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Happy Life Choices

That is Me being "Goofy" having "Fun"
Are You Happy?

Here I explore the subject of happiness in the context of lifestyle choices, emotions, and social interactions. After watching the documentary film “Happy” I was inspired to dig deeper and pull together different ideas about life in this posting. 

There are many dimensions to making choices to become a healthy happy person. 
Living Healthy and Happy

Living a healthy happy life means making an ongoing combination of lifestyle choices that maintain mental, spiritual, social, emotional and physical health. There are a lot of toxic ideas, toxic products, toxic chemicals and toxic pollutions sources in the world. Living a healthy life means avoiding these toxics and making choices that expose us to safer work environments, safer schools, healthier living conditions, healthy foods, and healthy resilient local environments with lots of robust biodiversity.

Staying physically active helps to keep the mind healthy by improving mood, focus, energy levels and sexual libido. Physical fitness and mental fitness are extremely interconnected aspects of health. People that stay active throughout their lives tend to live healthier lives, with less disease and faster recovery from sickness. Many health robbing diseases that plague modernized countries like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and depression stem from unhealthy lifestyles of sitting around a lot and eating a lot of “fast” highly processed junk foods.

Revolutionary Doctor Dr. Daniel G. Amen has written a number of books about how changing your brain changes your body. He examines the relationship between physical, mental and psychological health in his books and many of his works touch on the subject of happiness.
Change Your Brain the Book

Meg and I were celebrating our 1 year dating anniversary here:
Circumstance kept us dating for 2 more, but now we are Married :)

Eating Healthy

Until very recently all food was organic. Toxic synthetic industrial chemicals were not introduced into food production until the green revolution took place, tripling human population in less than 100 years. The cost of producing all of this cheap food at huge scales was mono-crops. When a pest enters a 5000 acre mono-crop of golden delicious apples, the Apple has no defense. The cloned apples are all the same to the bug, so the pest can ravage the crop. The industrial solution was to spray pesticides. At first a single pesticide worked, but the pests adapted quickly. Now to protect the mono-crop apples dozens of different pesticides are being sprayed and even this is not working.

When people eat apples sprayed with dozens of toxic pesticides it is not good for the health of the people. Spraying pesticides into the environment like that is also toxic for the environment. Mono-crops are intrinsically problematic and the solution is to discontinue mono-crops. You can vote for healthy agriculture by buying local, seasonal, organic foods with minimal processing. Whole plant based foods that are “slow” tend to be the healthiest choices: but to use these foods you will likely need to make lifestyle changes to invest more time, thought and care into your food choices.

Take a look at the film “TheBotany of Desire” on 

It was Meg that introduced me to The Botany of Desire
It was Meg that introduced me to "Happy the Documentary Film"
Meg shares my passion for healthy living and brings me Joy
and happiness often :)  

Try to stick to the outer wall sections of the grocery store/ all the perishable health meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and other healthy foods are typically located aways from the “box” sections. Start by reading the boxes and getting a sense about what you are eating. You are going to try to stay away from eating chemicals whose names you cannot pronounce and or do not understand. In general anything listed as “artificial” is toxic to consume. Sadly pesticide labels are not requires, so the only way to avoid consuming pesticides is to buy organic foods: organic foods that people have been eating for thousands of years until very recently. If you are on a budget take a look at the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen.

Clean Fifteen vs the Dirty Dozen

Healthy Activities 

There are many very different activities that can add movement and spice to your life. Gardening, inter-mural sports, walking, swimming, hiking, skiing, and love making to name a few. People that stay active with hobbies, work, volunteer positions and other “engaging” activities tend to enjoy life more in general. If you just eat, sleep, work, repeat, then life can get kinda dull. Many people report feeling like they are on a treadmill and can never get off. Make sure to keep some time for fun in your life and if something your doing is getting “old and dull” then try something else. Learning to play and instrument for example. Going exploring like you are a child. There are lots of things you can do to stay healthy and active. People that stay active throughout life experience fewer sick days, recover from illness more quickly, are wealthier, more productive and happier in general than their less active counterparts.

Movement is Life

Spark the Revolutionary New Science of the Brain and Exercise

Meg and I have rode the Burke Trail on our bicycles many times
This funny shot is from a cool spring day in 2011 :)
We find that being "goofy" brings us happy feelings

Healthy Thinking

Most of modern psychology and therapy is designed to address mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. More recently psychologists have begun studying happiness. The field of “Positive Psychology” is concerned with what makes people smile and laugh. Why focus on the negative when we could instead focus on embracing the positive. Instead of trying so hard to solve problems of the mind lets focus on the positive loving kindness idea solution. People that exhibit compassionate understanding and kindness to others report greater feelings of happiness and contentment with life. There are a lot of toxic stinking ideas and concepts in the world. Bigotry, Bitterness, Hatred, Anger and Un-forgiveness are toxic ideas and emotions that literally cause diseases in the people who hold and feel these broken ideas and feelings. Deadly emotions remove a persons ability to enjoy life and hinders their body with biochemical imbalances that ultimately result in diseases. Even more sad is that many people hold these toxic deadly emotions over trivial issues that a happy person would otherwise lovingly dismiss.

