The latest research once again affirms that when you make your happiness a priority your physical and emotional health improves significantly. That isn’t surprising! Little happy endorphins are running around your body boosting your “feel good” buttons! How wonderful! It’s not much of a stretch for you to believe happiness is a prerequisite to good emotional and physical health. In the same way that happiness benefits you, it is now a known fact that unhappiness is literally a poison to your ongoing health and longevity. Ouch! So what do I do when I am unhappy?
It is just part of life to have challenges. Those challenges will bring us more life because out of challenges we grow. “If we are not growing we are rotting – there is no such thing as passive.”
Unhappy people seem to use their energy complaining about things and are generally pessimistic. Their lack of energy brings on lethargy, where everything seems too hard, too big or too terrible. Problems seem to be attached to everything that happens in their lives. Believing they have no control over their life causes people to fall into emotional despair, and increased stress and low self-esteem add to the negative list. From here they progress to depression and then hit the downward spiral of limited cognitive thinking. They often can’t solve simple problems. This adds up to very little motivation because ‘what can you do anyway?’
When this feeling of emotional emptiness and lack of happiness hits, we want to feel comforted. So generally we look for high sugar foods or alcohol to fill the void. These are full of calories and temporarily spike our energy. Then we slam to the bottom when the sugar wears off. This type of eating usually causes us to gain weight and, of course, size. Then we don’t like ourselves even more – our clothes don’t fit, we don’t like the way we look, we don’t like the way we feel, we don’t want to go out. All of these ‘don’ts’ can be the catalyst for relationship breakdowns and other interpersonal problems. These negative people constantly remember the saying “Life wasn’t meant to be easy!” and therefore justify their negative response to living.
For me the effects of unhappiness on my physical health were traumatic — cancer. Research is plentiful on how a negative mindset results in the manufacture of harmful chemicals and toxins, which then cause cellular damage. After reading my book Why Me? people have talked to me about their cancer and the circumstances prior to their diagnosis. Most of these people are unhappy with their life or have had a traumatic event which has caused them stress and unhappiness. From my experience, letting go of the bitterness coming from unhappy thoughts is essential for recovery from disease.
The tragedy is these negative chemicals that caused the disease in the first place found their beginning in unhappy thoughts. There is a Bible verse that says “Do your best to fill up your minds and meditate on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst, the beautiful, not the ugly, things to praise, not things to curse. Whatsoever is of good report — think on these things.” Powerful wisdom for sure!