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In order to lead a healthy and active life, researchers have found (once again) it may simply come down to facing each day with a smile.
According to new research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, happier people are in better physical shape as the years go by. And those who were categorized as unhappy were found to be 80 percent more likely to suffer from various ailments that would impact their everyday abilities.
The study, which was conducted over an eight-year period, was comprised of 3,000 adults aged 60 and older. Through questionnaires and interviews, the volunteers were continuously asked about how much pleasure they felt in life. For example, they were asked to rate statements such as, “I enjoy the things I do” and “I enjoy being in the company of others.”
These participants were also asked about their mobility during day-to-day activities — in other words, if they dealt with any physical ailments or limitations when it came to bathing, getting dressed, etc. Their average walking speed was evaluated, as well. And as expected, experts discovered that happier people “maintained better physical function.” The pace of a happier person also declined at a slower rate compared to the discontented individuals.
So a joyful person is more likely to experience good health and well-being while a Debbie Downer has a higher risk of suffering from chronic conditions, such as depression and heart disease, along with dealing with everyday difficulties. Yes, we know this “come on get happy” information can be easier said than done, so there are a number of proven ways to keep your delight dial on high:
Reach out to old friends, join a club, take a class or start asking co-workers to grab a bite during the day. Being connected to others, in good times and in bad, is what life’s all about.
Get rid of the guilt
Make a conscious effort to give yourself some leisure time. Your demanding boss, your overzealous kids and your drama-filled friends will survive a few hours without you.
Live in the moment
Focusing on what may happen over the next hour, the next week and even the next year is a waste of your energy since thinking ahead usually leads to stress and anxiety. And besides, you can only truly be in control of the thoughts and feelings that are happening right now.
I’ve heard and read this saying numerous times over the years, and now I’m passing it along. It’s just three simple words, yet they hold such power…follow your bliss.