Happiness is the purpose of life. sAre you happy? Happiness describes the experience of positive emotions, satisfaction, contentment, and joy. Researchers show that being happy does not just make you feel better, it actually brings a host of potential health benefits.
Happiness Protects Your Health
You have probably already noticed that when you get angry or upset your blood pressure increases, and in the worst case scenario, precipitates a stroke or heart attack. Positive emotions can lower your blood pressure and risk for cardiovascular disease. So happiness undoes the effects of stress and protects a person’s health. Also, some studies have shown that something as simple as cuddling your pet or getting a light touch on your hand from your best friend can also lower your blood pressure.
Happy people also have a strong immune system. This may help reduce your risk of developing chest infections and colds. The effects of happiness on the immune system are probably due to the impact of happiness on the activity of the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis, which regulates your immune system, digestion, stress levels and hormones. Plus, happy people are more likely to take part in health-promoting behaviors, including regular physical activity and healthy eating habits.
Happiness Combats Stress
Happiness Lengthens Your Life Expectancy
Happy people live longer. Some studies show that higher positive people were found to have a favorable effect on survival, reducing the risk of death by 2% in those with pre-existing disease and 18% in healthy people. And, while it is not well understood how happiness may lead to greater life expectancy, it may be partly explained by an increase in beneficial behaviors (good sleep habits, medication compliance, physical activity, not smoking and drinking alcohol) that prolong survival.
Ways to become happier:
- Eat healthy foods. The more fruits and veggies you eat—the happier you will be. Plus, eating more healthy foods will also improve your health in the long-term.
- Meditate. Regular meditation can improve sleep, reduce stress and increase happiness.
- Get active. Aerobic exercise is one of the most effective types of exercise for increasing happiness. Playing tennis or walking can boost your mood and is good for your physical health.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your mood. So, if you struggle with staying asleep or falling asleep, search the net to see how to get a better night’s rest.
- Spend time outside. Head outside for a walk to improve your mood.
- Express gratitude. You can increase your happiness by focusing on the things you are grateful for. You can practice gratitude by writing down some things you are grateful for at the end of each day.