Goals Health Wellness

Four practices for health and happiness

Written by Julia Menard

My friend and fellow mediator, Brian Frank, was telling me about hearing the U.S. Surgeon General talking about his agenda for the health of Americans: to achieve greater health through being happy. Brian was able to tell me, right off the top of his head, what four practices to cultivate for greater health. There is something helpful about having a simple formula to remember and, hopefully, to practice.

According to Dr. Vivek Murthy, the Surgeon General, happiness is not an emotion but a perspective that can be cultivated using four practices:

  • gratitude exercises
  • meditation
  • physical activity
  • social connectedness

In a society that doesn’t seem to acknowledge that there is even a connection at all between our emotional well-being and our physical health, how refreshing and exciting to have a Surgeon General advocating for prevention!

Check out this short video of Dr. Murthy sharing his 4-point plan. Simple!

“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product”
… Eleanor Roosevelt

About the author

Julia Menard

Have you ever wondered why you can be so calm and rational for your clients, but when it comes to your own life, stress can creep in so easily? That’s the quest I set out on when, after 20 years as a mediator, my own marriage disintegrated. I teamed up with a therapist from Portland, and we wrote a book that captures much of what I’ve learned over the last five years about finding a the calm in the chaos. Hold On To Yourself: How to Stay Cool in Hot Conversations is the result. If you are interested in mindfulness, finding the leader within and engaging the gifts in conflict, then check out my website and sign up for my free monthly newsletter at: http://www.juliamenard.com/.

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