Deadly Emotions

PositiveEmotions Heal Diseases

A short hike at Mount St. Helens :) We find that staying
active out in nature brings us both great happy feelings :)
Cameras help to document the fun ^^

Defining Needs 

When people think about meeting their basic needs they often think about food, shelter, faith, family, friendship, education, and entertainment. In many instances however people hold distorted ideas about their needs, confusing “needs” with “wants”, and preoccupying themselves with the latter. It is regarded within the positive psychology community that being able to meet ones real needs is a prerequisite for happiness.

Happiness Defined 

A formal definition of happiness is hard to find because the idea of happiness is complex and subtle and the preconditions for it are specific to each individual. In general people are said to be able to enjoy happiness when all their basic needs and general desires are met. We know that having a sense of humor is essential to the formation of happy feelings. There are many ways to have “fun” and those various activities tend to bring people happiness. In general humans also require social interaction with other people to achieve happy states, although clearly a person is able to enjoy the feelings of happiness alone. When we stay socially integrated with the poor, sick, elderly and disabled, we build a world where everyone feels included, so that even those who suffer greatly can still enjoy moments of socially integrated happiness.

When people focus of achieving intrinsic goals it tends to cause happy feelings of contentment associated with the knowing that ones actions have made the world a better place. Many people find great joy in choosing to do the “right thing” in situations they encounter. Being honest and sincere when no one else is looking, because you believe completely that being a decent person matters, because you understand that the world is made of people, and everything that we see wrong in the world can be traced to individuals with mental malfunctions and sick toxic negative thoughts and emotions. Many sick thoughts and negative emotions are hindering people who might otherwise appear to be doing well by socio-economic standards. Many very wealthy people suffering from depression, anxiety, fear disorders, failed relationships, loneliness, isolation, anger, bitterness and confusion. The key to happiness boils down to not just focusing on money, but to hold intelligent ideas about spending and saving, and allocating lots of time and thought to the other more interesting and more enjoyable fun and happiness inducing parts of life.

Money can make life easier by removing time consuming tasks from ones schedule. Very wealthy people for example can pay other people to do the “chores” of life so that the wealthy can focus on enjoying their free time and liberal quantities of disposable wealth. That being said, many wealthy people became wealthy by taking advantage of the hard work of other people. These crooked sleazy people in the world, “lawyers”, and others who are known for screwing people “bankers” and or unfairly taking advantage of “marking” people. Those who became wealthy and powerful by doing evil sleazy things are unable to enjoy their wealth. Happiness is impossible for a person who preoccupies themselves with cheating other people. Money can also make life more complicated by increasing security risks, creating needs for the storage and maintenance of complex goods, and in general preoccupying a person with thinking about their things, and what things they don't have and want and will soon buy and have to deal with. Many wealthy people unknowingly live lives of extreme material waste, energy waste and pollution generation. This people usually suffering for psychological problems, and see doctors and take drugs to deal with the mental sickness that develops from focusing on money, vanity and things while completely neglecting other people. The bible warns us that illegitimate gains will be squandered and lost to ruin of the person who controls the stolen resources.
A Great Film about Being Happy

Sometimes all you need to be happy is some sun, a motorcycle,
time and some love :) These trips to the Wild Horse Wind
and Solar power facility brought many happy feelings :) 

Balance Wise Thinking

Happiness comes from making balanced choices informed by wise thinking. The Holy Bible warns us of what happens to a person who makes imbalanced, misinformed, foolish choices. People have to make wise choices to enjoy life completely. The real sustainable happiness can only come to people who fully embrace the Word of God. Those whom embrace broken toxic ideologies of self worship and narcissistic idolatry are doomed to enjoy life less and less as time progresses. When people are making balanced choices they are giving considerations to many aspects of life, judiciously allocating their finite time to the important and enjoyable aspects of life while giving almost no thought or attention to trivial insignificant issues. People have to also make careful choices with respect to not spreading their time too thin. Sometimes you have to make time for yourself, your healthy and your general well being. While socialization is important, people also need to take time to clean up, sleep enough, and keep their things in a rational stress reducing order. Unhealthy imbalances in ones life discourage the formation of happy feelings. True joy and real happiness can only be enjoy by people making wise choices informed by their undivided and unwavering faith in God.

Let go of Stress and Focus on Living Healthy and Enjoying Life

Become “Non Stick” Person

Wisdom is Love

Images like this one of the Universe from NASA's Hubble
Space Telescope remind me of how Big the universe is.
This kind of "universal" thinking puts things into perspective
I see images like this and marvel at the glorious awesomeness
in God's beautiful creation: the Universe and all existence!  

1 comment:

  1. One of my happy life choices was marrying YOU - You are a wonderful, thoughtful, intelligent, inspiring man and I will always be proud of being your wife. I love and adore you Aaron.