Originally published August 6 2014
Follow these 10 lifestyle tips to live a healthy, happy life without regret
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) Without exception, everyone is striving to attain more happiness and peace of mind. In fact, everything that we do in life is in one way or another contingent upon increasing our happiness and peace of mind, even though we might not always succeed in attaining it.
Here are some proven tips to help you increase your ability to intentionally cultivate greater levels of happiness and peace of mind.
(1) Laugh More:
Laughter is powerful medicine. It offers a plethora of health, happiness and inner peace to those who incorporate its magic into their lives. Laughter physically boosts immunity, lowers stress hormones, relieves pain, protects the heart and acts as a muscle relaxant.
Laughter psychologically relieves stress, enhances mood, fortifies resilience and vanquishes distressing emotions like anger, sadness, anxiety and fear.
Laughter is a paradigm shifter. It allows one to spontaneously re-frame or transform a fearful, serious or negative experience into one that's emotionally neutral and suddenly navigable.
Laughter is a primal form of detachment that only exists in the now.
(2) Anchor Your Attention in the Present Moment:
In 2009, a major study with almost 5,000 subjects from 83 countries was launched on a website called TrackYourHappiness.org. The stated purpose of the scientific study was to determine what makes life worth living. The results showed that happiness is consistent with focusing one's attention fully in the present moment while engaged in the activity at hand, despite considerations of how unpleasant or pleasant the task is.
(3) Build Your Life Around a Compelling Life Purpose:
Researchers have made important discoveries that positively link quality of life with a strong life purpose. They found that people with a resolute life purpose lived longer and had a higher quality of life than those without a clearly defined purpose.
A recent study looked at the women of Okinawa, Japan, who have an average life span of 86 years and the "longest disability-free life expectancy in the world" despite living in the poorest prefecture in Japan.
The researchers concluded that Okinawans' long life spans were based on a strong sense of purpose which boosts health and happiness.
(4) Express Gratitude:
Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, authored the bestselling book Thanks! How The New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. He proclaims that gratitude is the secret behind a meaningful life.
He found that viewing life as a gift and cultivating an "attitude of gratitude" will inevitably lead to many positive benefits including improved physical and emotional health, greater resilience and the ability to build and maintain supportive relationships.
(5) Adopt a Pet:
Researchers, from Miami University of Ohio and Saint Louis University in Missouri carried out three experiments to isolate and define the potential benefits of pet ownership for "everyday people".
Although results varied, pet owners without exception were found to be healthier and happier than those without pets. The researchers also reported that pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, less lonely, more extroverted and more conscientious.
Can meditation rewire your brain for greater happiness? Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology, stated, "Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we
experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened
awareness and empathy. And, research even shows that regular meditation
can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness."
A 2001 study found that http://www.beagooddoctor.org, thereby triggering an internal feeling of fulfillment and happiness.
(8) Stay Connected:
A book by palliative nurse Bronnie Ware, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, sheds new light on the importance of relationships and a well lived, happy life. The fourth regret expressed by her dying patients was "I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends" (http://www.theguardian.com).
Dan Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard, puts it this way: "We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends".
(9) Eat a Healthy Diet:
Researchers have already reported on the abundant health benefits from consuming a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts and seeds, and fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices with moderate amounts of dairy, fish, poultry and red wine.
Now, researchers are suggesting that this diet can improve our mood and make us happier as well. Overall, research results indicate that diet definitely affects mood, and if your goal is to be healthy and happy, diet has a foundational role to play in achieving your goal.
In fact, daily consumption of healthy fats offers a plausible reason for at least some of the mood-boosting potential that the Mediterranean diet offers. Other studies found that diets abundant in fresh fruits, vegetables and lots of greens were also correlative with positive mental health.
An approximately 10-year survey study reported that polyphenols, which are plentiful in plant-based foods, reduce the risk of mood disorders.
(10) Be a Giver:
Researchers from the London School of Economics investigated the relationship between volunteering and happiness. They determined that "the more people volunteered, the happier they were."
Sources for this article include:
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