25 Jun Promoting happiness to improve health
In this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald (www.smh.com.au) an article on health lists “anxiety and depression” as the cause of almost 200,000 years of healthy life lost…second only to coronary heart disease.
This is both significant and outrageous…as mental health is almost always always neglected, underfunded, and managed secondary to more traditional areas of physical health. It’s outrageous because clinical psychologists (such as those in my practice at http://www.makingchanges.com.au) and others have very effective and powerful interventions (such as cognitive behaviour therapy) at the finger tips which can help most people overcome such problems very quickly.
It’s also sad to know that we now have the tools to promote happiness, through positive psychology coaching interventions, but that most funders and many organisations are not doing nearly enough to avoid rates of distress increasing.
But let me finish on a positive note – we do have strategies and interventions that can enhance happiness and wellbeing; there are more coaches being trained in positive psychology who have the ability to reduce the prevalence of unhappiness by increasing levels of happiness; if we all focus on doing the right thing and working towards wellness and flourishing then maybe, just maybe, we can stop depression overtaking heart disease and becoming the number 1 cause of disability!