Mind, Body, and Happiness
By Richard H Gregory
Common sense tells you that you're happy if your mind and body are happy. And common sense is right, because there's solid reasoning behind it. Neither can be healthy without the other because each has needs and desires that can be satisfied only with the help of the other. A positive attitude is key to that cooperation and to health. It's sort of like that old joke to the effect that if Momma's happy, everyone is happy.
The Momma (sorry dudes, that's the way the joke goes) in this case is the partnership between your mind and body. Obviously, they're closely intertwined. Less obviously, one can't exist without the other because each has needs and desires that can be satisfied only with the help of the other. What's that mean? Only that your health and your happiness depends on their degree of cooperation. The evidence is overwhelming if you look at the possibilities.
What happens when they don't cooperate?
Well, what happens when your body has an allergy? Anything from itching to anaphylactic shock. Right? Wouldn't you say that affects the mind? How about the flu? Do you feel tired? Can you think clearly? Your body's problems are messing with your mind.
What happens when your mind has a problem? Do you get depressed and overeat or drink too much? What does that do to your body? What sort of mental and physical stress do you think this generates?
On the other hand, what happens when they cooperate?
Your mind doesn't force destructive activities on your body and your body doesn't burden your mind with avoidable illnesses, preventable alarms, and crisis alerts. Instead, they look out for one another, they have a positive attitude. Your body makes sure your mind is well fed and that waste is efficiently removed. Your mind returns the favor by keeping an eye out for situations that could damage your body and by overseeing general operations. This cooperation and benign environment frees up mental resources that help you advance towards whatever goals you've set for yourself.
There's a third case where the mind and body cooperate, but one or the other has limited capacity. Even then, happiness is possible. It's likely to be more difficult and may require some adjustments, but it's possible. The evidence is in folks whose options are limited in some respect yet who lead satisfying, and in some cases spectacular, lives (Stephan Hawking is one example).
Obviously cooperation, even under trying conditions, leads to better results. Which would you choose? Granted, wild behavior that pits mind against body sounds like more fun, if you don't mind paying the price later on. But is it? Where's the fun in poor health, the outrageous expenses that usually go with the wild behavior, and the family problems you bring on yourself?
Think about it.
Richard H Gregory is an engineer, project manager, and writer with a deep interest in human potential and in positive thinking. He started as an introverted farm kid, taught himself positive thinking principles, applied them through a set of procedures he developed, and became a professional who was comfortable with a wide variety of people in an even wider variety of social and professional situations. Please visit http://www.positivethinkingandyou.com for more information on the positive thinking principles and procedures that you can use to reprogram your own mind.
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