How to Create Happiness: Step 2 of 5

Happiness is elastic.

Surely you know someone who always “seems happy.”  How did they learn to be that way?

We know the reward mechanisms of the brain are reinforced when we do certain activities.  And when we reinforce those behaviors, we can be happier.  Some activities, such as mindfulness, are now being taught in MBA programs… so that people become more happy.

Here is step 2 of 5:

2.  Be active.

The best way to change your mood is to change your physical state.  We know that 30+ minutes of sweaty exercise 3x/week creates happiness.  It controls obesity.  It reduces heart disease.  Yet fewer than 20% of Americans make that choice… Hmmm.

You can be different.

When you are physically active you will reinforce the physical systems in your body and create more happiness.

The circulatory system, muscular system, lymphatic system, skeletal system, etc are all related in a beautiful organism called your body.

Consider how quickly you can be active if you:

  • stretched in the hallway or on conference calls
  • walked and talked for quick meetings
  • agreed to be a regular accountability partner for someone
  • walked across the parking lot
  • spent 20 minutes daily walking and talking, like someone in Manhattan, regardless of where you live
  • kept an activity journal
  • download a free app to measure caloric output
  • shared activity with friends using “MapMy Fitness”
  • learned yoga or pilates
As a former NCAA x-c ski coach, and an athlete, my happiness is directly related to how physically active I choose to be each day.  As we age our metabolism changes.  Our physical capacity will diminish.  (For instance, I no linger run 6:30 mile splits, but I can still run.)
 The shortest route to happiness starts with physical activity.
So, what physical activity can you do now?  Who can help you be accountable for that activity?