Happiness Ain’t Just A River In Egypt
· feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.
· showing or causing feelings of pleasure and enjoyment
· pleased or glad about a particular situation, event, etc.
The term “happy” is a bit vague. Its a feeling, an emotion, but we “know” when we’re happy, and can tell when our loved ones are happy. Time and time again studies show that the happier you are the HEALTHIER you are, and the longer you’ll live. If you’re receiving this you’ve probably lived long enough to know that we can’t ALWAYS be happy, but happiness is something we should all strive for. Below are some of the things that numerous studies, and research has found help us achieve more happiness, and healthiness in our lives.
Good sleep is vital to physical and emotional well being. Those who get too little sleep or sporadic sleep tend to have higher blood sugar levels, and slower metabolism which can lead to obesity and heart disease. Your phones should be put away 2 hours before your go to bed. Smart phone screens emit a blue light which can disrupt brain wave patterns for 2 hours, making getting to sleep, and staying asleep, more difficult. Make sleep a priority.
Is it about the money? Yes and no. In the past it was thought that the more money you had the happier you were. Now were finding that emotional well-being doesn’t improve with additional income as long as your basic needs are comfortably being met (in the US that’s normally achieved at around $75,000 annually for a family of 4). Work may not make us happy, but it affords us the comfort to strive for happiness.
Your age matters! A study involving 2 million people from 80 nations found that we have a decline in happiness during midlife. All over the world happiness peaks in the 20s and 30s, and again in their 60s and 70s. The most common age range for depression is in peoples 40s and 50s.
Your relationships count- A lot! Your relationships, and whether you have enough social interaction, is as important to mortality rates as smoking or alcohol consumption. A likely explanation is that being around other people provides a buffer for stress, can build self-esteem, and provides a sense of purpose not possible if someone is isolated. Years of social psychology and research have also shown that being alone is fundamentally harder than being with others.
There is no “silver bullet” to achieving happiness. Genetics, and some situations outside of our control play a large part in our emotional well-being. However, research shows that you might be able to improve your sense of well-being and happiness, for instance, by joining a club or working for a cause. Some research has shown that implementing an exercise regimen that you enjoy (like walking, tai chi, yoga, cycling, cross-fit, running, weight training, etc). If you suffer from depression, or believe that you might, its recommended that you make an appointment with your primary care physician.