All happiness depends upon courage and work.
For a little while I’ve been trying to work out what is really important in Life. In as simple terms as possible, what is that we all strive for, what do we really want, what is life all about, really? So help me, I came up with; Health, Wealth, and Happiness.
I don’t think these desirable states of being are even on the standard Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. However, I believe that you can’t have good health, sufficient money to live reasonably well, and sufficient contentment to deem yourself happy, unless the criteria within Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is also being met. You know, Maslow was much smarter than just drawing pyramids, he was also a deep thinker when it came to the science of happiness.
The only happy people I know are the ones who are working well at something they consider important. ~ Abraham Maslow.
Wishing people health, wealth, and happiness used to be a very common toast in my part of the world. Perhaps these days some people may turn their noses up at the ‘wealth’ part ~ most likely those people have never know what it is to be dirt poor.
- Health. By this we really mean having Good Health, for the great majority of your time on this Earth. But, like all things, good health is a paradox. In comparison to our forefathers we are all in good health, but future generations may well look back and pity the standards of health and fitness we know today. For my personal health I like yoga and long walks.
- Wealth. Conspicuous wealth isn’t so important, but having enough money to comfortably meet the criteria of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is desirable. Money may not be able to buy you love, but money will get you a fair amount of sex. Money gives you freedom from many worries. Having a little spare cash creates opportunities. Personally, I’d rather be miserable with a few pounds in the bank than miserable and broke.
- Happiness. The great imponderable. For many of us happiness comes from being fit and healthy, and having enough money to be free from many worries. Happiness is also not having a host of negative emotions; anger, envy, fear, jealousy, lust… There are as many ways to real happiness as there are people on this planet of ours.
I found real happiness the day I stopped being a wage slave. Happiness also comes from not being pestered by idiots, such as your boss. Phone calls from telemarketing people, Google filling my screen with crap and not what I searched for, Facebook targeting me with advertisements for things I’ve long since moved on from, and people with clipboards wanting to talk with me in the street ~ all of these things seem designed to disrupt my health, wealth and happiness. I have a simple answer for those leeches~ fuck off, and please don’t keep in touch.
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. ~ Shakespeare.
Being at peace with myself, knowing that I’ve not been a leech or a jerk, means that I can go to bed at night feeling somewhat happy. But, like most people I’m never totally satisfied with my day’s endeavours.
On the other hand, I can easily walk a dozen miles a day, I can do yoga on the beach in the sunshine, I eat well, I have no money worries, and don’t go to bed feeling like crap. So, perhaps real Health, Wealth, and Happiness is possible after all.
yoga for men is cool
The prudent distrust witches promises.
so listen while I call you a fool
she walks in beauty like the night
the moon and stars her tender light
their celestial adoration her soul incites
Selene rises for her love’s wonderous light
an enchantress erotic promise darkly excites
and later she will lie that her feelings were true
you need herbs for witchcraft
The lighthouse stands, sending out hope through the night.
solitary in my loneliest phare
I dream of a wondrous lady fair
spending long nights missing her
she is my leading light a beacon far
romance in a long-distance love affair
charm, glamour, exotic mystique, amour
true love echoes the sea’s perpetual thunder
get a cool lighthouse calendar
A dreamer, ever hopeful of finding adventure and romance.
I didn’t get along with Casanova
Romeo and me were never friends
incestuous Borgias really scared me
but you see how much that I adore you
let me say ‘I love you’ time and time again
I’ll bring the moon down from the sky for you
if you’ll only just once reply that you love me too
pictures taken with a Lumix
available from Amazon.com
Life is not merely being alive, but being well.
If you adopt a healthy lifestyle, not only will you feel better, you will also add ten or more years to your life. But, what is a healthy lifestyle? Turns out that not smoking, (nor abusing prescription or street drugs), drinking booze only in pretty strict moderation, and keeping to a healthy weight are the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle.
Smoking and drinking may look cool, for a short while, but after a short while those pastimes will turn an attractive women into a cackling, wrinkled, old hag.
The reason fat men are good-natured is that they can neither fight nor run. ~ Theodore Roosevelt.
Personally, I would add another three things we should all do if we want to be fit and healthy well into our senior years; get plenty of good quality sleep, get plenty of appropriate exercise, and eat a good, healthy diet. Therefore, if you don’t want to suffer a horrible and early death, from this moment on you should;
- Stop smoking. Stop smoking weed too. Smoking is dirty, disgusting, anti-social, and it will kill you in a selection of particularly nasty ways.
