Happy Body Happy Mind
Updated: Aug 21, 2020
There are many ways to enhance our happiness. Among them is to take better care of your body, as suggested by Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book “The How of Happiness”
Regular practice of meditation is said to enhance happiness by cultivating non-judgmental awareness in the present moment. Numerous studies have shown that mindfulness meditation has multiple positive effects on a person’s happiness, positive emotions, physical health, cognitive abilities and moral maturity etc.
To meditate, sit comfortably with back straight, close your eyes and focus on your breath. You may find your mind wandering all the time; just notice that and gently bring your attention back to your breathing. Repeat it again and again, and build the length of practice gradually from 5 to 20 min. Try to cultivate it like physical exercise and as a daily way of being. You may consider taking a structured mindfulness course or looking for a book or online resources for learning.
The multiple benefits of physical activity for health and well-being were well-established in many research studies, such as reduction of anxiety and stress and the risk of numerous diseases, and improvement of quality of life and sleep. Exercises are also regarded as the most effective instant happiness booster of all activities!
Psychologists believe that physical activities make people happy as they enhance sense of mastery and control, offer a positive distraction from worries and rumination, and provide opportunities for social contact. Recent researches even proved that physical exercises could be as effective as medication in alleviating depression. If this appeals to you, start today by moving more, and gradually increases in time, frequency and intensity of your exercises.
Acting like a happy person
The third way to become happier is a surprisingly straightforward one. Simply act like a happy person! Pretend that you are happy by smiling, being engaged, energetic and enthusiastic. This wisdom was supported by the ‘facial feedback hypothesis’, which suggested that you would feel happiness (or other emotions) by physical manifestations of it. In other words, your face and other physical expression sends signals (‘feedback’) to your brain, informing it that you are experiencing a particular emotion and leading you to feel it.
Start taking better care of your body by meditation, physical activity and acting like a happy person, multiple benefits on positive emotions and quality of life will follow.