Happiness is a broad term that describes the experience of positive emotions, such as joy, contentment and satisfaction. Research shows a direct connection between mental health and physical health – in addition to making you feel better, being happy brings you a host of potential health benefits… basically, ‘Being Happy’ leads to ‘Being Healthy’!
Numerous studies have drawn connections between depressive thoughts and physical ailments including cardiovascular health and generalized pain. A new study shows that people who are less confrontational and aggressive heal faster. Working on positive thinking, and getting therapy or counseling for depression, aggressiveness or confrontation, can help individuals stay not just mentally healthier, but also heal faster physically.
When asked if happiness and positivity can catalyse the healing process progressively, the dynamic Medical Director of Masina Hospital, Dr. Vispi Jokhi, says, “The answer is ‘Yes’ and that is a no-brainer. And the answer that the effect is a positive correlation is also a no-brainer. However, concrete scientific evidence to support this is still being worked on. As an Orthopedic surgeon, by the very nature of my profession and the community practice that is inevitably part of my work, I have dealt with patients in the geriatric age group. Therefore, I have always, when speaking of prognosis tried to judge the emotional state of the patient along with the physical health of the patient. A strong correlation between senility and dementia and overall result is seen even if the physical parameters are same in comparable patients of the same age group. In fact, sometimes patients whose medical parameters are bad but who are emotionally stable and mentally alert fare better and are able to get back to normalcy earlier. A positive attitude creates a favorable environment and fosters a speedier outcome.”
There are numerous health benefits to being happy. Happier people live longer because they engage in more health-promoting behaviors, like eating healthier diets and engaging in physical activity. Being happy keeps your Immune System strong, aiding you in fighting off the common cold and chest infections. Being happy direct helps combat stress, which increases the levels of hormone Cortisol leading to weight gain, disturbed sleep and high blood pressure. Happy people produce lower levels of Cortisol in response to stressful situations, thereby helping keep down blood pressure levels, thus reducing the risk of heart diseases. Being happy also decreases the perception of pain – particularly chronic pain conditions such as arthritis. It could also reduce the risk of frailty and stroke.
“Positive emotions, when sustained over a long period, lead to longer and healthier lives. Thus, feeling good and seeking pleasurable experiences are favourable factors for good health. A fully engaged and satisfied person at work, along with the ability to live unselfishly, leads to happiness and good health. However, contrary to expectations, money and material possessions need not give happiness and better health. Even youth and physical appearance do not create a happy, healthy person. In conclusion, occasions like Navroze, which spread happiness and positivity, can exponentially contribute to good health!” adds Dr. Jokhi.
While further research is required to understand exactly how Happiness leads to better Health, there’s no reason you can’t start prioritizing your happiness now! There are numerous ways to get happy and increase your levels of happiness – these include changing your lifestyle into a more active, getting ample sleep at night, meditating, spending some time in nature’s lap, expressing gratitude and eating a healthier diet.
Here’s to your added happiness and better health!
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