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Happiness and Health

by Laura Decker

It is a well known fact that when we take care of our bodies, we feel pretty good. Wholesome habits are certainly something to strive for. In addition to the multiple health benefits, living a healthy lifestyle enables you to make the best version of yourself possible.

Eat your fruit and veggies? Check.
Drink plenty of water? Check.
Squeeze in a satisfying workout? Check.
Get a full night's rest? Double check.

But what if I told you there's something else you can do that can change your life? It doesn't cost anything. You don't need to go anywhere for it. And you don't even need to lift a finger! All you need to do is make a choice. And that is to choose to be...happy! That's it!

Our emotions can have so much control on our overall well-being. We have innate responses to the world around us. Responses that are part of our DNA and also some that are learned. Many of these responses add stress to our bodies that can, over time, lead to health problems, diseases, weight gain, and general unstableness.

According to Daniel Goleman in his book, Emotional Intelligence, the emotion of happiness can have certain physiological affects on the body. Goleman says, "Among the main biological changes in happiness is an increase in a brain center that inhibits negative feelings and fosters an increase in available energy, and a quieting of those that generate worrisome thought." He continues, "This configuration offers the body a general rest, as well as readiness and enthusiasm for whatever task is at hand and for striving toward a great variety of goals."

While there are many days where we can think of plenty of reasons to be happy, we also know that there are days that are downright disheartening. It's in these challenging times that the choices we make influence the way we think about ourselves and others, how we feel, and even our overall general health. Our thoughts can give us the power to prevail or succumb to defeat.

So why not capture your thoughts and choose to think on the positives? You'll reap so many benefits from it both internally and externally.

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