Health/Wellness

Is True Happiness Possible?

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Happiness is something we all yearn for on a daily basis while on this journey of life. No one wants to be miserable, depressed or sad all the time. We want to feel satisfied, fulfilled, excited and energized about our life and daily habits and achievements. But how do we achieve this? Is it even really possible? Or is it an ungraspable illusion or dream? Is it destiny or fate? Or, are some people just that darn lucky to be so happy all the time?

From my research and personal experience, the answer to this question is actually pretty simple. The answer is, yes, happiness is definitely achievable and it’s a daily choice you make. Happiness is choosing to see the good in all situations. Even bad days can be great learning opportunities. Happiness does not mean that everything in your life must be 100% perfect, because that will never happen and then you will never be happy.

One key to being happy is: making up your mind to be grateful for even the smallest things in life. Having a sense of gratitude will improve your health, prevent disease, increase your lifespan, and prevents depression. Research has shown that having a sense of gratitude releases certain hormones on your body that boosts your immune system and improve your health.

Here is a list of hormones that are released when you live with a sense of gratitude, and how it effects your body and mood.

 

• ACETYLCHOLINE: Alertness, memory, sexual performance, appetite control, release of growth hormone.
• DOPAMINE: Feelings of bliss and pleasure, euphoric, appetite control, controlled motor movements, feel focused.
• ENDORPHINS: Mood elevating, enhancing, euphoric. The more present, the happier you are! Natural pain killers1.
• ENKEPHALINS: Restrict transmission of pain, reduce craving, reduce depression.
• GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid): Found throughout central nervous system, anti-stress, anti-anxiety, anti-panic, anti-pain; Feel calm, maintain control, focus.
• MELATONIN: “Rest and recuperation” and “anti-aging” hormone. Regulates body clock.
• NOREPINEPHRINE: Excitatory, feel happy, alert, motivated. Anti-depressant, appetite control, energy, sexual arousal.
• OXYTOCIN: Stimulated by Dopamine. Promotes sexual arousal, feelings of emotional attachment, desire to cuddle.
• PHENYLETHYLMINE (PEA): Feelings of bliss, involved in feelings of infatuation (high levels found in chocolate).
• SEROTONIN: Promotes and improves sleep, improves self-esteem, relieves depression, diminishes craving, prevents agitated depression and worrying.
Research conducted by Princeton neuroscientist Barry Jacobs

 

On the other hand, if you are a negative person, who is constantly angry, stressed, pessimistic and unforgiving, your body releases hormones that effect your body in a negative way. Here is a list of some of the stress hormones and how they effect your body and mood.

*Adrenaline – increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure
*Cortisol – alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation and fear.

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:
Anxiety
Depression
Digestive problems
Headaches
Heart disease
High Blood Pressure
Sleep problems
Weight gain
Memory and concentration impairment
That’s why it’s so important to learn healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life.

What is the best ways to cope with the stressors of life? Here is my top 10 list to be happier and less stressed:

 

Kimberly’s Top 10 list for Happiness:

1- Have a sense of Gratitude for everything good in life you can think of. The sun, moon, starts, trees, mountains, air, a blue sky, an ocean filled with beautiful fish, food, friends, family, a bed, a home, laughter, movies, music, travel, etc…
2- Make a choice to be Optimistic about everything! Always see the glass half full, not half empty. Be a problem solver. Be a Victor, not a Victim. Learn how to make Lemonade out of lemons. It’s a daily choice.
3- Follow your Passions in life. Do what you enjoy. Use your talents and gifts to bless other people. (even if its not your career, your passions can be your hobbies) Just do it. Find time in life to do the things that you find great joy in doing. *Make a list right now of your top 10 things you enjoy doing. Make a bucket list. And start working on the list. It will be fun!
4-Surround yourself with other Happy People. Happiness is contagious! If you can’t find other happy people to hang out with in person, find them in a book or on YouTube. Read books and study people who are optimistic, inspirational, productive, and motivational. People that believe you are special, gifted, talented, lovely, wonderful, smart and beautiful. Read books that encourage you, build you up. Books that teach you how to achieve your dreams and live your BEST LIFE! As you are more positive you will attract more positive people into your life.
5- Research has found that the happiest people on earth are those who have a Spiritual Connection with God (Our Creator). Read the bible, meditate on scriptures, join a good church, find out why you were born, what is your purpose and how to live with intention, discipline and love.

6- Exercise- Yes, this may sound boring. But it definitely works! You have to move your body. Exercise also increases your feel-good hormones, which will make you feel happier, healthier, more attractive, and more energetic. Choose an exercise you enjoy.

7- Eat Healthy – You will definitely feel happier when you eat a healthy diet. Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. And avoid processed, Junk food that is void of nutrients.

8-Spend Time in Nature– Eco-Therapy is spending time in nature. Eco-therapists believe that when the body is in tune with nature, this experience is very healing to the body, emotionally and physically. Some of the healing benefits are: decrease in blood pressure, healing of depression, more energy, deep relaxation and a sense of peace.

9- Forgiveness – Forgive, not because they deserve it, but you deserve peace. If you want to experience true peace, happiness and freedom, then forgive those that have hurt or disappointed you. This will break the chains that keep you connected to negative people and circumstances.

10- Laughter is the Best Medicine – Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Plan to watch a funny movie or just hang out with friends and laugh and have some fun!

Excerpts from the book, “Eat Clean for Life” by Kimberly Perry CWC (Certified Wellness Coach) 

 

President of  Perry Publishing LLC, Founder of Fresh Lifestyle Magazine, Health and Wellness Writer,  Nationally Acclaimed book Author, “Eat Clean for Life”,  Workshop and Convention Speaker. Kimberly is a Certified Wellness Coach (CWC), with a BA from Michigan State University and a graduate of Heal Yourself Institute.

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