Like much of the world, I'm in love with song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. Yes, I'll "clap along!" Yes, I do feel like "a room without a roof" and "that happiness is the truth!" It makes me happy each time I hear it, and usually it makes me burst into clapping, even in the midst of a run. It also makes me wonder how I got so happy...
There was definitely a time in my life when I was far more moody and sad. I wasn't suffering from diagnosed depression, but my temper was often short, and I just felt a certain dullness settle as a layer atop life's daily gifts. It was as if I needed an event or something special to raise the texture to vibrant. Flash forward a few years, and here's me, happy and feeling on top of the world, which is how I feel literally here but how I feel figuratively day to day!
I'm very grateful to have lived an overall happy life. However, even those of us fortunate to live a life free of debilitating mental illness experience the vicissitudes of mood. When I began exercising, everything illuminated, and my outlook on life grew more optimistic and empowered. It's no secret that exercise causes boosts in mood through endorphin release. In fact, research shows fitness could do even more than just boost our mood a little. According to Web MD, "exercise is an effective but often underused treatment for mild to moderate depression."
As I've grown in years and gray hair, so has my career grown in opportunities and the accompanying stresses. And yet, I find that I rarely feel overwhelmed, tired, or stressed. I also feel paradoxically younger as I get older--and of course, much happier. I attribute all this to fitness, and next week I'm racing for that peak feeling of power, accomplishment, and happiness! I hope that in doing so, I am also showing my students and children a healthy way of attaining happiness in a stressful world.
If you'd like to contribute to my race cause, Scholarship America, please click the link below. Thank for for sharing, liking, retweeting, and other forms of love & support! Thumbs up! Now off to do my happy dance part of my taper week.
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