We’re moving into the season of Summer in just a few days! In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Summer is the season of the heart, and the subject of happiness is particularly important during this season. Why? Because an important aspect of vulnerability to heart disease is how chronically unhappy one feels. In fact, multiple studies prove that there IS a link between chronic unhappiness and heart disease. Some believe that outside factors determine how happy they can be, but it IS possible to improve your happiness yourself.
What robs one of happiness?
1- Attention stuck in past events or worry about the future. Many philosophies and religions stress the importance of being present or living in the present moment. If your attention is elsewhere, you miss out on the life that’s happening right in front of you.
2- Overwhelm. Failures or losses in the present can resonate with similar ones from the past. This causes you to feel the pain of the present situation AND the past ones, which makes it all seem overwhelming.
3- No real purpose or goals (or goals that aren’t big enough). We need a reason to live! When we have something to look forward to, our mood is automatically brighter.
4- Loneliness. “No man is an island.” We need to interact with others to feel truly happy, and after the last 2 years, most of us are behind on human interaction.
5- Feeling helpless to change your situation. It’s important to be able to take action when you are in a situation that is stressful.
Here’s how to regain your happiness!
I must mention that becoming happier is actually a discipline. Pick some of the items below that make sense to you and implement them regularly. The more you discipline yourself to do them, the easier it gets and the better you will feel.
1- You are what you eat, metaphorically speaking. In other words, you are feeding your mind all the time, so feed it the good stuff! Music that lifts you and listening to inspirational speakers are two examples. You also have to stop the junk- news, negative people, etc. If it brings you down, ditch it, if possible.
2- Exercise. This is huge!! Take a walk or go to the gym, ride a bike, dance, whatever you enjoy doing that moves your body. If you feel too down to do it, just do 5 minutes. By the time you start, you’ll commonly feel better and want to continue. If not, 5 minutes of exercise is enough to process some stress hormones out of your body.
3- Take a walk and look at things. This is not for exercise, but for pulling your attention out of the past and into the present. Look at the things in your environment as you walk along and you will find yourself feeling better. Here are a few pics from a recent walk I took.
4- Find a goal or purpose that you want to go for. You can volunteer, plan a vacation, or take a class, the possibilities are endless. Create a vision board by cutting out pictures of your goals and putting them on a poster board where you see them daily. You’ll be amazed at how this helps you to reach them!
5- Connect with family and develop friendships. Human interaction (with positive people) is a key to happiness. Here I am with my new friend Jessica (who happens to be my CellCore Rep).
6- Laugh! This releases positive hormones and even relieves pain. The perfect example of this is Norman Cousins, who cured himself of a disease with only a .2% survival rate by laughing at Candid Camera videos to relieve his pain and convincing his doctors to give him high doses of Vitamin C. Full story here in his book, Anatomy of an Illness. (Which is, by the way, one of my personal favorite books on healing!)
7- Hug each other, and cuddle a pet. Heck, even looking at cute pets brings a happy response!
Disclaimer: This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: I am not a medical doctor and nothing in this newsletter should be taken as medical advice. Discuss all medical issues with your own MD.