I once heard that we confuse Happiness and Pleasure. We derive pleasure from tangible things like material goods, a massage, delicious food. Happiness, however, is achieved when we overcome challenges. This might explain how I lived among the poorest people in the world (Niger) and witness such happiness with so little. They had to overcome intense living standards. Yet after living there for 2 years, I came home to the richest country and it seemed like everyone I know was seeking therapy and feeling unhappy. Our richness gave us pleasure but we did not derive long-term happiness from overcoming obstacles???
Why am I writing about this? I have learned that many of us suffer from unhappiness, and many of us cope using food which results in unwanted weight gain or worse…diseases. For me, happiness is always an important topic in the office.
I challenge you and myself (we are all human) to view “negative” times as an opportunity for happiness. Taking the action to shine through difficult times gains happiness. Perhaps you don’t agree with this idea. Regardless, it builds resilience and that is a huge factor to happiness…and health.
Another key factor includes time to relax and allowing the body to enter a parasympathetic state which boosts energy, creativity, immune system, and metabolism. Most importantly, show compassion to yourself and others. When we stop thinking about what others can do (or need to do) for us, we are much happier. Rather, what can we do for others seem to elicit much greater reward. I can see how in our entitled world so many of us become more and more unhappy. Having strong relationships is key and “working” to build these relationships is imperative. Again, happiness is in the action. What actions will you take?
Given the intensity of our present political climate, I’ll leave you with Kennedy’s inspiration “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Ask what you can do for others (while still incorporating self-care) and flood yourself with happiness. We are all work in progress. I hope you’re enjoying your progress and view bad times as an opportunity.
Learn how to have a great relationship with yourself, food, exercise, and build great habits with a free health consultation at www.HappyFoodHealth.com or (619) 876-2655. See if this is the right match for you. I do things very differently to make health a natural lifestyle and this is not for everyone.
~Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Health Coach, San Diego, CA