What makes your heart happy?

What makes your heart happy?

Did you know ... Happy people are both physically and mentally healthier than sad people. Happiness actually leads to lower levels of a potentially dangerous stress chemical in our bodies. In a study involving 116 men and 100 women all ages 35-55, researchers evaluated participants in three different settings:

At work

In the laboratory

And, during leisure periods

What makes your heart happy?

Their finding are not surprising: Participants who reported more happy moments throughout the day also had 32 percent lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and autoimmune diseases to name a few.

You may know people who just seem innately happy, and it is true, happiness is hardwired. So, if you are not hardwired for happiness, does that mean you have to live a life of doom and gloom? Absolutely not. Without disregarding the effectiveness and medical necessity of anti-depressants, there are some simple things you can do each day to begin to change your brain's hardwiring and experience more joy and happiness in your life and in your heart.

Have an Attitude of Gratitude: Create a gratitude journal and list everything you are grateful for in your journal. Each morning before you rise and each evening before you go to bed, read through your journal, add to it and meditate on the many blessings in your life.

Play the Pollyanna Game: Remember Pollyanna? She made a game of finding something to be glad about in every not-so-happy circumstance. So, you got passed over for a promotion at work? Be glad for the many opportunities for personal and professional growth within your current position.

Laugh Loud & Laugh Often: Laugh when you feel like laughing, and laugh when you feel like crying. The endorphins released in your brain during a good laugh is truly the best catalyst for a change in attitude or perspective. Laugh from your heart and release the tension you have stored inside.

Spend Time with Your Pet: Our pets and their undying devotion is so healthful for the heart. The emotional connection we have with our animals and the joy they experience by merely seeing us walk through the door is the best happy potion!

Go Outside: Consciously connect with nature. When you are out walking look for the Divine in all the details of nature. Sit outside for your morning coffee and listen to the birds. Walk barefoot to fetch the paper, and feel the dew on your toes. Connect with the Earth and explore the simple joy of it.

This week, decide to find happiness in every day. No matter how stressful, do not settle until you have experienced at least one moment of deliberate, pure joy!

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