Many people think you have to choose between being either healthy or happy. Others may have tried to live happier lifestyles but have always been hindered by setbacks. However, studies have shown that health and happiness can go together, which is good for your heart and immune system. This can even help prevent serious illnesses. Here are some examples of how health and happiness are linked:
Being happy benefits the heart
Happiness has been known to decrease blood pressure and heart rate. Researchers in Canada did a study on people who had stressful jobs, and rated how much they showed positive emotions. After a decade, researchers met with them again and found the happier participants had little chance of having heart disease. The positive emotions they showed, however small, had lowered their chances of getting the disease.
Being mindful prevents stress
You can practice being mindful, which is about living in the moment and letting thoughts pass without allowing yourself to get emotional about them. This will reduce your stress levels and make you feel more in control of your life. Then you can focus on what you want to achieve and make you feel more positive.
Happiness is what you make it
People have differing opinions of what “happiness” means to them. Instead, try thinking that happiness is whatever makes you feel excited. Then incorporate it more into your everyday life.
Happiness benefits the immune system
Studies have shown that grouchy people are more likely to become ill. In 2003, researchers conducted an experiment where volunteers allowed themselves to catch a cold. The observers then called them six times over the course of a fortnight to find out how often they felt positive emotions, such as calmness, each day. The results showed those who expressed positive emotions had not caught a cold.
Being happy prevents pain
Being unhappy can lead to pain. In 2001, researchers asked volunteers to record their positive emotions and how often they felt pains, such as indigestion or muscle strain, during the experiment. People who recorded the greatest level of positive emotions were found to have become healthier than those who recorded lower levels of happiness. The health of the people who were less happy weakened.
Being happy lengthens your life
In 2011, thousands of people living in England took part in an experiment where they recorded how positive they felt during the day. They were found to have a lesser chance of dying within five years than those who were less happy. Studies were also done on nuns, who also recorded their positive emotions, and they were found to live up to a decade longer than those who were unhappier.
However, we still have a lot to learn about the link between health and happiness. This is not to say happier people shouldn’t report any symptoms of illness. It is important to always take care of yourself, and seek medical help and treatment when you need it.