Prioritizing Happiness for Health and Wellbeing
Happiness matters. It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, constantly pushing ourselves to do more and more in the quest for success. However, it's important to remember that genuine satisfaction comes from doing what you love. Whether it's a hobby, a passion project, or a career path, prioritizing your happiness can profoundly impact your health and wellbeing.
Losing Sight of Happiness
I've always enjoyed being active and moving my body, especially in outdoor activities such as hiking and rock climbing. When my circumstances changed and I couldn't climb, I worked out at home. My training methods gradually evolved until I realized I was spending all my time doing a routine that provided practically no enjoyment. I was getting great results, but the rigid schedule lacked all the excitement and joy that had drawn me toward climbing many years before. Devoid of happiness, I lost all interest in what I was doing and decided to take a year off from physical training to focus on other interests. The results were twofold.
First, I found that without any exercise regimen whatsoever, my day lacked focus, and my mental health quickly deteriorated. I became depressed, and obsessive-compulsive thinking began to take over. Second, I realized that my life circumstances had unwittingly come full circle, and I was now in a place where I could finally get back into climbing again.
Neglecting my happiness had led to burnout, fatigue, and mental health issues. Determining what genuinely made me happy was the first step in resolving this. If you need to work out what that is, writing down everything you enjoy researching or reading about in your free time is a great place to start. Are there any new activities you would like to experience? It could be anything from taking a cooking class to learning a new language. Write down everything that comes to mind, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone. When you have finished your list, consider what parts you feel most strongly about. Which ones would bring you the most happiness, and which could you incorporate into your daily routine right now?
My happiness is now back on track. I joined a nearby climbing gym and made a wonderful group of friends. Near the gym is a natural hot spring located in the mountains. When the weather is fine, I stop there on the way home and relax in the open-air baths surrounded by nature as I soak in the mineral-rich water. As if that weren't blissful enough, there's also a cafe where you can buy the most delicious coffee, cheesecake, and ice cream.
Investing in Happiness
Try doing something that brings you happiness as often as possible, like reading a book or going for a morning walk. Find ways to incorporate these activities into your daily chores or at work. For example, if you want to get more exercise but struggle to find the time, think of ways to stretch your ankles, legs, wrists, and shoulders while standing in line at the supermarket or sitting at your desk. Make time for self-care and relaxation, for example, meditation, yoga, or relaxing in a hot bath.
Investing in your happiness and doing the things that genuinely bring you joy can improve your overall wellbeing and quality of life. Exploring and prioritizing your interests can give you a reason to look forward to each day, helping you feel more motivated and energized. Perhaps more importantly, it can unlock previously unrealized possibilities and give you a renewed sense of purpose.
Brocklebank, M. (2023, May 1). Prioritizing Happiness for Health and Wellbeing, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, September 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingablissfullife/2023/5/prioritizing-happiness-for-health-and-wellbeing