Happiness – it’s what we’re all striving for, isn’t it? A happy life is a fuller, more enjoyable one, and there’s solid scientific evidence to support the idea that it’s a healthier one too. So we’re aiming to help boost the health of the nation by spreading a little cheer on 20th March, also known as International Day of Happiness. And what better time for a day of happiness – as we face a global crisis together, let’s find positive ways to look after ourselves and each other.
5 reasons happiness is good for your health
- It can lower your heart rate and blood pressure
- It can strengthen your immune system
- It can help to combat stress
- It can help reduce pain
- It can lead to a longer, healthier life
Top 10 ways to boost your happiness
- Just breathe: Concentrate on inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply to reduce anxiety, stress, and to focus your mind. It’s such a simple first step towards happiness.
- Do something you love: Whether it’s baking or bungee-jumping – make time for whatever brings you joy.
- Be kind to yourself: Think carefully about the language you use to describe yourself and your actions – do you regularly put yourself down, for example? If so, try and focus on the positives. List anything and everything you think you are good at and congratulate yourself for achievements, no matter how small. Keep your list somewhere visible so you can regularly remind yourself how amazing you are!
- Ditch the alcohol: When times are hard, a glass of wine, or two, or three… can seem to offer an escape, however it is well known that alcohol can heighten negative feelings and exaggerate emotions such as sadness and anger. There are so many fantastic alcohol-free alternatives available now, so raise a glass and toast your health and happiness the right way!
- Eat well: A little of what you fancy can help to perk you up to an extent, but making a habit of comfort eating or turning to sugary high-fat foods is not the answer. Instead, opt for a well-balanced diet – you’ll soon notice your body will thank you for it.
- Exercise regularly: There’s a lot to be said for the rush of endorphins that come from exercising. Not only can they reduce your physical perception of pain, they can also positively boost your mental health too. Just remember that next time you’re lacking motivation to hit the gym.
- Enjoy the great outdoors: Being outside, connecting with nature, and soaking up some vitamin D is a great way to boost your health and your happiness. Whilst Scotland’s weather may be unpredictable, there is always plenty of fresh air to enjoy.
- Rest and recuperate: Aim for around 8 hours of per night to give your mind and body time to rest and re-energise.
- Have a laugh! Spend an evening giggling with good friends or simply settle down with your favourite sit-com. It’s a great way to reduce stress hormones and release feel-good hormones. In fact, studies have shown that even fake laughter can have a positive effect.
- Give back: A random act of kindness can provide the ultimate feel-good factor and boost self-worth. Studies have shown it can also help to increase oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, which can help to lower blood pressure and improving overall heart health. The perfect reason to spread a little joy on International Day of Happiness!
If you’re keen to make positive, healthy changes and would like some help and guidance from the healthcare experts at YourGP, email our reception team at email@example.com or call us on 0131 225 5656 to book an appointment.