It seems that everyone wants to know the secret to being happy and healthy. Sometimes we think that happiness or healthiness is a mythical destiny that is only reserved for the ultra-rich or some sort of enlightened monk. The simple truth is being happy is a state of being not a destination. And being healthy is always a work in progress, but should be something we feel on a daily basis. Here are some simple habits that healthy and happy people do on a regular basis.
Sound simple enough, but many people feel intimidated by exercise. Especially here in Boulder, if you are not an iron man triathlete then it can seem unwelcoming for the average Joe. Here is the good news: when I say exercise what I mean is daily activity that gets your heart rate up. So this can be a jog, walk, or just playing tag with your children; or in my case most of my adult friends. Exercise lowers stress by releasing endorphins and this can also help you sleep better.
Take time off
America as a society works very hard and takes very little vacation time. Recently when I was going to go to Puerto Rico for 8 days, I told my Norwegian patients I was going on a little vacation. They asked how many weeks would I be gone! When I told them I was only going for a little over a week they almost laughed. In Norway the standard paid vacation time is 8-10 weeks a year. A little fact: Norway ranks as one of the happiest places in the world. Everyone needs a little time to regroup and be in the present moment. Can you remember a time when you were away from your “normal” life, on vacation and you had an amazing experience because you were living in the moment and fully expressing yourself? Didn’t you have a new perspective when you came back to your regular life? These experiences are important for growth and keeping that sense of wonder.
Apply the 80/20 rule
Sometimes we get obsessed about a new diet or a new exercise program, and then something happens. Maybe we went to a birthday party and had some cake or maybe we missed our favorite workout class. Then for some crazy reason we threw up our hands and said “well my diet is shot! No reason to eat good the rest of the day, week, or month” Happy and healthy people realize that life happens and just because you may have slipped up is no reason to throw in the towel. The trick is to eat what is good for you 80% of the time and 20% have some treats. No one is perfect and more often than not, this all or nothing attitude is domed for failure.
Experience new things
The mind needs new thoughts and experiences to grow and stay strong. Every time you have a new experience you create new neurological connections in the brain. Much like exercise, learning something new can release dopamine, which is a “feel good drug.” I think the biggest benefit of a new experience is the fact that you always grow and add a since of purpose.
Laugh as much as possible
Everyone knows that laughter is contagious and is the best thing to instantly change your mood.   Did you know that there are physiological changes that happen in your body as well? When you laugh your body releases endorphins that alter your mood and can even block pain signals firing to your brain! Laughter has been shown to decrease cortisol in your body (stress hormone), which means when you are stressed out the best thing to do is pop in your favorite comedy.
Technology is designed to make our lives simpler and easier, but there is a dangerous side to technology as well. Our society has become obsessed with what everyone else is doing that we lose sight of ourselves. From twitter, to Instagram, to Facebook, and many more social media sites, we are constantly “plugged in.” Being on these social media sites 24/7 can cause many problems from trouble concentrating, to isolation, to anxiety, and even obesity.   Technology creates the perfect recipe for depression with the lack of human contact, overeating and lack of exercise. I’m am not saying you should never go on the internet, I’m just saying think about unplugging for a few hours a day to go outside and let your brain take a rest.
Cook and eat with other people
When you cook your own food you know exactly what ingredients are going into your meal. Many restaurants use less than high quality in the dishes they prepare to save money on the cost of having a business. Also you are more likely to over eat and indulge on foods that you wouldn’t if you were at home. Think of how many times you have been out to eat and you were completely stuffed after the main dish. Then the desert menu comes around and you think “ok I could fit a little more in there”…   Cooking delicious healthy meals with friends and family have an added bonus because it builds a sense of community. Research shows that people who feel like they have a strong bond to their community are way happier.
We all have the capacity to be healthy and happy. Our bodies are designed for it. If you could make a couple changes in your daily life it would make a huge difference. Remember happiness is a state of being, it is inside of you. You are a joyful being. Just keep being yourself!


About Atlas Chiropractic of Boulder
At Atlas Chiropractic of Boulder we are not only concerned about your symptoms, but also you as a person and what is important to you. We know that not everyone’s the same and not everyone has the same goals. It is important to us that we present a chiropractic care plan that works for you and is tailored to you and your health concerns.

We’re a specialty Boulder Chiropractor focused on back pain, neck pain, vertigo, and migraine headaches. Our patients visit our Boulder office from all over Northern Colorado, including, Longmont, Erie, Superior, Lafayette, Niwot, Louisville, Broomfield, and Denver, Colorado.

Contact Atlas Chiropractic of Boulder today to schedule a free evaluation. Specialized upper cervical chiropractic care is by no means a “hail Mary” solution, but if you haven’t yet seen Dr. Bremner, you’re nowhere close to running out of options.