The approaching holiday season usually brings one of two responses. Hooray, it’s time for food, family, fun, gifts, and time together! Or a heavy feeling of stress and anxiety. It’s important to remember that maintaining a positive outlook does more than just ease tension. Happiness is proven to go hand in hand with a healthier lifestyle. At Family & Sports Chiropractic Clinic, Dr. Chani Henderson also works by healing the body from the inside out and that’s definitely something to be thankful for.
What happens to our bodies when we’re unhappy? The results can have tremendous impact, say Harvard doctors. “A vast scientific literature has detailed how negative emotions harm the body. Serious, sustained stress or fear can alter biological systems in a way that, over time, adds up to ‘wear and tear’ and, eventually, illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Chronic anger and anxiety can disrupt cardiac function by changing the heart’s electrical stability, hastening atherosclerosis, and increasing systemic inflammation.”
The American Heart Association explains that the “mind-body connection goes deeper than many people realize, and a troubled mind can contribute to health problems.” For example, their doctors point out that “because happiness leads to healthier behaviors, it helps stave off high blood pressure and excess body fat, resulting in lower risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.”
But, AHA doctors admit, some individuals “lead difficult lives and have many barriers to mental well-being. So to simply say ‘be happy’ may be naïve or insensitive. However, everyone can take steps to improve their outlook.”
A Positive Attitude for Better Health
So how do we improve our outlook in the face of a packed calendar, seasonal obligations, 24/7 parenting, work, chores, and dreary winter weather? In a nutshell: by doing whatever it takes to treat yourself. Instead of rushing through that nightly shower, indulge in a bubble bath or play some background music. Splurge on a little pick-me-up, even if it’s a new thrift store find or hot cocoa on a cold day. Put fresh, clean sheets on the bed and leave that laundry pile until tomorrow. Turn up 80s rock ballads during your morning commute and sing at the top of your lungs.
Reports show that “everyone attempts to find happiness in three ways: Doing good for others; doing things you’re good at; and doing things that are good for you…Your own well-being shouldn’t be mysterious. Know what works for you and what doesn’t and remove the barriers that are preventing your happiness. Be content with your life choices. Your health and well-being are dependent on it.”
And knowing what works for you is key. Some people love pedicures, others cringe at the thought. Some indulge in an extra hour at the gym while others choose a movie and popcorn. Let it all out at karaoke night, on the dance floor, or hiking up Mt Rainier…there’s no wrong answer to what makes you feel better.
Researchers at Healthline spotlight a study which found that adults with a positive outlook ate more fresh fruits and veggies, were physically active, and had sounder sleep each night. The study also showed how happiness boosts the immune system, combats stress, reduces pain, and even seems to increase longevity and reduce frailty in the elderly.
Seek Support When You Need It: Dr. Henderson Can Help
Think back to a time you were super stressed and unhappy. A tight neck and shoulders, upset stomach, headache, and clenched jaw are just a fraction of the physical symptoms. Add that to residual pain or mobility problems from a previous injury or ongoing medical issue and it can feel like happiness is a million miles away. In times like these, a visit to Dr. Henderson may be in order. Schedule a consultation online or by calling 360.254.0400 today. She’ll sit down and discuss your wellness journey and hopes for the future.
Chiropractic heals the body from the inside out and can help regain the pain-free, well-balanced lifestyle you thought was lost. Says one patient review: “Working with Dr. Henderson has not only left me feeling better physically but has also given me hope that the entirety of my life does not have to be defined by chronic pain. She is gentle with me and still always has me progressing.”
Says another patient: “I’m still seeing Dr. Henderson once a month for adjustments. If I happen to miss one, maybe out of town or on vacation, I can tell the difference. It’s like a lube and oil for your body. You take care of your car, take care of yourself as well!” And that’s a surefire recipe for happiness.