Improving the Consistency of Your Health and Happiness
Core - Edition Nº10
Happiness is nothing without health. Health is nothing without happiness. Both come from choices you make—and more importantly: both are skills you can develop. Neither can exist in your life without your commitment to put them first. It can seem obvious, but many people overlook this notion and question why it’s hard to feel either.
You can’t be truly happy without good health. Without that, you’ll know how incredibly hard it is to focus on anything else. Have you ever heard the phrase, a healthy man wants a thousand things, while a sick man only wants one?
To the extent to which your health is in your control, it’s important to nurture it. For one, a better experience (or better perception of an experience) comes from feeling good about yourself and what’s around you. Feeling good makes everything seem better (or not so bad, at least), whether it’s a workday or a long hike or a strenuous bike ride. Good health sets a standard that reminds you that you can feel positive at any time. If you choose to.
Improving our health and happiness starts from within. The most important factor is knowing this and believing you’re in control of feeling good.
Nevertheless, we don’t have to be all the time—nor is it feasible. And that’s fine. It’s okay to have days where we feel unhappy, anti-social, or drained for almost no reason. Happiness and good health isn’t something you find once and keep forever.
They also mean different things to different people.
Increasing Your Happiness & Health Starts by Realising You Can
There are different forms of happiness: pleasure, joy, peace, bliss, contentment, well-being. All of them need some essence of good choices to be felt. There are many ways to feel healthy, and all of them require a sense of happiness to be strengthened.
Happiness and health are skills that can improve the same way exercise make your muscles grow. Nobody’s good at it in the beginning. Some might find it more pleasurable than others, but everybody starts with having to make a choice.
“The first step to increasing your happiness is realising you can. This is where a lot of people get tripped up. For the vast majority of people, some of their happiness — proabbaly a lot more than they think — is in their control.”
Good health and happiness are like pillars you choose to build and reinforce. They are there to keep your roof up and life stable. One cannot do it without the other. Though they are not pre-built—as you cannot wake up one day, walk outside and suddenly find them standing tall in front of you—building them, making a commitment and putting them first throughout your life will be one of the best feelings you’ll ever make.
The pillars are your foundation; the more you work on them, the stronger they get, and the more stable you start to feel. If you want to make your life better, your health and happiness are the first steps.
Think about a day you slept well and ate enough. You drank plenty of water, had a nice workout, thought out some affirmations or read something inspiring. Notice how good you can feel on a day like that? Did you feel happy that day? Were you productive? More positive? It can feel minimal but feeling good comes from a day of putting your health and happiness first. It lays a foundation for letting yourself be more present.
Many people believe they can’t change or improve their happiness—so they devalue it. They say, “Well, I don’t want to be happy”.
If you’ve ever said this to yourself, ask why. Why do you think you don’t deserve to be a healthier, happier version of yourself?
The same way you can improve your figure by working out and eating well, you can improve your temperament, outlook on things, how peaceful you are, how angry you get — your overall happiness by working on the way you think and act each day.
Health and Happiness Benefit from Compound Interest
The way we think, move and live benefits from compound interest.
One extra hour of sleep and or five minutes of meditation in the morning adds up to help you become more productive and positive as the weeks pass. 15 minutes of exercise a day adds up to help you achieve a better figure with more confidence without even realising it.
A 1% improvement in your daily habits might seem small initially. But after day 100, it can amass incredible results, directly and indirectly, related to the habit itself. James Clear explains this in his writing on habits.
The same applies to your health and happiness. A 1% change might feel like nothing (e.g. one daily workout or 5 minutes of morning meditation), but it makes all the difference the longer you choose to keep going.
Many things are often unpredictable in today’s world, but some don’t need to be. Make the time to put yourself first. Prioritise thoughts, behaviours, activities and people that make you feel happier and healthier. Follow the 1% rule. And create your happiness. Because after all, it’s your choice.