(NaturalNews) Most of us know the basics of good health by heart, even if we don’t always put them into practice.
Eat right, exercise, avoid stress if you can – these are all hallmarks of good health. However, did you know that devoting yourself to increasing your personal happiness is another factor in reaching optimum health?
According to a 2010 Columbia University Medical Center survey of 1,700 Nova Scotia patients, the happiest people had 22 percent less chance of developing cardiovascular disease!
If happiness is good for your heart, what can you do to increase the joy factor in your life? Here are a couple of ideas.
Avoid too much isolation
A recent study from Brigham Young University demonstrated that loneliness and social isolation are just as much a threat to longevity as obesity. Relationships with others are vital to keeping yourself filled with joy, and it even has an effect on your heart health. Social bonds with others help keep your heart healthy because isolation is a larger risk to life longevity than alcoholism and even smoking!
So get out and meet that friend for coffee or lunch instead of simply dashing off a quick text. Make an effort to get off the computer or step away from your latest Netflix marathon and join family and friends for a night of bowling, for example.
Your heart will thank you, and your happiness is bound to increase.
Surround yourself with nature
Studies show that getting yourself outside to enjoy nature increases your feelings of vitality and boosts your energy, and can even help strengthen your immune system. Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester has insight about this.
“Nature is fuel for the soul,” he said. “Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.”
Instead of eating lunch at your desk, pack a sack lunch (like from your elementary school field trip days!) and head to a local park to make your meal memorable and energizing.
Take a walk outside whenever you get a chance, and notice the colors around you – the changing of the leaves during fall or spring for example, a neighbor’s beautifully landscaped lawn and garden, and so on. These things will brighten your mood and keep you balanced, so that your life isn’t all work and no play.
The bottom line is that happiness is good for your heart and your health – so do whatever you can to bring more joy into your life. Your heart, mind and body will thank you for it, and reward you for your efforts!
About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.