“I’ve decided to be happy because it’s good for my health.”― Voltaire

The most potent trick to great health is Happiness its the best health pill.Health and happiness are linked strongly. Sounds too simple? but its true and I am going to prove it.It is being established again and again that being happy is the best thing you can do for your health and in this write up I will show you how my claim is backed by scientific research.

Dr. Derek Cox, Director of Public Health at Dumfries and Galloway NHS says “We’ve spent years saying that giving up smoking could be the single most important thing that we could do for the health of the nation. And yet there is mounting evidence that happiness might be at least as powerful a predictor, if not a more powerful predictor than some of the other lifestyle factors that we talk about in terms of cigarette smoking, diet, physical activity, and those kind of things,”

Happiness a powerful predictor
Happiness and Health are linked,its predictor of longevity


More and more studies on happiness are suggesting a deep and direct connection between happiness and health. Research conducted by Andrew Steptoe, the British Heart Foundation Professor of Psychology at University College London, has found that happier people also have greater protection against things like heart disease and stroke.

“We know that stress, which has bad effects on biology, leads to those bad changes as far as health is concerned. What we think is happening is that happiness has the opposite effect and has a protective effect on these same biological pathways”

A whole lot of scientific research has now proved that Happy attitudes promote health in a more comprehensive and immediate way than even health supplements.

As stated by Greater Good Science Centre University of California  “a critical mass of research has provided what might be the most basic and irrefutable argument in favour of happiness: Happiness and good health go hand-in-hand. Indeed, scientific studies have been finding that happiness can make our hearts healthier, our immune systems stronger, and our lives longer.”

happiness - serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin
Happiness produces happiness hormones

Happiness is connected to good health in many ways some of which we will explore below:


1.Happiness is great for your heart:

Being in a state of happiness gives phenomenal benefits to your heart, In a study called Positive affect and biological function in everyday life  Andrew Steptoe and JaneWardle  found that happiness lowers heart rate and blood pressure. “In the study, participants rated their happiness over 30 times in one day and then again three years later. The initially happiest participants had a lower heart rate on follow-up (about six beats slower per minute), and the happiest participants during the follow-up had better blood pressure.”

Research has also found a link between happiness and another measure of heart health: heart rate variability, which refers to the time interval between heartbeats. In 2008 Bhattacharyya MRWhitehead DLRakhit R, and Steptoe A   monitored 76 patients suspected to have coronary artery disease. Was happiness linked to healthier hearts even among people who might have heart problems? It seemed so:The participants who rated themselves as happiest on the day their hearts were tested had a healthier pattern of heart rate variability on that day.

positive emotions decrease heart diseases risk 22 percent
Happiness lowers risk of heart disease

“In another study Karina W. Davidson, Elizabeth Mostofsky, and William Whang invited about 2,000 Canadians into the lab to talk about their anger and stress at work. Observers rated them on a scale of one to five for the extent to which they expressed positive emotions like joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm, and contentment. Ten years later, the researchers checked in with the participants to see how they were doing—and it turned out that the happier ones were less likely to have developed coronary heart disease. In fact, for each one-point increase in positive emotions they had expressed, their heart disease risk was 22 percent lower.” (GGSC)                      

2.Happiness fights stress

Stress is not only feels bad but also creates biological changes in our hormones and blood pressure. Happiness reduces these effects and helps the body to recover more quickly.

“In the study mentioned above, where participants rated their happiness more than 30 times in a day, researchers also found associations between happiness and stress. The happiest participants had 23 percent lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than the least happy, and another indicator of stress—the level of a blood-clotting protein that increases after stress—was 12 times lower.”

 3.Happiness makes your immune system stronger

How many of you have encountered nagging, complaining people who seem to be perpetually down with cold? This is not a coincidence: Research is now finding a link between happiness and a more robust immune system.

happiness gives greater immunity

“In a an experiment by Cohen SDoyle WJTurner RBAlper CM, and Skoner 350 adults volunteered to get exposed to the common cold. Before exposure, researchers called them six times in two weeks and asked how much they had experienced nine positive emotions—such as feeling energetic, pleased, and calm—that day. After five days in quarantine, the participants with the most positive emotions were less likely to have developed a cold.”So not only does Happiness make you feel better but also acts as a shield against common infections.

4.Happy people have lesser pains

Happiness actually saves you from physical pains too implying that being happy is great painkiller too.

“In a study Jeremy W.Pettit  John P.Kline  TulinGencoz  FarukGencoz  and Thomas E.JoinerJr. asked participants “to rate their recent experience of positive emotions, then (five weeks later) how much they had experienced negative symptoms like muscle strain, dizziness, and heartburn since the study began. People who reported the highest levels of positive emotion at the beginning actually became healthier over the course of the study, and ended up healthier than their unhappy counterparts. The fact that their health improved over five weeks (and the health of the unhappiest participants declined) suggests that the results aren’t merely evidence of people in a good mood giving rosier ratings of their health than people in a bad mood.”

Another  study by Alez J. Zautra, PhD, Lisa M. Johnson, MA, and Mary C. Davis, PhD  suggests that positive emotion also mitigates pain in the context of disease. Women with arthritis and chronic pain rated themselves weekly on positive emotions like interest, enthusiasm, and inspiration for about three months. Over the course of the study, those with higher ratings overall were less likely to experience increases in pain.

 5.Happiness makes us live longer

What better indicator of health than longevity and once again it has been proven that happier people live longer much longer.

happier people live 7-10 years longer
Happy people live longer healthier

In a very famous study on Happiness Deborah D. Danner, David A. Snowdon, and Wallace V. Friesen University of Kentucky studied handwritten autobiographies from 180 Catholic nuns, composed upon entering their convent decades earlier, typically in their 20s. Researchers combed through these writing samples for expressions of feelings like amusement, contentment, gratitude, and love. In the end, the happiest-seeming nuns lived a whopping 7-10 years longer than the least happy.

In another study Andrew Steptoe and Jane Wardle studied 4,000 adults ages 52-79 and asked them to report how happy, excited, and content they were multiple times in a single day. Here again it was found that, happier people were 35 percent less likely to die over the course of about five years than their unhappier counterparts.

By now we are sure that Happiness and Health are totally linked. And learning to be happy is the best gift you can give your health. And the best part is that Happiness skills can be learnt at any age with little effort. So let your 2018 resolution be “A Happier Me”.

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