking care of themselves through nutritious diets, exercise, and effective stress-management strategies).
True happiness comes from within.
How does health affect happiness?
Sure some outside factors can influence happiness, but have you noticed that they aren´t long-lasting? Engaging in any of the three areas mentioned above can positively impact your health in several ways.
- Your health and immune system will improve significantly.
- You will be less likely to get sick and recover from illness quicker.
- You will be able to deal with pain more effectively.
- A noticeable increase in creativity and critical problem-solving is evident.
- You will be able to learn, grow, and expand your ideas.
- You will have a purpose in life and work towards it.
- You can have a more rewarding and fulfilling life.
Some studies show that heart attack rates increase by 82% or above in people who suffer from depression.
There is a link between severe depression and heart attacks.
Positive emotions can have an undeniable impact on physical health and can increase your quality of life.
Research indicates that only 10% of our happiness comes from our circumstances (there goes that myth that money buys happiness). 50% of our happiness comes from genetics, and 40% comes from the choices we make.
Some studies show cancer patients who suffer from depression during treatments have a higher mortality rate than those with a positive outlook.
Regular contact with loving family members and friends can significantly impact your happiness level.
Does happiness depend on health?
Some people are healthy but unhappy. Have you ever met someone who´s unhealthy but happy? I remember my childhood best friend’s aunt suffering tremendously from cancer, but you wouldn´t have known it. Even in her suffering, she was pleasant, gracious, and happy. It was surreal. It was evident that she was in great pain, yet positivity reigned.
Her attitude had such an impact on my young mind, and I still remember her gracious example today. She touched many around her, especially the medical staff, who cared for her.
Though you can be healthy and unhappy, or unhealthy and happy, these conditions don´t last long. Either the healthy-unhappy person becomes sick over time, or the unhealthy-happy person can recover or expire. The best fit is to be happy and healthy, and you and I have control of our happiness more than we realize.
How can you achieve health and happiness?
If you are struggling in the happiness arena, here are some tips to help you.
1) Limit negative thinking, believing, and speaking
Replace those negative patterns with a positive and healthier approach. Instead of spending hours thinking about how something can´t work out, how about thinking of different ways that they could? (Some of you, you´ve been thinking along those lines for a while now, and it hasn´t worked. Perhaps it´s time to try something new?)
2) Practice positivity
Choose that no matter what obstacle comes your way, you plan to play out scenarios in your life that ends successfully. Don´t let circumstances keep you bound. There is always a way out of a problem (sometimes you may have many options to choose from).
3) Acts of Kindness
Small acts of kindness go a long way, and they do matter. A small gesture on your part can make a big difference in someone´s life (more than you realize).
A small gesture of kindness such as babysitting one night for a single-parent household in a month, mowing the lawn for an elderly neighbor if time permits, or baking a delicious pie/cake for a neighbor in need are a few examples.
4) Knowing yourself
Know what you want, what you cannot accept under any circumstances, your strengths, your weaknesses, what impacts you, and what brings you down. This knowledge empowers you to make the changes you need to make in your life and helps you remove barriers that hinder your happiness. It also reduces your frustration levels.
Health and happiness the chicken or the egg? One thing is certain; happiness does have a significant impact on one´s health. Positivity goes a long way. Positive people attract their dreams and desires to them.
There is a link between health and happiness. Sick people can be happy despite their circumstances, and healthy people can be unhappy. But in both situations over long periods, something will have to give. Either the healthy unhappy person becomes sick, or the unhealthy happy person recovers.
Out of all three conditions, the best is health and happiness. Factors like genetics, circumstances and your choices can influence your happiness level. It is possible to increase your level of happiness and decrease your frustration level.
Many people look for happiness in 3 major areas; helping others, engaging in activities they love and enjoy, and doing good things for themselves, like eating healthy and engaging in effective stress management techniques (meditation, yoga, body scanning, breathing exercises)
Everyone should walk in health and happiness. Decide to increase your happiness level today.
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