The Key To Happiness
by Wendi Vaughn
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease (CD) in 2005. CD is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which can attack the entire digestive system. The symptoms are not pretty, and the entire experience is quite alienating because most people don’t want to talk about poop issues!
The cause of the disease has now been pin-pointed as a combination of genetics and the environment. However, it is my belief that a person’s lifestyle is what really activates CD in his or her life.
See, I come from a holistic school of thought. My parents have always raised us on nutrition, exercise, and natural ways to preserve health and wellness.
Over the past decade, I’ve experienced many events as a result of CD (both before and after diagnosis). One thing that I can say without a doubt is that HAPPINESS is one of the best medicines in the world.
How to Be Happy
Simply put, the key to happiness is just being happy! “I know, I know- circular reasoning at its best, huh?” But what it means is that even when life brings awful pains and discomfort…YOU STILL HAVE A CHOICE. You can choose to focus on what’s in front of you, OR….you can choose to focus on what you hope for.
A couple years ago, I saw a YouTube video from TED on the difference between happiness and synthetic happiness. What the presenter taught the audience was quite marvelous and empowering: that the human brain has the ability to experience things before we ACTUALLY experience them in real life.
Our prefrontal cortex is an experience simulator. This means we can literally experience feelings and emotions by simply thinking of doing things before they ever manifest themselves.
How to Apply the Happy Rule
I didn’t know I was doing this back in the day when I was laid on my back and unable to move without excruciating pain. However, years ago, I trained my brain to think of how I’d feel when I was fully healed…and how the doctor’s voice sounded when he said, “Wendi, it’s a miracle. You no longer need the medication.”
It was kind of a game of sorts to be honest. What were my other options? Lie there miserably asking, “why me?” and worry?? That surely didn’t seem like a solution.
If you have nothing to lose, WHY NOT be happy no matter what?
Why not choose happiness?
This concept can literally be applied to all aspects of life. Worrying on what we observe- our REALITIES- causes many of the stresses of life. This type of thinking won’t bring you peace nor ease to calm the dissonance raising havoc on your system.
The neat thing is that some mornings we wake up and everything simply goes our way. We arise before the alarm clock sounds, full of energy. We get our favorite parking space at work. The kids do their homework without being told…these moments happen and we naturally feel happy.
But when these moments are absent, when tough times come a knockin’ on our doors, we need to remember that WE DON’T HAVE TO give in to that bad, negative mood.
Real Results of the Happy Rule!
This new thinking has ushered me into a new physical health state. I’ve taken charge of my life, and react to the wackiness of life in positive ways.
Our minds are powerful. A healthy mind equals a healthy body. You can heal your life by holding onto thoughts that make you smile! Why choose the present gloom when you can beckon future sunshine??
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