Did you know that happy people have fewer illnesses and they live longer? A review published in Applied Psychology, Health and Well-Being looked at over 160 studies on human and animal behavior.
Its findings were that if you have a positive attitude, if you feel satisfied with your life and you aren’t stressed or depressed, you will generally have better health and live longer than those who are unhappy and think negative thoughts.
In fact, people who feel miserable have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular death. When someone feels "down" they produce more cortisol. Cortisol is a trigger of inflammation which increases the likelihood of metabolic, cardiovascular and immune system diseases.
So being happy could literally save your life.
1. Go to sleep earlier. Sleep deprivation does nothing for someone’s mood. If you have difficulty going to sleep, try a bath or a warm glass of milk.
2. If you are feeling pressured at work, see if there are any duties you can delegate. If not, you might be able to cut back on some of your social or home commitments. Don’t be afraid to say no sometimes. You are more important than other’s expectations of you.
3. If you feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do, write a list. It will help you focus and you will also have a written record of what you have achieved that day.
4. Hug someone every day, even if it’s just your dog! A study in Psychosomatic Medicine found that a simple hug could lower blood pressure. Having support or comfort from a family member also increases your oxytocin, a love hormone that helps you feel good.
5. Don’t watch the news or read newspapers. If you are already depressed they are guaranteed to make it worse. If you want to watch TV, pick a comedy.
6. Tidy up your house. Clutter everywhere makes you stressed. If the house is orderly it is easier not to feel overwhelmed. If you don’t want to do this by yourself, plan a rota for the whole family.
7. Eat chocolate, it makes you happy!