Can Being Happy Make You Healthier? - Read To Find Out
Being happy is closely tied to health and well-being, and is linked to positive changes in several areas, like stress, sleep, and lower blood pressure and heart rate, improved immune function, better psychological well-being, increased energy, and much more.
But even if your life isn't at all happy, I think that you still can take healthy steps to improve your well-being and health.
Some examples of ways that you can be happy and healthy that is not connected to gaining more wealth, developing better relationships, or learning more about yourself are:
Tend to your body and soul. Consider what happens when you become overwhelmed with stress.
What happens if you haven't really rested in the past few weeks?
Is that restorative? Think about these questions.
- Spend time with friends
- Take a vacation from work
- Eat mindfully
- Pay attention to your body
- Take time off to visit a beautiful place
- Go for a walk in the woods
- Sleep 8-10 hours a night
- Read more books
- Take a class
- Try a new activity
There are many ways to recharge your energy and improve your well-being that doesn't require you to earn more money or spend more time with others.
Spending less money on material goods or people won't necessarily create happiness
Some of the ways to be happier and healthier that do require some money are:
- Join a community
- Join a writers group
- Take a class
- Spend more time with people you love
- Converse with your physician
You don't have to pay much money to make big differences in how you feel and how you respond to your life.
But some changes in your life will make a big difference.
That brings me to my next point.
Before I started my work as a psychotherapist, I thought that being more positive was a skill that we could all learn.
It seemed so easy and obvious to me that being happy was the most important thing.
Of course, I didn't realize that my thinking had been a trap and I didn't understand the science behind it.
In retrospect, I think that being positive was a deliberate attempt to escape the pain I had been experiencing and because I wanted to avoid pain.
I also thought that being more positive would make things better for everyone else.
But I can see now that being positive has nothing to do with our own well-being and everything to do with the well-being of others.
After all, if I were not as positive as I was and I was depressed, then I wouldn't want to be around my friends and I wouldn't want to be around people who were not as positive as I was.
I wouldn't want to be around anyone sad, and I certainly wouldn't want to be around anyone angry.
I believe that we do not want to be around people who are angry and/or sad. Of course, we want to be around people who are kind and compassionate and who are not angry or sad.
But we don't want to be around angry and sad people, and so we avoid them.
We try to help people who are angry and/or sad by understanding their anger and sadness
We try to help them to feel better by telling them that they are safe and that we love them.
We try to help them to feel better by telling them that they can express their anger and sadness and that people will understand, and so they will stop acting angry and sad.
When we try to help other people feel better by saying and doing things to help them be better, then we help them feel better.
But when we try to feel better by telling them that they are safe and that we love them, we help people to feel better when they don't need any help in feeling safe and loved.
I believe that the belief that we can help people by simply telling them that they are safe and that we love them doesn't help them at all.
In fact, it actually hurts them, because it takes away their own sense of safety and their own sense of wholeness. And so they respond by trying to be angry and sad so that they can feel safe and loved.
The funny thing about feelings is that they keep you from experiencing the truth.
When we try to make other people feel safe and loved by saying and doing things to help them feel safe and loved, the very thing we are trying to do takes away their own sense of safety and their own sense of wholeness.
That's the power of our negative thinking
So, even if we don't know how to help others, we can help ourselves by learning how to see our thoughts for what they are: traps.
We can learn to see our thoughts as being false or misleading, and we can understand that we are only experiencing our feelings, not thoughts.
I am sorry to say that most of us are very self-centered. We are blinded by our own feelings of anger or sadness, and so we see other people as just annoying irritation.
But our anger and sadness only get worse if we don't take care of ourselves first.
We can't do anything to help anyone if we are too busy being angry and sad. So we have to take the time to listen to our feelings, rather than to what the other person is saying to us.
And we have to take the time to reflect on our feelings, rather than on what the other person is saying to us.
We have to take the time to look within, and that is when we will see our self-centered, angry, or sad thoughts for what they are: traps.