The connection between health and happiness is explored in this contributed post.
They say that laughter is the best medicine, so it’s easy to see why so many people wonder whether there is a link between our health and our happiness. Research has shown that, believe it or not, health and happiness are linked, and that how happy you are can impact how healthy you are, and vice versa.
There is currently a lot of ongoing research into the factors that contribute to how healthy and happy we are. What studies have shown so far is that being a positive and happy person can give our health a boost, improving the quality of our lives.
It’s also been proven that positive experiences and emotions make it easier for us to get rid of negative feelings, boosting our happiness, which in turn helps to improve our health and wellbeing, particularly our mental health. Psychologists have suggested that people with a happy mindset have a buffer against certain psychological health problems, such as addiction and depression.
So, it’s clear that there is a link between health and happiness, but the question is, how does it work and what does it offer us?
Happiness and longevity
Studies have shown that people with a cheery disposition are twice as likely to live longer than people who tend to have a negative and depressed mindset. A study that focused on nuns found that the nuns that lived to the oldest ages were the ones that were naturally cheerful and always smiling. Whereas, the nuns that weren’t as happy, didn’t tend to live as long. This links to the fact that a happy mindset is linked to a strong and healthy immune system, hence why the cheerful nuns may have lived longer than the uncheerful ones.
Happiness and psychological wellbeing
Researchers have found that people with an optimistic mindset tend to lead longer and more content lives. For years, there has been a known link between happiness and mental health, with studies showing that the people most prone to mental health problems are the people that aren’t as happy. Take drug and alcohol addiction, for instance, research has shown that the people undergoing treatment, such as Ultra Rapid Detox treatment, are the people who tend to have less positive mindsets. When it comes to mental health problems, such as addiction, depression, or anxiety, a lot of sufferers report being unhappy with their lives. This suggests that often a lack of happiness and positivity can contribute to the onset of mental health problems.
Happiness and physical health
Studies have shown that when it comes to physical health and happiness, there is a close link between them. A study showed that people who tend to lead happier lives have lower heart rates and lower blood pressure levels. Another study indicated that people who get sick more, tend to be people who aren’t as happy, as somehow a lack of happiness impacts the immune system. That’s not all, there are various other examples of how being happy can improve your health and wellbeing.
There are various studies that show how happiness and health link to give and impact each other, which is why we know that there is a link between the two. We may not know exactly how the link works, but one day soon we will do.
Four steps to help you overcome life challenges are outlined in this contributed post.
Whether you’re suffering from illness or injury, you’ve lost your job, or lost a close friend or relative, bouncing back to normal after a difficult time can seem almost impossible. With so much to get in order, from legal issues and financial responsibilities, to your own mental health, it can seem like an insurmountable challenge. But it honestly isn’t. The key is to take it one day at a time and be realistic, but get organized, and be a little bit stubborn with yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you’ve totally got this.
Set yourself goals
So, you probably know what you want to achieve, whether it’s getting back to work after an illness, or finding a new job, or just getting back out socializing. It might seem like a ridiculously unattainable goal, when you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders, but when you break it down into smaller targets, you’ve got yourself a realistic and not so overwhelming stepladder to follow. So set yourself a date target, and be sure that you’re realistic, there’s no point falling at the first hurdle after all. Then set yourself little targets along the way, and make sure you decide what your celebrations will entail when you hit those targets. Remember, if all else fails, bribing yourself is a surefire route to success.
Get your official business in order
When you’re struggling with ill health or mental health problems, or mourning the loss of a loved one, financial and legal issues can seem particularly overwhelming. The thing is, once you’ve got them out of the way, you’re carrying a far lighter load. Get some info about an accident attorney if you’re planning on claiming compensation or a probate solicitor to help with wills - they’ll be able to carry out the majority of the work so that you don’t have to. Create yourself a budget and put a financial plan in place, because once all that’s done, you can focus on you.
Make time to laugh and ground yourself
When the world feels like the worst place ever, it’s essential that you still make time to laugh. Get out and see friends, if you can. If you’re not able to, throw a small house party - pizza and Netflix are all it takes - and have a good giggle. Laughing is great for your mental health, and it’ll fill you with positivity. Fill time with meditation and yoga to strengthen your soul. Remind yourself that you’re not alone, that your friends love you, and that every day that passes you’re getting one step closer to your goal.
When things start to get out of hand, they can really spiral. The problem is, when you’re recovering, exhaustion and overwhelmedness can get in the way of the best-laid plans. Staying organized is the key to success here. Know your deadlines, know what needs doing around your house, and keep it all written in list forms and diaries. That way, you won’t have it all playing on your mind, taking up valuable time and energy, but the spiral of problems never gets a chance to get going either.
Getting back on your feet can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Don’t expect too much from yourself, and don’t beat yourself up when you’re not improving quite as fast as you like. It’s a slow process, so make sure you look after yourself.
Discover the 5 tips in this contributed post that could help you right now.
We live in a strange universe. We’re only given one life, and yet we’re supposed to decide exactly what to do with it among literally millions of possible options. Some people are able to home in on one or two things and really focus on them. But others are mesmerized by the number of opportunities open to them and get stuck. They wind up asking themselves all sorts of questions, like “what am I really good at?” and “will I ever succeed at anything?”
