by David Kekich

Happy people live longer. Conversely, negative thoughts, words and actions cause stress, inflammation, shorten your telomeres and send harmful signals to every one of your trillions of cells.

Joe Mercola posted an article on his site last week that fits beautifully into the longevity wheelhouse. I changed the title slightly from “22 Things Happy People Do Differently.” I eliminated or shortened the narratives for brevity, but you can see a full explanation of each attitude point as well as the article here.

Dr. Mercola asks, “What's the secret to being happy?” and then continues with “You can learn how to do it, just as you can learn any other skill.” It's a great article, and I suggest you master these points if longevity (and happiness) are your goals.

  1. Secret to being happyLet go of grudges. Letting go of a grudge frees you from negativity and allows more space for positive emotions to fill in.
  2. Treat everyone with kindness.
  3. Regard your problems as challenges. Eliminate the word “problem” from your mind entirely.
  4. Express gratitude for what you have.
  5. Dream big.
  6. Don't sweat the small stuff. Happy people know how to let life's daily irritations roll off their backs.
  7. Speak well of others. Talking negatively about others is like taking a bath in negative emotions.
  8. Avoid making excuses.
  9. Live in the present. Avoid replaying past negative events in your head or worrying about the future.
  10. Wake up at the same time every morning.
  11. Don't compare yourself to others. Even regarding yourself as better than your peers is detrimental to your happiness, as you're fostering judgmental feelings and an unhealthy sense of superiority.
  12. Surround yourself with positive people.
  13. Realize that you don't need others' approval.
  14. Take time to listen.
  15. Nurture social relationships.
  16. Meditate.
  17. Eat well.
  18. Exercise.
  19. Live minimally. Clutter has a way of sucking the energy right out of you and replacing it with feelings of chaos.
  20. Be honest. Every time you lie, your stress levels are likely to increase and your self-esteem will crumble just a little bit more.
  21. Establish personal control. Avoid letting other people dictate the way you live.
  22. Accept what cannot be changed.

This is not a test, but if it were, how well do you score

on being happy? If not extremely high, you may be undermining your health. I'm weak on some and need to work on them. It's easy to gloss over little tips like these. Please don't let their simplicity fool you. They are POWERFUL. Attitude drives everything, including the resolve to do the research and to get it funded.

Miserable people's negative attitudes shorten their lives on the whole, even though they sufferingly FEEL like life is endless. So smile, laugh and be happy. You'll live longer and enjoy it more.

Now, take time to make a friend happy! Share this article with them and show them how much you care! 

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