So far we have focused on improving how you look at things from a mental perspective. Today we are going to give your mind a break (don’t forget to read your affirmations morning and night ~ Day One, read yesterday’s journal pages and write out today’s journal pages ~ Day Two) and focus on your body. The healthier your body is the better it works and the happier you feel.
One, and perhaps the most popular fact, is that exercise is a natural way for your body to produce endorphins. Endorphins function as neurotransmitters in the mind. They are produced in the pituitary gland and the vertebrate’s hypothalamus during and after exercise. They produce an analgesic feeling (which is a type of pain killer) and a feeling of well-being.
Two, science has determined that exercise also creates a neurogenesis effect in the brain. Scratching your head? Don’t worry, it simply means the creation of new neurons in the hippocampus (learning and memory center of the brain). Neurons are the core components of the nervous system. More neurons stimulate the mind, stimulation can bring about creation, creation can bring about excitement. Excitement can bring about happiness.
Three, exercise is a mood enhancer. Now who is not happy with a little positive enhanced mood? Basically, exercise is a way to increase brain function and produce a natural high in the body, with the added benefit of feeling healthier and looking great. Exercise is simply a win/win situation for someone who wants to find more happiness in their life.
Now that the scientific proof has been explained, let’s clarify the amount of exercise required. I am not saying go out today and buy a year membership to your local gym; I am saying find a way to add some exercise into your day; park your car in the back parking lot so you will be required to walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk the dogs instead of just taking them outside, go outside and play with the children instead of letting them play on the computer or video games, walk or ride your bike to the store instead of driving… there are so many ways you can add a little more exercise into your day.
If there is time in your day to exercise more add a 30 minute walk or run to your schedule. This gives you some personal one on one time to think about the day, think about what is great in your life, or come up with new creative ideas to help you advance in your career. Don’t underestimate the benefits of finding some alone time, this time can really help you find more things to be happy about.
This daily assignment it simple; exercise 30 – 60 minutes today and pick three days a week to perform this amount of exercise. Make a commitment in your journal to find time to exercise these days you choose. Every day you exercise make sure you journal about this under your positive label. Force yourself to find the positive in the exercise; this will help to retrain your mind to accept this lifestyle change easier.
If you don’t have the habit of exercising on a regular basis, you may find this assignment difficult. Just keep the focus and make it happen. Remember you are looking for more happiness in your life and this is just one of the areas that will bring about that desired result.
Another thing to remember is that science has discovered it takes 30 days (in general) to change a habit (that is why this book series is written in 30 segments). If you find some of the assignments more difficult than others remember they will become easier over time.
- Please note:if you do not exercise on a regular basis it is important that you discuss this change with your doctor before jumping in feet first. Let your doctor know your plan before adding it to your weekly routine and be sure to get his/her opinion (and approval) on how much or little you should do in response to your state of health. Only you and your doctor know how much your body can handle.
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As always, thank you for reading, feel free to comment below. Have a wonderful day!
*Please note, I am a NOT a licensed psychologist, the tips enclosed in these articles are to help you find your own slice of happiness, but they are only tips. Sometimes the problems we face internally within ourselves require clinical attention. Please seek the help of a licensed psychologist or medical professional if things are getting out of your control. Here is a list to help you find a local psychologist that may suit your needs in Colorado.
All articles by Jami McDonald are under copyright and cannot be reposted whole without written consent from the author. Partial re-posting with a link back to the original article is permitted. For consent, comments, questions or to submit topic ideas email me at firstname.lastname@example.org