The Happiness Factor: A Key to Health and Longevity

The Happiness Factor plays a major role in one’s health.  Where are you on a scale of 1 to 10 happiness-wise? Do you wake up every morning happy and ready to go? Or do you just feel like not getting out of bed?  Many people don’t give a thought to their emotions, until they become over-whelmed by them and then they seek professional help. However, in many cases they are going to get the wrong kind of help. Many doctors have no clue that nutrition is paramount in one’s emotional needs. If one experiences unhappiness with life, perhaps this could be changed by simply feeding the brain right. Good nutrition can make all the difference in the world in regard to attitude. The wrong foods rob the body and brain of nutrients that create health. While excellent physical and mental health comes from eating foods that are nourishing both to the body and the brain. Happiness in many cases depends on one’s health. If one is healthy, it is easier to be happy.

When I am in the market, sometimes I look into people’s food carts, while waiting in the check-out lane. Sad to say, most people are spending their money on foods and substances that are hurting them, health-wise. Our government is more concerned with the revenue to be derived from the marketing of products. It is permitting food manufacturers to self-monitor nutrition information in regard to their products. Our government is not educating consumers with the right information, because of this policy. When you buy foods, you trust the labels, but how do you know if the information on the label is correct? The same goes for processed vitamins. Are they assayed as to nutrient value, before or after they are processed? The lack of nutrients in our soils, the transportation time getting food to market, then the additional cooking-process in homes can completely destroy all the value there is in food. This affects the physical body and wipes out the brain, too. When we don’t get nutrients our bodies need…our brains suffer immensely. The Happiness Factor goes down the tube.

Granted, nutrition isn’t the only factor in creating happiness, but good physical health can go a long way in creating the emotional health that can cope with the stressful and demanding times we live in. Humans were not designed to be living on an emotional treadmill, such as life today. Technology, such as the electric light has totally changed society. It has altered the hours of one’s day. At one time people went to bed close to sundown and got up at dawn. Today, people have stretched the length of the day immensely, because of electricity Then they become, so stressed by their work they can’t sleep, when they do get into bed. Lack of good sleep is causing emotional upsets in many people’s lives. The electronic gadgets that are thought to be so indispensable are very detrimental to health. Their electro-magnetic energy is unbalancing the human body and brain. Many health experts are warning people not to have electronic items, such as TVs, computers or even glowing clocks in the bedroom. They need to be removed from the bedroom. The bedroom needs to be totally dark and without any electronic equipment in it for a decent night’s sleep. It is very important to get enough sleep as it affects one’s emotional stability and happiness.

Technology may have made life easier, but it has not created healthier human beings. We are living in a society, which is far less physically demanding than it used to be , but more mentally challenging. Many people are unaware that lack of physical exercise can cause sleep problems and cause difficulty in falling asleep. People need to be physically active on a daily basis, in order to sleep soundly at night. The mental challenges of modern life stress the brain and cause it to become overworked, yet people don’t compensate for this by feeding the brain the nutrients it requires. Most people think anything goes in the way of food…as long as it fills the stomach. They don’t understand the brain requires specific nutrients. They have little comprehension that depression and unhappiness are created, when the brain isn’t getting the nutrients it needs; in addition to the sleep the brain requires.

Happiness is created by the right nutrition (with enzymes), sufficient water (non-tap), proper rest, exercise (which stimulates endorphins), work (creative and stimulating), daily eliminations (2+), sunlight and spiritual attunement. All of these are necessary in order to be healthy. The last one is ultra important, because happiness stems from knowing you are not alone. Your thoughts are open and your needs will be filled. Ask and you shall receive are not empty words. I was amazed years ago, how many times I had a thought, and then it materialized. As a child I read the story of Aladdin and the Forty Thieves…and how he entered the treasure filled cave by saying “Open Sesame!” Well, you have a key to the greatest treasure on earth, when you align yourself with the Creator’s loving energy. You will find the answers you need, by going direct to the Source. You will feel very connected. Happiness is knowing you have someone in your life who is always there for you; whom you can love, and who loves you.

What is happiness to you? Did you ever write down a list of things that would make you happy? Was happiness on this list? People list a myriad of things, but forget to add happiness to their list. Did you ever read a book entitled Write it down! Make it happen!? www.henrietteklauser.com Well, I and others have utilized this system and have seen it work. Until you have a roadmap, it is difficult to find exactly where you are going in life. Putting thoughts down on paper helps to make them concrete. Many people want a special someone. Many want a home. Many have travel dreams. Everybody has dreams, but not all of them will be realized through lack of focus and also lack of trust that good things can happen.

When I was twelve and lived in California with my relatives for six months, I fell in love with one aunt’s Spanish-style, red tile roof, two story home with a lovely enclosed patio in front. Ten years later, after I was newly married, this aunt asked me, if I would like to move into it. She had just built a brand new home in Beverly Hills. She was leaving this rented home and it was entirely furnished. Because she had lived in this home for many years, the rent was ultra reasonable. It was a dream come true. The dream got better. She had an older black woman, Lou, who had been with her for many years…and this woman was too old to do the work that was needed to be done in her new home. We inherited her for $10 a month. I didn’t ask her to do any housework…just lend a hand with our new baby. She enjoyed going to the store grocery shopping and I let her buy whatever she wanted to eat. She also loved to cook. She became a good friend and I loved her dearly. She was like a dear Mammy…like in Gone with the Wind. It broke my heart when she died just a couple of years later.

