A Formula for Health and Happiness

The energy so far this morning has been deliciously high! My workout at the gym was my best in two weeks. Back home, ideas scintillate, which for me is the summum bonum of a creative mind. Projects come to mind and I can hardly contain myself, stay with what I’m doing and put off execution of the avalanche rushing at me. How did this come about? Can I recreate it?

Frankly I don’t hold much faith with formulas that pretend to plumb the mysteries of fate and circumstance. Even the Buddha in the Pali scriptures taught that practice and wisdom can reveal everything but not the full workings of destiny or karma. Still we plod along, searching for ways to live life with maximum pleasure and achievement and without stress, pain or loss.

As we get older, physical health and the integrity of body and bodily energy become of first importance. What good are all our accomplishments, our wealth, our wisdom, the friendships and relationships we’ve so painfully amassed if the body is sick or, as it inevitably will do, die?

So physical fitness assumes the greatest importance. And for everyone, young and old, fitness is becoming the contemporary shibboleth as America confronts obesity and the couch-potato syndrome afflicting the most productive, prosperous and powerful country in the world. I won’t go into my theory of how conventional accomplishment seems to go hand in hand with stress and unhappiness. I’ll write about that at a later date. Today, with this wild, exhilarating energy, I’ll attempt the impossible but the attempt after all is what we call an essay!

I woke up this morning already full of energy. I went to sleep at eight last night and slept for 11 and ½ hours later. I felt rested, as opposed to yesterday morning after sleeping six hours. Is it sleeping longer than what experts recommend of seven to eight hours of sleep at night? Is it depriving myself of some sleep the previous night then catching up the following night? Is it allowing the body to get whatever amount of sleep it needs? Or is sleep a non-factor, a circumstance that does not figure into the formula?

It was sunny this morning, as opposed to the cloudy, wet days we’ve had for two weeks or more. A bright, sunny day helps but I’ve known innumerable sunny days that were not accompanied by today’s energy so it’s not it. A sunny day might enhance the energy but is not of itself causative.

My weight dipped three pounds compared to yesterday. This is good news. Did this help with releasing the buoyant energy? I do feel better when I am lighter and consequently feel more agile and flexible. How much interchange is there between physical and psychological energy? Okay, I’ll also postpone analyzing the nature of what I call energy, surely the pivotal question in a human being’s mind!

Certainly the absence of imminent stressful events is a strong component of a formula for wellbeing but again I’ve known so many other days when there was no identifiable stress event but the energy remained low. I’ll postpone too a discussion of what constitutes stress and how stress is managed from a variety of system references. In the West we talk of stress as a psychological phenomenon but to me stress is also philosophical and existential as well as spiritual.

There are many ways of thinking and writing about these various elements of being—happiness, stress, wellness, prosperity, fitness, energy, etc. And despite the voluminous literature on any of these topics we still don’t have a formula for invoking these states. Okay, I’ll go back to my normal state and simply express gratefulness for feeling the way I do today. It’s awesome, it’s wicked, it’s good.

About orlando gustilo

Digital content producer, photographer, writer.
This entry was posted in Buddhism, creativity, culture, memoirs, philosophy, Writers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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