It’s used as “The State of Happiness or Being Happy” here.
It’s marked by a combination of internal feelings ranging from warmth, fuzziness, security, comfort, contentment,
appreciation, gratitude, joy, lovingness, resolve, peace to bliss.
– Master Jennifer W. Yu/ the “Momma Panda”
Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.
I didn’t know why I always had this strong attraction to the subject of happiness until I began to do my in-depth studies for my Healtheology dissertation of How Tai Chi Effectively Improves Happiness. I discovered that I had not been the only one.
I discovered that people around the world seemed to all agree with Aristotle and have put “To Be Happy” (HAPPY) at the top of their wish list. HAPPY is desired above wealth, position, social status, job success, sex, and fame. 1 In addition, statistics have shown that HAPPY appears to produce better health, longevity, relationships, prosperity, generosity, resilience and creativity. 1 This is probably why retaining and improving HAPPY are of the highest value to almost everyone.
Happiness is not only our right but clearly the principle force that drives our lives.
— Dalai Lama
It certainly made me happy to find out that we humans are like-minded when it comes to our desire to be happy. But soon my studies discovered that only less than 30% of people are reported deeply happy. 1 It hurts me to see the World Health Organization’s prediction that by 2020 depression will be second only to heart disease in terms of the global burden of illness. 1
You see, my busy Baby Panda, our fast-paced, over stimulating and more sedentary lifestyles today easily overwhelm us and create mental tensions. Human’s pre-existing neurological condition of “over-sensitivity for the bad” from survival mechanisms of early evolution stage is making it worse. We tend to focus much more on “negativities”, treat them as “threats”, and react with tension or distress. The cumulative effect of daily trivial challenges and self-imposed worries continues to keep your neural system on red alert. This robs precious energy from your body and mind for recovery, detox and maintaining healthy homeostasis. As a result, chronic stress-induced health issues, both mental and physical, are related to almost all major ailments. Same goes with human social affairs, both domestically and globally. Human’s quality of HAPPY is greatly compromised.
Thank goodness, studies have also shown that HAPPY can be measurably improved. It’s believed that 40% of our HAPPY is under self-control. Better yet, recent findings have shown us that only 5% or less of cancers and vascular disease can be attributed to hereditary,2 and that almost all major illnesses acquired are linked to chronic stress.3-6 This suggests that almost all biological, mental and life activities, including our HAPPY, can be consciously improved.
According to my recent “HAPPY” scores, I am one of those people who can be happy regardless what happens around me. Although that sounds great, I’ve come a long way. A challenging childhood in China, immigrating across the ocean to the U.S., and two abusive marriages caused me fear, worry, guilt, even total despair. Believe me, I know unhappiness first-hand. I also know I am not alone. People are suffering emotionally, mentally and physically all over the world. That’s why I am compelled to study and write on this topic. I want to share my gift of transformation from darkness to happiness, which I achieved through the practice of Tai Chi.
You may think of Tai Chi as an exercise, a martial art or simply a mysterious Eastern concept. Soon you will learn the secret power it holds in bringing wellness and HAPPY to your life just as a mindset or diet.
- Shimoff, Marci and Kline, Carol (2008). “Happy for No Reason, 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out.” (pp. 12)”
- Willett, W. C. (2002). “Balancing Life-Style and Genomics Research for Disease Prevention.” Science 296: 695-698.
- Kopp, M. S. and J. Rethelyi (2004). “Where psychology meets physiology: chronic stress and premature mortality-the Central-Eastern European health paradox.” Brain Research Bulletin 62: 351-367.
- McEwen, B. S. and T. Seeman (1999). “Protective and Damaging Effects of Mediators of Stress: Elaborating and Testing the Concepts of Allostasis and Allostatic Load.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 896: 30-47.
- McEwen, B. and with Elizabeth N. Lasley (2002). “The End of Stress As We Know It”. Washington, National Academies Press.
- Segerstrom, S. C. and G. E. Miller (2004). “Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry.” Psychological Bulletin 130(4): 601-630.
Why “HAPPY TAI CH”?
