Joy in the Journey!

I have recently read something I found fascinating. There has been a great deal of research done into the correlation between our sense of happiness and our personal health and longevity. It would seem that happier people have better overall health, fewer heart attacks, less incidence of illness, stronger immune systems and ultimately live longer. One researcher went so far as to state that a person’s happiness was a greater contributing factor to health than cholesterol, blood pressure or other factors normally associated with health. If that is not interesting enough, I came across TWO more studies that showed that people who more frequently used the personal pronouns, us, we, ours, were less likely to experience heart attack than people who more frequently used the personal pronouns, I, me, mine. Boiled down, the research pointed to the direct connection between our happiness and our ability to think in terms of “we” rather than “I”. Being able to live a more self-less existence leads to a greater sense of joy, health and well-being than a life lived more focused on self.  When we focus our energy on ourselves and strive for more and more, we pursue a type of happiness that our society promotes which often ends up leaving us unhappy.  However, when we love our neighbor (as our self) and we are thankful for everything, we engage in a practice of compassion and thankfulness, building deep joy in our being that cannot be taken away by the world. Much of the research also concludes that happiness is about perspective and attitude, rather than about situation. So, finding joy does not mean everything is hunky-dory; but rather it indicates that we have learned to see a bigger picture and have claimed joy in our life rather than discontent. Here’s wishing you joy in the journey!