Bringing Wellness Full Circle

Posts tagged ‘Happiness’

Happy Ever After Today

I found out early in life that I am way happier when I practice certain things–like exercise, and letting go of things I can’t change.

Science actually now agrees that greater levels of happiness are attainable through practices that change how your brain functions.  Neuroplasticity is a big word to simply say that the brain is able to change.

Here are some things that are now scientifically proven:

1. Your Set Point 

Each of us is born with a happiness “set point” around which our happiness level tends to settle, regardless of what happens to us. Research suggests that genetics determine about 50 percent of this set point and environment determines the other 50 percent. But you have much more power over your happiness level than you probably realize, because only a small amount of your environment is out of your control (things like the weather and the stock market). This means that you have control over 40% of your happiness level. Own this fully. Intentionally make choices that make you happier.When you make positive changes in your self and your environment, you raise your disposition toward happiness.

2. It’s as Much About What You Don’t Want as What You Do Want

It’s much easier to decide what you don’t want than what your really, really, really want. Once you know what you don’t want, figure out what the opposite looks like. “I don’t want to be out of shape” may become “I want to be toned and workout five times a week so that I can enjoy my life.”  When you learn to avoid the things that lower your happiness set point, it will naturally rise.

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3. It’s About This Moment

We are not very good at predicting what will make us happy or how long that happiness will last. Studies show that there is a gap between what we believe will make us happy and what actually does – a big one. We tend to overestimate how things will affect us, thinking we’ll be much happy when we get something we want. Major life events (positive or negative) lose their impact on happiness levels, often as quickly as a few months. For example, lottery winners settle back into their pre-winning level of happiness and paraplegics become happier after they process their loss.

Focus on happiness here and now, not some day in the future. You will naturally stabilize toward your set point – and there are many things you can do to get there more quickly.

It is only possible to live happily ever after…on a daily basis.

4. The Bigger Picture

There is a lot to be said about using your strengths in the service of something larger than yourself. Volunteering or helping another is a powerful tool to bring yourself more happiness.

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But I bet you instinctively knew all of this. The real issue is the daily practice. Because as with any lasting improvement, the magic is in the everyday discipline …

 

 

The Alphabet of Heatlh-J is for JOY!

I know, I know, what does joy have to do with health? Well, realistically, on the one hand, nothing at all. But realistically, on the other hand, joy has everything to do with health.

It goes in both directions:

~If you want to become or stay healthy, it is really because your joy level goes up with health.

~If you want to become joyful or stay full of joy, you better be healthy, because sick people, or people ridden with pain have a very hard time being joyful.

And when all is said and done, isn’t your life all about enjoying yourself and being all that you were created to be? And that has to include joy.

Something to think about…

 

Commitment to Health, Inside and Out

Commitment is really what it boils down to. Some days you do great and others… well, not so great. But if you are committed to have a healthy lifestyle, you don’t see it as a defeat. You just pick up where you left off and keep going. And one day plus one day plus one day adds up, and you find yourself in a totally different place before you know it! So here are some keys that I myself personally have found useful:

1. Make a commitment to do whatever it takes.  Commitment is more than just knowing what to do. It’s managing yourself yourself in such a way that you do it. Pretty basic, I know. But if you really get this and do it, you are on your way for sure!

2. Start from a foundation of happiness. Happiness is a mental state that can only be created right now – at any given moment. And nobody wins at any challenge if they’re unhappy. So be happy. Accept yourself and your current circumstances and be enthusiastic about the future you’re creating.

3. Design your own healthy “diet” plan. Maybe you hate meat, and I love it, but I know not to eat too much of it. Maybe nuts make you happy. There really is not one plan that works for every one; listen to your body. But remember that listening to your body doesn’t mean spontaneous gratification! Just like managing your time and money, managing your diet takes planning and organization.  No matter what makes you tick, these three principles will apply to all:

~eat foods as close to their natural state as possible

~not eat any processed foods any longer

~drink more and more water
4. Manage your emotions. There is no healthy lifestyle without emotional balance. Take the time necessary to process what is going on in your life and learn how you can handle your circumstances in a healthy way.  Come up with stress coping strategies and don’t neglect yourself! Begin exchanging old bad habits for healthy new ways of enjoyment and soothing yourself.

5. Find a way to exercise daily. Physical activity is healthy and one of the best mood enhancers there are. Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated or extreme. It just has to happen. Decide what kind of physical activity would be best for you and work it out with your schedule. There are great exercise videos, walking paths and a variety of gyms everywhere. Choose a time and method and make it a regular habit.

6. Keep a Journal. Writing stuff down helps you realize what you are thinking and what your needs are, whether emotional or physical.

7. Be persistent. Nothing gets accomplished without persistence. Persistence is the only common denominator of all successful people. The story goes that Thomas Edison had 999 failures before he finally invented the light bulb. If you’ve tried to lose weight and failed 999 times, learn from your mistakes and do it better next time. The only way to succeed is to persist.

consistency

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