Five Reasons Happiness Is The Best Medicine

In today’s world, there is a multitude of different medicines for a range of illnesses. From depression to a broken limb, there is a drug to treat any complaint. So, the idea of ditching the drugs for a happier life won’t appeal. In fact, it will appear reckless and stupid.

What the majority of people don’t understand is the link between happiness and health. Scientists believe a person who is content will benefit from an improved immune system as well as healthier vital organs. And, those aren’t the only reasons to try and beat the Monday blues.

Here are the ways happiness can help look after your body and soul. Remember that these are the connections they know about. Scientists are still attempting to untangle the relationship.

Protects Against Heart Disease

Diseases of the heart are the biggest killers in the western world. Not even the big C word can compare with the number of fatalities. It makes sense to try and limit the triggers as much as possible, and happiness is the way forward. As it turns out, happiness is a leading factor in lowering blood pressure and heart rate. It doesn’t stop there, either, because a 2008 study uncovered a link between happiness and HRV. HRV stands for heart rate variability, and it’s the length of time between heartbeats. Scientists believe a longer HRV increases the chances of heart disease. Guess what? The people in the study who were content had a remarkably low variability.

Boosts The Immune System

Why bother being happy when you can get an immunization? Well, it’s because there is no reason to expose your body to the illness. Seriously, a group has done it already and the results are conclusive. A NCBI study in 2003 asked more than 300 patients to expose themselves to the virus which causes the common cold. Before coming in, the nosy scientists called and asked the individuals to note how often they experienced positive vibes. It shouldn’t come as a shock that the happiest people suffered less from the strain of the illness. Anyone who thinks a cold isn’t a strong enough strain should take a look at the test which used hepatitis B.

Regulates The Mind

Mental illnesses are more apparent today than ever before. In the past, no one cared about the bipolar vs. depression argument. Nowadays, it is vital to answer the question to diagnose a patient correctly. After all, a misdiagnosis means a person can’t get better. Although it’s hard to quantify the effects on the mind, it is possible to note stress levels in the body. Anyone who suffers from stress knows it weakens brain activity. Plus, the knock-on effect can lead to anything from lashing out physically to mood swings. Not surprisingly, people who are content find it easier to deal with stress. Why? It’s because participants from a study from the same NCBI study produced 23% less the amount of cortisol. Cortisol, by the way, is the hormone which causes stress. Good riddance.

Unhappiness Is Painful

Pain is a result of receptors in the body and the brain working together. Once there is a connection, the body feels pain and you scream “OUCH!” Okay, you may say something else but that is the sanitized version. The non-scientists in the room won’t realize there is a way to numb the pain. Yep, it turns out happiness can impact how much soreness a person feels. Those good people at NCBI did it again in 2005 and found that women with chronic pain and positive emotions complained of aches less. Yes, it didn’t numb the soreness altogether, but their feelings helped keep it in check. In this case, by the way, chronic pain refers to arthritis.

Leads To Longer Life

Apart from being old, the one thing seniors have in common is a positive outlook. Because stress is a killer, it isn’t possible to live a long life without repercussions. The cortisol levels may not be the reason for a fatality, yet they lead to significant complications. Indeed, a study by PNAS found that happy Brits aged from 50-75 lived up to five years longer than their miserable counterparts. And, there is also the curious case of the excitable nuns who lived up to tens years longer in an APA study. Everything from diet to exercise can affect life expectancy, but happiness is a factor too.

Anyone who says an antibiotic is the best medicine has never been truly happy.

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