Throughout my journey through cancer, surgeries, and the subsequent recovery, I had days when I really struggled with negative feelings, lack of joy, sleepless nights and generally just feeling icky. As I look back at that time, I see ways that I can grow from that experience, learn to manage the stress of life and find joy through the strength of Christ.
I came across a series of articles where Chuck Norris lays out 12 ways to live happier. I want to summarize those articles here. For the full text, see bottom of blog post.
1. Prioritize marriage and family over career and material success.
“The home is the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose, and that is to support the ultimate career.” ~C.S. Lewis
2. Don’t go it alone.
We were created for community, but all too often we try to overcome our hardships and depression alone. Healthy and happy people have learned to harness the help of others.
3. Practice small acts of kindness.
We weren’t created to be self-centered, but a blessing to others. Most people tend to believe that by helping others, they themselves will be depleted – but just the opposite is true. By blessing others, you will be blessed. Helping others actually helps you. And the added benefit is it takes your attention off of your own problems.
4. Belong to a faith community.
5. Eat well.
Both vitamin deficiency and being overweight can cause depression….and are at greater risk for depression, hypertension, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, and even some cancers, such as those of the breast and colon.
6. Move your body.
Exercise is a cure for so many ills.
7. Drink enough water.
Dehydration can be inhibiting your happiness, so make sure you are daily drinking an ample amount of non-contaminated and purified water….Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine.
8. Set aside daily time to recreate.
Rest is not merely a change from employment busyness to household busyness. Nor is it always being idle or sitting around engaging in things that are ultimately detrimental to your mood or mojo.
9. Get a sufficient amount of sleep every night.
Sleep is the ultimate rest – or it should be – and its benefits are ginormous….it reduces stress, reduces risks of depression, enhances alertness, bolsters memory, makes you smarter, reduces inflammation, may help you lose weight, keeps your heart healthy, helps the body make repairs and may even prevent cancer….a good night’s sleep restore, repairs and rejuvenates the body. It is vital for the immunte system and slows the aging process.
10. Practice stress-reducing habits.
(In my next post, I’ll put up a list of some of these habits.)
11. Laugh often(One of my favorite activities!!)
Laughter – or even the anticipation of a good laugh – can lower stress hormones significantly….eight of my favorite ways to chuckle more (no pun intended!): Watch a funny YouTube clip; swap a joke or favorite comedy movie line with a friend or co-worker; do something silly with your kids; go out and watch a comedy movie; hang out with fun people; laugh at yourself by telling a funny story about yourself; keep comical materials in places where you, co-workers or guests are likely to pick them up and read them, such as in the break room, on the coffee table and in the bathroom.
12. Be grateful every day.
Those who practiced a thankful attitude lifted their moods, felt less stress, lowered blood pressure, felt less hostile and had lower risks of several disorders, including depression, phobias, bulimia and addiction….bottom line: Thanksgiving shouldn’t be bottled up into one holiday a year. Thanks-living should be something we do each and every day.
Click here for a link to all four parts of this article.