Happy Heart = Healthy Heart
It used to be that eating a poor diet affected our all around health, but now research shows that living life unhappy can affect our hearts as well “If you’re not happy with your job, family, sex life, or self, it can make your heart hurt–literally. In a long-term study of British government workers, those with lower levels of satisfaction racked up higher rates of heart disease…” an excerpt in the Good Health section of Good Housekeeping- February 2012. “You don’t need to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety, or have super high stress for there to be an impact--just a lack of joy in key areas of your life could do it.” In this same study they also found that taking “big” steps toward improving these areas of our lives can greatly improve our health.
Although science is making breakthroughs in the how-to’s of improving our all around health, the Bible, God’s written word has for thousands of years contained such nuggets of truth. For example, let’s look at 3 versions of a verse found in the book of Proverbs chapter 22 and verse 17, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a persons strength” New Living Translation. “A cheerful disposition is good for your health, gloom and doom leave you bone tired” Message. “A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” New King James Version.
There are times in life when we have the power and ability to change our circumstances and make improvements in our lives. But there are also times when no matter what we do or where we are in life we have chosen to believe that we are just not happy, many times this is the result of the “I don’t have” mindset. For many of us we say and think, “If I could only have this…” or “If that person would change, THEN my life would be happier” But the truth is happiness does not and never will come from people or from obtaining money or things, “Don’t love money, be satisfied (content and happy) with what you have (now, today) for God has said, ‘I will never fail you, I will never abandon you” Hebrews 13:5 NLT.
It was only a few years ago that I finally, after many years of being unsatisfied and unhappy with what I “didn’t” have, did I learn that I had my focus on the wrong things. Instead of being thankful to God and content with all of the wonderful and good things in my life, I found myself in a state of always needing more which only led to stress. I was 47 when I had my wake-up call. I was sitting on the couch watching TV and when I got up I felt very light-headed and my heart was acting abnormal. My heart rate dropped and I felt as though I was going to pass out, so I knew to lay on the floor and as I did I called out to my husband who was in the kitchen to call 911. It wasn’t until approximately 5 months later, due to another heart issue did the doctors in the ER finally find out what was really going on, this time my heart was racing at a pace of 178 beats per minute, once they were able to regulate it, one of the doctors referred me to one of the best heart physicians of whom specializes in the electrical function of the heart (it was not heart disease). He was an answer to our prayers and was able, by the power and grace of God fix my heart.
In my personal opinion (and what I believe the Lord revealed to me) all of this occurred as a result of stress compounded by worry, fear, not being happy which led me to an unhealthy lifestyle ( lack of regular exercise and poor eating habits). Once I made my adjustment and began to trust the Lord for all of my needs I began to “change” my thinking. Ever since then I have learned and made it a practice to live a healthier lifestyle along with focusing on and appreciating all the GOOD in my life. And if at times my mind wants to go in the “wrong” direction, I quickly recognize it and turn my focus back and look only at the positive.
Now I am not saying that we should not have goals in our lives, even the word of God says that He “gives us the desires of our hearts” but the key is to not allow ourselves to be unhappy during the process, we need to learn to enjoy life NOW. Have your visions and dreams, but have them with a content heart with the understanding that even if we do not attain some of those goals in life that we can still be happy without them. When we make these adjustments in our minds and attitudes we WILL begin to experience what it’s like to have REAL happiness and joy which can dramatically improve our all around health.