Happiness and illness

Happiness and illness

I’ve been unwell lately. Nothing serious but enough for me to take a day off work and feel decidedly “off colour”.

Among other things, it’s made me think about being unwell and staying happy. In fact I’m often asked about the relationship between happiness and health and queried by those with various chronic illnesses whether it’s possible for them to have happiness while in pain or discomfort.

Having worked with people with chronic pain for many years and having given it some serious consideration over the last few days due to my personal situation I think I can now say that yes…it is definitely possible for happiness and sickness to co-exist.

I should note, before proceeding, that it’s not easy. But I’m confident, having just tried out all the various happiness strategies we recommend, that the same principles apply. It’s still important to be wary of unhelpful thoughts and to maintain an optimistic outlook (remembering that this is positive AND realistic thinking); it’s still important to practice gratitude and appreciation; it’s even more important to remember the role of positive relationships and to reach out, where appropriate, and use social support.

Once again, I know it’s not easy but I guess the point of this posting is that it is distinctly possible to create happiness despite illness or unwellness. You might need to adjust your use of happiness principles but with modification…they’ll still work!