Happiness, Success And Health Are Related

Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

Health, happiness and success are closely interconnected. An overall feeling of good health and personal well-being depends on physical, emotional and spiritual health.

You may be very successful in your work life, but if you fail miserably in forming and maintaining mutually satisfying relationships, you may not feel such a "hit" after all. Likewise, in order to have an overarching feeling of happiness, you must feel happy about your work and your personal and social life.

Happiness is relative to the degree (of success you feel in major areas of your life.

How successful you feel depends on how much progress you think you are making towards the goals that matter to you.

How do you feel about yourself? I realize that's too vast an area to cover, so let me ask a more specific question, "Do you feel you are healthy?" In order to answer the question, perhaps you should ask yourself, "Am I living a meaningful and productive life?" We must not take a narrow and fragmented view of health.

In this article, we will take a balanced and comprehensive view of health and personal well-being, which is consistent with the contemporary psychological knowledge and mind-body medicine.

Here are some of the important constituents of good health: Positive mental attitude, high emotional intelligence, personal satisfaction, high self-esteem, contentment, gratitude, strong faith, a nourishing and satisfying relationship with the Higher Power, healthy interest in others, capacity to enjoy and derive pleasure form healthy activities, and involvement with the community around you.

Here are some of the important constituents of recovery and rehabilitation: Strong belief in self-care, high emotional coping skills in case of a major illness, dysfunction or disability, and a strong commitment to active participation in collaborative management of your medical condition.

We all feel wonderful when everything in our life is indeed wonderful. But, what happens when life takes an unfortunate turn? Do you have the necessary wherewithal to cope in case your life is drastically changed due to an accident or major illness?

Overall satisfaction with personal health must not depend on perfect physical health. Some of us at some point in our lives would experience a major medical condition and/or dysfunction. Should this happen to you, how well would you cope with a major disruption of your life? Would you do the very best you can for your self-care and actively participate with professionals in collaborative management of your medical condition?

Are you confident that you can emotionally handle any dysfunction or disability, continue to feel good about yourself in spite of it, and take the best care of yourself that you can? Such self-confidence and the commitment to strive for optimal function and capacity that your condition would allow, is an important requirement for long-term health and a personal sense of well-being.

You should feel good about yourself regardless of the status of success and health you enjoy at any given point. Feel content with what you have accomplished so far. Don't entertain major regrets or past emotional "hangovers." Peace with the past, satisfaction or absence of frustration with the present, and confidence in your ability to cope with future challenges are important requirements for health. Ignoring these requirements can be hazardous for your health.

The overall sense of personal well-being is the end-product of how you feel about where you've been, where you are today and where you're headed. If you are content with these three dimension of your present life, you most likely have a high sense of personal well-being.

Do you have a pragmatic life philosophy, which accepts and accommodates bumps and hurdles, ups and downs, failures and disappointments? Without such an active philosophy at work in your life, personal stress may be difficult to manage and long-term pursuit of your goals extremely difficult.

One of the positive ways of coping with a disabling condition is to stay interested in others and dedicate one's time and attention to help others as much as possible, given your ability and circumstances.

Tolerance and a forgiving attitude towards others go a long way in reducing personal stress. Transactional Analysis, a popular therapy for couples and groups in the 70s came up with a nice slogan, "I am O.K. You are O.K. They are O.K." The world is an all right place after all!

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Copyright 2005, Mind Publications 
Posted February 2005


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