Guide HAPPINESS MAKES YOU HEALTHY: RESEARCH AND PRACTICE

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Being happy may help reduce stress levels 20 , Normally, excess stress causes an increase in levels of cortisol , a hormone that contributes to many of the harmful effects of stress, including disturbed sleep, weight gain, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. A number of studies demonstrate that cortisol levels tend to be lower when people are happier 22 , 23 , These effects appeared to persist over time. Happiness may protect the heart by reducing blood pressure , a major risk factor for heart disease 27 , Happiness may also reduce the risk of heart disease, the biggest cause of death worldwide It appears that happiness may also help protect people who already have heart disease.

2. Happy People Exercise Regularly

It is important to note that some of these effects may have been due to an increase in heart-healthy behaviors such as physical activity, avoiding smoking and healthy eating habits 1 , 2 , 10 , That said, not all studies have found associations between happiness and heart disease In fact, a recent study that looked at nearly 1, individuals over a year period found no association between positive well-being and the risk of heart disease Being happy may help you live longer 31 , A long-term study published in looked at the effect of happiness on survival rates in 32, people A large review of 70 studies looked at the association between positive well-being and longevity in both healthy people and those with a pre-existing health condition, such as heart or kidney disease It may be partly explained by an increase in beneficial behaviors that prolong survival, such as not smoking, engaging in physical activity, medication compliance, and good sleep habits and practices 10 , Arthritis is a common condition that involves inflammation and degeneration of the joints.

It causes painful and stiff joints, and generally worsens with age. A number of studies have found that higher positive well-being may reduce the pain and stiffness associated with the condition 42 , 43 , One study in over 1, people with painful arthritis of the knee found that happier individuals walked an extra steps each day — 8. Happiness may also help reduce pain in other conditions. Researchers have suggested that happy people may have lower pain ratings because their positive emotions help broaden their perspective, encouraging new thoughts and ideas.

They believe this may help people build effective coping strategies that reduce their perception of pain While these early findings are promising, they need to be backed up by further research to confirm the associations. For starters, being happy promotes a healthy lifestyle.

It may also help combat stress, boost your immune system, protect your heart and reduce pain. Focusing on the things that make you happy will not only improve your life — it may help extend it too. Both the roots and greens of turnips can be eaten, and they are quite nutritious and versatile. This article reviews turnips, including their…. Different foods can affect the function of your kidneys. Here are the 20 best foods to eat if you have kidney disease.

Kale is often touted as a superfood, but you may wonder whether it's safe to eat it raw. This article examines if raw kale is safe to eat. Pomelo is a highly nutritious fruit that is low in calories and full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here are 9 health benefits of pomelo.


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If you enjoy perfectly tender corn, you may wonder how long it takes to boil it to perfection. Okinawans feel that there is meaning to their present and past life, which brings them joy and contentment, and fills them with resolve and a sense of accomplishment in what they are doing. While the physical benefits are not the primary reason for living a life of ikigai , they certainly are one of the advantages.

A recent study from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago revealed that having a sense of purpose in life may benefit the brain.

Happiness Research: What Makes You Happy? | Berkeley Wellness

Believing that what you do matters, and that you are doing good and are on a meaningful path has been previously shown to contribute to a greater sense of well-being and overall health. The Okinawan tradition of forming a moai is another key longevity concept. The moai refers to a lifelong group of friends that provide a secure social network as well as financial support. The process begins when Okinawans are just children, as their parents cluster them together into a moai and send them through life together. For some outsiders, this may seem to be a burden. But members of the moai consider it a blessing, as they find themselves imbued with a sense of unconditional support and security.

The importance of these traditional support systems cannot be underestimated.

In fact, an exhaustive amount of research has confirmed the importance of social connectivity when it comes to health and well-being, with some studies finding that socially integrated people tend to live longer and have better survival rates from heart attacks, less risk for cancer recurrence, less depression and anxiety and less severe cognitive decline with aging. Research has also shown that depression and anxiety are connected to a state of self-focus and a preoccupation with oneself. When you focus on others, as the Okinawans do, you broaden your perspective beyond yourself.

How to be Happy [The Science of Happiness and Feeling Positive in Life]

Your mood may lift, you may feel more energized, and you may begin to experience a more intimate bond with others. Somewhere between Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism, Okinawan religion is essentially animistic, where spiritual power resides in the interconnectivity of people and nature. It celebrates the importance of every living being and introduces a new level of compassion for others, who are valued as integral parts of the community and of the world. Celebrating community and connectivity is something we all can begin to incorporate into our daily routine.

For the Okinawans, living a low-stress, socially rich, purposeful and meaningful life seems to be the key to happiness, and ultimately, to living a long and healthy life. And their social constructs — their ikigai , moai , and spirituality — all seem to bolster the type of lifestyle that keeps the cycle running. Granted, cynics may still not be convinced.

Even if living the Okinawan way produces absolutely no impact on your health or longevity, it certainly helps you live a more fulfilled life. By entering your information on the Tony Robbins website, you agree that we may collect and use your personal information for marketing, and for other purposes, as set forth in our Privacy Policy, which we encourage you to review. Login Email:. What can we help you find?

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The Science of Happiness

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