It is unrealistic to expect to feel positive emotions all the time. After all, experiencing negative emotions from time to time is part of being human, and we experience a full range of emotions as our circumstances and situations change. However, if we look at negative emotions through the lens of contentment, they can serve a purpose. We can use the information we gather from negative emotions to make decisions about our health behaviors and to set realistic personal goals. While negative emotions can be useful, it is important not to give them too much free reign. Dwelling on negative emotions can flood your body with stress hormones that can lead to health consequences such as insomnia, depression, high blood pressure and overeating.
Training reduces stress hormones in the body while simultaneously improving mood. 30 minutes of moderate-high intensity training performed 3 days a week can have a positive impact on mood, and it may help serve as a stress buffer if and when you encounter difficult situations throughout the day. The research has confirmed that training is consistently linked to happiness. Those meeting the physical activity guidelines of accumulating at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week were 30% more likely to report feeling happy than those not meeting the guidelines. While working out and training seem to play a pivotal role in happiness, remember that this is simply one piece of the puzzle. People who self-identify as happy often report having healthier relationships with family and friends and higher levels of spiritual wellness. So, in your pursuit of happiness, remember to nurture your relationships and to set aside a little quiet time each day for contemplation and meditation. And, of course, keep Training.