Does Happiness Improve Your Health? 13 Tips To Make Sure It Does!

Being a happy, healthy person is much easier said than done.

Everyone wants heath and happiness.

Here’s a great article and shows some of the science that connect health and happiness. https://www.globalwellnesssummit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/7_happiness_2018TrendsWellness.pdf

Loved this paragraph.

Mounting Evidence: Happiness Improves Physical Health Anyone that cares about human health needs to care about happiness because studies increasingly show that happiness has an independent and powerful impact on physical health. It’s been studied in-depth. For instance, a 2017 meta-review2 of 150+ studies on the connection confirm with “almost no doubt” that happiness really can influence health. Another Harvard meta-review3 of 200+ studies found a connection between happiness and optimism and lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and abnormal body weight. A 2018 study4 led by Cornell University found that people who experience a range of positive daily emotions – from enthusiasm to calm – have lower levels of inflammation, which is linked to a lower risk of premature death and chronic disease. Other studies show happiness’ positive impact on everything from speeding wound healing to longer telomeres. And, while these studies show a strong association more than cause and effect, the evidence keeps growing that happiness affects health and aging deep down to the cellular level.

We’ll see more “eating for happiness” with diets and menus packed with more foods like tuna, salmon, nuts, seeds, bananas, green tea, dark chocolate, spinach, blueberries, and blackberries because they boost serotonin and other happiness hormones. Research mounts that food has a powerful impact on the brain and mood: For instance, a 2017 study from Deakin University (AU) showed that an anti-inflammatory Mediterranean-style diet high in vegetables, fish, olive oil and nuts reduced symptoms of depression in 32% of its sample. J. Walter Thompson (JWT) also named “Mood Food” as one its top trends for 2018, and we see companies like Monarch Airlines creating mood-enhancing food menus for passengers (like green tea and lavender cakes to calm anxiety) or even Pizza Hut introducing a mood-enhancing pizza. The really eye-opening research is around how our microbiome – that ecosystem of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and yeasts that live in our intestinal tract – plays a powerful role in regulating our emotions and determining our very happiness. All those bugs in our gut generate many of the transmitters and hormones that play out within the brain, like serotonin that regulates mood, appetite, sleep and social behavior. Studies even indicate that the lion’s share of our serotonin is produced in our gut, and disruptions in the microbiome are being connected to anxiety, depression, autism, and dementia. The research about the tight connections between the gut and mental health is so compelling that the Denver VA hospital is running a trial using probiotics to treat veterans with PTSD, and their findings17 of the impact that this simple food supplement has on how our brains and bodies respond to trauma are fascinating. It’s no newsflash that more people are eating for a healthier microbiome, meaning more soluble fiber (like brown bread, nuts, and seeds) and probiotic/ fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. What we will see more of is research specifically on the gut-brain-happiness axis, an exciting field called psychobiotics.

Here’s another article: http://time.com/4866693/happiness-improves-health/

The review does point out that in many of these studies, it’s possible that better health could lead to improved emotional states, rather than the other way around. Since most studies on this topic are observational, it’s possible that other variables (that were not or could not be controlled for) are to blame for changes in both happiness and health.

But overall, the authors wrote, the evidence is strong enough to say that subjective well-being can influence health and longevity, “at least in some instances.” The question now, they say, is why happiness is linked to health for some people, but not for others.

Here are some tips that will overall help your happiness and your health.

Stop negative thinking

A negative mind will never give you a positive life. Stop thoughts that are limiting and self-defeating like “I can’t do that “or “I’m not good enough “. Don’t believe everything you think. Negative and pessimistic thinking is unhelpful and will hold you back from achieving your goals and greater self-confidence. Replace negative thoughts with words that are positive and motivating. At the beginning, it is difficult, but the more you repeatedly send positive messages to yourself, the better you will feel.

Stop comparing yourself to other people

It is an extremely unhealthy habit, but even the most confident people do it: Comparing. We all do it. It’s human, but constant comparison with others make you feel bad about yourself and lowers your self-esteem. You begin to question your own worth. And this can lead to frustration, depression, eating disorders, over-spending, and simply to the feeling of not being good enough. Life is not a competition. If you make it one, nobody will win. It’s always a losing battle because the only person you’re really hurting, in the end, is yourself. Stop comparing and start living!

Don’t be a victim

You create your life. You have to take responsibility! Even if situations become unbearable, there is always a way out. You will always have the choice to make a change.

Don’t be a people-pleaser

Respect yourself and others will respect you, as easy as that. Don’t spend your whole life on trying to make everyone happy. Practice building self-awareness, discover what you are willing to do and what you don’t want to do. Start putting this into practice by saying no when something doesn’t resonate or align with who you really are. People might get mad at first, but eventually, most will come to respect you.

Start loving yourself

Self-esteem is all about how much you feel you are worth — and how much you feel other people value you. Your level of self-esteem affects your happiness and everything you do.

Be yourself! 

Don’t be somebody else. Take control of your life and live it by your own rules. Find a personal style that feels great to you and be proud of it. There is no one like you and that is your power!

Care for yourself

Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water and sleep at least 7 to 8 hours per night. If you don’t get enough sleep, everything else will suffer. Sleep deprivation (which most of us suffer from) puts you in a pre-diabetic state, messes with your metabolism, makes you more likely to be overweight, increases your appetite, decreases your productivity, hampers your immune system, and makes you tired, moody, anxious and likely to be depressed.

Don’t strive for perfection

Nobody is perfect. You will always find someone who is more beautiful, smarter, richer, better or worse. But you won´t find someone who is perfect.

Concentrate on your strengths not your weaknesses 

Focus on what you have already achieved and reached, not what you lack and miss. Be proud of yourself and know your strengths. Avoid negative people, places, and things you don’t like or that make you feel bad about yourself.

Being around toxic people can drain your energy, make you unhappy and insecure. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, give you energy and make you feel good about yourself.

Stay focused on the present moment

It is the only reality. When the past and the future feel painful, focus on the task at hand and do it with your full engagement. Enjoy your life, make the best out of it!

Be childish and play more

When it comes to certain things, children do them way better than we do. Who said you have to get serious while growing up? Never lose the child in you, the childlike faith, childlike hope, childlike play and creativity.

Forgive yourself

Feeling bad about things you’ve done in the past can create a pretty painful present. Remember that you can begin new any day. Your past does not predict your future.

Be grateful 

Gratitude is an attitude and a way of living that has many benefits in terms of health and happiness. Feeling and expressing gratitude, instead of wanting more and more, turns our mental focus to the good things in life, which will create more things for which to be grateful. As you awake each morning, give thanks for your breath and being healthy. Life is a gift, never forget that.

Watch your thoughts, they become words.

Watch your words, they become actions.

Watch your actions, they become habits.

Watch your habits, they become your character.

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Author unknown

Here’s a great Podcast on Health and Happiness:  Happy Healthy and Fit Life By Hosts Janell Yule and Jennifer Grant

Here’s a great book to read.  Happiness & Health: 9 Choices That Unlock the Powerful Connection …

Have a Happy Healthy Day!

Nancy Boardman
June 14, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

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