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Happiness and health: More connected than you might think

When the subject of happiness arises, it’s common for people to think of external things. Buying a new car, success in your chosen career and shorter commutes are all examples of where the mind goes when we think of ways to improve our well-being.

The body, however, is increasingly being recognised as an important tool in improving mental health. We’re also learning that the opposite is true; by being happier, our bodies perform better, and our overall physical health improves.

These two things together form what can be called a symbiotic connection, where one item relies on and feeds into the other.

Let’s get to it!

Happiness

The health aspect

Let’s take a look at a few examples of how improving one’s health can lead to greater happiness.

Modest effort, serious results: To kick things off, we’ll start with an encouraging statistic provided by the University of Vermont: a mere 20 minutes of exercise can boost your mood for as much as twelve hours!

The exercise itself doesn’t need to be modest, either; walking is a powerful and practical choice that can easily fit around lifestyle and work. It also doesn’t have to cost you a thing. Not a bad deal, if you ask us.

The mental boost is real: Studies have long shown us the powerful effect of endorphin release during and after exercise. Endorphins are a type of chemical that is released by our brain, and they are tremendously effective in motivating our behaviour.

We release endorphins as a response to many stimuli in life, and exercise is no exception. Although endorphins play a role in reducing the feeling of pain, the key here is the elevation of mood that also follows. It’s far from weak and can change the course of your day or week for the better.

More energy, more often: It can be challenging to stay happy when your energy levels go up and down all the time. We all know the feeling of being ‘down’ mentally when you feel exhausted, and science agrees.

By improving health and increasing your fitness levels in general, your body becomes a more stable platform. Consistent energy means you are more likely to feel prepared and ready for the day ahead, and you are more likely to react positively to events compared to when you are tired. That’s a big deal.

 

The mental aspect

So, how can our minds improve our health? Is it really possible? Absolutely.

Meditation: No secret in 2018, and that’s a great thing if you ask us! Meditation is now truly mainstream, and it affects your body in a major way. Among others, studies are showing that regular meditation affects our body rapidly, decreasing our need for sleep and strengthening our immune system. It also leads to a higher pain threshold and general resistance to illness.

Kill stress with positivity: Sounds unlikely – it isn’t! Serious research has long concluded that we can lower the physical signs of stress in our bodies by simply cultivating positive thoughts. Stress is one of the biggest threats to our health as a society in 2018; being able to fight it better by just altering your thought habits is a massive deal.

Although changing in this way can feel unnatural or ‘fake’ at first, it’s important to allow your brain time to adjust. While we’re of course familiar with our daily internal monologue, it’s largely a creature of habit. If you want to experiment with more positive thinking, try committing to a period such as two weeks that will allow time for your brain to truly adjust. It’ll be worth it.

 

We wish you happiness!

It’s great to see another reader at the Everyday Loans blog section. Today’s topic is close to heart for us, and we really do hope you’ve found a new perspective or piece of information that is useful for you.

If we can be of any help with a great loan to suit your financial needs, do drop by our website main page.

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Tim Woodley
Financial Content Editor at Everyday Loans
Tim Woodley has been a financial copywriter for over 8 years, using his experience and skill to draw out and discuss interesting financial subjects and learning points that help make life better. https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-woodley-725267133/