Health and Happiness go hand and hand, meaning one is not more important than the other. Studies show that happiness is an inside job. Many of us tend to search for happiness outside of ourselves and we often do not realize that it is something that is discovered or uncovered. Positive emotions affect our brain function and change our behavior. The opposite emotions (negative) tend to narrow our thoughts. When we have positive thoughts we are more thoughtful, creative and full of ideas.
Here are 5 Ways to Better Health and Happiness:
1. Practicing gratitudes daily is a great way to start. When we take a look at the things that we are truly grateful for we notice that what we thought was important is actually not that important. We discover what is really important and feel lucky for what we DO have. Keeping a gratitude journal each day is a great way to do this.
2. Smiling reduces stress, greatly improves your mood, makes you more approachable and is contagious. Your smile doesn’t even have to be real! Researchers have found that smiling affects your brain in a way that your brain is actually aware of your smiles and keeps track of it! Through smiling, you can rewire your brain to make more positive patterns than negative ones 🙂
3. We feel good when we are taking care of our mind, body and soul. Health is wealth, in my opinion, and without it we have nothing. Improving health through superior nutrition is very effective. Something I have learned through my studies in becoming a health coach is that we don’t have to suffer through this process. We can gradually introduce many healthy things into our daily routine and eventually “crowd out” the foods that don’t serve us. Eating as many leafy greens and organic veggies as possible is the goal. We need a lot more than most people think!
4. Another thing to add to your daily routine is waking up early and going for a walk or jog. I started doing this and it is my way of meditating. It clears my mind, I take in all of the fresh air, and I get the blood flowing through my body. It doesn’t have to be vigorous exercise, it can just be a brisk walk. Morning walks can promote a good feeling first thing in the morning and allows you to continue that feeling for most of the day.
5. Lastly, having meaningful relationships, is often underrated. Studies show that loneliness is very detrimental for our health. Social relationships can reduce the risk of certain health conditions at each stage of life. When people feel alone they have elevated blood pressure, increased inflammatory response and can also have interrupted sleep. They show symptoms of depression, they are less likely to take care of themselves and they have higher morning levels of cortisol. A great way to connect with others is through social media or local meet ups. There are Facebook groups one can join where there are local people who have common interests. Meet ups work in a similar way, but they are actual events locally with people who share common interests.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
I am learning to accept that my stepmom who raised me has moved on with her life and doesn’t want me or my kids to be in it. Since my dad passed away 16 years ago she has pulled away and stopped reaching out to me and my two kids. She never comes to see them play sports anymore and never makes an effort to see us. She was my only real family. I am trying to not take it as rejection but it is hard not to.
2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I am learning to appreciate that though I am not perfect I still have many redeeming qualities that make me a good person 🙂
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
One of my most recent rewarding achievements in life is my weight loss goals. I vowed to change my life and change my habits in February 2015 to lose 60 lbs. I did not know how but I knew I was going to make it happen once and for all. I wanted to be a healthy mom for my two kids and I wanted to set a good example for them. I am still working on my health and fitness goals because I think we are always looking to improve ourselves.
4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
My not-so-perfect ways include: I can be impatient and I can have high expectations. I am a good communicator though and I am understanding so I think that balances my imperfect ways.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love the person I am becoming on my journey through life. I have been through a lot in my life and I have taken the last couple of years to really dig deep and fix what I didn’t love about myself. I love that I was so willing to change and took the time to make it happen. I am much more understanding, calm, and fun than I used to be.