Health and happiness are synonymous. Being in good health is the greatest indicator of people’s spiritual, mental, physical well-being, and happiness. Medical researchers tell us that people are predisposed to inherit family diseases. When people think of health, though, the absence of disease comes to mind, but health entails more than the nonexistence of the conditions that cause diseases. Moreover, people are free to make choices that diminish the value of life, health, peace, beauty, vitality, and happiness. Conversely, they can make healthy choices and live healthy, wholesome, and happy lives. Happiness is achievable when people are in good physical health, which is a function of diet and nutrition, sleep, exercise, and general wholesome (stress-free) living.
Happiness exists in the physical realm of our lives, no different from our spiritual, moral, social, intellectual and emotional lives. Notwithstanding, people’s preoccupation with “lifestyle happiness” seems to overshadow these critical areas of health, well-being, and happiness. Understanding all of the complexities of physical well-being is essential to living healthy and happy lives.
In our postmodern era, physical health has been elevated to matters of human survival, more so than physical prowess is a sign of masculinity. Medical practitioners are prescribing physical exercise as part of the healthcare regimen for their patients. Evidence of this transformation is the appearance of diet and nutrition, and fitness centers that are springing up across the urban and rural landscape.
Further proof of this revolution is the number of young people, both male and female, with yearly fitness center memberships. People, in general, are embracing a philosophy of “walk,” “jog,” “run,” as a value proposition for their physical health and well-being, which further translates to a happier pre-disposition. City planners and corporate office personnel call for bicycle lanes to facilitate physical exercise within inner cities. One can postulate that there is a direct correlation between the “abundant life” of people and their physical well-being, and happiness.
Why are people happy when they are healthy?
- People desire to be healthy and happy, and experience a long life; being in good health is a predicate of longevity.
- When people are in good health, they enjoy a more active lifestyle. People can engage in physical activities that imbue happiness such as dancing, or group activities that physically healthy people take for granted such as hiking, running a marathon, or climbing a mountain.
- Being in good physical health presents a broader range of opportunities to take on occupations that demand physical fitness such as a bodyguard, or a firefighter.
- When people are healthy, they are more likely to be better off financially. The financial burden that millions experience in meeting the cost of their healthcare needs can contribute to chronic unhappiness. Money may not buy health or happiness, but it is a crucial factor in the happiness equation.
- Good health, and freedom from chronic pain enables people to have a better social life, which strengthens relationships.
The scientific minds help people to understand better and manage their health issues and to comprehend better the magnitude of health challenges as people age. Unfortunately, some of the significant efforts of medical science are negated by the incalculable harm that some people cause to their bodies by not exercising regularly, by neglecting sleep and proper nutrition, or by working excessively, often pushing the limits of their mental and physical capabilities, ultimately impacting their health and happiness.
“Regularity in the hours of rising and retiring, perseverance in exercise, adaptation of dress to the variations of climate, simple and nutritious aliment, and temperance in all things are necessary branches of the regimen of health” ⎯Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, British Statesperson (September 1694 – March 1773).
For the benefit of a healthy and happier life, the following ten habits should help to sustain the healthy and happy equation. They are not the only criteria, but they have been helpful in maintaining the complex and multilayered paths to health and happiness.
TEN HEALTHCARE CRITERIA TO SUSTAIN HEALTH AND HAPPINESS
- Get a yearly physical.
- Strive for work–life balance.
- Avoid stressful situations.
- Mitigate or manage stressful situations.
- Seek spiritual and mental nurturing.
- Exercise frequently (daily if practicable).
- Maintain a healthy diet rich in natural foods.
- Research the family predisposition to illnesses.
- Strive for adequate exercise, rest, and relaxation.
- Eat foods from the ground, the sea, and the tree.
These ten healthcare criteria for a healthy and happy life enable people to help counteract the challenges that busy and stressful postmodern lifestyle inflict on people’s bodies and make them unhealthy and unhappy.
About The Authors: Errol and Marjorie Gibbs
Errol and Marjorie Gibbs are the authors of Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” (OHI): A Self-Directed Guide to Your “Happiness Index” (HI) now available on Amazon. Connect with them at www.gibbshappinessindex.com.