The Sickness of Unhappiness

Happiest Dog in the World (Image: Shawn Ward)

Nothing can beat a dog’s healthy happiness. They just love everything. They have optimism about their world that we would want to bottle up. They live extraordinarily happy lives as you can see by my own pictured here, tongue out. Head hanging out the window as they are driven down the street by their owners. Nothing beats when their person actually comes home after being gone for a bit. Bouncing all over the house, just waiting for their person to take a seat. Happy. Lots we can learn about the simplicity of our animals and how they usually are always happy in any environment.

I want share what can happen when we live to long in unhappiness. There have been numerous studies and finds to date where it’s been discovered that living to long in a place of unhappiness can shorten your life span. Unhappiness itself cannot kill you on it’s own. It’s definitely been discovered it can have very negative affects on our personal health. And those affects, can lead to shorten life and sickness. It can cause irreparable damage if not countered in time.

If you don’t prioritize your happiness, no one else will. – Van Edwards

As we’ve discovered together at this point, no one can own our happiness. The same applies to our unhappiness. We choose to let people, places, or things make us unhappy and we need to start looking at it like a choice. When we can do that, we can change it. Too long in a place of unhappiness can make you addicted to it.

Think well, be well. Just as happiness can make us have a better open approach to goals and work in front of us, unhappiness can have the adverse affect on us. Living in an unhappy state for to long increases our likely chances of falling into depression and prolonging our system’s opportunities to heal itself. There has been a clear link of depression with a shorter life span in which people who reported signs of depression at age 50, 70 percent had died of were chronically ill by age 65.

Like your DNA, unhappiness can be transferred to friends or your children. There was one study completed of children aged from 10 to 21 who were significantly impacted by the unhappiness of their mother or father. It affected their abilities to grow in school and made it harder for them to contribute positively in social settings. In this case, unhappiness is not to different than poison when it’s in the company of others.

Living in an unhappy state increases your likely hood to other behaviors that are linked to poor health. Behaviors that are linked to unhappiness like smoking, bingeing on unhealthy foods, and lack of exercise can make even more additions to an early death. You can argue that unhappiness itself is not a direct cause of early death, but it is definitely a enabler for behaviors that do cause early death such as smoking.

How can we get ourselves out of the hole? We’ve discussed some of these things on previous posts during this series on happiness so I’ll summarize below:

  • Be active. This is a great way to clear your thoughts. I love going for a run after a ruthless day I just had to just clear my head and get the negative energy out.
  • Mentally active. What do you do to keep your brain engaged? Reading, writing, and just doodling (great artist or not) are really great ways to achieve mental fitness. Don’t give your mind time to wander into the negative, get it moving. Weak minds are more susceptible to unhappiness from depression.
  • Follow your heart. Following your heart mentally creates great physical health for your heart. The Japanese believe in something called ikigai—one’s reason for being. Everyone has an ikigai. You have to be willing to go deep to find it sometimes, but everyone has a reason for being. The work to find and discover your meaning promotes great heart health as well as happiness.

Those are just a few ways to start today and this weekend to get on track. I’m excited to wrap up this series of happiness with you after a couple of weeks of posts. In October we will move into wellness. Changes in the seasons and moving closer to winter is always a hot bed time of year for sickness and unhealthiness. Especially in the midwest seasonal change climates. Things always seem to take on a grey palate that can create depression. We’re going to get ahead of that this month by taking time to walk through some wellness things I’ve found. We will work together and promote a healthier, active, and happier seasonal fall for you. Stay tuned.

Always, thanks for reading and hanging out with me.

Shawn

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