I have struggled with anxiety and bouts of lows for sometime.
But the most important thing was probably me practising thought control.
Basically whenever I felt a situation or conversation was tending towards something which could make me sad .
I aggressively stopped myself from continuing that train of thought or words.
Very difficult and often it makes you feel like two of you pulling at your brain.
But from my own struggles I can tell you, the only way to be mentally healthy is constantly practice positive thinking.
That’s when I came upon
It was interesting how all these wonderful women focused on being happy.
Life is short.
It’s too short to live unhappily.
A happy smile has a much deeper effect than you perceive.
The mental and physical effects of positive thoughts and optimism are much more than just the obvious.
In an interesting research done by Barbara Fredrickson certain effects of positive thoughts have been described which will have a widespread effect on how we think about optimism.
- So what makes us happy?
- Is it possible to be happy all the time?
- Does positive thoughts improve happiness?
- Are happy people healthier?
- How can we all Practice being happy?
Finding the answers to these questions were important to me as I was trying to decide the priorities in my life.
I started my favourite part of writing a post :Research.
The best thing about researching health ; wealth and wisdom is that you always gain something.
My research discoveries …
Positive thoughts and general feelings of happiness have mainly two major influences:
1)Genes.Yes genetics have a hand in this too
2)Environment. How satisfied you are in your personal and professional space place a large role in making you happy and maintenance of this upbeat mood.
So just like everything else your happiness quotient is also in your control.
But what about genetics?
Some families have tendency or genetic predisposition to certain disease.
So does this mean they will all be suffering from that disease .Not necessarily.
When people have tendency to be overweight and they eat uninhibited and don’t exercise then just blaming the genes will not work .
External or phenotypic expression of your genes ,have a lot to do with environment.
Controlled diet and exercise helps people stay physically healthy.
Similarly practising gratefulness and positivity helps you stay mentally healthy.
You are not a slave to your genes.
You are restricted only by the walls you have built yourself.
Happiness is a learned habit,which you can develop yourself
Refusing to be practical doesn’t make you happiest.
Happiness is also not something which is a one time stop,from which there’s no return.
Overall happy mood has a lot to do with a balanced mood of general wellbeing rather than feeling euphoric.
So how can we practice being happy?
10 Science backed tips:
1)Exercise:Release endorphins which are natural mood elevators.
Read how you can get rid of chronic stress.
I have seen even 30 min of walking or running ,everyday helps me keep blues away.
If possible walk in a park .Any activity that brings us close to nature activates the happy and positive part of your brain.
2)Enjoy every moment :Be mindful
Mindfulness is the very first step.If you are concentrating on the task at hand ,it’s easier to banish negative thoughts.
I use Om chanting mindfulness meditation and gardening to help myself become more calm and content.
3 )Maintain a gratitude journal
To practice gratefulness is to live better.Sometimes it’s difficult ,but it’s those very times when you need to be more consciously grateful
5)Do something that makes you happy everyday.
Read a good book ,garden, chatting with a friend,learn a new skill,paint (love adult colouring books),cuddle and spend time together as a family.
6)Catch up with a friend.
Optimism is a friend magnet.
Make new friends.I love hanging out on Facebook groups which have goals similar to mine.
Thank someone for some help.
We are supposed to be the average of five people we spend the mist time with.
So be careful whether you are surrounded by optimists and doers or naysayers.
7)Help somebody. It might be something very small but it will make you feel good.
I have started answering free health queries on Lybrate (a doctor -patient health portal).
8)Day Dream about something which you want.
9)Remember something good that happened to you.Memories!
So what are the health benefits of being an optimistic happy person?
1)Better cardiovascular fitness when compared to other age and gender matched population irrespective of genetics .
2)Much better immunity and healing power.
Stress increases cortisol level in your blood which affects both your ,heart,moods and immunity.
Related:Optimism and Immunity
3)You enjoy better quality of life.
4)You sleep more soundly
5)You live better and longer.
You can control what you think.
You feel happier
You are healthier.