A few weeks ago, a number of national television news networks and daily papers were all running an article on an unusually positive topic entitled: “Happiness is good for your health!!!”
The reason this hit the headlines was because of recent published scientific research into the benefits of happiness. It’s been found that happier people are 20% less likely to get heart disease (one of the main causes of death in the Western world) and tend overall to have healthier hearts generally.
Other research has shown that things like kindness and compassion also contribute to the happiness factor. Not only are they helpful for those on the receiving end of it, but it’s also very beneficial for the givers as well! It appears that simple acts of kindness release a hormone called oxytocin which plays a key role in the brain in terms of facilitating bonding (which makes for happy, connected feelings). Oxytocin is also released when we give or receive a hug or a smile, when we stroke a pet animal, or when we’re with close and trusted friends etc.
It’s sometimes known as the cuddle chemical!
Just think what this means for you! By simply spending time with good friends or special people, having pleasurable experiences of all sorts, hugging, smiling, being kind to someone, showing compassion and understanding – you’re inducing a happy state in yourself and others, reducing your risk of heart disease, lowering your blood pressure and your risk of developing a serious illness!!! How about that? No medication, no surgery, no visits to the doctor or the hospital! This has to be one of the best ever forms of preventative medicine! And all we have to do is to bring MORE of it into our lives.
Even if you feel you’re in a difficult place right now and happiness seems rather remote, there are things you can do to lift your spirits and change your mood. Try some of the following ideas to help you grow your levels of happiness.
10 THINGS TO HELP YOU FEEL HAPPIER
- Get out into nature. Enjoy the sun on your skin and the wind in your hair! Connecting with natural things helps to alleviate cares and worries.
- Be here NOW! Try to live more in the present. Most of us are rarely living in the moment because our focus is either in the past or the future. Anxiety and negativity is usually the cause of this! Remember : Worry is like a rocking chair. It keeps you occupied but it doesn’t get you anywhere!
- Accept change – it’s the only constant in life! Nothing grows without changing.
- Do things you enjoy as often as you can. This doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Look for the simple pleasures in life – sunshine, sunsets, shuffling through autumn leaves, walks by the sea, the support and warmth of loved ones or the company of a beloved pet.
- Support others in their success and be happy for them!
- LAUGH! And choose to be with people who make you smile. Or watch funny movies or TV shows. And remember to keep your sense of humour – especially about yourself!
- Try something new! It’s a great way to liven up sluggish, sedentary energies and will immediately improve your mood!
- Practise the attitude of gratitude. Gratitude helps you to feel better about yourself and your world. It also helps you to attract more abundance into your life.
- SING! Yes, it raises your vibrations and lifts your spirits. Sing in the bath, join a choir, do some karaoke, sing along to your favourite pop records. You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes.
- Give yourself a Kindness Challenge. Resolve to do one kind thing everyday and to do it freely and without focus on what the kind act will do for you – just be focussed on the needs of the receiver.