Is there a correlation between health and happiness?
The answer is yes and no.
Let me explain, sometimes in life, our health is out of our control.
I know people who have been struck down by stage 4 cancer in their 20’s leaving their bodies changed. Another diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in their 30’s watching their healthy body deteriorate, losing the ability to run or even walking without pain.
I have suffered from a mild chronic illness. I was bedridden for most of my 6th-grade year, and since then have had to adjust my life. I know that I could have a flare-up, leaving me extremely exhausted that will last days, weeks, or in extreme cases, months.
When you experience serious health or a chronic illness, you adapt, you accept, and you get on with life. You find your new normal and with that your new happiness.
(This does not mean that there are no bouts of anger or frustration. I share this because if you too are suffering from a chronic illness, I do not want you to think I am saying that life is always easy. This blog is not meant to go into the depth of dealing with chronic illness.)
What I want to talk about today is what we do have control over; healthy habits that you can work into your daily routine that not only make you healthier but happier as well.
5 Healthy Habits That Make You Happier
1. Stay Active
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins (natural pain relievers) and dopamine (how we feel pleasure), and other hormones that suppress stress. When you stay active you protect yourself from heart disease and other illnesses.
You maintain or lose weight which makes it easier to move around.
Can help improve your sleep quality.
I found that people either love or hate working out. If you fall into the “hate it” category I would encourage you to find something that you enjoy doing. What did you enjoy as a kid? Riding bikes, playing dodge ball or soccer? Staying active does not need to be about the 6 pack abs, but more about getting you up and moving your body, however, that looks to you.
2.Get Plenty of Good Quality Sleep
Considering we sleep one-third of our lives, we still know very little about how sleep affects our wellbeing. We are starting to see studies showing people who get more sleep (7-9 hours) are more satisfied with life. I know, speaking from my own personal experience. When I am rested, I am able to be more focused, productive and handle my emotions better.
3. Drink Lots of Water Drinking plenty of water stimulates the flow of nutrients and hormones, leaving you feeling hydrated, energized, and more optimistic. Water helps naturally detox our bodies, leaving our skin glowing, and helps with weight loss. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces every day. 4. Stay Balanced
Your body wants to stay in balance and if you are too acidic or alkalinized your body will have to steal nutrition from your tissues and bones to get back in balance.
Studies have found a link between acidic bodies and illnesses such as asthma, emphysema, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and others.
Testing your body PH balance with an at-home kit will help you make adjustments to your diet and lifestyle.
5. Lower Stress
Stress comes in many forms: traffic jams, busy schedules to more serious issues like divorce and death. Some stress we can control like changing our schedule and prioritizing. Other stress we do not have control over. What we do have control of is the self-care that we provide for ourselves. Practicing yoga, meditation, spending time in nature or talking with someone to guide you through your rough patch can help you weather the storm.
Your Happiness affects your health and vice versa.
When you are happier, you are more likely to live a healthier lifestyle. Happy people are able to handle stress better, have stronger immune systems, and can tolerate pain better.
When focusing on improving your health you will find that you are better rested, less stressed, and feel all-around better which leads to being open and able to experience more simple pleasures.
Making small, consistent changes to your health makes a big impact on your long-term well-being.
What is one thing that you can do today to start living a healthier life?