Putting It Together: Stress, Lifestyle, and Health

Learning Objectives

In this module, you learned to

  • describe stress, its impact on the body, and identify common stressors
  • explain the negative physiological responses to stress
  • describe methods to cope with stress and explain ways to increase happiness

Three toy figures with happy faces clapping their hands.

Ahh, take a deep breath in. Now take a deep, relaxing breath out. Feels good, doesn’t it? You are done with this module on stress and hopefully now feel better equipped to understand it, deal with it, and are ready to increase the happiness in your life. You already learned about ways to increase your happiness and develop better habits, but we will summarize with some key points about happiness below:

1. A Proactive Life is a Happy One

Happy people have positive goals and positive tasks. Proactive people are 15% more satisfied with their lives than more passive people. As happiness researcher Ed Diener explains, “happy people set goals for themselves again and again.”

2. An Active Life is a Happy One

Regular physical activity keeps the body healthy and makes the spirit happy. Daily walks raise the level of happiness 12%. David Niven says, “people who stay fit via sports are healthier, more positive, and more successful.”

3. Doing Good for the World is a Source of Happiness

Those who regularly do good things for others are 24% happier than those who only live for themselves. John A. Schindler wrote, “live as a giving person. Those who give are happier than those who only take. Those who give to others discover the beauty in the world.”

4. Rest and Relaxation Bring Happiness

The central point of a healthy and happy life is to find the balance between rest and activity. Besides, work, physical activity, and time spent with others, we need time to rest and relax. We need to get enough sleep. Scientific research shows that relaxed people think more positively and are happier. Every hour of sleep missed lowers the positivity one can experience during the day.

5. Positive Thinking

Those who think positively double their chance to realize happiness. Those who wish to be happy should think positively. The positive characteristics of wisdom, love, peace, inner power and joy in life should be set as the central point of one’s life. One should exercise a conscious decision to be positive. Fo example, we can ask ourselves, “ how can I go through the day in a positive way?”

6. Too Much Television Makes You Unhappy

Scientific research states, “every hour of television lowers the general quality of life by 5%.” Those who would like to grow in terms of happiness, should stop watching TV. (David Niven: Die 100 Geheimnisse glücklicher Menschen. München 2000, Seite 32 f.)

7. Foster Friendship

Build on your positive circle of friends. Cancer stricken women who met with a group once a week raised their survival chances to twice as high as those who didn’t meet with a group. In the western world, there is a strong tendency towards isolation. There are many single and lonely people. People who have a good circle of friends are happier and not isolated. We should take care of our friendships and practice positive activities with them.

8. Humor

Those with a good sense of humor raise their positivity by 33%. We should foster our sense of humor and learn to not take things so seriously. We should learn to laugh at ourselves. Those who are able to do so, can live lighter and brighter. It is good to see cheerful films, read funny books, and to visit joyful people.

9. Self-Confidence

Happy people believe in themselves. They believe in their goals, their wisdom, and power. They see themselves as winners. They know they will prevail in the long term.


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