When I was in my teens, happiness was going horseback riding, getting asked out on dates for special occasions, and having lots of good friends. High school was a happy and memorable time in my life. I have gone back to Pittsburgh for high school reunions a number of times; as have many others who went to our high school. Our high school years were important and the friends we made there meant something. I am still in contact with a number of classmates. In this day and age I have spoken to people in the Los Angeles area who did not like anything about their high school experience. They would not go across the city of Los Angeles to attend a high school reunion; while many of us from the 1950’s traveled thousands of miles for a reunion. I guess the Happiness Factor is missing in many people’s lives, today.

It is amazing what happiness does for people. It can physically change their appearance. When people are happily in love, they radiate a noticeable glow The opposite happens, when love goes sour. The state of the mind is very important, but as I said before, it can be greatly influenced by eating a nutrient-rich diet. People need to avoid foods that rob them of their energy and their ability to think. What foods are these? Primarily, processed foods containing no enzymes, such as, all types of grains and sugar. Enzymes are catalysts in non-processed foods that help vitamins and minerals do their work. We don’t get the most important vitamins we need for our brain, the B vitamins from foods that have been heated at high temperatures. Sugar is deadly, as itrobs nutrients in order to be digested. There was a book I read years ago called Sugar Blues written by William Duffy (Gloria Swanson‘s husband). He wrote how mental illness could be eliminated by removing sugar from the diet. Sugar quickly elevates the blood sugar, but it drops you mentally and physically lower than you were before you ate it. It is detrimental to the body and brain; one of the causes of depression. It may taste good, but it does nothing good for you, health-wise.

Real Happiness is not dependent on big events; it is the small daily occurrences, which affect people the most. Having people who emotionally support you is important; and eliminating those who don’t, is critical. If your family and friends make you happy, it is a win-win situation. If people try to lower you in any way, immediately detach. Life is too short to permit negativity of any kind to impact your life. You must value yourself, in order to have other people value you. This means developing good self esteem, which contributes to the happiness factor in your life.

My ex-husband used to say to me, “You like yourself, don’t you?” I would always think to myself, “What’s not to like?” I didn’t say this out loud, because I learned to keep my thoughts to myself.  I never felt less of a person even in a very constrictive marriage. I just longed for the day, when I would be able to leave. My ex-husband didn’t like himself. He had been raised by parents who were totally intoconditional love. If he made all A’s, he was praised, but if he didn’t make all A’s, he was whipped.  I didn’t understand him, until I met his mother particularly. She had a complex, because she was an orphan and in order to feel good about herself…her son had to be perfect. She cut him no slack and this affected his personality greatly. He used to get angry at himself and hit himself on the head and call himself stupid. This man was the valedictorian of his high school graduating class and a graduate of the University of Michigan. He was very bright, but his self-esteem and happiness factor werevery low. He was very difficult to be around. My children and I were happier, when he had to stay at the office in the evenings and work.

Did I regret being married to someone like this? It was difficult, but it taught me a great deal. I learned about happiness. It isn’t about big events in one’s life; happiness is composed of little things. My ex and I worked together in order to achieve the things we wanted. It took sixteen years to achieve our dream home. This was one of my biggest goals. Unfortunately, it didn’t bring happiness. I learned happiness isn’t having about having a great big beautiful house Happiness is about being with the right person. Five years, after moving into my dream house, I walked out and said, “Keep it!”. It no longer was important to me. A house is not a home, unless one is happy.

Did I make the right decision? Most definitely! I was ecstatic to be free. No more being told how to eat; how to dress; how to think; how to vote; and not being permitted to express myself at all. It was so good to be single and live up to my full potential. Life for me, began at 43, when I left. I have been able to accomplish a great deal more than I ever dreamed possible. I am at 10 on the happiness scale.

One of the nicest experiences in my life was visiting my grandparents. I learned a lot about love from observing them. I am eternally grateful that I had the opportunity to observe a loving relationship. These two people treated each other with respect. I never heard them yell at each other. It was always honey and dear. I loved being around them, because they offered me unconditional love. Their little home was filled with happiness and encouragement. It took 50 years to get over my sadness, when my granddad died. He was more like a father to me, than my father. My grandmother, I loved too, but at the end of her life she became very senile. I felt badly that I was not in a position, where I could take her into our home. She and my grandfather represented happiness to me, as a child. They were my role models.

This is a major problem in the world today, children aren’t getting the role models they need to become well adjusted human beings. Parents are very stressed by conditions in society today. Money is a major issue.  This is one of the things that people fight over the most. There is never enough money to pay the bills. I heard this a lot in my marriage…and I was thrifty. Most young people want everything now and are not willing to wait for years to achieve dreams. This causes a great deal of conflict and anxiety. I learned not to buy anything, if I couldn’t pay it off in thirty days. The best feeling in the world is to be free of debt. I just saw an interesting book on the internet written by Ian Fox entitled Small Wants Little Needs www.smallwantslittleneeds.com It is about freeing people spiritually from financial concerns. Happiness is derived from being debt-free and not owing anyone, anything.

Many people believe having children will make them happy. Well, if you are not a happy person in the here and now, children will not help make you a happy person. Children primarily need emotionally-secure parents. Emotionally secure people don’t need others to make them happy, but they can provide the right atmosphere for raising children. Children need mature parents with established values. Unfortunately, there is no school where people can prepare for parenthood. Most people learn about parenting, after having offspring. If you want to have a happy child, be happy yourself. Happy children are those who have happy parents, so this is a most important qualification. A home filled with love and happiness is more important than a home filled with material possessions.

Here’s to your Happiness Factor! May it be a 10!

Healthfully Yours,

Barbara Charis

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