Feelings of happiness are hard to come by when anxiety is your constant companion. The healing power of endorphins that are created by feeling and expressing happiness would be beneficial to the panic disordered mind of an agoraphobic if only there was something to be happy about.
Perhaps it’s time to create your own happiness – you know, do something about it. Huffington Post contributor Steven Bancarz recently investigated scientifically proven ways to increase one’s “happiness” and wrote a piece (6/24/14) that listed 10 such practices and activities.
Most of these suggestions are included in the Un-agoraphobic recovery program.
1. Exercise. Bancarz uncovered studies showing even 7 minutes a day of robust exercise will give one a positive flow.
2. Sleep. Studies show the mind needs rest in order to recall happy, pleasant thoughts. Sleep more.
3. Reduce commutes. The article revealed that lengthy commutes 2 times a day, 5 days a week make for such misery that moving close to work is advised. Every agoraphobe would probably love to live as close as next door to work and school.
4. Relationships. Spending quality time with friends and family is a certain way to promote happiness for most.
5. Go outside. Even 20 minutes a day outdoors boosts positive mood, broadens thinking and improves working memory according to studies revealed in the article.
6. Help others. Volunteering is rewarding and gives a feeling of satisfaction.
7. Smile. We are advised to practice smiling to make it real. Produce a positive thought and smile about it, using your eyes.
8. Plan a trip. Researchers discovered that the activity of planning a trip makes a person happy, even if they don’t take it. Creative trip visualization are, of a course, a big part of my recovery program.
9. Meditate. Daily meditation, at least 10 minutes, clears and calms the mind, making room for contented feelings.
10. Practice gratitude. Expressing thankfulness to meaningful people in one’s life makes both parties feel happier and more satisfied, according to social research.
Putting these into practice in your life daily will require an investment of time and energy, but science has proven your efforts will pay off. You will make the greatest progress in your recovery from panic disorder when your mind is bright and open instead of panicky.