During one of my weekly calls with my son, Jason, who is a Green Beret in the Army, I mentioned that I was pondering on the topics for my Ph.D. dissertation. I told him that I was thinking of writing about Tai Chi and I was also thinking of writing about my other favorite subject, improving happiness. He then asked why not combine the two and write about improving happiness with Tai Chi. It struck a chord in me. I immediately realized that among the extensive studies and reports on Tai Chi’s mounting benefits for physical and mental health there had not been much writing or media focus on Tai Chi’s benefits on HAPPY itself. The epidemic depression, addiction and unhappiness of modern people could really use this help. That’s where it all began. It turned out that previous research had been more focused on various specific areas of physical and mental health. My study has discovered that Tai Chi’s secret power to enhance HAPPY is the root cause and ultimate result of all its myriad benefits.
In his groundbreaking book, The Biology of Belief, biologist and epigenetics pioneer Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. has shown us that “perceptions determine biology.” In other words, our own mindsets, habits and resilience in response to external stimuli ultimately create almost all of our own physical realities. Our brain has neuroplasticity. Our health and life can be bettered by simply switching to happier mindsets and more peaceful responses.
Inspired by both new findings and old wisdoms, drawn from 30 years of training, experiences, studies and insights on Tai Chi, Qigong, wellness and happiness, Momma Panda has re-coded a new playbook for happy living in today’s world. By alchemizing the proven effect of modern positive neuropsychology with the hidden power of ancient Tai Chi principles, HAPPY TAI CHI™ was born.
Reviewed by wellness professionals as the NGT (Next Great Thing) for modern happy living, HAPPY TAI CHI™ makes it much easier now for everyone to get to their “HAPPY” and to intersect distress at a neural level. You can simply plug it into your busy life as a mindset, a diet, a meditation, an exercise and/or a lifestyle as you see fit. Its insights and tips are simple and useful for any schedule, condition and situation. The same HAPPY strategy can be applied to health, relationship and business.
You will discover that HAPPY TAI CHI™ is super charged with happy and harmonizing energy. It gives you “secret power” to enhance your current HAPPY and to combat the imbalance-induced distresses, clashes and unhappiness spreading in our modern societies. If you practice Momma Panda’s HAPPY TAI CHI™ in any way, you will find yourself more balanced and healthier. You will definitely become happier. I promise you, my beloved new Baby Panda.
So, here’s my gift to you, Momma Panda’s HAPPY TAI CHI™ playbook for your ultimate “HAPPY”.
HAPPY TAI CHI™ = Tai Chi + Smile
= Greater Homeostasis & Emotional Resilience
= Wellness (Serenity + Harmony + Prosperity)
= Your Ultimate “HAPPY”
Why “Momma Panda”
Since I immigrated to the U.S. in 1989, I have personally taught tens of thousands of students, professionals, martial artists, world class athletes, homemakers, youth and retirees, ages 6 to 100. No matter the age, everyone is called “new baby” when first coming to my class.
Since I started HAPPY TAI CHI™, I began to feel more and more identified with panda’s happy energy. Whenever I think of the panda bear, I become smiley instantly. So as time goes on, I have morphed into this “Momma Panda”. If you read this book, you are now one of my beloved new “Baby Pandas”.
About Master Yu, the “Momma Panda”
Master Jennifer Wenhong Yu is an international wellness activist, mentor and a 6th generation Tai Chi Master of China’s Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan Lineage. She holds a Master’s degree in Healtheology in the U.S. and an Economic Law degree from Peking University, China. She is well versed in eastern wellness as well as western fitness and was a former examiner, personal trainer and advanced instructor of Therapeutic Yoga and Pilates.
Master Yu started her Tai Chi journey 30 years ago at Peking University’s championship martial art team. Immigrated to the U.S. in 1989, she has personally taught tens of thousands of students.
As an abuse survivor and a former Al-Anon member, Ms. Yu founded Yu School, a non-profit entity to bring Tai Chi’s renowned healing and health benefits to everyone, especially those who are suffering and underserved.
Master Jennifer W. Yu loves her family and students, and is a proud Green Beret mom. Besides planning and conducting her HAPPY TAI CHI™ seminars, CEU courses and instructor certification, she enjoys training instructors and teaching classes to both public and private students in Boca Raton, Florida, where she currently lives, just minutes from her loving family.
Momma Panda/ Master Jennifer W. Yu