The science of happiness: How positive emotions impact total health

The science of happiness: How positive emotions impact total health

Uncover the surprising link between happiness and well-being.

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Did you know that brightening your mood can also help improve your total health?

From an improved immune system to better sleep, the benefits of happiness go beyond just a sense of emotional well-being. Here are a few reasons to smile:

  • Improved immune system: In one study where participants were exposed to the common cold virus via nasal drops, the least happy people were almost three times more likely to contract the virus.1 
  • Lower blood pressure: Happiness releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which can leave you in a calm and relaxed state that promotes lowered blood pressure, not to mention improved heart health.
  • Better sleep: Because happiness promotes relaxation, it can also promote a better night’s sleep. In fact, research has shown that “people who experienced life satisfaction spent approximately 6 more minutes asleep every night.”2

But how exactly can we start working toward an improved sense of well-being? While the answer may be different for everyone, some simple, mood-boosting habits you can incorporate into your everyday life include exercise, mediation, journaling, pursuing passions and hobbies and regularly connecting with friends, family and your community.

If you find yourself having trouble experiencing positive emotions on a regular basis, don’t hesitate to reach out to your primary care provider for one-on-one support. The benefits of happiness can have a positive chain reaction that ultimately enhances your total well-being.