Last week was a heavy one; this week I feel clearer and more positive, especially when I remembered this:
I once heard Jack Canfield, co-author of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series, tell a story.
He said he was on a talk show and a woman in the audience complained she hadn’t been happy since her husband died, seven years prior. She pleaded for his advice.
“Well, what sorts of things do you love to do?” he replied.
The woman said she loved to paint, play the piano, and spend time working in her garden. Canfield then asked, “How often do you do those things?” It turned out she’d done little to none of her favorite activities since her husband died. She’d just stopped. So he encouraged her to make a point of doing at least one of those things each day for the next seven days.
Then, he handed her a business card and told her to send him an update by email.
A week later, he got a note from the woman thanking him and reporting that she’s happier than she’s been in a long time.
I like this story because it’s a great reminder that life is supposed to be fun. And sometimes in all the hustle of modern life – or its tragedies – we forget to make time to do activities that bring us joy.
More than that, we don’t merely experience emotions, we DO emotions.
Joy, sadness, passion, overwhelm – all are patterns that express themselves differently in our bodies, in the actions we take, and what we focus on. Persistent anxiety or overwhelm creates chemical changes in the body that negatively impact your health. Positive emotions, on the other hand, have been shown to improve immunity, healing and resistance to disease.
The verdict is clear.
Want a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life? Start by doing more of what you love to do.
If it’s gardening – do that. If it’s golf – do that. If it’s going for a bike ride – do that.
It seems like this should be obvious, but it’s not.
Besides, I’ve noticed a pattern with my patients who get regular adjustments. When stress and inflammation is controlled…when sleep is improved…and when the nervous system is functioning as it’s supposed to (i.e. the signals aren’t blocked in some way)…people WANT to do more. You don’t have to remind them. It feels natural to do so.
Until next time,