Updated: Jun 5, 2021
Happiness is the reason and purpose of life and the entire goal and goal post of human existence. The sensation of pleasant feelings such as joy, contentment, and pleasure is referred to as happiness.
Good health needs a healthy immune system. Happiness has been linked to a more robust immune system, according to research. Colds and chest infections may be less likely as a result of this.
Being happy may help decrease stress levels. Excess stress usually results in a rise in cortisol levels, a hormone that contributes to many of the negative impacts of stress, such as sleep disturbances, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
People who are happier continue living a longer life This might be due to the fact that they participate in more health-promoting activities, such as exercise.
It is possible that being cheerful reduces the feeling of pain. It appears to be especially beneficial in the treatment of chronic pain problems like arthritis.
Ways to Increase Your Happiness
It is not only that being cheerful makes you feel better; it is also good for your health. Here are six scientifically validated methods for increasing happiness.
1. Express gratitude: By concentrating on the things for which you are thankful, you can boost your happiness. One way to practice thankfulness is to write down three things you are grateful for at the end of each day.
2. Become more active: The most effective exercise for enhancing happiness is an aerobic activity, often known as cardio. Walking or playing tennis can not only improve your physical health, but it will also improve your mood.
3. Get a good night's sleep: Not getting enough sleep might affect your happiness. Check out these strategies for obtaining a better night's sleep if you have trouble sleeping or staying asleep.
4. Spend time outside: Take a walk in the park or get your hands dirty in the garden to spend some time outside. This only requires five minutes of outdoor exercise to enhance your mood dramatically.
5. Meditate: Regular meditation also provides many other benefits, including reducing stress and improving sleep.
6. Eat a healthy diet: Studies suggest that eating more fruits and vegetables makes you happy. Furthermore, eating more fruits and vegetables will boost your long-term health.
You may boost your happiness in a variety of ways. Getting out and about, expressing appreciation, and eating fruits and vegetables are all excellent methods to lift your spirits.
Benefits from immunity via joy:
1. Your heart is protected by happiness.
Although love and happiness do not start in the heart, they are beneficial to it. Happiness, for example, is linked to decreased heart rate and blood pressure, according to a 2005 study. Participants in the study assessed their happiness 30 times in one day and again three years afterward. On follow-up, the initially happy individuals had a lower heart rate (approximately six beats per minute slower), and the happiest people had better blood pressure.
Another relationship between pleasure and heart health has been discovered by research: heart rate variability, which refers to the time gap between heartbeats and is linked to illness risk. Researchers followed 76 individuals suspected of having coronary artery disease in a 2008 study. Was there a relation between happiness and a healthy heart, even in persons with a history of heart disease? It seems to be the case: on the day their hearts were checked, the people who assessed themselves as cheerful had a better pattern of heart rate variability. These impacts can add up to significant disparities in heart health over time. In a 2010 study, over 2,000 Canadians were brought into the lab to discuss their workplace rage and stress. On a scale of one to five, participants' levels of positive sentiments such as pleasure, enjoyment, excitement, enthusiasm, and contentment were rated by observers. The researchers followed up with the subjects ten years later to see how they were doing, and it turned out that those who were happy were less likely to acquire coronary heart disease. Their chances of developing heart disease were cut by 22% for every one-point rise in pleasant feelings they showed.
2. Happiness strengthens your immune system
Do you know someone who is usually grouchy and seems to be sick? That may not be a coincidence: studies now show a correlation between happiness and a better immune system. Three hundred fifty persons agreed to be exposed to the common cold in a 2003 study (do not worry, they were handsomely rewarded). Before they were exposed, researchers phoned them six times over two weeks to ask how much they had felt nine good feelings that day, such as being active, satisfied, and relaxed. The participants with the strongest pleasant feelings were less likely to have a cold after five days in quarantine.
An earlier study discovered that an individual's immune system activity fluctuates based on their mood. Thirty male dentistry students were given tablets containing a harmless blood protein from rabbits that produce an immunological response in humans for two months. They were also asked to assess whether they had been in various pleasant moods throughout the day. On joyful days, participants had a more robust immune response, as seen by the existence of an antigen in their saliva that protects them against foreign chemicals.
Happiness combats stress - Stress causes physiologic changes in our hormones and blood pressure and is distressing on a psychological level. Happiness appears to mitigate these consequences, or at the very least, speed up our recovery. Researchers discovered connections between happiness and stress in the study, as mentioned above, in which participants estimated their happiness more than 30 times a day. The happiest people had 23 percent lower cortisol levels than the least happy, and another stress indicator—the amount of a blood-clotting protein that rises after stress—was 12 times lower.
