By Warren Wojnowski –
Can feeling happy actually be good for your health? No doubt you know intuitively that when you feel happy you feel better. But now there is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates that by making your happiness a priority, you’ll also be significantly improving your overall health — both physically and emotionally.
This is such an overlooked aspect of the study of happiness and health. In fact, it’s not much of a stretch to say that happiness is a pre-requisite to good emotional health and to good physical health. By the same token, unhappiness is literally a poison to your ongoing health and longevity.
Happiness and Your Emotional Health
Your brain is literally hard wired to be happy first and there are numerous studies that bear that out. But let’s set the studies aside for a moment. When you observe small children, what do you see? Are they generally happy and playful, or are they unhappy and sullen? They’re happy of course. Why? Because they’re born that way.
Studies of the concept of learned helplessness, which was first introduced as a concept in the 1970s by Martin Seligman (ironically enough through the study of animals), reveal an undeniable link between your happiness and state of mind.
Unhappy people, who believe they have no ability to control or change their circumstances rapidly lapse into emotional despair. They lack energy, experience increased stress, suffer from depression, experience a decline in their cognitive and problem-solving abilities, suffer from a lack of motivation, have more relationship and other interpersonal problems.
It’s as if we can literally watch them slowly shrivel up and die.
The effects of unhappiness on your physical health are just as dramatic. Stress and depression result in the manufacture of harmful chemicals and toxins that are detrimental to your cellular health. Chronic unhappiness weakens your immune system and increases your frequency of illness. It results in more colds, more flus, more headaches or what have you.
Even more disturbing is the increase in the incidence of major illness such as heart attacks, strokes and cancer. On top of that, recovery time for such illnesses is markedly longer for unhappy people.
By contrast, happiness and responses associated with being happy, such as laughter, have the opposite effect. Laughter triggers a physiological response. It lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow. In addition laughter triggers the contraction of fifteen facial muscles, abdominal muscles, leg muscles, etc. It literally gives your body a physical work out. Laughter also triggers an increase in the production of T cells, the creation of antibodies, and helps to reduce excessive production of cortisol, which is harmful to the body.
Would you like more information and ideas about the benefits of happiness and how being happier can improve your health? I’ve co-written an entire program that reveals how easily you can begin to choose to have fun and live a happier, more fulfilling life, starting today. Sign up for my free introductory eCourse here: Life Happiness Secrets
Warren Wojnowski is an avid student of personal growth and self improvement. He is a respected writer, teacher and Intrinsic Coach® who is very willing to share what he’s learned (or still learning), what’s working, and what isn’t. Warren says “If you have an aspect of your life in which you feel stuck, whether in your life or your business, I can help you get back on track and start living the life you want”.
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