Happiness and joy key to successful healthy lifestyle

Happiness and joy are some of the most universal desires and needs of every person. Many people seek happiness and joy throughout their lives. Sometimes it takes a while for someone to even figure out what will make them happy.

Unfortunately, some do not even try to figure it out and just go through life with a chip on their shoulders, because they never understand that happiness and joy are for them. I realized that you are the key to your happiness. The decision is yours. You are the only one who can make you happy. The solution is in you. You must work on what brings you happiness and joy. There is no perfect soulmate, job or place to live that equals your happiness. You must decide for yourself that you will be happy. You should be happy inside.

You also need to find happiness and joy in every situations, I do believe everything happen for a purpose there is a reason for everything. Thus, there is a lot to learn in any life situation, be it big or small, but in both cases it is a lesson.

Knowing this should indicate that you are the source of your happiness and joy. Keep in mind that every day will not be the sun and roses, but happiness and joy can still be achieved. Find yourself and you will find joy within yourself. Over the past decade, an entire industry has grown up promising the secrets of happiness and joy. There are bestselling books such as The Happiness Project and How to Be Happy, and happiness programs such as Happify and the Tal-Ben Shahar Integrity Institute. Here at the Greater Good Science Center, they offer the Science of Happiness online course and boast a collection of research-based happiness practices on our new website.

Recently, a critical body of research has provided perhaps the most basic and compelling argument that happiness and good health goes hand in hand. Indeed, scientific studies have shown that happiness and joy can make our hearts healthier, our immune systems stronger, and our lives longer. Some of the studies listed below show that happiness and joy improves health; others only suggest that the two are related – perhaps good health brings happiness, but not vice versa. Happiness and health may indeed be a virtuous circle, but researchers are still trying to unravel their relationship. In the meantime, if you need extra motivation to be happier, check out the points below.

Six ways happiness and joy improve our healthy living

1. Happiness and joy protects your heart

Love and happiness may not actually originate in the heart, but they are useful for this. For example, a 2005 article found that happiness and joy predicts a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. In the study, participants rated their happiness more than 30 times in one day and then again three years later. Initially, the happiest participants had a lower heart rate at follow-up (about six beats per minute slower), and the happiest participants had higher blood pressure at follow-up. Research has also found a link between happiness and another indicator of heart health: heart rate variability, which refers to the time interval between heart beats and is associated with the risk of various diseases. In a 2008 study, researchers followed 76 patients with suspected coronary artery disease. Is happiness and joy associated with a healthier heart, even among people who may have heart problems? It looked like this: the participants who considered themselves the happiest on the day of the heart check, on that day, had a healthier picture of heart rate variability.

2. Happiness and joy strengthens your immune system.

Do you know a grumpy person who is constantly ill? This may not be a coincidence: studies now show a link between happiness and a stronger immune system. In a 2003 experiment, 350 adults volunteered to get a cold (don’t worry, they were well compensated). Prior to contact, researchers called them six times in two weeks and asked how many positive emotions they experienced that day, such as feelings of energy, joy, and calmness. After five days of quarantine, the participants with the most positive emotions are less likely to get a cold. An earlier experiment showed that the activity of the immune system in the same person increases and decreases depending on his happiness and joy. For two months, 30 male dental students took pills containing a harmless rabbit blood protein that triggers an immune response in humans. They also assessed whether they experienced various positive moods that day. On the happier days, the participants had a better immune response, as measured by the presence of antibodies in their saliva that protect against foreign substances.

3. Happiness fights stress

Stress is not only upsetting on a psychological level, but it also causes biological changes in our hormones and blood pressure. Happiness and joy seems to mitigate these effects, or at least help us recover faster. Happiness also benefits, even when stress is imminent. In a 2009 study, some devilishly violent researchers decided to strain psychology students and see how they would react. The students were taken to a soundproof cell where they first answered questions showing whether they had a total of 10 feelings, such as enthusiasm or pride. Then their worst nightmare ensued: They had to answer an extremely difficult statistical question during the videotape and were told that their professor would appreciate their answer. Throughout the process, their hearts were measured using an electrocardiogram (ECG) and a blood pressure monitor. After such stress, the hearts of the happiest students recovered the fastest.

4. Happy people have less aches and pains.

The highest good in action In a 2001 study, participants were asked to rate their recent experience of positive emotions, and then (five weeks later) how badly they had experienced negative symptoms such as muscle tension, dizziness, and heartburn since the beginning of the study. The people who initially reported the highest levels of positive emotion actually became healthier during the study and ended up healthier than their disgruntled counterparts. The fact that their health improved in five weeks (and the healthiest participants deteriorated) suggests that the results are more than evidence that people in a good mood are more positive about their health than people in a bad mood.

 5. Happiness fights disease and disability

Happiness and joy is also associated with improvement in more severe, long-term conditions, not just short-term aches and pains. In a 2008 study of nearly 10,000 Australians, participants who reported being happy and content with life most or all of the time were about 1.5 times less likely to have long-term illnesses (such as chronic pain and serious vision problems). Another study in the same year found that women with breast cancer recalled being less happy and optimistic than women without breast cancer before diagnosis, suggesting that happiness and optimism might protect against the disease. As adults get older, they are affected by weakness Which is characterized by impaired strength, endurance and balance and puts them at risk of disability and death? In a 2004 study, more than 1,550 Mexican Americans aged 65 and over rated how much they felt, hope, happiness, and joy over the past week. After seven years, the likelihood that participants with more positive emotion ratings will be weaker will decrease. Some of the same researchers also found that happier older people (as well as positive emotions) had less stroke in the next six years; this was especially true for men.

6. Happiness  prolongs our life.

After all, longevity may be the ultimate indicator of health – and this is where happiness comes into play. In perhaps the most famous study of happiness and longevity, the lifespan of Catholic nuns was related to the amount of positive emotion they expressed in an autobiographical essay they wrote when they entered their monastery decades ago, usually at the age of 20. The researchers reviewed these written samples for expressions of feelings such as fun, satisfaction, gratitude, and love. After all, the happiest looking nuns lived 7-10 years longer than the least happy. However, you don’t have to be a nun to experience the life-prolonging benefits of happiness and joy. In a 2011 study, nearly 4,000 English adults aged 52 to 79 reported how happy, excited and content they were multiple times in one day. Here, happier people are 35 percent less likely to die within about five years than their more unhappy counterparts.

A 2005 meta-analysis combining findings from other health and happiness studies suggests that positive emotions help with long-term illness, but may actually be harmful in advanced illness. The authors cite studies showing that positive emotions lower the risk of death in people with diabetes and AIDS, but actually increase the risk in people with metastatic breast cancer, early melanoma, and end-stage kidney disease. This increased risk may be due to happier people underestimating their symptoms and not receiving the right treatment, or taking less care of themselves due to over-optimism.


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