By Josh Redd, DC on October 19, 2018
Hashismoto's hypothyroidism requires a comprehensive approach to manage inflammation and tame or prevent thyroid flares. However, one important but overlooked inflammation buster is your general happiness, well-being, and attitude. Studies shows happiness and positivity are correlated with better health, which means better luck managing Hashimoto's low thyroid. This is because of the anti-inflammatory effects of happiness and positivity. If you are not naturally happy, don't worry. Just making small and regular efforts in the direction of happiness, such as writing in a gratitude journal, will improve your health. In the most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers looked at the lives of Harvard graduates, blue collar workers, and women spanning almost a decade and found six common traits in the lives of the happiest subjects. 1. Avoid smoking and alcohol. Researchers found those smoked and drank were unhappier than those who abstained. Not smoking was the most important factor found in healthy aging. The study also showed that alcohol robbed people of happiness and sabotaged their relationships (healthy relationships are one of the six factors of happiness). In functional medicine we know smoking robs your brain of oxygen, aging it more quickly. This affects not only on your brain function, personality and mood, but also your general health. Regular alcohol consumption more quickly degenerates the brain and promotes inflammation. 2. A college education. College-educated research subjects were happier in the long run despite IQ or economic background. It's believe this is because those with higher education tend to take better care of their health and avoid destructive habits. Exercising your intellectual curiosity is also good for the brain at any age despite your education. 3. A happy childhood. This one is unfair for a lot of people — feeling loved by one’s parents was a bigger predictor of lifelong happiness than income or IQ. Coping well with adolescence was another predictor. If your childhood was unhappy, caring, loving friendships and relationships can compensate for damaging childhoods. 4. Good relationships. Heathy, loving, and supportive relationships were found to be fundamental to happiness across all the study subjects’ lives. This includes continually widening your social circles so that if some friends fall away new ones to fill their place. 5. Good coping skills. Bad stuff happens to everyone. However, one indicator of happiness is being more resilient and better able to cope with hardship. This can be learned with the help of a therapist. Coping skills include altruism, creating good outcomes out of bad situations, staying focused on the bright side, and keeping a sense of humor. 6. Giving back to your community. The happy study subjects were also the most altruistic and found happiness through service. As they matured, the study subjects who served in building community and relationships thrived the most. This includes mentoring, coaching, consulting, and otherwise selflessly sharing the fruits of well-earned wisdom. It can be difficult to “practice happiness” when we don't feel good. One of the best \ aspects to a functional medicine recovery journey is it helps your mood, well-being, and sense of love. Ask my office how we can help you shift your health and happiness into the right direction to better manage your Hashimoto's low thyroid.