What you need is a bit of guidance and direction. There isn’t just one path you should take through life. Millions could result in the happiness and bliss that you’re looking for. Here are some things you could do to explore what to do with your life.
Start Widening Your Horizons
It might sound counter intuitive to try to widen your horizons when you’re already overwhelmed by choice, but it sometimes helps. The reason for this is that exploring the world actually helps you find out more about yourself. Ultimately, you’re able to whittle down the options available to you by being more discerning. The advice from experts is to travel as much as possible, read widely and find out the stuff that makes you tick. You’ll soon discover the type of person you are. And by reading about the world, you’ll quickly find problems that you want to solve. There’s no better way to spend your life than to dedicate it to solving a problem that really bothers you.
Focus On Problem-Solving
Some people put off doing something with their life by learning every possible skill they think that they need. You see these people all the time. They’re the lifelong student: the person who never leaves university but keeps going back, year after year, to do different courses, just in case they need them in the future. The problem with this kind of person is that they’re not learning in order to solve problems: they’re learning to avoid making a decision about what to do.
Problem-solving is a much better way to approach life than academic learning. Academic learning can only ever give you foundational tools. Real-world problem-solving requires an all-encompassing approach. You have to dedicate yourself to solving problems in a way that you simply don’t when you just take a course.
Lots of people start solving problems that they are not experts in. Take Scott Harrison for instance, the man who started Charity: Water. He didn’t know much about providing poor communities in the developing world with clean water, but he knew that that was what he wanted to do. By solving the problem, he learned about his passion more than he ever could reading about it in a book.
Find Out More About Who You Are
Socrates said, “know thyself.” In other words, people should have an understanding of who they are, what motivates them and where their various impulses and behaviors come from. The phrase “self-knowledge,” however, is barely used in the modern world. In truth, people know very little about themselves and why it is that they do the things that they do. Sometimes, there’s no reason, but often it has a lot to do with their history.
There are many ways to find out about yourself, according to readingswithmatt.com. You can look for spiritual answers, psychological answers and even take personality tests. Myers-Briggs has spent decades developing a test that helps people to understand who they are and where they’re likely to fit in in society.
Everything In Life In A Compromise
Another reason why people don’t know what they want to do is because they don’t want to make a compromise according to https://fizzle.co/. They don’t want to give up some options in life to pursue others. For instance, if you want to be a doctor, you have to give up your ambition to be a lawyer and vice versa. Nobody can be both.
Recognizing that you can’t have it all is one of those growth moments in life. Accept compromises and keep moving forward.
Everything's A Gamble
People have an innate mammalian desire to play it safe. They play it safe in all areas of their life, but especially when it comes to work. They stick it out in a job that they hate or a course that they loathe, all because it pays the bills or leads to a grander future. But the truth is that there are no risk-free paths in life. Even the most secure jobs can come tumbling down eventually.
How one woman rediscovered a connection to God she thought she had lost.
I know what you are thinking! Here we go again, another person who is going to tell me that they are spiritual. That would have been me 3 years ago. I was brought up a Catholic but honestly was not a practicing one. I would pray at night. Church was not a place I enjoyed as it was in Arabic and didn’t really understand or enjoy the service. I knew there was a God out there and he was protecting us and that if I lived a good life and treated people well then all would be good.
Then I moved to Canada and my life completely changed. Everything I knew as my life fell apart. My old life, my stability, my friends, my marriage was all taken from me and I had a breakdown. I fell into a depression and did not know how to get out of it.
I still had to get up every morning to look after my kids and continue with my life but inside I was so empty, scared and didn’t know what to do. Even when I was at that place I kept moving forward trying to find resources, making friends and anything that would help me.
One day I decided I am going to talk to God to pray. Maybe he can help me. I have nowhere else to turn to. So I started talking and asking God why is this happening to me. Please please show me what I have to do next. Please guide me. Every time I prayed a resource or a person would turn up in my life to help me. So I kept doing that. I started wanting to learn more and started watching “Super Soul Sunday”, reading “The Secret” following people like Gabrielle Bernstein. Doing course at the Women’s center. I was hungry to know more.
I started to discover a new way of understanding how the universe works. I started to change my life and my mindset and started to see my life as a journey and continued to see that light at the end of the tunnel. I started to envision what I wanted out of my life. Even in the hard times I kept seeing it and kept telling myself I was going to get there.
Then came time to put my kids in Catechism and I looked around and ended up putting my kids in a Canadian church. Loved the atmosphere and I started going to the mass only because we had to sign in that we attended with our kids. What happened is I discovered a fun way to enjoy church. The priest was so cool and I started to understand what he was saying. The singing was great and I found an amazing community and I could share the fun with my kids.
One day I decided I was going to speak to the priest and ask if we can create a support group for the single moms who are struggling. I sent an email to Father Francis and I remember him answering me and saying come and see me and we will discuss it.
