THE BLOG
01/25/2014 09:37 am ET Updated Mar 27, 2014

A Joyful Life Supports Good Health

We all have the capacity to live a life that is filled with joy. This is the feeling of being truly happy with what you have and the world around you. Being joyful is about inspiration, passion and motivation. It is about setting goals and taking time out to do the things you really enjoy doing. When you are joyful, your whole body benefits, especially your heart and your mind. In fact, research shows that joyful people have less chance of having a heart attack, healthier blood pressure, lower cholesterol, weight management, and decreased stress levels. Also, studies show that happy people are more likely to exercise, eat healthy foods, sleep better and avoid smoking. Fill your life with joy for better health and well-being.

5 Ways to Add More Joy to Your Life

1. Keep it simple. Do you find that you often have so much on your plate that it is difficult to even think about enjoying the good things in life? If so, it may be time to take a serious look at what is truly important to you. If you can cut out the unnecessary, you leave yourself with more time to do what truly makes you happy. Try to stop overstretching yourself, learn to say no every so often, and make time for yourself and the people you love.

2. Make a conscious decision to enjoy life more. In their book The 9 Choices of Happy People, authors Rick Foster and Greg Hicks write, "Intention is the active desire and commitment to be happy ... It's the decision to consciously choose attitudes and behaviors that lead to happiness over unhappiness." Once you intentionally decide to be more joyful, you will find more reasons to be happy on a regular basis.

3. Make your own personal joy list. Writing a list of the things that make you truly happy is a good way to trigger positive, joyful feelings, and to remind yourself to do these things more often. Try to write down at least 10 things that make you happy, and then strive to incorporate those things into your life on a daily basis.

4.. Spend more time with the people you love and with other happy people. People who cultivate social networks and a sense of community tend to be more joyful than those who do not. Moreover, research by the Harvard Medical School shows that happiness is contagious, so the more you spend time with happy people, the more that happiness will spread to you and your friends and your friend's friends and so on.

5. Be kind to someone else. When you go out of your way to make someone else feel good, you will often find yourself feeling good as well. Sometimes all it takes is a random act of kindness, a small compliment or a smile to brighten up someone's day, which in turn will make you feel happier and better about yourself.

The best thing about joy is that we can all choose to have it in our lives, plus this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use. By making conscious decisions to let joy in, reminding yourself of the things you have to be happy about, and creating more time to do the things you love and spend time with the people you care about, you can create a life that is more joyful, healthful and fulfilling.

For more by Dr. Cynthia Thaik, click here.

For more by Dr. Cynthia Thaik on her website, click here.

My new book, Your Vibrant Heart, includes many more insights about how to nurture and care for your heart on both a physical and emotional level. I encourage you to order your copy today at http://www.yourvibrantheart.com/book.