Happiness = Health. Who Knew!
- 11 months ago
How Happiness Boosts Health
You know how it feels, and you know what it looks like, but happiness can be a bit difficult to define. While some may describe it as optimism or a feeling of wellbeing, meaningfulness or satisfaction in life, others may have completely different ideas of what defines happiness for them.
So what is happiness? To be honest, we don’t know how to define it in a sentence, we just know it feels pretty awesome and we want more!
What's the link?
Optimistic people often spend more time on activities that promote health, as they know these are necessary to help them achieve their goals. One study showed that positive emotional feelings such as happiness and optimism may have a link to lowered risk of heart disease <1>, lowered blood pressure, and healthy body weight & blood fat profiles!
How happiness boosts immunity
Whenever you feel stressed out, your body signals the master glands to produce immune-suppressing hormones, making you more prone to illnesses. However, the opposite effect can also take place in the body when you’re feeling happy. The body begins to release feel-good chemicals which enter your bloodstream and stimulate the release of more immunity-boosting cells <2>, <3> . Just a 5 minute laughter session can substantially boost your white blood cell count <4>. In fact, here's one of our favourites to boost your immunity right now!
1. Boost happiness with exercise
Exercise stimulates the release of mood-boosting hormones called endorphins that enhance positive feelings in people. That “runner’s high” you get during a good run is all thanks to the endorphins that are being released into your bloodstream. Working out at home or in the great outdoors is awesome, but you can also enhance your social interactions by going to the gym or a group class. Widening your social circle will allow you to strengthen your bonds with other people and increase feelings of happiness and content.
This will lead to positive results such as weight loss (if needed) and increased physical and mental fitness. You become healthier and your risk of diseases decreases significantly. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and you’ll work harder to reach your goals. You become more productive at work and your concentration levels soar skyward. It’s all a massive win.
Another thing we all don’t get enough of is sleep. What’s your reason for not getting your complete 8 hours? Most studies report that lack of sleep is linked to increased work stress, failing relationships or any other circumstance that leads to a storm of negative thoughts into your mind when it’s time for bed.
Several studies have shown that sleep deprivation weakens our social interactions, <5>, <6>. and that people who hadn’t slept weren’t quite incapable of recognizing happiness and anger <7>. What can you do to improve your sleeping habits? Tried and true methods include:
- Switching off from your electronic devices (phones, tablets, computers) at least an hour before going to bed.
- Not consuming caffeine in the few hours before bed. Try switching to herbal tea, or hot water with lemon.
- Reading a book. This helps calm the mind, as well as distract it from any stressed out or negative thoughts right before sleeping.
3. Eat good food
Many studies have shown that having meals rich in omega-3 fatty acids enhance positivity and are good for fighting depression. Research shows that omega 3s may just be as effective as antidepressants <7>, <8>. In addition, having vibrant, colorful fruits and veggies can also be beneficial in promoting happiness as they are rich in the antioxidants your body loves! The right balance of macro-nutrients (carbs, fats, and proteins) and proper hydration will aid in putting your body into a state of balance, which will help to keep those happy hormones circulating!