Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

— Albert Einstein

Cultivating Happiness – Can Being Positive and Upbeat Improve Your Heart Health?

By Sheryl Schlameuss Berger

Are you enthusiastic, upbeat and relatively content most of the time — or are you cranky, agitated or dejected much of the time? Have you ever suspected that embracing a real sense of happiness in your life may actually help ward off heart conditions? Well, you might be “happy” to hear that joyful attitudes and behavior have scientifically been linked to a lower risk of developing heart disease!

A study, just published in the European Heart Journal, and partially funded by the U. S. National Institutes of Health, studied 1700 adults for a full decade, rating and keeping track of them based on a happiness scale. After examining the people who developed heart problems, they discovered that the happier people were less likely to experience heart problems!

Does it come as a surprise that happier people are more likely to lead healthier lives? There are so many experts writing about joy and happiness, encouraging us to reach for this state of positive energetic balance for a variety of reasons. Now there there is an actual medical basis for us to cultivate a mindset of happiness!

There have been previous scientific findings that being happy has been linked to healthier blood pressure levels as well as a better immune system. High levels of stress have been shown to affect the opposite — increased chances of developing heart disease, digestive issues, obesity, sleep problems and other conditions.

Obviously, it appears that taking steps and actions toward personal happiness is the way to go. However, remember that smoking, eating unhealthy food, and not exercising can play a role in increasing your risk of heart disease. So even if you are feeling a high level of happiness in your life, but you smoke two packs a day and rarely get any physical exercise, you would be negating any of the beneficial effects of the “happiness factor.”

So don’t wait: get happy today! As I often write about and I firmly believe, YOU are in control of your thought processes. Begin to take charge of what you think. Consciously strive to reach for a more joyful thought. From the moment you awake, approach each day with free-flowing optimism. Shake off your feelings of sleepiness and make an effort to look forward to your day with a positive outlook!

If you are the kind of person who is generally not happy, start working on shifting your attitude. Or, just pretend to be happy. If you stretch your imagination, and work at this a bit, you may well start feeling an actual sense of joy beginning to fill your being!

Life is what you make of it. I recently heard Ken Brown on a radio show, discussing his new book, “Living In Freedom Everyday,” and he used the metaphor that “Life is a garden and you are the gardener.” Tend to your garden — plant seeds of happiness and they will bloom and ripen. It’s up to YOU — and only you — to decide what to include in your garden, so make wise — and happy — choices!

Here are some Affirmation, Attitude, Action statements to help bring a shift toward greater happiness:

* It is easy for me to remain calm, balanced and at peace with the world.
* I enthusiastically cultivate positive thoughts and healthy habits.
* I awake with joy and I let this radiant attitude carry me through the day!

Sources:    http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Sheryl_Schlameuss_Berger

Featured Reads

Latest Reads