Since we kicked off the 2014 Happiness Plan, I have done a fair amount of reading on happiness. Three truths seem to reoccur throughout all my reading. 1.) Happiness takes commitment: No one can invite happiness into your life but you and it takes a commitment to practice happiness. That’s not to say it will be hard, in some cases it won’t be. Even if removing the obstacles to happiness are difficult for you, they will become less and less difficult the further down you path you go. As you learn and incorporate core competencies such gratitude and forgiveness, happiness will come with less effort. 2.) Our physical well being is interwoven with our happiness: This truth stood out to me as the least talked about in everyday life. Most of us are familiar with the mind-body-soul connection, but does knowledge of those connections play out in practice? When is the last time you had an healthcare practitioner ask you about your happiness? Do you believe you can be healthy without being happy or visa-versa? Yet it is well acknowledged that stress is a major contributor to many chronic illnesses. In fact my focus on writing about happiness was birthed from an article that proposed that healthcare as an industry doesn’t fully make the connections to good health and the 8 Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, what I call the 8 Habits of Happiness. 3.) Happiness is an individual journey that is traveled within a community: I was pleasantly surprised that all the books I have been reading acknowledged the complex nature of happiness in that there is no simple formula. We all travel our happiness journeys with different physiological predispositions, different life circumstances, and different definitions of what happiness means to us. Our individual happiness is mostly dependent on our choices and our responses, but we experience it primarily through our relationships with others. Shawna Beese-Bjurstrom, RN, MBA lives in Spokane, WA with her family where she is an Executive/ Coach. She writes on issues such as healthcare, strategy, operational excellence, communication, and leadership. I invite you to check out my blog!
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