Joy. We jump for it, cry tears of it, it can be a gift to those around us, and we typically hear the miniscule word mostly in the holiday season (am I the only one who finds this ironic)?
There are some people who find joy easily, and others who roll their eyes at the people who are "too happy". And let's be honest, in this world that's over-stimulating, stress-packed mayhem most of the time, it's not always a piece of cake to find the good in all people and all situations. Whether your job is one that creates constant opportunities to be stressed out and down, a new mom who can't remember the last time she slept for more than 40 minutes at a time, or it's simply "just the way you are"... some of us really have to hunt to find the joy. But is it worth the hunt?
Most of us are well-aware of the biological damage that stress and negativity can cause. Stress is a correct response in an urgent situation, of course. But if we stay in that state of urgency, the wear and tear it puts on our bodies and nervous system can be catastrophic. Chronic stress alone can end up resulting in anything from high blood pressure and, in turn, a much higher risk of a heart attack, to wreaking havoc on our intestinal function (think IBS and Chrohn's disease), or to a whole host of mysterious auto-immune diseases.
Still, more and more research and studies have shown that there is indeed a link between joyfulness and good health. It strengthens your immune system, your heart, and even lowers the risk of disease. Your very own cock-eyed optimism is so powerful, it's benefit is comparable to the negative effects of smoking! Why not search for joy? Find a new hobby or delight in an existing one, volunteer in your community, or watch your dog play outside and note his enthusiasm and zest for life (one of my personal favorites)!
But what do we do when the going gets tough, as it inevitably does? Life isn't about being bright and shiny all the time, but the way we cope when our light for life grows dim can truly make all the difference. It all starts with a thought, positive or negative. The great news is, we get to choose! What would happen if we each dedicated ourselves to training our brains to think positively, and to change our perspective each time it grows sour?
What if you could ensure that your brain and nervous system were functioning so well that suddenly putting a smile on wasn't such a chore? Come on, how could I suggest a positive, healthy lifestyle and not include how chiropractic care could be incredibly beneficial? If you're interested in learning more about how to become a less-stressed you, join us at Living Well Spine Center on April 19th at 7:00 and spend a little time in a very happy place!