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Happiness and Immune Health

June 19, 2020

A healthy immune system protects you from disease caused by bacteria, viruses and toxins, and helps to remove foreign bodies and malignant cells from your system. A properly functioning immune system helps you go about daily life as you come into contact with germs from your environment. Research shows that being happier may help keep your immune system strong.  Learn about some of the ways happiness can help boost your immune system.

4 Ways Happiness Can Help Boost Your Immune System

  1. Happiness Combats Stress. Excess stress can lead to an increase in cortisol levels, a hormone that contributes to disturbed sleep, weight gain and high blood pressure. Cortisol levels tend to be lower in individuals who are happy. When you’re happy, you’re reducing your stress levels and helping your immune system. 
  1. Happiness Helps Protect Your Heart. Happiness may help protect your heart by lowering your blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Studies show that positive well-being is linked to a 9 percent lower risk of high blood pressure. 
  1. Happiness May Help Reduce Pain. Studies show that being happy can help reduce inflammation stiffness and degeneration of the joints, and can improve physical functioning for people with arthritis. Being happy can reduce your perception of pain and help alleviate the pain you feel from chronic conditions. 
  1. Happiness Combats Disease and Disability. Happiness is associated with improvements in both long-term and short-term aches and pains. Research shows that people who are happy with their life most or all of the time were about 1.5 times less likely to have long-term health conditions like chronic pain and vision problems.

5 Ways to Increase Your Happiness

Now that you know how much happiness can impact your immune health, read about some easy ways you can increase your happiness levels.

  1. Express Gratitude. A great way to increase your happiness is by focusing your mind on things for which you are grateful. A simple way to do this is to actively write down three to five people, activities or belongings you are grateful for every day. 
  1. Meditation. You can work on meditating regularly to increase your level of happiness. Meditation also can provide you a plethora of other great health benefits. You can follow these simple steps to begin meditation today. 
  1. Get Active. By being physically active, you can enhance the amount of happiness you feel on a daily basis. You can stay active by taking walks regularly or participating in a light exercise class. This physical activity will boost your health and your mood. 
  1. Eat a Healthy Diet. The more fruits and vegetables you consume, the happier you will be. Eating healthy foods helps your body function properly and leaves you feeling healthier overall. 
  1. Spend Time Outside. Go for a walk, visit a park or simply spend time sitting outside in the sun. You can improve your mood, immune system and overall health by spending just a few minutes outside every day. 

Live a Happy, Healthy Lifestyle at Episcopal SeniorLife Communities

At Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, your health and well-being is our top priority. Through our Neighborhood Programs, we provide an array of programs to keep you active and engaged.  Currently, all programs are offered virtually – a great way to keep connected with others. And as a resident of one of our vibrant retirement communities, you will enjoy an array of senior living options and care services. Contact us today to learn more.

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