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It is true that running can make you feel happier. It helps release endorphins in the brain, gets you in better shape, allows you to set attainable goals, provides a supportive social group and improves your self-esteem. All these factors help make us runners feel happier.
But did you know that being happier can also help make you a better runner? Have you noticed that when you feel great, running seems so much more effortless than when you are not feeling so great? This is not just a coincidence. When you are feeling happy, you can get in the flow more easily and enjoy the ultimate running experience known as runners high more often.
Happiness creates an advantage of its own!
A study conducted in 2013 that tested 240 athletes showed that happiness predicted 42% of athletic success. When you are happy, you are more likely to be successful.
Happiness has also been known to reduce stress. If you are running more relaxed, more effortlessly and experiencing runners high more often, you are much less likely to suffer from running pain and much more likely to become an injury free runner!
But there are so many more benefits of being happy. True feelings that are associate with happiness such as love, joy and gratitude can synchronize the rhythms in the brain and heart. This enhanced, optimized state is known as coherence and can be scientifically measured. When in this coherent state, the body's systems operate more efficiently resulting in a greater balance of emotions, increased mental clarity and brain function. In this condition our brains and bodies function better, we feel better and we perform better.
How does happiness affect our energy? Strong elevated feelings such as love, joy and gratitude have a high frequency of energy making us feel happier and more energetic. However, negative thoughts and emotions represent a low frequency of energy and have the opposite effect on our bodies. We don't feel happy and we have low energy.
The next time you are around obviously happy people, take time to notice how you feel around them. They vibrate on a higher frequency which can be felt by those around them. We can all choose to be this happy and when we feel this good, it is not likely that we will experience any pain while running.
So how can we become happier so that we can reap all the benefits that happiness has to offer?
Most people believe that happiness is caused by factors outside our control, such as the circumstances in our work and home lives. However, as scientists are now realizing, happiness is largely a chemical experience. This is great news as we now know that we can take action to increase our happiness regardless of our current circumstances.
So how can we begin to feel happier and become a happy runner? Happiness is felt in the heart area. Notice how you feel the next time something really great happens in your life or think back on a really special moment in your life. How did you feel?
Remembering a happy moment and how you felt during that moment can re-create those emotions in your body again. So whenever you want to feel happy just re-live a happy moment with as much feeling as possible. Chemicals that induce happiness will be released in your body and you will experience the positive effects.
What other ways can we create more feelings of happiness in our lives? Below is a list of simple things we can do on a regular basis.
We can make a choice to be happier and then be healthier and have less injuries as a result, but we have to work at it. Every day we choose how we feel and how we react to the events in our lives. It won't be easy but the positive affects and increased probability of success happiness brings provides us with great motivation to raise our energy frequency to a higher level. Will you take on happiness and becoming a happy runner as your next goal?
As always, keep running, smiling and be happy, healthy and peaceful!
With love and peace,
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