Did you know that it takes work to be happy?
If you have been following my blogs for many years, you know that I enjoy reading the research of Dan Buettner, the author of Blue Zones and Thrive He is a scientist focused on the areas of the world that have the oldest living people and what makes them live long, happy lives. I don’t want to be a spoiler but the short answer is… lifestyle habits!
A few weeks ago, I read an article where he was asked about happiness. I feel his points are so important that I have decided to dedicate this month’s blog posts to uncovering what makes us happy. So this month’s theme is ‘what can we learn about happiness to create a sweet life’!
Mr. Buettner says that there is no specific equation for happiness, however, in the countries of the world that are the most happy places, there are four main themes. I will share them with you here and then expand on my favorite.
All the children can read. Literacy changes the lives of children and increases the opportunities for the community and the nation. Educating girls to grow up as educated women changes the society for the better.
“Public health is more important than sick care, which is how I think of the American health care system.” I had to take this as a direct quote because I could not have said it better myself. The places were people are the happiest focus on catching health issues before they become major health problems. This is the concept that I have devoted my life and career to.
Having trust in institutions, communities and individuals. When you can trust your communities whether it be elected officials, workplaces, organizations where you are involved is important for a sense of happiness.
Equality in the community. For the community to be happy you have to want money to go to the people and places that have the greatest needs instead of going to rich populations at the expense of the poor.
Of course, the one where I hold expertise is number two. Preventing diseases before they get to the full disease state. Think about your happiest times… weren’t you feeling great?! Mr. Buettner’s research shows that when you have health, you have the tools to be happy and create a happy life. We know from additional research that lifestyle habits are the number one contributor to wellness or illness and disease. If you want a happy life, then you need to have a healthy lifestyle.
The number one ‘shock’ all of my practice members encounter is when they realize that the things they thought were healthy are not. As they become more educated about their health, it becomes easy to change their health habits in a simple step by step approach.
The next ‘shock’ is typically that it is more simple then they anticipated to change their habits! It is unfortunate that we have a tendency to worry that healthy living is going to be hard and painful. Often the steps are easier than we think and once we make the change our lives get so much better. So many practice members are willing to give up their old habits to feel better and be happier in their lives with their health.
If you want to join in on happiness and joy, call the office to find out more about how we can support you.
To Your One Sweet Life,