Depression is a growing issue in our country, dramatically impacting adults and teens. Nearly 30% of the adult population in the United States has been diagnosed with depression at some point in their life.[i] "The CDC found nearly 45 percent of high school students were so persistently sad or hopeless in 2021 they were unable to engage in regular activities." Although it is regularly discussed in the media, I rarely see the solutions I discuss below.
“We are not victims of our genes, but master of our fates, able to create lives overflowing with peace, happiness and love.” Dr. Bruce Lipton
“You are not a victim you are a creator.”[ii] Create health and happiness.
Cultivating happiness typically involves a multi-faceted approach, addressing internal and external factors. This can be highly effective in promoting long-term well-being and contentment.
It begins with what you eat.
Eating the organic rainbow of diverse colors brings your body and your happy hormones into balance so that you feel great, your outlook is positive, and you see the world through rainbow-colored glasses. Eating all the colors feeds your body phytonutrients and the essential nutrients of minerals and vitamins, raising your vibration. Eating the rainbow lowers inflammation and eating from the "farmacy" promotes "feeling good." Healthy people are happier.[iii]
The colorful vibrations of your food feed the energy centers in your body, called chakras, which return them to balance.
Eating the organic rainbow of whole foods feeds the vibration of joy, peace, love, and hope.
Now move your body, which releases endorphins and makes you happy.
The hormones impacted by nutrition and movement are:
· Oxytocin[vi] ("linked to warm, fuzzy feelings and shown to lower stress and anxiety. Oxytocin regulates our emotional responses and pro-social behaviors, including trust, empathy, positive memories, bonding, and positive communication."[vii])
· Gaba (controls anxiety and fear.)
· Insulin (controls your blood glucose. Balancing your insulin balances your mood.)
· Endorphins (increase feelings of well-being.)
When these hormones are balanced, they feed an internal sense of happiness; your moods are even, and your energy is high.[viii]
Conversely, eating nutrient-deficient, ultra-processed food numbs your feel-good hormones so that they cannot operate optimally for you to find joy and happiness. Eating the wrong food awakens depression, anger, sorrow, self-pity, and resentment. You are feeding the vibration of sadness and unhappiness. You are feeding the victim in yourself.
As a result, they impact your stress and anxiety.
Breathing exercises help reset your parasympathetic nervous system and allow your stress to dissipate. Breathe in the light, breathe out the dark, and take deep breathing breaks throughout the day. My favorite breathing exercise is Andrew Weil, MD 4-7-8 breath, and the magic happens in 4 repetitive breath cycles. [ix]
What else feeds your health and raises your vibration resulting in happiness and health?
· Practice the 20 Pillars of Health.[x] These restore balance and together promote health. You impact everyone with your energy.
· Unconditional love is a high vibration and fosters happiness.
Start with self-love since that is the foundation from which everything else flows. Then give it to your significant relationships: your partner, your children, your parents, and your friends. Now extend it to your co-workers or employees and your business partnerships. Share your love vibration with everyone.
Do what you have a passion for, so you can feed your passion love with all your intentions throughout the day.
Love also has many health benefits beyond emotional gifts.
Love isn't material. It's also energy. We display and receive it as kindness, compassion, peace, joy, acceptance, non-judgment, and intimacy. This is true whether we are showering ourselves or others with love. And this raises our vibration, which leads to empathy, happiness, and joy.
Love lowers pain, reduces stress and depression, increases your energy, lowers your blood pressure, boosts your immunity, and brings you joy. It improves your digestion and can help cure cancer.
Your internal vibration goes beyond your body into your biosphere and touches others. We don't see this phenomenon, but it has been measured and registered.
This is why we get back what we put out. Energy attracts like energy.
Build your health from the inside out and then pull in the light and the good to add to your health from the outside in.
Practicing gratitude and kindness
There are benefits in practicing gratitude every day, and gratitude, with love, is at the top of the vibration scale.
"According to UCLA's Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, having an attitude of gratitude changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps the gray matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier. When you feel happiness, the central nervous system is affected. You are more peaceful, less reactive, and less resistant."[xi]
Gratitude lowers inflammation, influences epigenetics, boosts the immune system, and even helps the heart. Gratitude turns negativity into positivity.
Gratitude builds resilience and fosters self-esteem. It can enlighten the mind and make us feel happier.[xii]
When gratitude is part of a happy life, happiness may result in better health.[xiii]
Kindness has multiple health benefits. It is cardioprotective.[xiv] It decreases blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone directly impacting stress levels.[xv] Kindness also boosts serotonin and dopamine. Kindness releases endorphins. And kindness also releases oxytocin.
· Kindness strengthens your immune system.
· It improves your energy, and it can lead to a longer lifespan.
· Kindness not only makes you happy but makes others happy.
Love, gratitude, and kindness are chosen activities with huge benefits, and they are all under your control.
Finally, laughter creates a chemical reaction that releases your happy hormones. "Laughter is the best medicine." Laughter stimulates positive feelings. It also helps you release anger and forgive more quickly.[xvi]
"Laughter helps you live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who didn't laugh as much. The difference was even notable for those battling cancer."[xvii] Laughter adds joy and zest to life, increases personal satisfaction, and improves mood. It's impossible not to feel uplifted by laughter.[xviii] And it's difficult to avoid joining in and at least chuckling.
How do you want to show up in the world?
I see so much anger out in the world. And I keep asking myself what is feeding that anger and how dire it is for their health. All we can do is sprinkle love and kindness on all of them and not only stop their negative vibration from entering our energy field but direct light and love towards the energy they are exhibiting.
Let's all join in love and set out to raise the world's vibration through our happiness.
A habit as simple as smiling promotes happiness in your body. There are nerves on the corners of your mouth that send a signal to your brain to release endorphins, releasing your happy hormones and lowering anxiety and stress. Even a fake smile has a positive impact on your body. It still stimulates the signal.
Happy people live longer. Research suggests that optimistic, happy people have a "…reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, declines in lung capacity and are associated with a lower risk of death from cancer."[xix]
[ii] Dr. Bruce Lipton
[xii] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prefrontal-nudity/201211/the-grateful-brain by Alex Korb