Happiness = Health

Happiness = Health

Unified Caring Association (UCA) spreads caring in many ways, one of which is through sharing caring research. Often we see notes about how feeling happy more often helps us feel healthier. Recently we came across an article by HarvardHealth Publishing that suggests that there is scientific evidence that positive emotions can result in a longer healthier life. We are all for that! Want to know more? Here are the short notes on how happiness can equal health.

Start on Happy Things

Begin with what makes you happy. Playing with your pets, helping the elderly at a senior center, or painting are just some of the things that people like to do that brings them happiness. Doing things that make you happy also help lower stress levels. Continually and consistently doing things that make us happy lowers our stress levels and could reduce risks of health problems like a heart attack.

3 Pathways to Happiness

During their research on positive psychology, Research Psychologists Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson examined three pathways to happiness: feeling good, engaging fully and doing good. As seen through the testing of hundreds of volunteers and focus groups, it was found that these pathways contribute to happiness and life satisfaction. 

Feeling good relates to our ability to seek pleasurable emotions. These emotions focus on reaching happiness in an effort to maximize our pleasure and minimize our pain. 

Engaging fully in the pursuit activities that “…engage us fully, from the influential research by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. For decades, Csikszentmihalyi explored people’s satisfaction in their everyday activities, finding that people report the greatest satisfaction when they are totally immersed in and concentrating on what they are doing.” (https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-happiness-health-connection

When we are doing good and doing caring acts that helps others we generate more happiness. More poetically put, doing is “searching for meaning outside yourself, tracing back to Aristotle’s notion of eudemonia, which emphasized knowing your true self and acting in accordance with your virtues.” (https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-happiness-health-connection) This is a feeling that can happen when you are “getting in the flow.”

How can you know you are in the flow?

What does it mean to be in the flow of things? Is it a fast paced atmosphere where everything seems to be going your way? Or is it when we spend time laughing with those we love? Check out some suggestions below on ways to get in the flow.

-Time just flies by and you realize that you have been working long and hard without feeling tired. The “loss” of time is no big deal, and you would probably do the activity again.

-Your mind is not occupied with your activities of your internal thoughts. “You aren’t focused on your comfort, and you aren’t wondering how you look or how your actions will be perceived by others. Your awareness of yourself is only in relation to the activity itself, such as your fingers on a piano keyboard, or the way you position a knife to cut vegetables, or the balance of your body parts as you ski or surf.” (https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-happiness-health-connection)

-You are present in the moment. This means not thinking about the daily “to-do” list that is sitting on your desk, refrigerator, etc.  An example is that you aren’t thinking about such mundane matters as your shopping list or what to wear tomorrow.

-Keeping an active mind and an active body. This can be done through learning music, reading books, playing sports, or going for a hike.

-You work effortlessly. “Flow activities require effort (usually more effort than involved in typical daily experience). Although you may be working harder than usual, at flow moments everything is “clicking” and feels almost effortless.” (https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-happiness-health-connection)

It is clear that whatever we choose to do, if it makes us happy, it is good for our health. When we do good we can get a bonus boost when we are helping others feel good too!

Unified Caring Association is constantly striving to help create a more caring world. We love sharing more caring information on our website and through blogs that share caring in our community, activities, and reviews. We also send out caring posts on our social media accounts (Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter) to give inspiration throughout the week.

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