The word “happiness” is a broad term. It describes the different experiences of highly positive emotions such as satisfaction, contentment and joy.
Scientific evidence has shown that being happy makes people live longer and become healthier. So if you’re looking for ways to improve your health and live a better life, you should focus on things that make you happy. Exhibiting positive emotions is a natural relaxation technique and can also reduce your stress levels.
These are only a few of the potential health benefits that come with living a happy lifestyle. Below, I’ll describe some of the other benefits associated with happiness in detail.
Happiness and health go hand in hand
Happy people tend to make more nutritious meals that include vegetables, whole grains and fruits. According to a study involving 7,000 adults, it was discovered that people who are happy and have a positive sense of well-being are 47 percent more likely to consume vegetables and fresh fruits than people with a less positive sense of well-being.
Diets that contain a lot of vegetables and fruits can help the body fight health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more.
The same study also indicates that happy people with a positive sense of well-being are 33 percent more likely than others to be physically active and participate in at least 10 hours of physical activity every week. The benefits of this physical activity include building strong bones, removing body fat, increasing energy levels and lowering blood pressure, among others.
Living a happy life can also help you improve your sleep habits. This, in turn, can improve your productivity, concentration and performance level during exercise, and help you maintain a healthy body weight.
According to another scientific study, sleep problems such as difficulty staying asleep or the inability to fall asleep are about 47 percent more likely to occur in people who don’t live a positive lifestyle.
Happiness boosts the immune system
In order for us to remain healthy, our immune systems must be healthy first, and one way to keep the immune system healthy and strong is to live a happy lifestyle. Doing so reduces the risk that we’ll develop certain illnesses, such as chest infections and colds.
During one research study, the researchers gave some students the Hepatitis B vaccine. Hepatitis B ordinarily attacks the liver, but it was discovered that happier participants had almost twice the likelihood of developing antibody responses, in comparison to less happy participants, which indicates that they have robust immune systems.
Furthermore, happiness improves the human immune system because the feeling of joy impacts the activities of the HPA (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal) axis, which is responsible for regulating the immune system, stress levels, digestion and hormones.
Also, people who live a happy life are typically more likely to engage in activities or behaviours that promote their health and keep their immune system strong.
Happiness aids with stress relief
Another benefit of being happy is that it helps combat and reduce stress levels in individuals.
Ordinarily, when there is too much stress in the body, then there are also high cortisol levels in the body, and cortisol plays a significant role in the most dangerous effects of stress, such as weight gain, disturbed sleep, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.
But there is relevant evidence from studies that supports the idea that happier people tend to have deficient cortisol levels in their bodies. This is not a coincidence! The effects of having low levels of cortisol in the body are long-lasting ones, especially if you continue to live a happy lifestyle over the long term.
3 more benefits of being happy
There are a few more benefits of happiness that haven’t been mentioned yet, including:
- It increases a person’s life expectancy
- It assists with pain reduction
- It reduces frailty
6 activities that increase happiness
Now that the health benefits of happiness have been laid bare, and they’re evident for all to see, here are some practical ways in which you can increase your happiness.
- Get active: Cardio exercises are useful for boosting happiness levels.
- Show gratitude: Focusing your mind on things you’re grateful for can increase your level of happiness, too.
- Sleep well: You’ll wake up happy after having a good night’s rest!
- Spend time outside: The scenery in the park or the garden may improve your mood, and you’ll avoid being stuck indoors, alone with your thoughts.
- Meditate: Meditation comes with many benefits, and one of them is happiness.
- Consume a healthy diet: You’ll be happier when you eat healthily, especially when you take in more vegetables and fruits.
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