MHF explores The Physical side of Happiness with Dietitian Berit & FireFit Gym for The Happiness Event on October 10 | SOUALIGA NEWSDAY

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) – Physical Happiness is one of the themes for the first edition of the Mental Health Foundation’s (MHF) annual Happiness Event this year. Amongst performances, tasty food, drinks, games, entertainment and an hourly raffle, the physical happiness corner will be covered by dietitian Berit & Fire Fit Gym. And as we discussed mental happiness last week, we’ll discuss what it means to be physically happy in this article with the input of these two professionals.

You know that feeling right, that goooood feeling. Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help but smile. The thing we all want in life. The ultimate goal! As stated last week, Happiness is a state of mind as well as a feeling in the heart. But more importantly, it is also a state of the body.

It is that feeling that you are as healthy as you can be and are at your physical best. You get up in the morning energized and raring to go to live the day; you feel wonderful and are active the whole day and into the evening; you achieve the goals you set for yourself and pursue the things you love with great passion and vitality. It is the kind of exhilaration you experience when your body functions great, feels great, and even looks great.

Good physical health seems to make you happy! Just take a baby, for instance. If he is comfortable, he smiles and is playful, but if he is uncomfortable (like when he is wet or hungry), he would cry and be cranky. So, your body’s physical condition influences how happy you are! However, it works the other way around too: Being happy doesn’t just sound like a pleasant thing, it can be a pleasant thing for our bodies, too.

Specifically, happiness can help boost our immune systems. Research published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found people who have more positive emotions are less likely to develop the common cold. So it seems to work both ways: You’ll need good physical health to experience great happiness and you also need happiness in your heart to sustain your physical health. Physical health and happiness boost each other, so endeavor to have both. 

Staying physically fit can be hard though. As we grow older, we often become too busy with other stuff, that we take our physical health for granted. And as we grow older, we need more maintenance (just like older model cars do).

We don’t realize the value of health until we lose it. It is in situations like this, that it is good to remember that better physical health brings happiness & happiness bring better physical health. So, you might ask yourself: are you really too busy to be happy?

From last week we know that the 4 neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins) are responsible for the happiness feeling inside our brain. Luckily there are many easy things you can do to improve your physical health, and give yourself a happiness boost!

  • As you might have guessed already, becoming physically active and getting involved in sports games, and also teasers for the mind are great ways to boost your happiness. Physical activity makes your body release more dopamine and endorphins! This makes you feel good, but also more relaxed and able to look at life more positively.
  • Another big one is to take good care of yourself. You know that feeling after you just had your hair done, or that new perfume on or outfit you bought? Or that dinner you cooked for yourself, instead of the on-the-go food. Especially when you feel down, those moments can be extra important to invest in creating some happy feelings again.
  • Eat the right foods. Some foods can create a sense of happiness. Your happiness is in your hands; true it is, but your happiness could also be on your plate.The happiness diet includes foods which are nutritious, light, help you stay active all day, and keep the sad blues away as well. After all, your overall health is defined by both physical and mental well-being.
  • A few good examples: Variety of berries, berries can reduce inflammation linked to depression. Quinoa is known to have an anti-depressant effect on people. And nuts are a rich source of magnesium – studies show that eating foods rich in magnesium can be very helpful in managing symptoms of stress and anxiety.

    Important to note, is that foods which are high in sugar or fat, give you a boost in energy but also a big dip afterwards. These foods will make your blood sugar level rise quickly, but then make it fall sharply falls after. This means that initially, you’ll experience a small boost, but right after, you feel even more tired, lazy and hungrier than before! Foods such as cold cereals, bread, potatoes, white rice and chips tend to raise blood sugar the fastest -> with a significant peak occurring in 30 minutes and a bigger dip right after. Due to that dip, in the long run, these types of foods will not provide happiness!

  • And to save the best for last: get enough rest and sleep. This way your mind and body are able to reset and prepare for another day filled with Happiness!
  • There are far more things you can do to boost your own happiness! If you’d like to know what those are, come to The Happiness Event on October 10th! It starts at 4:30 at the Cultural Center in town, everyone is welcome, and the whole event (including food, drinks, entertainment and a raffle ticket) is completely free! We hope to see you there, because who doesn’t want to be happy right?!

    Source: Souliga Newsday