- Drink only in moderation. If you regularly take more than a couple of drinks in an evening, if you empty a bottle of wine in a couple of days, if you have a cupboard full of half-empty bottles of spirits ~ then you have a drink problem, and eventually it will make you very ill.
- Don’t be fat, don’t be obese. It is very easy to stuff yourself with burgers, take-outs, canned food, and other unhealthy crap calories. Type 2 diabetes will make you very ill, and then it will kill you. There are three foods / ingredients you should never, ever, knowingly have in your diet; sugar-free / diet soda, high fructose corn syrup, wheat, wheat flour, wheat products.
- Get plenty of good quality sleep. Lack of sleep doesn’t just make you feel tired and grumpy. Lack of enough proper sleep causes accidents, makes you stupid, kills your sex drive, and puts you at greater risk of; heart disease, heart failure and heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, and type 2 diabetes.
- Take enough appropriate exercise. Just a daily walk can add 7 years to your life. You don’t need to join an gym and lift heavy weights. Both yoga and tai chi have a myriad of health benefits, improving your balance, control, fitness, flexibility, reducing the risks of falls, sprains, and other injuries, easing pain, and reducing the symptoms of depression.
- Have a good quality and healthy diet. And, there are lots of cool diets to choose from; Atkins, Paleo, Mediterranean, Pritikin… The key is don’t eat junk, have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, eat slowly and chew your food properly, and don’t stuff yourself at every opportunity.
Americans and the British are much less likely to live long and healthy lives than do the inhabitants of most industrialised western countries, and it has nothing at all to do with the standards of medical care in the USA and the UK. In fact, the Japanese have the highest average healthy life expectancy in the world ~ and it doesn’t have anything to do with either sushi or rice.
Japanese people give attention to health in all aspects of their daily life. Professor Kenji Shibuya.
Some things you can do today to work towards that fitter, healthier, happier life in your senior years are;
- Change your attitude ~ tell yourself, convince yourself, that you will be fitter, healthier, stronger, more capable, filled with self-confidence, and more self-aware.
- Get your blood pressure checked.
- Eat a better diet ~ stop eating junk.
- Stop knocking back the booze in the evenings. Especially DO NOT drink just before you go to bed.
- Stop smoking.
- Start exercising. There are both mental and physical benefits to regular exercise ~ at least 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week. Walk, (at least) 10,000 steps every day.
- Walk don’t drive. Learn to drive in a slower, calmer, more relaxed manner.
- Don’t get stressed. Practice meditation and mindfulness ~ just relax.
- Don’t hang out with people who eat junk, smoke, drink, and slob about just watching sports TV all day. Stay out of pubs, bars, and down-market restaurants. If you can’t do those things you need to get to an AA meeting.
- And for goodness sake, stay out of hospital. Hospitals are incredibly unhealthy places to be for very long.
These are all simple lifestyle changes, and each one is pretty easy on it’s own. Taken together these lifestyle changes will make a massive difference to your health, fitness, and happiness. As a side effect you will stop throwing huge hunks of change down the drain.
A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~ Paul Dudley White.
Being angry, hateful, jealous, negative, stressed…, will all damage your physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, just believing you are healthy cuts your risk of an early death by three-quarters.
Mens sana in corpore sano ~ a healthy mind in a healthy body.
you can buy this book from Amazon
All of us have to accept some anxieties.
Back in the day, when I was working all the hours God sends, I suffered terribly from the effects of stress. Everyone around me suffered too because I was bad-tempered, impatient, irritable and moody.
We all experience stress, to a greater or lesser degree. In fact without some stress we couldn’t function ~ our minds and bodies need a little stress to feel alive. However, too much stress is bad, and far too much stress can kill you.
Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. ~ Hans Selve
The proximate causes of stress and distress vary from person to person, but the usual suspects are: Bad News, City Life, Too Many People, Mindless Bureaucracy, Being Discriminated Against, Bullying, Work, The Rushing Woman’s Syndrome, Dysfunctional Relationships, Failed Relationships, Sex, Sexual Dysfunction, and the Death of Someone Close to You. And then you might have your own particular reason to feel that you’re under intolerable stress. Of course, there is also a chance that you are seriously mentally ill with something like Borderline Personality Disorder.
People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement. ~ Marsha M. Linehan.
