— By Dr Mitravinda Savanur
There’s a popular saying that goes along these lines:
A healthy life is a happy life.
Now, here’s a twist on this statement. And, remember, this too, is true:
A happy life is a healthy life.
There’s one thing that both these statements establish. There’s a relationship between one’s health and one’s happiness. One’s health, to a great extent, depends upon one’s immunity system. And therefore, it’s safe to conclude that there is a relationship between the body’s immunity system and one’s happiness.
Now, let’s go exploring this subject to a reasonable depth in rest of this article.
Look at the first of the two sayings: “A healthy life is a happy life.”
One way to understand the meaning of this saying is to look at the impact of staying healthy on one’s happiness.
- To stay healthy, we rely on our immune system.
- A strong immunity system means that your body takes lesser time to recover from illnesses.
- People are generally happier when they aren’t dealing with illnesses.
And, there it is – as simple as that!
Your immunity system is replicated by your lifestyle. There are a lot of factors that impact your immunity. While happiness impacts the immune system positively, there are other aspects of your life that impact your immunity in different ways:
- A diet rich in flour, salt or sugar has negative impact on our immune system. On the other hand, a diet that’s rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc and Magnesium has positive impact on our immunity.
- Lack of sleep negative impacts poor immunity system.
- Lack of exercise has a negative effect on one’s immunity system.
Looking at this information, it’s easy to understand how happiness is linked to a strong immune system.
Let’s face it: Happy are those who enjoy sleeping as much as staying awake and thus, ensure that suffering from lack of sleep is an improbability of all sorts. Happy are those who get in their daily dose of exercise by one means or another.
On more serious note, however, despite all the research done, there are very few papers that have been successful in establishing a clear-cut relationship between happiness and one’s immunity system. That’s not to say that researchers and academics alike, don’t believe that there is a link here. The problem is that it’s an extremely difficult concept to prove.
In one study, students were exposed to a certain kind of virus. Some students exposed to this virus had their happiness levels boosted, while others didn’t receive the same sort of treatment. The results were quite astonishing. For one, the students who were given the happiness boost were less susceptible to catching the infection. The second, even those students who caught the virus voiced mild symptoms when compared to the other group who was not given the happiness boost.
The results of this research say one thing and one thing, only. Happiness has a positive impact on one’s immunity system.
Similarly, researchers have undertaken various studies in order to understand the intricacies of this relationship. An interesting subject matter, no doubt, the findings of these researches are even more astounding. They have given humans an additional insight into how to stay happy and its relative importance on one’s health.
From the findings of such researches, here are two ‘happiness tips’ that can help bolster your immune system:
1. Have A Positive Outlook On Life
Some may argue that ‘positivity’ is a subjective concept but please, but set aside such philosophical arguments for some time. Coincidence or not, a research was conducted with patients belonging to families susceptible to heart diseases. Within this sample group; some patients had a positive outlook on life while, other adopted a negative outlook on life.
The researchers found that those who were buzzing with positivity showed 33% less likelihood of getting a heart attack. Believe it or not, other studies were conducted similar to this study, with reference to other kinds of diseases and still, the results were the same.
Positivity accounts for something, yes? If not, check out, it may just change your perspective.
[Are you stressed and unhappy at work? Read How To Find Happiness At Your Workplace.]
2. Focus On Contributing To The Greater Good
Scientists believe that there are two ways or two approaches to attaining happiness: the hedonic way and eudemonic way. The hedonic approach defines happiness in terms of private pleasures and pain avoidance – a narrow perspective. The eudemonic approach defines happiness in terms of self-development and a person’s functioning capabilities.
Focusing on contributing to the greater good – rather than focusing on private pleasures – will result in a happiness that’s more complete & fulfilling. It will also have a stronger impact on your immune system, positively, when compared to otherwise.
Happiness is one subject that’s amusing to both philosophers and scientists. It’s a complex subject. Its effects and impacts on life are hard to pin down. But thanks to scientific efforts, slowly and steadily, we are learning of its nuances.
At the end of the day, whatever way in which you look at happiness, philosophically, morally or scientifically, just focus on attaining it. Be happy, stay happy – its reasoning need not always be justified.
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Author Bio: Mitravinda Savanur is a Nutritionist at DietChart with a doctoral degree in Food Science and Nutrition. She is a teacher, researcher and an author. Her passion for the subject prompted her to start writing blogs on various nutrition-related topics such as diet chart for weight loss, how to remove whiteheads from nose, Salt Awareness: Take Note of What You Eat. Through her blogs, she wishes to help people gain deeper understanding about the relationship between food, nutrition, lifestyle and health.