Isn't that fun? Be happy, have better health. I got this idea straight from Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD, who is my favorite authority on women's health. She appeared on Oprah a few weeks ago and talked about how emotional issues affect health. She spoke eloquently on the topic of women needing to take care of themselves first! I know that sounds selfish, but the best thing you can do for your family is take care of you.

One of the guests on the show was angry with the world. Dr. Northrup described how this symptom reveals itself in perimenopausal women (often beginning in a woman's mid-thirties) because they are giving everything they have to everyone except themselves. The doctor's prescription was to discover five things that are fun for you and make sure that happiness has an active presence in your life.

Since cellular inflammation is inversely reciprocal to happiness, the more fun you have the better your health! Interesting. I inadvertently did an experiment on myself after watching that show. I was fascinated by what the five things would be for me. At first I couldn't think of anything. That's odd for me, but lately my generally rosy outlook has been a bit gloomy.
For the past few months, some interpersonal stuff within our community of friends has upset both Jim and me. I haven't written much about my frustration and anger because some in this close-knit community read my articles. However, the unrest has taken its toll with me. I've been grumpy, I've not been sleeping well , and I've been making less than wonderful choices about food and drink, which has added an unwanted 10 pounds to my already overweight body. Most important, I've felt spiritually disconnected and unwell.

Yesterday, I took Dr. Northrup's suggestion to heart - thankfully, I could still recognize a good idea when it showed up. I started exploring the corners of my heart where pleasure hangs out. The first thing I came up with was dogs. Oh yes, dogs make me happy. Just thinking about dogs gave me hope. Over the next few hours I completed my list of five:

1. Dogs, especially big dogs
2. Snow, walking in it, playing in it, even shoveling it
3. Writing about almost anything
4. Buying and preparing food
5. Nature, particularly trees and moving water

Perusing my list continued while I slept. I dreamed of walking Charlie in the snow. I've often noted that I like snow so much that even rain makes me happy because if it's raining here in Berkeley, it's likely to be snowing in the mountains. This is why our house in the mountains is so important to me - it fulfills all five of these categories in one place.

I awoke this morning more refreshed than I've been for months. I can almost feel my cells giving a big sigh of relief. Maybe those sighs are blowing out the flame of inflammation!

© 2007, Jacqueline Hale

Author's Bio: 

Jacquie Hale guides women to live a healthy, wealthy, and balanced life. Her expertise in health issues comes from her experience as a medical technologist and natural health consultant. She has a BS in biochemistry and a graduate degree in Natural Health and is always investigating alternative health topics. She has helped many women and men discover and create a life of heart and meaning. As a Life Coach, Jacquie interacts with people weekly, by phone and helps them discover their own wonderful selves. She also facilitates life-changing workshops and teleseminars, provides email coaching programs, and has written several books about health and personal growth.

She has helped many women discover and create a life of heart and meaning. As a Life Coach, Jacquie interacts with people weekly, by phone and helps them discover their own wonderful selves. She also facilitates life-changing workshops and teleseminars, provides email coaching programs, and has written several books about health and personal growth.

Jacquie gives back to the community and the world as a volunteer. She has been a hospice worker, the Executive Director of the Pacific Mozart Ensemble, a youth group leader, and will soon travel to Africa to co-lead a Leadership program for girls in Kenya and Tanzania. She is a wife and the mother of grown daughters. She has been an employee, a free-lance consultant, and has created her own business. She is old enough to collect Social Security and young enough to have big dreams!

Additional Resources
Website Directory on Women's Issues
Articles on Women's Issues
Products on Women's Issues
Discussion Board
Jacquie Hale, the Official Guide to Women's Issues