Happy People Are Healthy People
The effects of mental well-being may be so strong when it comes to physical health that even children who have a more positive outlook may enjoy better health in adulthood, according to Harvard School of Public Health researcher Laura Kubzansky.
Certain attributes appear to be particularly beneficial for preventing or managing health conditions like heart attack, stroke, diabetes and depression, they include the following;
- Emotional vitality, which involves a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness and engagement
- Optimism, or having the outlook that good things will happen. Dr. Kubzansky found optimistic people may cut their risk of coronary heart disease by 50%
- Strong social support from friends and family
- Strong self-regulation, including the ability to be resilient in stressful times, choose a healthy lifestyle and avoid risky behaviors
Dr. Kubzansky believes your Go-To psychological state may be 40 to 50% genetic. In another study of nearly 1,000 pairs of adult twins, researchers at the University of Edinburgh also suggested that genes account for about 50 percent of the variation in people’s levels of happiness.
The underlying determinant was genetically caused personality traits, such as being sociable, active, stable, hardworking or conscientious. But, while some people may be naturally happier than others, there is still a lot of room for change, for better or worse, and it’s very possible to cultivate happiness.
A person may be in the midst of an unhappy time in life, in which it feels virtually impossible to “turn off” the sadness or anxiety. Keep in mind that everyone feels negative emotions sometimes, and it is not always possible to change them with the flip of a switch.
That said, it is possible to make small, steady changes that may ultimately help to cultivate more happiness in life.
Always, make it a point to show gratitude by starting a gratitude journal and reflecting each morning on what you’re thankful for.
Research showed that when study participants engaged in a gratitude intervention consisting of a gratitude diary and grateful reflection 4X a week for 3 weeks it led to improvements in measures of depression, stress and happiness.
Simple steps like writing thank-you notes and smiling and hugging others can also help one get in touch with a sense of gratitude.
Another tenet of happiness is that is helps one live in the moment, not focused on past regrets or future worries.
“Everyone needs to find a way to live in the moment, to find a restorative state that allows them to put down their burdens.
Happiness is also about identifying and having a sense of purpose.
The term “eudaimonic well-being” originated with Aristotle and describes the form of happiness that comes from activities that bring you a greater sense of purpose, life meaning or self-actualization.
This could be career or family, or it could be gleaned from volunteering or learning a new skill. So, the more positive changes one can make to tend to mental health, such as taking time each day to ones self, appreciating the simple pleasures in life and making connections with friends and family, the better your physical health will become
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively
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