8 Scientific Ways to Be Happy

Everyone at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc trains for exactly the same thing. This may strike some as strange because we work with a variety of clientele that want to look, feel and play better. So how is it all our clients can be training for the same thing?

Well it’s because ultimately everyone wants to be happy.

The person with chronic joint pain can’t wait for the day when they can be pain-free. They have learned to live with their pain for so long that they now expect it. And the longer they live with it the higher their tolerance gets. Pain relief medication doesn’t help as much or at all. Sleep is poor quality and constantly interrupted by stabs of pain. Just envisioning a pain-free day brings a small smile to their face but almost seems improbable or even impossible.

And even if it’s not-physical pain there are more and more people suffering from anxiety, depression and a lack of confidence. They would like to enter new situations and environments and not feel anxious. They would like to feel comfortable among crowds of strangers. And they probably wish they wouldn’t feel overwhelmed when having to perform  at school or work.

Then there’s the individual that wants to look better. This is the largest group of people that go to gyms. They want to drop a few pounds, tone up and alter their physique. They want to look better in their favourite pair of jeans. Ladies want to be excited at the prospect of shopping for a new bathing suit for that beach vacation. And guys want to have their shirts feel tight around the arms and their jeans loose around the waist.

Lastly, there’s the athlete that wants to play at their highest level. They want to compete without the risk of injury in the back of their mind. They want to be able to give it their best, not hold back and potentially achieve glory. And then they want to extend their careers to the point they can exit on their own terms and not due to injury or being cut.

With each of these scenarios, if the individual that wants to feel, look or play better achieves their goal, they would be happy.

And we know that exercise makes you feel better and happier.

Besides exercise there are a number of things we can do that lead to a happier life. I’m borrowing this from friend Shawn Wells who runs a nutritional and supplement advisement company in North Carolina. If you missed it here’s the info graphic Shawn created that I shared on our Facebook page.

Here are the other 7 things you can do to live a happy life.

  • Be Grateful – Sometimes we forget how good we’ve got it. We don’t realize how we won the lottery in life by being born in  Canada. We can get upset when our internet is down or we get a bad piece of fruit from the grocer. Really? These aren’t reasons to become upset. War. Famine. Natural disasters. It could be a lot worse.
  • Homework – Each morning look for something to be grateful for. This morning I had an awesome peach and nectarine and thought how great it is to live in a place these fruits grow in our backyards.
Mother Teresa. Great service=Great happiness.

Mother Teresa. Great service = Great happiness.

  • Help Others – Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you volunteer? There’s no financial reward. And sometimes there’s not even an acknowledgement of your service. But you still feel good great. I remember my buddy Scott using the expression ‘giving is getting’. And this sums it up pretty well. When you look at the people in history who spent their lives servicing others these are often some of the happiest people as well.
  • Homework – So the question becomes ‘who can we help?’
  • Meditate – We are constantly being bombarded with stimuli. We’re always looking at our phones and ipads. Lights never turn off and everything runs 24/7. When do we ever unplug and just have complete silence?
  • Homework – Set aside some time to be free from distractions. Preferably this would be done privately. For people of faith this may be considered prayer.
  • Plan a Trip – We actually did that this week. We booked a cruise and our flights. And it’s surprising after you book something how excited you get. There’s something fun in the future to look forward to. For me, planning travel is one of my favourite things. I like checking out flight itineraries. It’s fun to read reviews about the different hotels and resorts we may stay. I like to check out the ship ahead of time and learn about all the fun things you can do on board. Plus there’s all the different ports you’ll hit where you can experience different cultures and food while hearing different accents and languages.
  • Homework – Plan a trip somewhere. Figure out what makes for a great trip for you? Is it relaxation or adventure? Is it with family and a larger group or is it solo? Will it be somewhere urban or more rural? The options are endless and just the planning of a trip can take our mind off many of the day to day stressors we deal with.
  • Sleep More – Are you getting eight hours a night? If not, don’t stress it? Instead try to improve where you’re at with the goal to getting closer to eight a night. A couple of other points to add here are to get more of yours before midnight and keep your routine consistent every night of the week. A number of people will shoot for 7-8 hours a night but it may be from 1 am to 9 am. I don’t believe this is as effective as sleeping from 10 pm – 6 am. And lastly, there are a number of people who are good from M-F and then live it up on the weekends. This makes the turnaround on Mondays that much more difficult.
  • Homework – Get closer to 8 hours per night. Get more of your sleep before midnight. And don’t stay up or sleep in later on weekends.
  • Spend More Time with Family & Friends – We all know the expression ‘you get to pick your friends, but not your family’. But joking aside we all know the value of family. And I remember reading the definition of friends to be ‘they double your good times, and halve your bad times’. We get a lift when someone in our family achieves something and it’s easier to get through the bad times when surrounded by friends and family.
  • Homework – Reach out to a friend or family member that you haven’t connected with in a while.
  • Go Outside – I know a number of people that don’t get outside much at all. They park in underground parkades. They ride the elevator to their office. Lunch is ordered in. And they park in their garage when they get back home. And for obvious reason these people struggle with their health. Not only do they not move enough but they don’t see the sun at all. At minimum we should strive for 20 minutes of exposure to the sun each day. And besides the vitamin D we would get from being outside it’s also great to breath fresh as opposed to recycled air. You know how you feel after sitting on a plane with recycled air? You want the opposite of this.
  • Homework – Plan to be outside for 20 minutes a day. Maybe you walk to work. Or you drive a little earlier to work and then walk 10 minutes each way for your morning coffee. Or you go for a walk over the lunch hour. Or you walk after dinner rather than plunk down for an evening of Netflix.

The great thing about this list is that it doesn’t take a specific skill or financial investment. It might cost you a few bucks to pick up the phone and call someone but the rest of the items are free. Go through this list and see what’s missing.  Start there and move forward towards a happier life.

 

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