Studies show that a positive attitude benefits physical health and longevity – and not just our mental and emotional health, according to David Hamilton, author of How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body. Here are just five health benefits to being happy:
1 Counting Blessings
This act aids mental health. Warm feelings of gratitude produce more of the chemical dopamine in the cerebral frontal cortex of the brain, causing us to feel happier.
2 Being Positive
‘An attitude that’s good for the heart. Optimists aren’t as stressed during typical daily challenges and overcome negative events faster, putting less stress on the cardiovascular system,’ says David.
3 Happiness Aids The Immune System
Being down is associated with an increase in the chemical norepinephrine, which reduces immune system response.
4 Smiling Helps Us Live Longer
Research shows that people who genuinely smile (using the muscles besides their eyes) are 20% more likely to live past 80 than those who don’t.
5 Happiness Is The Best Medicine
One study found that those who were more positive got less sick and recovered faster. This is thanks to immunoglobulin A, a chemical that’s released when we feel good, it also helps us to bounce back from illness.