The Happiness Health Connection — Scientific evidence suggests that positive emotions can help make life longer and healthier; learn how to keep happy even on bad days and what better place to maintain a positive outlook than the beautiful island of Bali.
Do happier people live longer and if they do what is the connection?
These are the kinds of questions that researchers are asking as they explore a new—and sometimes controversial—avenue of public health: documenting and understanding the link between positive emotions and good health.
A vast scientific literature has detailed how negative emotions harm the body. Serious, sustained stress or fear can alter biological systems in a way that, over time, adds up to “wear and tear” and, eventually, illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Chronic anger and anxiety can disrupt cardiac function by changing the heart’s electrical stability, hastening atherosclerosis, and increasing systemic inflammation.
Today getting happy is a click away. Online-education provider Coursera has teamed up with Yale University to provide a course on how to be happy and today it’s one of the most popular courses the university offers.
“Psychology and the Good Life,” which began this semester, is the most appreciated class in the history of Yale College, with more than 1,200 students enrolled. And now, the class will be available to anyone with an Internet connection — for free.
From the course here are six happiness lessons to get you started:
Use your time and energy the best way possible
People strive for things that make them happy such as a job and large salary or perfect grades yet we don’t enjoy them as much as we think according to the course. We also spend far too much time with social media though research points out that social media is linked to depression and anxiety. We are simply missing out on real face-to-face connections with people, expressing with subtle gestures, that’s being human and that’s happiness.
Taking 10 minutes per day to think over things you’re grateful for heightens your appreciation for what’s important and improves your overall wellbeing. Typically, the gifts in one’s life come from someone you’re thankful for, so take time to truly think about people who have helped you out. Try doing something pleasant for someone and take time to talk to others.
People who take time for selfless acts of kindness elevate their happiness and that could be something very small or something much larger like giving money to charity. Ever get that warm feeling as a giver? That’s the feeling of happiness and it just feels healthy.
Connecting with a stranger also has mood boosting effects. We often forget others have definite interest in connecting without the idea that there will be reward or something beneficial other than being happy.
The importance of mindfulness
Taking 10 minutes out to meditate every day increases health and happiness. You can try any kind of meditation the most important thing is find the time, get comfortable somewhere quiet, shut your eyes and be in the present moment. Think about people in your life you care about and silently send them good wishes. These mantras help you feel a loving protection over loved ones. You can do this for all people!
Lots of exercise and sleep are fundamental
Exercise is a big slice of the happiness pie and sleep deprivation can diminish your mood. Be sure to practice these happiness behaviors daily. And in order to get the results you need, challenge your well being as you would in other areas of your life but nothing more important than the art of happiness.