Don’t Worry – Be Healthy!

We all know that being happy makes us feel better. That’s what happiness is, right? It’s a satisfaction with life that makes you feel like things are going well, going the way that you want them to. It’s a positive outlook, an optimistic perspective and a content feeling deep inside.

But did you know that being happy actually has health benefits? Believe it or not, studies show that laughter is actually an effective pain medication! When you laugh, especially when you laugh hard and long, it releases endorphins into your body. These endorphins block pain and help you physically feel better. So next time you have a complaint – try laughter instead of pain pills! It’s the best medicine!

There have also been studies done proving that people who have a higher “positive psychological well-being” (PPWL) are at a lower risk for heart disease and live longer lives. Specifically, an optimistic outlook on life seemed to have the greatest effectiveness in reducing heart problems. Is it really that simple? Do we need a better incentive than that for keeping a positive outlook on things?

So what does all this mean? Can we learn to think positive thoughts and thereby ward off all sickness? Will watching a funny movie lengthen our life span?

It’s not quite that simple. Many life choices affect our happiness, and those same choices affect our overall health. Learning to deal appropriately with stress, reducing the factors in our life which make us unhappy, getting good rest and exercise, and spending time doing things that we enjoy are all choices that increase our happiness. Those same choices will all add to our good health and reduce the risk of sickness and disease. However, just watching a funny movie or telling a few jokes might make us feel better in the moment, but will not necessarily have long-lasting health benefits.

Similarly, although thinking positive thoughts can help our overall state of being, we can’t “think away” sickness. However, it is a proven fact that people who focus on good thoughts and chose to avoid negativity have lower stress levels, and thereby a lower chance of heart disease and other stress-related illnesses. That is why it’s so important to look on the bright side of life, find things to be thankful for, and be positive in our thoughts and words.

So don’t wait! You can make some happy –and healthy – choices for yourself today. Do something that makes you smile. Find a friend and laugh together. Eliminate some stress from your life. Take a nap. Spend time on a hobby. Find the things that make you happy. When you consistently make those kinds of positive choices, it will not only make you feel better, it will make you healthier and potentially increase your life span! Who wouldn’t like to be happier and healthier at the same time?