It turns out that what is good for Happiness and Wellbeing is also supremely good for Health. Acts of kindness, appreciation and thoughtfulness not only have a positive impact on our own wellbeing, our friends and family, our community and the larger world but also on our health and wellbeing. Cancer Patients and Cancer Survivors benefit greatly from cultivating habits of happiness because this also fosters a robust immune response, less anxiety, improved capacity to cope with stress, change and loss as well as greater optimism. Here are tips from the Greater Good Science Center, seeds that can be planted and nourished in our lives to cultivate inner peace and contentment as well as robust immunity and resilience.
Based at the University of California, Berkeley, The Greater Good Science Center studies the brain and biology as well as the psychology and sociology of well-being translating cutting edge research into easy to digest, actionable tips that people can apply to their personal and professional lives to foster a thriving, resilient and compassionate society. GGSC believes that the fruits of science and research can nurture a happy and deeply rewarding life, a life that contributes to the greater good. Doing good for others and practicing gratitude actually improves our immune system and our health! Here are tips on cultivating health and well-being, happiness and peace of mind from their research that we can all continue to develop over the course of our entire lifespan:
Six Habits of Happiness Worth Cultivating
- Pay Attention: Mindful Awareness, being fully present fosters stronger immunity and decreases feelings of hostility and anxiety.
- Keep Friends Close: Stay connected to others. Make time for close relationships. Meaningful social connections, friends, family are a key to happiness.
- Give Thanks: Practice Gratitude and Appreciation. Count Your Blessings. The is promotes optimism, better health and greater satisfaction.
- Drop Grudges: Practice Forgiveness, Practice Compassion and Open Heartedness. This allows us to feel closer to others and experience more positive emotions.
- Get Moving: Regular exercise reduces anxiety and stress, improves self-esteem, enhances immunity and boosts happiness.
- Practice Kindness: Altruism and loving kindness to others reinforces positive emotions and is linked to the part of the brain where we also experience pleasure and enjoyment of food and sex. Kindness rewards us with feelings of well being.
3 Practices to Nurture Well Being
These practices and qualities are life skills to be learned and developed over a the course of our lives.
- Compassion, awareness and consideration of others is an evolutionary part of the human brain and is essential to human thriving and survival. We are hardwired to perceive and respond to others with caring. To be compassionate is to be fully human.
- Altruism: Being a loyal, trustworthy and ethical person changes our own neurobiology and increases feelings of contentment and joy. Doing good for others is an essential ingredient to happiness.
- Gratitude: Actively taking note of the blessings in our lives nurtures our own feelings of wellbeing and our immune response.