The warning signs that stress is adversely affecting your mental and physical health are;
- Apathy and Depression
- Chest pains
- Drinking too much
- Inability to relax
- Intolerance of and over-reacting to noise and disturbance
- Irritability and a bad temper
- Lack of concentration / brain fog / poor memory
- Palpitations (oh Gods, did I suffer from heart palpitations!)
- Tiredness and an inability to get things done
The symptoms associated with stress are in themselves so distressing that they are likely to make you even more stressed.
Many of us will approach our doctor if we feel under intolerable stress and are suffering from one or more of the very serious symptoms listed above. What your doctor is most likely to do is prescribe you some powerful psychoactive drugs; Celexa, Cymbalta, Klonopin, Lexapro, Librium, Paxil, Prozac, Tofranil Valium, Viibyrd, Wellbutrin, Xanax, Zoloft… to name but a few of the very powerful chemicals your doctor could give you.
All of these drugs come with a load of side-effects, from tiredness, to sexual dysfunction, to feelings of dread, to wanting to commit suicide… Reading the leaflets that come with these drugs can be a very sobering experience. In my experience these drugs will either detach you from reality so you don’t worry about anything at all, or they will have an adverse effect.
If you’re lucky, then your doctor will also / instead refer you to some ‘talking therapy’ such as; Cognitive Analytic Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Gestalt, Group Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness, and Psychoanalysis. Alternatively you could take yourself off to a 12-step group like Alcoholics Anonymous.
I love going to my AA meetings and I don’t think I will ever stop. ~ Davina McCall
Drugs act fast, but all they do is mask the symptoms and make you ill from the nasty side-effects. Talking therapies and 12-step meetings will eventually make you well again ~ but the key word there is ‘eventually.
So what can you do to help yourself overcome stress?
Breathing is good. I mean slow deliberate breathing with serene and peaceful visualisations is good.
When I was under extreme stress I would take myself off to somewhere quiet, maybe into a church or public garden or down to the beach, stand or sit, or lie down comfortably, and really slow down my breathing, and at the same time I would breathe very deeply. Concentrating on my breathing I would listen to the sound of each breath, imagining it was the gentle sound of soft surf washing in and out on a white sandy beach under a blue sky. My breathing in and out exactly matched the sea gently washing in and out. After just a few minutes of this breathing exercise I always felt immeasurably more peaceful, and ready to face the next thing the day was going to throw at me.
Learning how to relax is the cornerstone of helping yourself to overcome stress.
‘Ha!’ You say; ‘If I knew how to relax I wouldn’t be so stressed…’
Breathing exercises are recommended by doctors and psychiatrists everywhere as a method of relaxation to overcome stress and anxiety.
Being better organised also helps alleviate stress. The best way to begin being better organised is to start writing things down, keep a journal, keep your diary and day-planner up to date, make lists, always have a to-do list, never go shopping without a shopping list… If you think of something you need to do, write it all down and then stop worrying about it.
Break big tasks into a number of smaller parts, and write a list of those smaller tasks with the date and time they need to be completes ~ then stop worrying about it all.
Learn how to say NO. Being at everyone else’s beck and call all the time is a sure-fire way to put yourself under extreme stress.
Stop using social media first thing in the morning, or late at night, and especially don’t look at crap like Twitter and Facebook when you are pressed for time.
Get plenty of good quality sleep. It’s hard to sleep when you’re under stress. If you really have insomnia, then it may be worth asking your doctor for something to help you sleep. But only rely on sleeping medication for a couple of weeks ~ these drugs are addictive.
Make reducing the stress in your life your #1 project, something you practice all the time, every single damn day.
Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not. ~ Valerie Bertinelli.
And please, please don’t resort to booze or recreational drugs, they make things worse very fast, and you can trust me on that one.
click on the book
then I was just a pathetic nobody
it felt like no one could hear me cry
and now my race to hell has been run
I’m out of the darkness and into the sun
feeling the warm breeze hearing the ocean
I’ll never forget the real love of the true one
but life isn’t the same since she has been gone
her leaving wasn’t easy, she had to say goodbye
seems I’m barely hanging on and it’s all so wrong
click to find the book
(p.s. I’m not actually feeling like that today.)
There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.
goddess of the moonlight
shine your love down on me
make it kind, strong, and bright
be with me in wanderings by the sea
never leave me alone again in the night
do you feel my heart beating, am I dreaming?
these days I always use a Lumix