Sunday, May 29, 2016
Even though people understand and experience happiness differently, we can all agree that all definitions have one thing in common: the feeling you get when you are happy. Many studies have shown that a healthy lifestyle is closely connected to happy living. Because of this, we decided to talk about simple changes you can make to your daily habits, in order to become a happier, healthier person.
Maybe it sounds weird, but smiling can really make you feel better. There is an action called ‘facial feedback hypothesis’ and it explains that our brain reacts directly to what our body is doing; if you put a smile on your face, regardless if you are genuinely happy or not, the brain will interpret it as happiness, and your mood will change accordingly. Even more, it takes 43 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile, so why put in so much effort for nothing?
Needless to say, sleep is a vital element for a healthy lifestyle. While the optimum number of hours of sleep is different from person to person, a study by The University of Surrey's Sleep Research Centre has proven that getting just one extra hour of sleep per night can make people happier and healthier. Even more, the tested group who enjoyed more sleep showed decreased inflammation and increased immune response as well. Just like it was explained by Norbert Schwarz, the professor who coordinated the study, “making $60,000 more in annual income has less of an effect on your daily happiness than getting one extra hour of sleep a night.”
We don’t actually need proper research to understand how important exercising is. Whether you choose to spend your evenings in a gym, walking around the park or dancing salsa, the effort you put in will help you gain better sleep, lower anxiety and better learning. In this way, you will become more productive, happier and less stressed, therefore, healthier.
Apart from their benefits to our general wellbeing, spinach and bananas can help boost the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, the substance that regulates your mood. Spinach is high in folate, a B-vitamin used in the serotonin creation process while bananas are full of tryptophan, an amino acid that's converted into serotonin in the brain.
Scientists at Open University undertook research to examine how much people's mood is influenced by different activities, such as eating chocolate, having a drink, listening to music, watching TV or looking at personal photos. While the music and chocolate left most people's state of mind unmodified and alcohol and TV gave a slight lift of 1%, the winner by far was viewing pictures, which made people feel 11% better.
Therefore, all this information has shown that you cannot improve your health and lifestyle if you don’t work on your happiness. Start today with these small steps and you will soon notice the difference; even more, you will discover new tips that only work for you.