Happier people live longer. Positive emotions have been linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being in many scientific studies according to Harvard Medical School , on the other hand, chronic anger, worry, and aggressiveness increase the risk of developing heart disease. So why not give yourself some good reasons to laugh a little and make it part of your healthy living secret?
Accentuate the positive
- Improved blood flow. Researchers at the University of Maryland showed people comedies and dramas, and later compared the impact of each activity on blood vessels. Those who watched the drama tended to be tenser, resulting in restricted blood flow, while those who watched the comedies had blood vessels that expanded and constricted normally.
- A better immune system. Experts have found that stress – especially chronic stress – has a big impact on our immune systems, and makes us more vulnerable to illness. Happiness and good humor can elevate the level of infection-fighting antibodies and immune cells, making illness less likely.
- Lower blood sugar. A study of people with diabetes found that blood sugar levels were lower after they laughed at a comedy than they were after they attended a boring lecture, even though the subjects had eaten the same meal before each event.
- Easier rest and relaxation. In his book, “Anatomy of an Illness,” Cousins said that for every 10 minutes of laughter he was able to get two hours of pain-free, restorative sleep, better allowing him to cope with his illness.
- Lower stress. Stress causes all sorts of negative reactions in the body, including a faster heart rate, higher blood pressure and a flood of stress hormones. Many of us live under an almost constant umbrella of stress, struggling to juggle home, family and work responsibilities, resulting in a flood of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Left unchecked, those stress hormones can cause heart problems, weight gain, diabetes and other serious illnesses.
Anatomy of a laugh
When we laugh, we engage our entire body in the act. At least 15 different muscles in the face are called into action, along with our respiratory system and other muscle groups.
But more importantly, laughter sends serotonin levels soaring in the brain, erasing mild depression in just a few minutes.
The lack of the feel-good chemical serotonin has also been linked to aggressive behavior, higher levels of irritability and lower impulse control, as well as eating and sleep problems, suggesting that laughter can prevent fights, help keep diets under control and ensure a good night’s sleep.
Give happiness levels a boost
- Exercise.The quickest way to feel better is to get moving. A brisk walk can get endorphins flowing, giving you the same feel-good boost as a shot of morphine, without the risk of drug addiction. According to WebMD, exercise helps you manage pain better and helps you sleep better, gives you incentive for the next exercise session as well.
- Spread your happiness.Your happy emotions can affect others, make the people close to you happier - and make the people close to them happier. Don't forget to get surrounded with positive people to make yourself upbeat too.
- Natural mood boosters. Supplements such as Xtend-Life’s Neuro-Natural Serenity, which includes 43 ingredients designed to help support emotional wellbeing and boost mood, can help ease stress by elevating levels of feel-good chemicals in the brain.
- Fake it until you make it. If you act happy, people see you as happy, and you see yourself through their eyes. You feel happy. Start with a smile to help you break free of the doldrums.