Dr. Derek Cox, Director of Public Health at Dumfries and Galloway NHS, is dumfounded by the results they are getting with their anti-smoking drive and death rates from smoking. Despite all their efforts people are still dying at the same rates.
He said, “We’ve spent years saying that giving up smoking could be the single most important thing that we could do for the health of the nation. And yet there is mounting evidence that happiness might be at least as powerful a predictor, if not a more powerful than some of the other lifestyle factors that we talk about in terms of cigarette smoking, diet, physical activity and those kind of things.”
One time I surfed Google for “What makes man happy?” The results are varied but if you think it’s beer, sex, women, grilled meat (not necessarily in that order), think again. An informal poll of a diverse group of men, i.e., chefs, bottlewashers, stock brokers, musicians, bachelors and granddads showed the following habits that make man feel happy and healthy:
This sets the day for the more grueling activities that lie ahead. It need not be the gym kind of exercise. A simple walk, sports or working outdoors is enough for most. Morning exercises have been loosely associated with positive mood and sustained energy through the day.
Time to be alone
A lot of men find this important for various reasons. I find early in the morning the best time to be grateful for my blessings. Others find it more creative to be alone; some to shut their minds off the world, while others to listen to the morning sounds of the birds and other creatures of nature.
A night out with the boys
It’s kind of rejuvenating to spend a night with the boys over some drinks, good conversation over a lot of nothings. Though some of the foods that come with it are not exactly healthy, but the friendship and camaraderie practically make up for the other unhealthy things that go into the stomach. Provided it is within limits. Coming home punch-drunk isn’t exactly the right formula for a happy and healthy life.
A date with someone special
This keeps you connected with the one you really care for in life. As a widower, this sorely I miss. Making it up with regular dinner with my children, though good enough, is not as good. Couples with regular night out schedules are found to argue and quarrel less and better equipped to resolve domestic tensions than those who don’t.
Having a generous heart
Making others happy is the highest form of happiness and makes you experience complete bliss. Like when I and my daughter treated eight orphans to lunch early January. Though we do this every year but it never stops me from being awed watching these children, observing their varying eating habits and preferences while carrying the trauma of very painful childhood experiences.
Getting down with a musical instrument
This one I got to pass. I couldn’t play an instrument. Needless to say, I am envious of those who do. I wish I can make my fingers strum a guitar or run over a piano keyboard. People who do find this exercise a great stress-reliever.
Quality time with family
This need not be a vacation to the Cayman Islands. Watching TV or a DVD with the family will suffice, provided the mood is relaxed, lines of communication are open. Time with family reinforces marriage bonds and good parenting.