Loving What You Do Brings Health and Happiness

Art of Living •© GLOW IMAGES

Art of Living
• © GLOW IMAGES

Are you living a masterpiece life – full of color, beauty and creativity?  Is your life a symphony – harmonious, sometimes peaceful, and sometimes vibrant?  Maybe it’s a poem or a novel – with rhythms and flow – filled with the unexpected but having a happy conclusion?

“It may be no coincidence that so many creative types have long lives.  New findings show how doing what you love can add years,” says Jeffrey Kluger in a September 23, 2013, article from Time Magazine, The Art of Living. (1)

This article brings out that the person who loves his work is generally happier, healthier and lives a longer life.  “Creativity endures in the face of age – and maybe even pushes back age.   It’s a biological given that sedentary, bored or depressed people are far likelier than happy and occupied ones to come down with physical ailments.”

A research review published in BMC Public Health found that doing volunteer work — in such places as hospitals and soup kitchens [anyplace that is meaningful to you] that allow direct contact with the people you’re helping may lower mortality rates by as much as 22 % compared with those of nonvolunteers.  Making such social connections, according to results from that review and others, increases life satisfaction and reduces depression and loneliness, and in turn lowers the risk of hypertension, stroke, dementia and more.”

“Some of the links between physical and mental health are obvious,” the article in Time continued. When Irene Morey, a 97 year old artist, gets up in the morning, sets up her easel preparing to paint or lugs her work to a gallery, “she’s certainly moving around.  Even very moderate exercise is a proven way to reduce the risk of a whole range of ills.  What’s more, her work makes her happy.  ‘I just love it,’ she says. ‘I just feel free to do whatever I want.’”

“Multiple studies over the decade have shown that happiness contributes to longer life.  As recently as last year, the British Medical Journal reported a survey of 68,000 subjects in England and found that people with even relatively mild depression have a 29% increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and a 29% increase of dying from other noncancerous disorders.  ‘People who are depressed suffer from hypertension, diabetes, obesity,’ says Dr. George Bartozokis, a neurobiologist and professor of psychiatry at UCLA.”  Time quoted.  Clearly, how stress-free and happy one is affects how well the body does.

In every profession – doctors, lawyers, teachers, painters, writers, – you name it , the one who enjoys his work, thinks creatively and is constantly trying to learn more and improve an activity; and, ultimately he/she becomes innovative.   Creative and active thinking keeps one mentally engaged in the work they are doing.

“The key is finding work that calls on you to remain nimble, adaptive, even visionary, to invent ideas and solve problems on the fly rather than just responding to the same questions with the same answers again and again,”  the article in Time magazine surmises.

Love of work, increased creativity, and a desire to share what you love – these 3 go hand-in hand.  You can’t have one without the other.  Take, for example, Frank Lloyd Wright, the world famous architect, who was creating amazing structures until he died at 91.  The Guggenheim Museum in New York City was designed in in 1943 when he was 76.  It was completed in 1959.  He designed and completed 531 works.  He loved what he did.

It seems to me that those who love their work and are creative in it must want to share with the world the beauty and innovation of the work.  Wright designed buildings for all to see.  Beethoven wrote symphonies for all to enjoy. Picasso and Monet came up with new and creative ways to paint and shared the beauty of their pieces with the world.  Hemingway shared his writing and storytelling talent so we could all enjoy it.

“Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it,” (2) states Mary Baker Eddy, a spiritual thinker and healer in the mid 1860’s. Like Morey, Eddy loved her work.  At the age of 86, she started an international daily newspaper and designated its purpose as: “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind.”

A person doesn’t have to be in his 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s to find what they love to do. Nor does one have to be famous and super talented to love a job and share it with others.

When I was a single mom and was pushed into having to find a job to supplement the income, I felt I was going from a job I loved in caring for the children to entering a scary workforce filled with unknowns.  I turned to God in prayer.  At an employment agency I was told that I wouldn’t find a job with the parameters I was suggesting namely that I be home before the children left for school and home before they arrived home.

My prayers were centered on this Bible verse found in Psalms 16:11 – “Thou wilt shew me the path of life:  in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”  The same afternoon I was told I would never find such a job, I received a call from the agency that they had located a job listing in the back of their files that met my exact needs.  I loved the job and was extremely happy in it until I was able to be a stay-at-home mom again.

But I learned that I can be happy in almost any job or love what I am doing at any moment of time. These are choices I make. I’m beginning to see more and more how they are not only career decisions but also health decisions.

(1)    Time Magazine: September 23, 2013, The Art of Living, by Jeffrey Kluger.

(2)    Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy; page 57:18

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, Christian Science, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland.  She and her husband enjoy hiking, especially with Callie, a Blue Heeler, and riding motorcycles. 

 

 

 


2 Comments

  1. I love this! Thanks Kate!

    • Hi Kathy:

      So happy you like this. It is important to understand where true health comes from.