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Happiness is a Way of Life - Part 2

With increasingly stressful busy lives, more demands being made on us to work longer hours, travel longer distances, work as parents, carers and home makers as well as juggling numerous jobs, businesses and careers, it’s easy for life to feel like an eternal treadmill with the gradient increasing all the time, yet never reaching the destination.   And happiness and fulfilment can seem like a distant dream. 

So, apart from getting off the treadmill (which isn’t often an option), we need to find a way of feeling happy, because work, money, commuting, possessions and the daily grind of life is unlikely to provide much, if any of the ‘H’ word.

The good news is that happiness is free.  It’s not something that can be bought, plucked from a shelf or created from a bar of chocolate or a bottle of Wine (although granted these things can certainly put a smile on our face).  Happiness is within us, it’s out there; it just needs to be found, harnessed and developed. 

But how do we make ourselves happy?  We need to find our real selves.  Be true to ourselves and learn to like ourselves.  If we’re feeling depressed or lost, overweight and sluggish, stressed and anxious, then it’s time to do something real about it.  One way to do that is to exercise: 

Through pushing ourselves to our natural human state of physical activity, we stimulate the feel good chemicals within our minds, and our bodies respond.  Through exercise we find our real selves, we feel alive and stimulated to be positive and energised.  For sure, embarking on an exercise programme is daunting, if terrifying to most.  Sticking with it is hard.  At times it hurts and we want to stop.  At the extreme level, I wonder if Jessica Ennis ever feels like a few days or weeks off during her Olympic Heptathlon training regime?  And at the non-exercise level, how many of us have struggled to even get out of bed on a dark, cold, wet January Monday morning, let alone get our trainers on and go out for a walk or run!? 

Exercise and finding happiness takes significant self control.   Research shows that happier people tend to have lots of self control.  Something we are not necessarily born with or shown as children, but we can develop:  It’s not easy to put our bodies through the initial pain of exercise; to be active on a summer’s day, let alone a wet winter one.  It’s not easy to stop ourselves reaching for the biscuit tin or wine glass, but, once we’ve learnt to take control, got out there, taken the plunge and done it, how good do we feel?  When people start commenting on how well we look, how positive we sound, how motivated we seem to be, then how much better do we start to enjoy life?  Stick with it, and clothes start fitting better, food tastes more satisfying, energy returns, and we start to emerge into a world of self belief rather than self-loathing. 

Looking younger, fitter, healthier and livelier is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves and those around us.  Why don’t you ask yourself why you like watching those in the Public Eye who have positive attributes?  Why you like being around energised and ‘happy’ people as opposed to being dragged down by those who always see the glass half empty, provide problems not solutions, and who take huge self pleasure in moaning, criticising and sapping the energy from all around.   Negative people will generally look unhappy.  Negativity will generally stop success and negativity certainly has no place in successful Sports teams and people.  So think about your attitude and whether you can make a choice and change your inner self and way of thinking.  Think positive and happiness will find you.  Think positive and you too could be the one people seek out.

Change the way you behave and you will get different results.  Choose exercise and you will enter a new world of increased confidence and self belief that you too could make happiness a way of life!

Annie Jack

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