The night before going to the meeting I was watching Super soul Sunday on Facebook and my favorite author Elizabeth Gilbert was explaining Spirituality and she said: “After my divorce I had a hole in my heart and I did everything to fill it but nothing would fill it until I found spirituality.” I sat there for a while and I thought oh my God that is me. I am doing everything yet I still feel so empty.
The next day I am knocking at Father Francis’ door and I am thinking I am not here to help others. I need to help myself. I need to feel that connection. While I was there Father Francis listened to me and said: “Monica this may be your calling but for now it is about healing you.” He sat with me and listened to what I had learnt and said if you want you can come and see me and I can guide you. That was the best thing to happen to me.
He said something to me that day that changed my life. He said:
“Monica those voices you hear that tell you that you are not good enough, they are not God.
God is the one inside you who is your biggest cheerleader and he is the one who is there for you always. He created you exactly the way you are so that you can do what you are meant to do in this lifetime.”
I came out of there and that sentence changed my life. I understood that I didn’t need anybody to make me happy. I was complete. I have a cheerleader inside me that is constantly cheering me on and I have a best friend who I can talk to all the time. I just needed to be still in order to hear him.
So spirituality is not religion. I just happen to be a Christian but I am spiritual because I have a connection with God. Religion is one of the rituals that people use to get to God.
HOW TO START
So fast forward 3 years and I am a Spirituality coach. Me! Yes me! What I do is guide you to connect to that source. I help you understand why the doors in your life that have closed have closed and don’t serve you anymore. When you get that connection you feel whole and you make decisions from your soul level.
Monica Karam is a Spiritual Coach. She offers a 30 minute "Discovery Session" for free. Sessions start at $90 per hour and packages are available. Spiritual Coaching is offered in person, telephone or by Skype. She can be reached at monicakaram.com
How Soapmaking is helping one woman with PTSD to move forward.
There were many things in my life that were not planned nor desired. Developing PTSD certainly was not one of them. Nor was the assault that lead to it.
For me, it was like waking up in a foreign country.
An outsider, within my own life.
Even the simplest of tasks required a revision of each step in order to be able to accomplish it. At times, I did not feel much. At other times, I felt too much. Caught between two elusive worlds, I clung to anything that would help me to stay present.
The laughter of my children was the first thing to seep in.
Sleep was my enemy. But being awake was not my ally.
Every cell in my body felt like it was irritated and angry. Utilizing every ounce of my energy. There were no reserves to access. No clear healing path to follow.
And then a thought occurred to me.
I had survived the worst. It was time to just be.
Be who I need to be at the moment in order to move forward. Letting go is far less painful but rather a scary thing to do. Allowing myself to feel, transformed me into something unexpected. Showing me that there is no shame in taking a step back in order to reconnect with our innate self.
Over time, we seem to lose this connection and define ourselves through our career, family status, age or religion. But these are not who we are as spiritual beings. But merely the costumes we wear as we progress through the various stages of life.
I assure you that as a nurse, care giver and mother of three. I had lost that connection long ago. Sacrificing, giving, guiding, teaching and loving. All wonderful, in their own ways. But all draining of fuel that if not re-filled, may lead us to feel empty and resentful.
The world will take as much as you are willing to give. Giving is needed. However, giving without accepting is maladaptive, counterproductive and draining. I found myself, completely depleted. I needed to be refueled.
ENTER SOAP MAKING
Through old-fashioned hand crafted soap making, each of my senses began to awaken one at a time.
Creativity started to bubble up from deep within my soul.
I let it.
Slowly, inspiration took over.
It was like welcoming home an old friend. One that had been lost, yet returned like not a day had gone by without.
Creativity was the friend that showed up and carried me when I could no longer carry myself.
On the days when I am feeling overwhelmed, I take out my supplies. First choosing my scents, then my oils. My tolerance for being in the here and now, grew from there.
It seems odd to say that soap saved me. But it truly has.
Along with the help of a qualified therapists and the support of family and friends! It would have been way too easy to numb my pain with drugs or alcohol. I can understand why one would want to.
Trusting that we somehow have the internal resources to deal with the unimaginable is perhaps the most difficult part of the healing process.
Creativity Is Your Friend
Creativity is an old friend. This old friend and I, have a long healing journey ahead.
But once past it, I will surely keep it around.
I could never undo the amount of internal growth that it has helped me to achieve.
I do not see myself as broken. But rather, broken open.
It is this unfortunate event that jolted me out of my robotic way of living.
I was so focused on what needed to be accomplished in my day, that I was no longer just being.
On those challenging days, finding even the smallest of joys may help ground us.
It can be as simple as enjoying our favorite tea.
Or applying a scented hand cream.
A few minutes of taking in the life around us can make the world of difference.
I am excited about today.
I am excited about the future.
But most of all, I am excited about the deepened person I have become.
There is not one thing or a person that can define us.
We are the only ones with the power to do so.
We must remember to just be!
Soon, I will be revealing the final product of my inspirations. Feel free to reach out and share what is keeping you grounded. Let’s continue to inspire and uplift one another!
Josee St-Onge is the owner of Just Bee a handmade soap company located in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec. She can be reached via FACEBOOK