Sick Often? Boost Your Health with These Mind-Blowing Happiness Hacks!

The human body is an incredible machine, designed to protect itself against harm. A key part of this defense system is the immune system, which operates on autopilot, constantly shielding us from microscopic foreign invaders. While our immune systems are powerful, they’re not flawless. That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to support our immune systems to keep us healthy and prevent sickness.

Exercise and diet are just the beginning

Common advice for maintaining a healthy immune system includes regular exercise to improve blood circulation and overall health. Basic hygiene, such as frequent handwashing, helps reduce contact with germs and bacteria. Eating a balanced diet with particular “wonder” foods known for boosting the immune system is also essential. Other vital factors include getting adequate sleep and avoiding harmful substances like alcohol, cigarettes, and narcotics.

Although taking care of our physical bodies can improve our resistance to disease, scientific research reveals the mind plays an equally vital role in maintaining optimal health.

Positive minds lead to healthy bodies

An emerging branch of science, psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), explores the relationship between psychology, immunology, physiology, infectious diseases, neuroscience, and endocrinology. Remarkable findings indicate that individuals with a positive mental outlook are less likely to fall sick and more likely to recover effectively from health challenges, setbacks, and stress.

One significant discovery challenges the idea that happiness results from success and good health. Positive psychologist Shawn Achor argues in his book “The Happiness Advantage” that happiness isn’t an outcome but an input. By focusing on positivity first, other goals, including better health, become more achievable.

For example, research has shown that deliberately inducing stress in mice impairs antibody production, making them more susceptible to influenza and other diseases. In another study, a terminal patient recovered remarkably by watching Marx Brothers movies. Meanwhile, the Whitehall experiments indicated that prolonged work stress increased the risk of Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.

Fostering happiness through purpose and social connections

To increase happiness and promote a strong immune system, finding purpose and meaning in daily life is vital. Achor shares an experiment involving hotel cleaning staff working in two different groups. The test group was told that vacuuming provided cardiovascular exercise, while the control group received no such information. Weeks later, the “cardio” group not only lost weight but also reduced their cholesterol levels, showing that finding greater meaning in activities led to improved health.

One solution to enhance happiness is to write down three positive aspects of daily life, with a focus on work-related accomplishments. This can help increase satisfaction and reduce the need for sick days.

Another crucial component of happiness and well-being is social engagement. During difficult times, people often withdraw and isolate themselves. Positive psychology advises cultivating and cherishing social bonds during challenging periods.

By regularly interacting with friends and family, the body releases oxytocin, which boosts happiness levels. Furthermore, these social connections protect the immune system and promote the health of the cardiovascular and neuroendocrine systems.

In contrast, the lack of social bonds can increase blood pressure and limit the chances of survival for breast cancer and heart attack patients by 50%.

Cultivate social connections by volunteering and helping others, which releases endorphins and increases well-being for both parties. Expressing gratitude, even to someone with whom you have a tense relationship, can also forge connections.

Creating lasting happiness in 21 days

Like diet and exercise, happiness is a lifestyle choice, and establishing routines takes time. Aim to practice the above exercises for at least 21 days to see results and build habits. While some may wonder if the effort is worthwhile, the payoff extends beyond making you less prone to sickness. A positive outlook can decrease stress, improve success, increase fulfillment, and make you a happier person overall.