“Laughter is the best medicine” is a phrase that you are probably familiar with, but may not have put much stock in. While laughter is not a miracle cure, numerous studies over the years have shown that happiness in general does indeed have many health benefits.
Happiness is Good for the Heart. While no one is happy all the time, those who are able to adjust to stress, regulate their emotions, and navigate the highs and lows of life with a positive attitude tend to have fewer heart problems. Studies have shown that laughter and happiness reduce the stress hormones that lead to high blood pressure and blocked arteries, which further decreases the risk of heart attacks.
Happiness Can Help You Control Your Weight. Many people deal with stress and unhappiness by eating a myriad of fattening, artery-clogging comfort foods. So it stands to reason that people who are happy and content overall are better able maintain a healthy weight, because they are less likely to indulge in destructive behaviors like overeating. They are also more likely to engage in healthy habits like regular exercise, eating a balanced diet and getting adequate sleep, which further aid in controlling weight.
What Leads to Happiness? Despite what you may have heard, money doesn’t buy happiness. However, there are several specific things, in addition to laughter, that research has shown greatly contribute to happiness in life.
- Love. While happily married couples tend to lead longer, healthier lives, romantic love is not the only kind that is important. The love of friends, family and furry friends is extremely important as well.
- Spirituality. People who look to a higher power tend to have lower levels of stress and depression, and are less likely to engage in unhealthy and destructive behaviors like smoking and drug use.
- Making time for yourself. Taking care of and serving others is a great way to improve your mood and rise above your troubles, but don’t forget to take time for yourself.
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