Lately, physicians, researchers, and even economists have embarked on a journey to unveil the secrets of achieving better health. What could be deciphered from the secrets of nature is that happiness leads to better health. Well, modern research just validates what was established ages ago by sages.
What exactly is happiness?
Happiness as a concept is fairly subjective and dynamic. It often revolves around various vague aspects and so there are innumerable definitions of happiness. What has been derived from myriad definitions is that happiness is a felling of elation that protects you from stress and ill-thoughts, instilling the spirit with joy and jubilation.
Many scholars categorize happiness as a sense of inner peace, comfort, an positive attitude that paves way for a healthier, more balanced and a long lasting life. If you are a religious person than, according to saints and spiritual teachers, happiness is a feeling of gratitude towards God for showering his blessings on our poor souls.
Hundreds of writers, poets, and intellectuals have used their pen to describe what happiness means to them – I personally like this one:
“Under the deep blue sea
It’s always better my darling
Down the wetter lines
Take me further O my Lord – So I can either find you or happiness!”
Does happiness really affect our health?
Amusingly so, most of really happy and cheerful people comes across as exceptionally healthy for their age. Once in a blue moon we get news of our distant relative (Uncle Cheerful – almost every one of us have one) suffering from cardiac arrest.
Statistics show that happiness is correlated with better health for individuals, communities, and even countries. So what could be the secret? Is it inner peace and comfort? Is it a positive attitude to the outside world? Is it positive thinking? Happy people certainly have less negative thoughts that cause negative emotions. It is well known from medical studies that these negative emotions ruin our psychological and physical health. As per medical researchers, happiness is the surest way to stimulate the release of anti-stress hormones and improve your immune system.
Research studies by the Harvard’s School of Public Health in Boston and University College in London correlate happiness with longevity and show that optimistic and happy people live longer and healthier years.
Secrets of happiness
What does it take to be happy in your life? Not much, just follow these golden rules and let happiness come to you.
1. Find Positive in everything around you
Positive Psychology teaches us to focus on positive aspects of our life. Every moment we have a choice of focusing on positives or on negatives… this choice is yours. Positive thinking and positive attitude to others is a key to happiness.
2. Eat the diet of happiness
Scientist and dietitians recommend one key ingredient for your diet: Essential fatty acids or EFAs. These acids are the building blocks for your brain and deficiency causes anxiety, depression, and even dementia. EFA supplements and a diet rich in Olive oil, fish, and seasonal fruits and vegetables is essential to keep you in a positive mood.
3. Sleep to heaven
Sleep sets the tone and mood for the following day. Sleep is shown to be the most important factor for your mental health. Statistics prove that those who sleep well can find their joy even in the garden of hell. The insomnia or inability to sleep causes devastating impact in the life of people.
4. Live and Let live
The ultimate mantra to instill loads of bliss and joy within yourself and others is through adherence with the policy of ‘live and let live.’ It is a contagious policy and profits one and all for an entire life.
Can we measure happiness?
Assessment of happiness is subjective and depends on what you consider a happiness scale. There is no particular criterion other than the glow on your face.
The indicators of happiness are life satisfaction, health, community engagement. Person need some basic wealth to be happy, yet high income doesn’t really increase the level of happiness.
The level of happiness could be measured based on surveys. In 1972, Bhutan introduced a Gross National Happiness (GNH) scale, a parameter which is closely monitored by government and considered very important to the development of their economy.
Author Bio: Mike Chapman a happiness expert & fitness consultant with 5+ years of experience working in clinics and gyms and dealing with health, pain and injuries. He is delivering talks on happiness and writing articles telling people how happiness can benefit their lives and the environment.
Image Credit: Mark Sebastian – http://www.flickr.com/photos/markjsebastian/7824209576