You may think the art of happiness has eluded you . . . and instead of happiness, you've inherited more than your share of bad luck, emotional turmoil and distress. Maybe you're thinking you need therapy or a little professional help in straightening out the mess. That's okay. You're not alone. But you can do something about it right now. By reading this brief article and trying these four powerful strategies, you can take the first step toward attaining lasting and meaningful happiness.
Why make happiness complicated? Do four simple things and enjoy a happier and more joyful life. No, the art of happiness is not a magic pill that will solve all your problems and cure your woes, but it will be a big help. The art of happiness will assist you in getting rid of depression and anxiety, and allow you to access inner healing states.
1. Exercise your brain
You'll create more neural pathways and decrease the likelihood of getting
Alzheimers and other dementias if you actively stretch your brain. Play games. Do puzzles. Enjoy brain
teasers. Challenge yourself by learning a musical instrument. Take a
class. Learn a language. You'll keep those all-important neural pathways
strong and vibrant, and you'll keep them growing and expanding.
2. Exercise your body
Exercise activates your immune system. Your body needs exercise and has to have it! Just moving more will help. Stay
active. If you must watch TV, get up
often and walk around. By sitting passively on your arse, night after
night, you actually take years off your life. You could exercise your body while you're watching the
Avoid a passive lifestyle and you'll be rewarded with a longer, happier life. You'll increase heart rate and blood flow, and supply more oxygen to your brain cells! You'll super-charge your immune system, too. And you'll enjoy your twilight years more bountifully. Oh, and the sex life will get so much better!
3. Control your blood pressure
Get your blood pressure under control and keep it that way. High blood pressure impairs cognitive function. If your blood pressure is in a healthy range, you'll perform well mentally. You'll be more likely to have a mind that's as sharp as a tack, if your blood pressure is good. Work with your doctor and make it happen. Change your diet, throw the salt shaker away and become more active. You'll hit the happiness jackpot.
4. Enter the silence
Sit still and do something. Studies show that meditation and certain forms of yoga can reawaken the brain, restore balance, and heal traumatic experiences. Listening to the quiet and basking in solitude can make a big difference in your life. Breathing deeply and slowly while sitting in a quiet, private place can be your ticket to overcoming stress and enhancing your whole being. Stress is a silent killer, so take your stress seriously. Resting and enhancing your brain through progressive relaxation or mindfulness meditation can be so rewarding and stimulating.
What the Research Says
The research on the subjective sense of well being (happiness) reveals that an optimistic attitude leads to happiness. That means essentially adopting and maintaining a positive attitude, and finding happiness in the good and bad. Seeing the good in everything, including your problems, will give you a sense of control and impact the way you respond to the events in your life. If you see the glass as half-empty, try seeing it as half-full. Your happiness will double.
Also, the art of happiness depends upon finding meaningful work and developing a vibrant social life. People who are islands aren't very happy. A strong support system makes a difference. Friends make us stronger, as long as they don't influence us in a negative way.
Depression is a social disease, among other things, so if you spend your time with unhappy and sordid sorts you'll become more like them. Remember . . . a good friend is happiness personified. If you have no friends, you will be depressed.
Above all, try to be a good friend to yourself! That means, in part, to be yourself, and learning to be comfortable in your own skin.
Healthy people tend to be happier than unhealthy folks, and having a strong spiritual, or rich, interior life, improves happiness. Happiness is balance, too. Balance makes all the spheres of your life come together in a pleasing, synergistic way, giving you a strong foundation for enduring happiness.
OK, we won't get overly complicated. Here are the keys. If you want to find happiness or take a giant step toward enhancing your sense of subjective well being, put the four corners of your happiness castle in place: brain exercise, body exercise, blood pressure control and deep relaxation. Heck, you may not even need therapy . . . once you begin to recharge your brain, build your neurons and fuel your most important sex organ -- your brain -- you'll attain the art of happiness.