Have you ever heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine”? There is a reason for this. Happiness and health are inextricably linked and a person’s level of happiness can significantly impact their level of health. But, what exactly is the impact a healthy and active lifestyle has on happiness?
There is plenty evidence that unhappiness, depression, anxiety and stress are linked to poor health and that happy people have stronger immune systems, meaning they are less likely to suffer from those horrible cold and flu viruses. Additionally, happy people generally have younger hearts and seem to recover more quickly from surgery. They cope better with pain, have lower blood pressure and have a longer life expectancy than those people that are unhappy! Sounds great, doesn’t it…
The link doesn’t end there. Not only does happiness have a big impact on your health, but it enables you to look after your health a lot better as well. With high levels of happiness comes greater motivation, ambition and productivity. The result of this could be an improvement in physical activity – a big player in a healthy and active lifestyle. Not only does being active have a positive impact on your aerobic and physical self, but it also has plenty of mental health benefits: integral to happiness. Physical activity is proven to lower stress levels and boost your mind.
Unfortunately, however, you cannot predict exactly what will make you happy. You can only do what you can do to increase happiness. Everyone surely wants to be happy, right? So, the main question, is how we can learn?
Even if it’s only a few pounds, weight loss is a proven factor when it comes to happiness. Once at a happy and healthy weight, it is important to then maintain your weight goals by incorporating (or continuing) exercise into your weekly or daily routine.
Eating a balanced diet will play an important role in maintaining your weight goal. Add lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet, replace fizzy drinks with water, resist sugary snacks, and cut down on ‘bad’ carbs. Not convinced? Read why you should eat healthy here.
Aside from being as active as possible and improving your diet (trust me, you’ll stop feeling meh and start feeling a lot more energetic by just improving those two things), there are some other small tweaks you can make to improve your mental wellbeing:
- Keep laughing
- Surround yourself with people that make you smile
- Drink less alcohol
- If you smoke – try to quit
- Focus on stress-relief
- Try yoga
- Go to bed earlier
Exercise and happiness
Just remember, exercising to keep yourself happy and healthy does not have to mean you need to spend hours in the gym. Getting active can simply be daily walks, light jogging, walking up stairs rather than taking lifts, taking the kids to the park, commuting by bike, and so on. There are plenty of things you can do to fit activity into your daily routine. My favourite: Why not try changing your commute from sitting on a train to cycling?
Lastly, if you are struggling with happiness long-term, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Mental wellbeing is something we should all speak more about. Hiding away and bottling it up helps nobody.
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”The ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle