I am assuming that everyone out there knows someone who is going to fit this description pretty well… they seem to happy all the time, they smile at everyone, they are always ready with a hug and listening ear, and they just seem to have figured out this thing called Life and nailed down a strategy for somehow maintaining a state of more or less constant happiness. Can you think of someone in your circle that is like this?
Now comes the big question… are you even the tiniest bit jealous? You should be, because it has been proven by science that being happy is good for more than just making your days more enjoyable. There is already a well-established body of research examining negative health effects of stress and anger… but there are also key studies that look at associations between health and happiness. It’s important to note that these studies focus on correlations, things that go hand in hand but are not necessarily caused by one another.
And you know what these studies show? Happiness has been correlated with better health, both in individuals and communities. Some studies have even suggested that states of happiness may be associated with lower stress-related hormones and better immune function. There is a growing body of evidence of well-being as a protective health factor and a predictive health factor. In short, happier people can live longer, healthier lives. There is a growing body of data which shows that positive mood, optimism and humour are linked to all-around better health and well-being.
One thing to remember is that, while you have minimal control over a lot of things in life, your attitude is something that you have 100% control over. The secret to finding happiness isn’t even as elusive as a lot of people seem to thing… just simply decide to be happy! Then try engaging in a few of these suggested activities and watch as your world gets a little bit shinier.
- Get out and play: there are hundreds of benefits to spending time outdoors in nature. Even just taking 10 to 15 minute out of your day and going for a walk is beneficial. It helps to cleanse your mind and invigorate your soul
- Eat right and take care of your body: you all know how into healthy eating we are here at Heroic Health One of the best things that you can do for your health is to eat healthy and cut out processed foods and chemicals from your diet as much as you can. Every single thing that you eat or drink is going to directly affect how you feel and how your brain and body functions. One of the best things that you can do in trying to reach this goal is to start each day off with a protein shake or green smoothie. Also, try adding probiotic-rich foods (like Greek yogurt) to your diet. Also, try not to worry about the foods that you will take out of your diet… just focus on the healthy ones that are you are going to put in to improve it and add the healthy foods one at a time!
- Get enough (quality) sleep: given that sleep is incredibly important for our brain, everyone should be making extra special sure that they are getting enough. Sleep deprived people tend to be grouchy, feel more stressed and have a more difficult time maintaining a state of optimism. Trust me when I say that if you make sleep a priority, your body will thank you
- Show gratitude… for everything: having a grateful heart is an incredibly powerful mindset to have. A great thing to help you with this is to keep a gratitude journal. Try to write down 3 to 5 things every day that you are thankful for. This will help you to recognize the many blessing that you have in your life and puts you in a place where you are able to receive even more
- RELAX (I cannot stress this one enough): everyone has a different strategy for how they like to relax. Some people take a nap, read a book, go for a cruise in the car, engage in yoga or tai-chi, or clean. It can be anything. Decide how YOU like to relax (whether it is with other people or on your own)… and then do it every day. Never feel guilty about doing this either (I know that some mothers may have a hard time with this, but it is absolutely imperative for your health to let yourself relax every single day. Make this a priority!
- Connect with positive people: it is wearing on anyone to be around someone who is positive 100% of the time, but it is still a good idea to engage in relationships that are of a more positive nature because it’s good for your attitude and for your health. Connect with positive people that are already in your life, but also seek out new connections. Find blogs or Facebook pages that uplift you. Positivity is one thing that you cannot overdose on, so dive right in!
- Try diffusing essential oils in your home: essential oils have such a huge power for healing. By purchasing a simple diffuser and a few of your favourite scents, you can create a home where you feel happy and that smells good. Our sense of smell is a powerful thing… just smelling something that is pleasing to us can uplift our mood and make us feel better. So diffuse those oils! Diffusing can also help clean the air in your home or office as well so you’re doing double duty when you diffuse
- Maintain a solid library of motivational books and other great reads: everyone who knows me knows that I am a bookworm. I love reading books. I maintain a library that would impress even the most skilled librarians. I recommend that everyone should be picking up a book and reading daily. Whether it’s a self-help book that is aimed at improving your mood or yourself or a fantasy book that will take you away to other worlds, just find a book or magazine that will help you wind down. Reading before bed also helps you sleep
- Constantly learn new things: try to learn something new each and every day. This keeps you moving forward and progressing. It also helps you feel productive and stretches your brain by using it in different ways. Simply choose something that you are interested in, and then go out and find books or YouTube videos on it. Take a class. Just enjoy learning for the sake of learning!
- Engage more in your faith system of choice: everyone believes something different, and here at Heroic Health, we do not judge. All faiths are relevant in some ways and they all have their merits. Pray daily, if it’s your thing. Some people find that it helps to do this multiple times each day because it brings you to a place of strength and peace. Try meditating, or go for a prayer walk. Just try to get spiritual each day, whatever that means to you
Happiness is ultimately a choice. It may not seem like it at times when the going gets rough, but you can always choose the lighter side. Always aim for the light and you’ll know that you are going in the right direction!