December 3, 2022

Happy and Healthy: Are We in a Relationship?

Alya Syahla – 1674 words – 8 minutes reading time

Have you ever heard someone say that you have to be happy to be healthy? Do you think it’s true? Do you think there’s a relationship between happiness and health?

Well, in fact, the correlation between those two is very beneficial for your body!

Being happy can affect health in the best way, especially for adults just like you. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “Without health, there is no happiness.” In the eye of science, the contrary statement also can be proven true. So, here are the reasons why happiness can make you healthier and how you can apply it to your life right now!

To improve your health, focus on your happiness.

Being both happy and healthy is like having a dream life. It’s hard to reach and somewhat impossible for some of us. Understandable. Sometimes, we focus too much on being in a good shape while our mind and body become exhausted. Or when undesirable things interrupted our life. As the result, we lost our happiness.

Well, now let’s bring both of them back to your life! You may never realize that being happy is not only making you feel better but can also improve your health. So, focus on your happiness first. But you may ask why.

Professor emeritus of psychology Ed Diener from the University of Illinois  argues that the positive emotion and enjoyment of life contribute to greater health and a longer lifespan even though happiness may neither prevent nor cure disease in and of itself.

As you may guess, happiness can lower the level of stress. Stress produces a hormone that can raise blood pressure. While a person in a cheerful mood produces less of it, it lowers the pressure. And when the blood pressure is low, it will decrease the possibility of you having heart disease. Even numerous research found that increased happiness reduced the chance of mortality by 11% in persons with preexisting heart disease.

Other than that, a study also shows that happiness can robust the immune system in your body. It helps you preventing to get colds and chest infections. Not only that, but it can also prevent you from other diseases because you tend to have a healthier lifestyle that leads you to live a little longer.

Now that you understand the relationship between the happiness and health, isn’t it tempting to have a healthy lifestyle while living the fullest? Well, if you are confused about which step you should start with, then scroll this page right away!

1. Be grateful

You will never be fully happy if you are not grateful. You have an endless wishlist and once the boxes are fulfilled, the list grows longer. Nobody will blame you, though. It’s a natural thing. We basically never get everything we want in this life.

However, you can control that. Instead of looking at the rolls and rolls of desires, let’s take a peek at what you have at this moment. Look around you and see first. Take a deep breath and appreciate it. That’s the simplest thing you can be grateful for.

Now, look at what you have today that you are happy to have. The first thing that comes to your mind can be different for each person and each time. And gratitude doesn’t come in materialistic only. You may be enjoying your time with your cat or dog that sits next to you. Or you are happy because you give the homeless people lunch. Well, you can also be grateful to be surrounded by people you love.

So, have you thought about it already? You can write the things you are grateful for in your notes every day as a practice. It will surely help you to be more thankful and see that you are enough. Those appreciations will bring you some comfort that will make you happy.

2. Have a positive mindset

Once you get used to appreciating things in your lives, it’s time to change your mindset to be healthier!

To be mentally healthy is your priority first. It is hard to control the negative thoughts in your head, but you can try to shift them. Yes, it’s easier said than done. Yet, if you are not trying, then you will never know the result.

The first step to take is, of course, to see the good things in yourself. No matter how small or insignificant is it in your life, it is still important to look at. Especially if you can see it every morning as a reminder to start the day brightly. Since you think more positively, it will also help you to be an optimistic person!

Other than seeing the positive side of everything, you can also practice positive self-talk. Sometimes you see yourself with lots of lacks. When you see the mirror, the person who looks at you is not the same person you want other people to see. Well, if you do feel that, you need to start to switch those thoughts with positive messages. Even a slight change in your mindset affects the way you see yourself and the world.

“It will be very useful to their health if people can see the world in more positive way, even the small one.” As stated by Dr. Laura Kubzansky, co-director of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness.

Thus, believe it or not, happiness will start to appear!

3. Set healthy habits

When your mental turns healthy, it is time to turn your physical body to be healthier.

Have you ever thought that when you are happy, you sort of changing your habits? It makes you somehow more productive.

You can even sleep earlier. Many of us have trouble sleeping. It is caused by too much pressure on our heads. However, as mentioned above, being happy can reduce stress. It leads us to have a better sleep schedule. Practice sleeping earlier for a week so you can get used to it. Try to not look at the screen 30 minutes before bed also can make you sleep easier!

Other than sleep, happy people tend to eat healthier foods. 47% of about 7.000 positive well-being adults are more likely to consume vegetables and fruits when they are in a happy mood, as a study shows. This diet will lead you to have a healthier body, even reduce the risks of several diseases. If you don’t get used to eating vegetables and fruits, you can start by making a schedule for every time you eat them. Maybe put around 2-3 times a week from your diet. So, let’s start stocking up on your favorite veggies and fruits!

Further, in the same study, it is found that happy people are active physically with 10 hours a week of doing the activities. For a starter, you don’t have to start working out 10 hours a week. It’s too exhausting to even hear that. As a beginner, you can just start jogging through the block or the park every weekend morning. Or if you hate outside space, you can use your living room to meditate or do yoga. And as you can guess, doing physical activities have various benefits, including getting more fit and making you calm.

So, should we start lacing up the shoes?

4. Be active

The last thing that is also important to boost your happiness and healthiness is having a social relationship. But, no. Not with your toxic friends.

Hanging out with your favorite people in your free time is the important part here. Laugh at the top of your lungs, gossip about the same person over and over, and forget about time. Yeah, it really does feel so good!

You can sense that you release the enjoyment emotion with them. It will also encourage you to go outside, which refreshes you. Let your body touch the sunlight, the air. Once you meet your best persons, you will also be reducing your stress and anxiety.

Well, what about some of us that don’t really like people?

Start doing the things you like at home, then! Do your hobbies. Paint the canvas, read the book, stitch the cloth, listen to the music, dance and sing along! Anything that makes you happy will sure make you healthy. And don’t be afraid to express yourself. Just pour them down and appreciate who you are.

So, what are you waiting for?

However, here’s the secret…

Even though the relationship between happiness and health gains profit to your life, the process is not as simple as snapping fingers.

You can’t have a healthy lifestyle in an instant once you are in a happy mood. Your emotions change gradually each day. There is always a challenge to achieving this lifestyle. Changing habits requires time and effort.

Shifting your mood to a happy level also doesn’t come fast. We think that we can just simply watch a comedy-drama that people like to be instantly happy. In fact, we have our own ways to be happy. Maybe walking with your dog can make you happy. Or you find comfort in writing a poem.

So, let’s begin by prioritizing your happiness first. By that, you can see those benefits the studies have proven to work.

As a start, try to embed the positive messages in your mind and the thankfulness in your heart. It will change the way you view the world and you can feel how happy you will become.

Then, you can begin by setting healthy habits and being an active person. Yet, the most important part of them is that you practice them. Regularly. Daily.

Giving up is not the solution you should take if you want to have this lifestyle. But, it may struggle you if you do it all alone. So, it is highly recommended to start this with your friends or family!

Wouldn’t it be more fun if we can be healthy and happy altogether? Then live longer together?

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