A happy, healthy life is something to aspire to. There are a few things that can help to achieve one.
The first thing to keep on the radar is that happiness and health are interrelated as this article from Healthline elaborates on. Therefore, working on either area as an overarching aim will also influence the other. Pretty neat!
Furthermore, setting specific, clear goals that contribute to each area will help ensure attainability.
The simple act of placing focus on the things that provide positive emotion can also play a role in achieving a greater sense of happiness. Pursuing things that are enjoyable, positive thinking and visualization techniques, and having a sense of purpose are all supportive of finding this focus.
Lowering stress levels can have compelling results that can range from boosting the mood to reducing inflammation in the body. Interconnected with this is getting sufficient and good quality sleep. This includes both nightly sleep and other facets of rest such as naps or meditation.
Bursts of physical activity will release endorphins which will then trigger a cascade of biological functions in the body and lead to more uplifting feelings. Much of this is associated with hormonal related activity in the body which is significant to mental health. The great news is it doesn’t necessarily need to be higher-level athletic activity. Although keeping up a motivating fitness regime is fantastic in many ways, even daily walking will get the “happy” hormone cascade going within the body.
Finally, a focus on good, quality nutrition could one of the best things to help achieve a happier, healthier life. Even business-focused magazines such as Forbes have highlighted the connections between maintaining a healthy diet and positive mental well-being! Although a specific, individualized dietary structure is a rather specialized area, the focus on a rich variety of vegetables and fruits is the one theme that is salient across all nutritional research.
To recap, 5 things that lead to greater happiness are:
- Set specific, clear goals
- Do things that lead to positive emotion
- Lower stress & Sleep well
- Stay physically active
- Eat well
It is important for overall happiness to strike a balance and not scrutinize over various ebbs and flows, for example, the occasional pleasure food that isn’t necessarily 100% nutritionally optimized, a missed fitness day, or other monkey wrenches that may come into the mix of a good, healthy routine.
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Blaszczak-Boxe, A. (2016, Jul 14). Eating More Fruits & Veggies May Make You Happier. LiveScience. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/55407-eating-more-fruits-veggies-linked-with-life-satisfaction.html.
Bradt, G. (2015, May 27). The Secret of Happiness Revealed by Harvard Study. Forbes. Retreived from https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgebradt/2015/05/27/the-secret-of-happiness-revealed-by-harvard-study/#25a4c2e26786.
Bridges, F. (2019, Jan 26). Healthy Food Makes You Happy: Research Shows A Healthy Diet Improves Your Mental Health. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/francesbridges/2019/01/26/food-makes-you-happy-a-healthy-diet-improves-mental-health/#5ae265f326f8.
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Harvard Medical School (n.d.). The Happiness-Health Connection. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-happiness-health-connection.
Mead, E. (2019, Nov 21). 6 Benefits of Happiness According to the Research. PositivePsychology.com. Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-happiness/.
Siahpush, M, Spittal M, Singh, G.J. (2008, Sep-Oct). Happiness and Life Satisfaction Prospectively Predict Self-Rated Health, Physical Health, and the Presence of Limiting, Long-Term Health Conditions. American Journal of Health Promotion, 23(1), 18-26.
Veenhoven, R. (2019, Aug 14). Will Healthy Eating Make You Happier? Research Synthesis Using an Online Findings Archive. Applied Research in Quality of Life.