A Prescription for Health and Happiness

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get a prescription for Health and Happiness just like we do our hay fever scripts. Happiness is a tricky construct to define – happiness for one person isn’t necessarily the same for another. However, the Covid period has made us all think about what is important in our life and what makes us “happy”.

Dr Leif Hass, a San Francisco GP has prepared a checklist for his patients – a prescription for Health and Happiness! While we generally understand that having positive family and friend experiences, having higher self-acceptance and being able to set goals and plan for the future often lifts us to a more positive outlook, Dr Hass offers a specific action plan to consider.

  1. Take a few deep breaths. Taking slow deep breaths calms the body and mind by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, helping to decrease the heart rate and blood pressure, and keeping us less reactive to daily stressors.
  2. Call an old friend. Social connection is important in generating positive emotions and social support. When faced with challenges, this is helpful.
  3. Give someone a hug. We know the feel-good experience of a good old hug. Hugging releases Oxytocin and lowers levels of the stress hormone Cortisol. At the same time, Endorphins are released which help relieve pain, reduce stress and lead to a sense of well-being.
  4. Help a friend in need. Supporting friends in need often provides us with more benefits than we give. Helping others helps strengthen our social relationships, helps us feel competent and useful and provides a sense of purpose.
  5. Write a thank-you note. Expressing gratitude to others, counting our blessings (albeit had to recognise during times of stress), leads to positive cognitive change and a more positive outlook towards life.
  6. Singing, playing music. When we sing those endorphins are released again, stress hormones are lowered, and we just feel good! Joining a choir (not for all of us) amplifies the benefits.
  7. Dance to your favourite song. Movement of any sort is beneficial to both mood and physical health. Dancing has social benefits, and some studies suggest that dancing prevents cognitive impairment in the elderly.
  8. Go for a walk in a beautiful place. Nature therapy and exposure to natural environments has been found to be associated with lowering the risk of common mental health disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression). Sitting on your back veranda, on the park bench enjoying the moment is possible for all, even those with mobility problems.
  9. Forgive someone. Forgiveness doesn’t mean accepting wrongdoing but rather a choice to not be consumed by the negativity that goes with the hurt.
  10. Talk to yourself in a kinder voice. Self-compassion helps us heal ourselves rather than continue to hurt and criticise or blame ourselves. Love yourself, love those around us.


    Have a look and write your own Health and Happiness script by ticking what you need!

    Prescription for Health & Happiness

    Prescribed to:                                                  Date:


  • Take a few deep breaths
  • Call an old friend
  • Give someone a hug
  • Help a friend in need
  • Write a thank you note
  • Sing in the shower
  • Dance to your favourite song
  • Go for a walk in a beautiful place
  • Forgive someone
  • Talk to yourself with a kindness


Written By Carla Bormolini Registered Psychologist

Phone – 6381 0297

Email – admin@revivehealthandhappiness.com.au

Facebook – Revive Health and Happines


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