Although there is a well-established body of research examining negative health effects of stress and anger, there are also key studies that look at associations between health and happiness.
Happiness has been correlated with better health, both in individuals and communities. Some studies have even suggested that states of happiness may be associated with lower stress-related hormones and better immune function.
“happier people can live longer, healthier lives.”
Positive mood, optimism and humor are linked to better health and well-being.
Tips to a happier life! =]
Food and scents can have a powerful effect on our emotions. Here are five smells’and accompanying foods that will help you feel better:
- Vanilla lattes, teas and ice cream:
The scent of vanilla is proven to trigger happy, relaxed, and even sensuous feelings.
- Cinnamon and peppermint sticks:
The scents of cinnamon and peppermint decrease fatigue, stimulate the central nervous system and enhance motivation.
Low levels of the brain neurotransmitter dopamine have been linked to depression; ginger root enhances dopamine levels. Research shows that ginger can reduce depression and anxiety.
- Lemons and oranges:
Citrus scents such as orange, lemon and tangerine directly affect the brain’s neurotransmitters, alleviate stress and have an anti-depressant affect.
- Roasted coffee beans:
Finish your “happy meal” with the deep, rich aroma of coffee (decaffeinated, if the “real thing” keeps you up all night). Scientists have found that the scent of roasted coffee beans not only reduces stress brought on by sleep deprivation in rats, but also acts as a potential antioxidant. Research also shows that caffeine protects memory and reduces cognitive decline in women—which makes us very happy!
Eat healthy and be happy!
Get More Sleep
People with insomnia produce higher rates of stress hormones than others. This puts their bodies in a hyper-aroused state that can make it difficult for them to wind down. The inability to sleep causes more stress, which can have a devastating impact. People who don’t get enough sleep can become depressed, and that causes insomnia. Inversely, more and better-quality sleep can make you feel happier.
Spend Time Outdoors
If you expose yourself to nature and exercise, there’s a significant influence on mental outlook. Studies have found that people who exercise in “green environments” have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who exercise in an urban environment.
Tip: If you live in a city or large town, try to visit a nearby park as often as you can.
Support can have a positive effect on mood, says Logan. “I’m not talking about social media; I’m talking about face-to-face contact and having true friendship connections.”
Tip: Seeing your friends on a regular basis can be just as important to your mental health as exercise and nutrition. Schedule regular dates with your current pals and make an effort to meet new people in your community and beyond.
Working out can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. There are physical reasons why working out may help make you happier, such as releasing feel-good brain chemicals; raising your body temperature, which may have a calming effect; and reducing immune-system chemicals, which may contribute to depression symptoms. Exercise also builds your confidence, distracts you from worries and helps you interact with others.
Tip: You don’t have to run a marathon to reap the mood-boosting benefits of physical activity—simply taking a brisk walk, working in your garden or playing with your kids can help you feel better.