New York City
- If I told you heart disease was the number one killer in the United States, you wouldn't be surprised. Nor would you consider it news if I went on to tell you some of the more common lifestyle choices we make that lead to heart disease: eating high-salt, high-fat foods, smoking and not getting enough exercise.
But what if I told you there was something else that increases your odds of getting heart disease that has nothing to do with diet and exercise? Bet that would raise your eyebrows.
The happier we are, the healthier we are. (docwhisperer.wordpress.com)
The truth is there is another factor that has a significant impact on your health, which I'll tell you about in just a second.
Before I do, let me share a little something else. This factor I'm talking about is a bit of a super drug, a magic pill if you will. Why? Because not only is it capable of reducing your risk for heart disease, it affects how likely you are to get sick overall, how long it takes you to recover from illness or injury, your life expectancy, the quality of your relationships and even how much money you make. I'd say that qualifies as pretty powerful, wouldn't you?
So what is it? Is it a drug, a vitamin, a weight-loss program or nicotine patch? No. As a matter of fact, this little wonder won't cost you a dime. It's free!
What is it? Happiness. That's right. The happier we are, the healthier we are and the longer and better we live. As a matter of fact, every single aspect of our lives, including every organ of the human body functions better in a happy person.
Now, do you think that happy is something you either are or aren't? Does this mean you're up the creek if life isn't so grand for you right now? Not at all. Because I've got a few interesting tidbits to share about choosing to live happily. Yes, I said "choose." You see, a common misconception about happiness is that it is something to strive for, to work toward, a goal we set our sights on for some time in the future when an ideal set of circumstances are in place.
Happiness is not something you work towards. (elgvin.org)
You know what I'm talking about. It's people suffering from a case of the "if onlys." "If only I had more money. If only I could lose this weight. If only I could land that job. If only I had more time to relax. Then, I would be happy."
Here's a newsflash for you. Happiness is not something you work towards. It's not a destination. It's part of the journey - a vital part. It's something to be. It is a way of life we choose. Both in our approach to what we do, as well as using it is a priority filter, something we use to guide us in our decisions.
First, let's talk about happiness as a priority. How many people do you know who feel guilty about doing something that will make them happy? Maybe you're one of them. Good chance you are, since it seems many people feel the happiness of their families and those they love should always come first, before their own happiness. Always? I'm not so sure.
First of all, if being happy means you are healthier and live longer, how is depriving yourself of that which will help make you happy, really helping those you love in the long run? It's not! The great thing about happiness is the happier you are, the happier those around you are. It's infectious.
So my first prescription for you is to begin making decisions with your happiness in mind. Before you do anything, ask yourself how happy it will make you. Granted, we all have certain obligations and responsibilities that may not be so fun, but overall, begin keeping this in the back of your mind as you make decisions. You'll be surprised how just asking the question will make a world of difference.
Before you do anything, ask yourself how happy it will make you. (picsicio.us/domain/thetwobits.blogspot.com)
But let's not stop there. If happiness is something we do, a way of living life, then, how do we do happy? I'll give you five tips you can start using today.
(1) Forgive yourself for past mistakes. We all do the best we can with what we have and know at any given time. If you haven't been perfect in the past, welcome to the club. We're human. Learn from your mistakes and choose more wisely next time. Give yourself permission to be happy.
(2) Focus on what you want in life, not what you don't want. They are very different thought processes and will lead to very different results. Pay attention the next time you consider an area in your life with which you are dissatisfied. Are you speaking in terms of what you don't want or what you do want?
(3) Live in the moment. Develop the habit of keeping your thoughts with you as often as possible. Whenever they drift off to the past, future or worrying about something other than the task at hand, you increase your anxiety, not to mention reduce your productivity. When you're home with the family, be there completely. When you sit down to share a meal with loved ones, keep your thoughts with you. Don't let them run off to the office, replaying the crummy day you had or worrying about tomorrow.
(4) Be selective in what you feed your mind. Learn something every day. Read as often as you can. Surround yourself with positive people. If you're going to watch television, choose programs that entertain you, make you laugh or teach you something. Avoid the conflict-ridden, karma-sapping reality shows. How often do we invite people into our homes on the tube we would never allow in the front door? Remember, negativity is infectious too.
(5) Get out of your own head and problems and do something for someone else. Our greatest moments of soul-satisfying happiness come from lifting the spirits of other people. We are surrounded by people in need. Be kind, thoughtful and generous. The payoff is huge.
Here's a bonus for you. As you begin to make more decisions that make you happier, you will begin to feel better and by default, take better care of yourself. Think about it. How many of us blow off exercise because we're not motivated, stressed-out or simply not in the mood? How often do we pour ourselves another glass of wine (or two or three) because we're stressed and unhappy? Or wolf down a handful of cookies?
Work on the happy part first. And then take notice of the healthier habits that will come along for the ride. Choose to live happier. It just might save your life.
To your health and happiness - Dr. Max
For more information go to www.DrMaxGomez.com