Here at The Healthy Back Institute, we’re dedicated to helping you live a pain-free AND happy life. I stress happy because, really, it’s all about the quality of your life as much as the quantity, right?
But did you know the two actually go hand in hand? The happier you are the healthier you’re likely to be, not only right now but also in the future as you age.
It’s already known that feelings of happiness and enjoyment are associated with a longer life and fewer serious illnesses. Now new research shows that happiness is one secret to enjoying good health in old age.
The study found that happier people enjoyed numerous benefits in old age compared to their unhappy peers. Among them:
- Faster pace while walking (no ‘old folks’’ shuffle!)
- Less likely to develop impairments in activities of daily living, such as getting out of bed, showering or getting dressed (no old folks’ home!)
- Walking speed declined at a slower rate (see #1)
In fact, those who had low levels of well-being had more than three times the likelihood of developing problems carrying out daily activities. They also had twice the rate of chronic diseases including:
- Heart disease
Dr. Andrew Steptoe of University College London, a researcher for the study, said:
“Our previous work has shown that older people with greater enjoyment of life are more likely to survive over the next 8 years; what this study shows is that they also keep up better physical function … enjoyment of life is relevant to the future disability and mobility of older people.”
Negative Emotions Harm Your Health … But Happiness Improves It
If you’ve been stressed out recently, you probably came down with colds more often. This is because stress and negative emotions weaken your immune system. Negative emotions also make muscle pain worse and may raise your risk of a heart attack by 27 percent. Not only does the negativity lead to physiological changes in your body, it also opens up all aspects of your life to this downward spiral. First you may give up on eating healthy. Next you’re no longer exercising. Soon you’ve gained weight and no longer want to socialize. You become lonely. Then the physical aches and pains set in …
No doubt emotions are a powerful thing — and you do not want yours working against you. If you can find your inner happiness and emotional vitality, you can harness that incredible power and let it support you inside and out. People who are happier walk with a spring to their step. They’re more productive. They get sick less often and they live longer.
People with emotional vitality (enthusiasm, hopefulness, engagement in life, ability to face stress with emotional balance) have a lower risk of coronary heart disease. They also have lower rates of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and depression. The effect is so strong one study found older people who said they felt happy, excited or content were 35 percent less likely to die during the study period.Happiness has even been said to benefit your health as much as — or more than –giving up smoking, exercising, and eating better.
According to Steptoe:
“We know that stress which has bad effects on biology, leads to those bad changes as far as health is concerned … What we think is happening is that happiness has the opposite effect and has a protective effect on these same biological pathways.”
We’ve all heard about stress relief and how important it is. Now it’s time we all started to focus on finding happiness, too, as only when you are fulfilled emotionally and mentally can you be at your best physically.
Are You Ready to Get Happy?
It’s not always easy to be happy, but consider this: happiness is a state of mind. This means that once you figure out how to attain it, no one can take it away — it’s yours forever. To get started, try these 7 fast tricks to boost your mood each day. These are the little things to get you feeling better now. Following are an additional five ways that have been proven to increase happiness over the long haul:
- Spend money on others
- Help others
- Exercise and spend time in nature
- Nurture your friendships and other close relationships
- Spend money on experiences (as opposed to things) …
Regarding experiences, one study found:
” … experiences make people happier [than material possessions] because they are more open to positive reinterpretations, are a more meaningful part of one’s identity, and contribute more to successful social relationships.”
Fortunately, there are profound experiences to be had virtually everywhere, right under your nose. One of the most powerful — and enjoyable — guides on how to greatly increase the amount of JOY in your life via experiences is The 9 Intense Experiences: An Action Plan to Change Your Life, which was a #1 international bestseller and was penned by our own Editorial Director, Brian Vaszily.
With this book, you can become the person you were meant to be and experience the life you’ve always wanted. And as you learn to laugh off negative emotions and find your inner happiness, you’ll be getting healthier too … perhaps healthier than you ever dreamed possible… Click Here to Find Out More About The 9 Intense Experiences
Written By: Updated: March 12,2014