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How Happiness Affects Your Health

In recent years, physicians, psychologists and economists have tried to shine a light on the connection between joy and wellness. It’s no surprise that happiness and good health go hand-in-hand. And scientific studies have found that happiness can make our hearts healthier, our immune systems stronger, and our lives longer.

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The Link Between Happiness & Good Health

There is no doubt that there’s a link between happiness and good health. People who find ways to laugh, spend time with friends and family, and enjoy life in general are often healthier.

How does happiness impact your health?

Stress in our lives increases stress hormones that can lead to higher rates of: high blood pressure, obesity, depression, and anxiety, to name a few.

People who are less stressed tend to make healthier lifestyle decisions, such as: getting better sleep, getting more exercise, and making healthier food choices.

Is stress ‘contagious’? Can parents pass on stress to their kids?

Parents CAN pass on stress to their children by not giving them healthy outlets and tools for dealing with the stresses of everyday life. Parents and caregivers can teach kids communication strategies for interacting with people – even when they feel stressed out.

3 Ways to Lead a Healthier, Happier Life

Being healthy and being happy go hand-in-hand. Here are some things you can start doing right now to lead you towards a happier, healthier life:

#1 – EXERCISE!

Regular aerobic exercise is great for your body and your mind. Find an exercise you enjoy doing, and do it regularly.

#2 – SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS.

Frequent interactions with family a friends is good for your health! Make the time to nurture the relationships that mean the most to you.

#3 – EAT HEALTHY!

Good health starts in the kitchen. Making healthy food choices leads to you feeling better. Eating healthy can also prevent diseases, like diabetes and high cholesterol.

About John Holly, MD

Dr. John Holly is a board certified Primary Care Physician in Internal Medicine at WakeMed Physician Practices. His special clinical interests include sports medicine, preventive medicine, weight management and the treatment of chronic medical diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and asthma. He also serves as a regional director of primary care for WakeMed Physician Practices.

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