Even when stress is unavoidable, happiness appears to have advantages. Some deviously nasty researchers planned to stress psychology students in a 2009 study to see how they reacted. The kids were escorted to a soundproof chamber, where they initially answered questions on whether they felt ten different emotions, such as eagerness or pride, regularly. Then came their greatest nightmare: they had to answer a tricky statistics question while being recorded, with their professor evaluating their response. An electrocardiogram (EKG) equipment and a blood pressure monitor were used to monitor their heart during the procedure. The hearts of the happy pupils healed the fastest after such stress.
3. Happy people have fewer aches and pains.
Unhappiness may be excruciatingly unpleasant. In a 2001 research, participants were asked to score their recent pleasant emotional experiences, as well as how much they had experienced unpleasant symptoms including muscular tension, dizziness, and heartburn since the research began (five weeks later). People who expressed the most positive feelings reported the highest happiness levels at the start of the trial were healthier than their unhappy counterparts throughout the trial. Their health improved over five weeks (while the health of the unhappiest individuals deteriorated) implies that the findings are not just the consequence of people in a good mood evaluating their health higher than persons in a poor mood.
According to 2005 research, a pleasant mood can help people cope with discomfort while they are sick. For roughly three months, women with arthritis and persistent pain assessed themselves positively, including curiosity, excitement, and inspiration. Those who received higher overall evaluations were less likely to report pain increases during the trial.
4. Happiness combats disease and disability.
Not simply shorter-term aches and pains, but also more severe, long-term conditions are linked to happiness.
Participants who reported being happy and pleased with life most or all of the time were almost 1.5 times less likely to suffer long-term health disorders (including chronic pain and significant eye difficulties) two years later, according to a 2008 research of almost 10,000 Australians. In the same year, another study discovered that women with breast cancer remembered being less joyful. Those with breast cancer are more positive and upbeat before their diagnosis than women without breast cancer., implying that happiness and optimism may be protective against the disease.
Frailty, which is characterized by reduced strength, endurance, and balance and puts people at risk of disability and mortality, is a disorder that typically affects individuals as they get older. Throughout, 1,550 Mexican Americans aged 65 and over were asked to score their self-esteem, hope, happiness, and enjoyment over the previous week in a 2004 survey. Participants who rated their emotions positively were less likely to be feeble after seven years. Happier senior persons (measured by the same measure of positive emotion) were less likely to suffer a stroke in the next six years, according to the same study; this was especially true for males.
5. Happiness lengthens our lives.
In the end, longevity may be the most critical health indicator—and happiness plays a key role here. Among the most well-known research on pleasure and lifespan was published in the journal Science., the life expectancy of Catholic nuns was linked to the number of pleasurable feelings they expressed in an autobiographical essay they composed when they joined their monastery years before, frequently in their 20s. Researchers looked for expressions of sentiments like amusement, satisfaction, thankfulness, and love in these literary pieces. In the end, the nuns who appeared to be the happiest lived 7-10 years longer than the nuns who appeared to be the ones who is the least pleased.
You do not have to be a convent to accomplish happiness's life-extending properties. Almost 4,000 English individuals aged 52 to 79 reported being pleased, thrilled, and content many times in a single day in a 2011 survey. Over around five years, happier persons were 35 percent less likely to die than their unhappier peers.
These studies looked at particular pleasant feelings, but total life satisfaction—another vital metric of happiness—has also been connected to lifespan. Research conducted in 2010 monitored over 7,000 people from Alameda County, California, for nearly three decades and discovered that those who were happier with life at the start were less likely to die throughout the research.
While pleasure can extend our life, it cannot perform miracles. There is some indication that the happiness-longevity correlation does not apply to the sick—at least not to the severely sick.
According to a meta-analysis published in 2005 that compiled the findings of earlier research on health and happiness, experiencing happy emotion is beneficial in illnesses with a lengthy timeline but may be harmful in late-stage sickness. According to the authors, positive emotion reduces the chance of mortality in individuals with diabetes and AIDS but raises the risk in persons with metastatic breast cancer, early-stage melanoma, and end-stage renal disease. That higher risk might be attributed to happy persons underreporting their symptoms and not receiving appropriate treatment or taking poor care of themselves owing to their overconfidence.