How Happiness Impacts Health
Por Luis Gallardo, Fundador y Presidente de World Happiness Fest
Many don’t even consider that happiness can influence their health, but the reality is much different, and science is starting to prove it.
We are going to show you that happiness and health are very closely connected and that happiness truly matters in life, for more reasons than many believe. After that, we know that you’ll dare to imagine a world where all seven or so billion people are happy in their lives, just as we are imagining it and working towards turning this dream into a reality.
The Importance of Happiness for Health
Many scientists have believed for a long time that happiness plays an essential role in our overall health and well-being, but only now are there more and more studies which confirm this statement.
A 2017 review discussed precisely this – it examines how subjective well-being influences various aspects of our physical health. This review does find a direct correlation, but it’s far more critical as it combines research from some two dozen more reviews and over a hundred studies.
All of them agree, without a doubt, that happiness can indeed influence health – says the lead author of the study Ed Diener, a world-leading psychologist nicknamed Dr. Happiness for his extensive and influential research on the subject.
The review doesn’t state how this correlation works, as no empirical scientific research can confirm that for now. Diener says that this is like cigarettes, we still can’t find a reason why some heavy smokers live to a hundred while others die of cancer who have smoked far less.
However; the study suggests that it might result from a straightforward reason. Happier people – lead healthier lives. They eat healthier, exercise more, and are getting enough sleep. A 2017 study states that those with positive well-being are 47% more likely to consume healthy foods and 33% more likely to be physically active and thus exercise more. Another smaller study stated that people who have lower levels of positive well-being are 45% more likely to have trouble sleeping and falling asleep.
Besides, there’s research that supports the theory that being happier can boost your immune system. Happiness can also help in the reduction of stress levels, and help protect your heart by reducing blood pressure.
The Future of Health Can Be Brighter
All of this is just scratching the surface, and it’s the hope of Diener and many others, that all of this research and more that will follow will finally convince doctors to start monitoring positive emotions during routine physicals, and not concentrate on only the bad ones. We all also hope that people will start paying more attention to their lifestyles and eventually find ways to be happier.
Happiness, its correlation to health, and the future of health itself is a topic we are going to discuss at the next World Happiness Agora in 2020. Plenty of experts and futurists will address this subject for an entire day, while the other four days will cover the future of education, work, self-mastery and social development, and transformative technologies.
You can be a part of this as well, and you should. We all need to strive for a better tomorrow and a planet filled with happy people working together for an always better world.