For decades researchers have sought to discover what makes people happy, and to get an insight into the connection between health and happiness. According to many studies, people that are happier tend to be healthier too.
What is Happiness?
Happiness is an entity that can be difficult to define. For most people, happiness is a sense of well-being and a feeling of optimism and contentment. But it’s a very subjective emotion, which differs from person to person.
It is difficult for people to control their own happiness. According to research, your genetics are a large factor in your overall happiness, as are environmental factors and daily stressors. But being able to manage your own happiness and deal with emotional ups and downs in a better way could make you healthier.
Happiness and Health
According to a plethora of studies, happiness is connected with better physical and psychological well-being. Research suggests that happy people have a 50% lower risk of experiencing a heart attack or a stroke. Happy people are much less likely to catch the cold virus, and have lower blood pressure than their less optimistic peers. They also have a healthier BMI and healthier blood fat profiles. They are also much likely to have better overall health.
But it’s not just your physical health that happiness has a positive effect on, but also your psychological well-being. Research at Warwick University found that people that had been shown a positive film clip were 11% more productive in the workplace, compared to those that had been shown a neutral film clip.
What makes People Happy?
Research suggests that your happiness is determined by two main factors. The first is your genes. Some people’s base level of happiness is simply higher. Studies have shown that identical twins have very similar happiness levels. But this does not mean that if your baseline happiness is fairly low that you can’t be happy.
Environment factors, like financial situations and work also play a large role in happiness and psychological well-being. Money, up to a certain point can improve emotional well-being, and a lack of money is associated with emotional pain.
But after a person reaches a household income of $75,000, money does not increase happiness further. Experiences tend to make people much happier than monetary possessions. Being more mindful can also aid happiness.
So always remember that being more optimistic and seeing the good in situations can not only make you a happier person, but it can also improve your health.