3 Tips For A Happy Life By Jimmy V
Maybe a basketball player isn’t the first person you would think of asking for advice on how to be happy. But Jimmy V was no ordinary basketball player. Jim Valvano otherwise known as Jimmy V was a college basketball player, coach and broadcaster.
In 1993 he was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
During his acceptance speech he had this advice for a happy life.
To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives.
Number 1 is laugh, You should laugh every day.
Number 2 is think. You should spend some time in thought.
And number 3 is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy.
But think about it. If you laugh, you think and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.
How To Be Happy In 3 Easy Steps
Number 1 – Laugh Every Day
This seems to me to be pretty good advice. “Laughter is the best medicine” is not just an old wives tale. Laughter triggers the body to release endorphins. Endorphins are the feel good factors that not only promote a sense of overall well-being but can even reduce pain.
Laughing also reduces stress hormones, lowers blood pressure, epinephrine and glucose levels, and gives an increased glucose tolerance.
The act of laughing stimulates the immune response by increasing the production of antibodies to fight infection. By increasing natural killer cell activity, the response of gamma interferon and T cells, it can even reduce the risk of getting cancer or aid recovery from it. Your risk of suffering from respiratory infections amongst others is also reduced.
Finding humour in life is also good for your brain. There is evidence of increased connectivity in various parts of the brain in response to laughter. A factor is released in the brain which supports existing neurons and encourages the growth of new neurons and synapses.
Number 2 – Think
In 2020 the problems that were suddenly thrust on the world as a result of a single virus and the resulting lockdown caused many people to rethink their lives. Many of us re-examined our lives and took stock of the hectic way we were living. Maybe you found like others that you didn’t actually need all the trappings of modern day life.
The pandemic was a tragedy but one of the beneficial results may be a less consumer driven world. Many people have noticed the beauty of the natural world for the first time. Birdsong has been heard more clearly, pollution levels have dropped and we have used our cars less and walked or cycled more.
The desire to think or just quieten the mind has increased in the last decade anyway. Meditation and mindfulness have become a normal part of many of our lives. Adding time for a period of calm and quiet reflection can lower your blood pressure and reduce stress. You don’t even have to sit and meditate to gain benefit. Go for a walk in the fresh air. stroll through a forest and notice the smallest details of a leaf. Hug a tree if you want to.
Number 3 – Be Moved To Tears
Really? Be moved to tears? Yes they could be tears of laughter or joy. Watching a comedy film could be the best medicine of all. However even if your tears are of sadness not joy that is not necessarily a bad thing. There are times when we can’t laugh. The death of a friend or relative is not going to bring tears of laughter. The ending of a relationship may reduce you to tears. This is no bad thing. Bottling up emotion will do you no good. A good old cry on a friend’s shoulder can work wonders.
There has been a lot of emphasis on mental health recently and feeling able to express emotion is an important part of good mental well-being. The old thought that “Big boys don’t cry” was bad advice for raising emotionally healthy sons. All our children should be encouraged to express their feelings openly.
These 3 tips for a happy life will stand you in good stead. If your present life is not as good as you would like then take heed of something else Jimmy V said in his speech.
A Fourth Bonus Tip
How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life.
That is perhaps the best advice of all. An enthusiasm for living, a joie de vivre can be infectious and spread happiness all around you. This was summed up by Jimmy V in his speech like this:
I just got one last thing: I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought. To get your emotions going. To be enthusiastic every day. And Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great could be accomplished without enthusiasm,” to keep your dreams alive in spite of problems whatever you have. The ability to be able to work hard for your dreams to come true, to become a reality.
I think that says it all. If you want to know how to be happy it comes down to these simple things. Laughing, thinking, feeling deeply and having a dream, a goal that you are striving for with unbounded enthusiasm. If you agree with this advice I would love it if you shared it. If not let me know in the comments your own tips for happiness.