Anti-depressants are on the rise. In this article by Harvard Health, the National Center for Health Statistics show that there was a 400% increase in anti-depressant use by adults (defined as ages 12 and older) between the years 1988-1994 and 2005-2008. So sad to see “ages 12” included in this statistic. I fully recognize that there are people (including in my own family) who have a medical need for anti-depressants, but I do wonder if with the support of our doctors we could try harder at natural remedies first. It couldn’t hurt, right?
For many of us, we can ask ourselves some questions such as…
What is our lifestyle? (Is there balance or chaos?)
How do we spend our time? (Do we spend the most time on our priorities?)
How do we care of ourselves? (What daily habits do we practice to care for our bodies and hearts?)
How do we find our “happy”
Sometimes friends call me “PractiCarol” and that comes from the fact that I am quite practical about most life matters. Growing up, my father told me frequently that there’s really no secret formula to living healthy. Just live a very ordinary life in order to live extraordinarily well.
My father said if you want to feel happy, do these things every day…
- Get enough sleep
- Spend some time outside, breath in the fresh air
- Find something to do around the house or neighborhood that exerts you physically
- Challenge yourself mentally by doing things like reading a book, or completing a challenging crossword puzzle
- Don’t chase after one fad diet after another; choose whole foods and eat in moderation
- Spend time in conversation with people you love, every day.
On the topic of finding your “happy”, I was reminded about an interview of Shonda Rhimes, fabulously talented writer/producer/creator of some amazing television shows including “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder.” Shonda is someone presumably with as much money as a person could want, and a high level of professional achievement and career success. But she didn’t say money and success made her happy.
Look at what Shonda said about finding her “happy”:
“I saw my happy. Or, actually, I was made to see it. I was having dinner with a group of close friends, a lot of us around a table, talking late into the night. There were candles on the table and we had so much wine and perfect cheese. Stories were told that began with ‘remember that time when. . .’ and we laughed until we cried. And there was a moment for me when the food was eaten and the chairs were pushed back and I was leaning to blow out a candle, a moment when I just . . . paused. I looked around the table at the faces of my loved ones, and I was hit with a realization. This is what happy looks like.”
Like Shonda, I agree that “This is what happy looks like.” That’s why I find my happy every day by following the advice of my very wise father, and especially through spending time in conversation, sharing meals with people I care about.
I make sharing meals a part of my life for my health, and happiness.
How do you find your happy?
If you’d like to learn more how to connect with people you love by creating a shared-meal plan, pick up my book, “The Shared-Meal Revolution” and visit my website. Any questions? Just write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you!