Transforming Your Habits to Transform Your Health Part 15
Wellbeing is the feeling of happiness, gratitude, contentment, and satisfaction. It’s not the same as the euphoria associated with the reward system. It doesn’t have the same rush, but unlike euphoria, wellbeing is a sustainable state. The reward system that produces euphoria interconnects with the areas of the brain associated with wellbeing. However, they are not the same and these feelings arise from different areas of the brain.
Why is Wellbeing Important?
We want to focus on wellbeing because, to the extent that you have it, you will feel authentically good. To the extent that you feel good, you’ll not be as susceptible to the escape behaviors that lead to the bad habits that make us sick. We want to cultivate a sustained state of wellbeing and then allow for the experience of pleasure in appropriate portions and in healthy ways. I describe this in more detail in our upcoming video series, and in our book, Authentic Health.
How Can I Experience Wellbeing?
Certain activities promote a sense of contentment and happiness:
- Being with friends and family who are positive
- Playing sports and games
- Being outdoors
- Getting adequate sleep
All of these take some effort but result in a feeling of satisfaction and contentment. The more fulfillment you have, the less susceptible you are to the manipulations of your reward system because wellbeing counterbalances it. Binge eating, smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse do not create wellbeing, neither do gambling, video games, or excessive television viewing. All of these things actually create stress responses and contribute to sickness and feeling bad.
To the extent that you feel good, you’ll not be as susceptible to the escape behaviors that lead to the bad habits that make us sick.
You have to understand the distinction between wellbeing and euphoria and begin to choose the activities that will give you genuine satisfaction. In our upcoming post on willpower, we’ll discuss a process where you substitute a beneficial activity that promotes wellbeing for a habit that robs you of your health. It’s very important that you apply this. It almost seems too simple, but it actually works.
So think about your wellbeing. What leads to genuine, authentic, and sustainable contentment for you? What activities truly bring you joy? Let’s begin to invest in ourselves and participate in healthy activities as often as we can.
Health Shepherds understands the importance and difficulties related to changing habits. If you have questions about how to get started on this path, contact us. You also can like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.