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Don’t Worry! Be Happy …. And Healthy!

By Bigg Success Staff
01-09-08

Work-Life Balance

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Are you happy? It turns out that your answer to that question may determine, in some part, how healthy you are.

A recent study, published in American Journal of Epidemiology, shows that there appears to be a link between positive emotions and body chemistry. The study was conducted by Dr. Andrew Steptoe, a professor of psychology at University College in London, along with researchers Katie O'Donnell, Ellena Badrick, Meena Kumari and Michael Marmot.

Specifically, the study showed that people who reported being upbeat had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone may contribute to high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, and reduced immune functions when it’s persistently elevated.

Women who are happy may experience lower levels of C-reactive protein and interlukin 6, according to the study. These two proteins indicate inflammation, which is believed to contribute to heart disease and cancer.

So, if you want to be healthy, be happy!

Happiness is related to enjoyment, contentment, willingness, and gratefulness.

Enjoyment
Spend more time doing things you enjoy. Spend less time on things you don’t. You’ll smile more, which is very infectious! No pun intended! Ah, who are we kidding? Of course, the pun was intended!

Contentment
You can be happy without being content, but you can’t be content without being happy. Contentment is an inner feeling, related to peace of mind. Peace of mind comes from knowing you did your very best to reach your full potential.
 

In case you missed it, in our inaugural blog, we said that
our favorite 6 definition of success] comes from John Wooden,
who says you’ve succeeded when you have peace of mind.

So do everything you can to become all that you can be. You’ll be happy … and healthier!

Willingness
Be willing to lend a hand. To be a friend. To help someone who can never pay you back. To give back. Develop a willingness to help others in need. Strive to make it part of your essence.

Research shows that 31 people who give are happier … and healthier!] Be willing to help someone today. You’ll be thankful you did, which leads us to …

Gratefulness
Just like a willingness to give has its health benefits, so does an 30 attitude of gratitude]. We all have so many things for which to be thankful. So many things that we take for granted. From family and friends. To talents. To blessings. The list could go on and on …

So spend some time today reflecting and being thankful. You’ll find it makes you happier … can you feel that smile coming?

Because it’s hard to think about happiness without thinking about a smiling face, isn’t it? Doesn’t that make you smile? Happiness flows outward and affects others. So tell us …

What makes you happy? Share it with us … you’ll be happy you did. Can you see our big smile?

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

Related Links:

6 Define Success For Your Peace Of Mind]

30 Putting The Thanks In Thanksgiving]

31]

(Image of happy door by oskay, CC 2.0)

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Putting The Thanks In Thanksgiving

In our last blog, we talked about ‘taters and asked the question: “What kind of ‘tater are you?”

Today we’ll put the “thanks” in Thanksgiving. 

Be thankful for the benefits
Robert Emmons, a Psychology professor at the University of California Davis, did a study to determine if there are benefits in being grateful.

He divided the study’s participants into three groups:

  • Group 1 recorded that day’s most significant events
  • Group 2 recorded minor complaints and hassles of the day
  • Group 3 recorded things they were thankful for that day.

After ten weeks, Emmons found that Group 3 had more energy, viewed life more positively, and had fewer physical ailments when compared to the other two groups.

Sounds like we should all be thankful for this study, doesn’t it? Emmons didn’t stop there. He wanted to know if there were any long-term differences.  Here’s what he found:

Group 3 members were more likely to achieve their goals.

So if you’re grateful, you’ll be healthier and you’ll reach more of your goals!

Make giving thanks a habit
We all remember the old saying “Practice makes perfect.” So, if we practice complaining, we’ll get pretty good at it. So how do you stop complaining?

Be grateful for what you have; quit complaining about what you don’t. It’s really a matter of attention. We tend to give attention to bad things. Many people shine stadium lights on their problems, and flashlights on their blessings.

You should do the opposite – be thankful everyday for all that happens to you. We recently wrote an article about 12 John Bramblitt]. Here is a young man that lost his sight, but didn’t let it conquer him. He became a painter. In his adversity, he found his gift.

The most precious thing in the world
Just like John Bramblitt, your life is a gift. You and only you are the single most unique thing in the world. There is only one of you. Your genes and all of your experiences have come together to make you who you are.

Don’t you have a lot for which to be thankful? Being thankful on Thanksgiving is great. We challenge you to make it a part of your life everyday. It pays big dividends!

Our quote today is from over 2000 years ago. It’s by Cicero, the great philosopher.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

Greatness begins with gratefulness. Make giving thanks a daily habit. We promise that you’ll thank yourself for it. 

Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!