Through the years everybody encounters hardship. It’s part of life. The big question is: what do you do in these moments of need. Will you sit in a corner and feel sorry for yourself? Will you go on as if nothing is the matter? Or will you grab yourself by the shoulders and shake yourself up?
I have been the caregiver of my parents for 2 decades. While being an entrepreneur and aging myself as well this took a toll on me. At times I was so tired I couldn’t imagine feeling joyful and happy.
Yet I chose to shake myself up. It wasn’t easy, I must admit. The main obstacles were internal. This little voice in my head said: “You can’t do it”, “You’re too old”, “You’re a woman” or “Everybody has a hard time now and again”.
Those were excuses, although I didn’t recognize them as such. I thought it was the plain truth and nothing was to be done about it. Shaking myself up was not only my own doing. I had great help from friends, making me realise once more we need a social network to support us.
Choose to be happy
Happiness is an important ingredient in a healthy life. Many studies indicate that happiness plays a major role in our health, whether it’s living a healthy lifestyle or reducing the amount of chronic pain – happiness is the solution to many health woes.
Happiness encourages healthy living
According to studies, happier people are almost twice as likely to eat more fresh vegetables than people who state that they are not happy. Eating more produce will automatically improve your health over eating a diet high in processed food.
Happiness provides energy
When you tend to eat better, you tend to end up with more energy. It’s hard to imagine it but being negative or sad can literally drain the energy out of your body while being happy can give you more energy.
Happiness boosts immunity
Eating better, moving more, and feeling happy will also increase your ability to fight off illness and disease because it improves your immunity. A study showed that people who report happiness tend to fight off illness faster than people who report sadness. They literally gave people the cold virus and the happy people were three times less likely to get the cold.
Happiness lessens stress
If you’re happy, you’ll have a lot less to keep you up at night, to worry about, and therefore you’ll end up with less stress. However, it goes farther than that because happy people tend to report less stress even when they are facing stressful things. Due to the strength that happiness gives you, you’ll experience less stress.
Happiness protects cardiovascular health
Because you’re eating better and moving more due to your happiness, you are also protecting your cardiovascular health. You’re less likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, or other issues related to heart health and the cardiovascular system.
Happiness increases longevity
Because you’re eating right, exercising more, and you’re feeling great about life, you will likely live longer. According to one long-term study that tracked the lives of 32,000 people to find out who lived longer, the people who report happiness, or the people who report being less happy. It’s not surprising that happy people tend to live 14 percent longer.
Happiness diminishes pain
People who have chronic pain have a right to be mad about it or feel sad about it. However, the fact is people who report being happy tend to deal with their chronic pain (and other illnesses) better than those who were not happy to start with.
When you are happy, you’re more likely to eat right, drink enough water, and move. It’s mostly because you have more energy to do active things. If you are having difficulty maintaining your happiness, learn how easy it is to change your mindset. Happiness has nothing to do with your circumstances but everything to do with how you choose to respond to them.
It’s good to know what the benefits are. But how to accomplish happiness?