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Recipe for Happiness - No Kidding!

By Sandy Schroeder

When you are having a tough day, and someone suggests a “recipe for happiness,” it may be all you can do to avoid yelling, “yeah, right!” We live in a fairly trying culture, but happiness may still be out there if you know where to look.

Mike Bundrant, on Psychocentral, encourages us to be grateful for what we have to boost our happiness. Bundrant says happiness can spring from gratitude. When we are thankful for what we have, these five things may happen.

We are more hopeful - When you are thankful for what you have, you may be more hopeful about the future, too, according to health researchers. Hopefulness can make us feel happier and impact physical health too.

Stress begins to lift - When you think about your family, pets or friends, stress may lift. That’s important because ongoing stress can impact many areas of health.

  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Arthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Heart disease
  • Depression

Research, published in Cerebral Cortex, found thankfulness stimulates the portion of the brain that produces a sense of pleasure.

We feel better about ourselves - Sports health researchers found athletes who focused on gratitude improved their self-esteem and their relationship with their coaches.

We bounce back - When we deal with illness or other setbacks our happiness may take a dive. But studies show keeping a daily gratitude journal when you are working through sickness or other ordeals helps lift the spirit and encourages a sense of well-being.

We are less aggressive - Feeling good about yourself and focusing on where you are -- and what you have -- often helps reduce anger and aggression. Instead, individuals may feel more compassionate toward others, reaching out to help whenever they can.

Work on Being Thankful

If you would like to work on your gratitude to lower stress, improve physical health, reduce aggression and be more resilient, start with a daily assessment. You could do an early morning or late-in-the-day journal with notes about what is good in your life. Some days when you are tired or overloaded you may really have to think, but gradually more and more positive notes may occur. When we are more positive and hopeful, the world looks different. We may smile more and interact with more people. We may increase productivity and feel better about our job. Or we may build deeper connections with our kids. One good thing often does lead to many more.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pearland, Tex.

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