Does being happy improve your health?
When a person is having a tough time and things seem bleak, what is the cliché that people often espouse? They say, “Well, at least you have your health.” But, the truth is that health and happiness go closely together; they should be two sides of the same coin. Why? Because being happy improves your health.
The Importance of Being Happy
A library of scientific research has shown that when people are negative it has a bad impact on their health (Rimer, 2011). The truth is that stress and misery can add up over time, providing “wear and tear” on the body and leading to illness such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more (Rimer, 2011). In fact, sustained negative emotions such as anger and anxiety can have an impact on cardiac rhythms, causing changes in the “heart’s electrical stability, hastening atherosclerosis, and increasing systemic inflammation” (Rimer, 2011). Misery can also lead to inflammation, which leads to pain and may other problems.
The Impact that being Happy has on Your Health
So, we know that being unhappy has all these negative impacts on our health. But what about being happy? Well, the good news is that living happy leads to just as many positive changes and a longer life (Mercola, 2014). Being happy reduces inflammation, reduces a variety of negative hormones, and even boosts your immune system which can keep you from being sick and even help ward off cancer.
When you are happier there are changes that occur in your body. Sure, bulk vitamins like Vitamin C and Omega-3 can help keep your immune system strong, but imagine their power when added to the power of positive thinking. Science, however, does not know exactly what these changes are. We just know that studies show that people who have positive experiences and a positive outlook on life are healthier, they get sick less, they have healthier hearts, less diabetes (Rimer, 2011) and just all around feel better.
Sources of Happiness
Every day when you wake up take a few minutes before you climb out of bed to lay, quietly, with your eyes closed or staring out the window, to think about what is good in your life and where your sources of happiness are. Find that within you, every day, for five minutes before you begin your day and five minutes before your brain shuts down at night.
You can overcome your stress with happiness. It is important to remember that happiness is not a condition, it is not a bug that you pick up, a pill that you take, or something that you can buy; it is something that you choose. Try to find your happiness even in small things you do in your daily routine. There are many people who have lived difficult times who still manage to be positive and happy on a daily basis. You must choose it.
Every day you need to tell yourself that you are going to have a good day and that you are going to be happy. Yes, bad things will happen, but simply take them in stride. Acknowledge the negative in your life, grieve for it, but put it into its proper place, in the past, and move forward. Make the choice, every day, to be happy, to practice gratitude, and then to live a more healthful life.