A Chiropractor’s Observations on Happiness
Let me preface this article by first saying that I’m not a psychologist or counselor or some other form of mental health care professional. Nor am I a yogi or a zen master with a superior understanding of inner peace. Like most people I have my own challenges with this. I am however, a health care provider, and being such I have a front row seat and a unique view into the journey that people take both towards and away from health. One observation that I have made is that of the happiness of my clients and what determines it.
Based on my interactions with many people seeking help I’ve found great truth in the quote by Steve Maraboli where he says: “Happiness is a state of mind, a choice, a way of living; it is not something to be achieved, it is something to be experienced.”
This quote sounds somewhat cliché, but I have seen people in excruciating levels of pain with chronic and even terminal health conditions lead happier and more fulfilling lives than those in far better health due mainly to their outlook and attitude. On the other hand I’ve seen people in relatively favorable circumstances of health, finance, and family support self-sabotage themselves and even sabotage their own health due to their choice of outlook on life. An appropriate quote in this case might be: “When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back.” I often come across people who do exactly that.
Clients who are happy however seem to have hope, goals, and they choose to celebrate small positive victories and not sweat setbacks or things out of their control. Personally I have experienced the same in my own life, that I’m happiest when I’m expressing gratitude, feeling thankful and counting my blessings, and quite literally making the conscious choice to approaching life with a positive outlook. I find happiness becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So does chiropractic have anything to do with having a happy outlook on life?
I would say absolutely, simply because it’s a lot easier to be happy when your body is functioning well, your nervous system is firing smoothly/properly, you’re thinking clearly, you’re not in pain, your posture and flexibility is ideal, and you’re physically capable of doing all the things you want to do. After all, this is what makes life worth living and gives you quality of life.
Your physical health also impacts your self-esteem. For example, if a person “Feels old”, “Feels like a broken-down old car”, “Feels like they can’t do anything without hurting themselves”, it can certainly lead to feeling miserable about ones self. In other words, the better shape you’re in, the easier it is to feel good about yourself, or to have a healthy ‘self-concept.’
Receiving chiropractic care is just one of a number of health adaptations you can make in order to achieve this, but it’s an important one, and I have seen more personalities change for the better while under chiropractic care than I can possibly remember.
So what have you been choosing to see lately? The possibilities or ‘the abyss’?