The key to being happy is to be healthy. When your mind and body are healthy, everything else has a way of falling into place. And by learning how to make smart and healthy micro-decisions daily, you can improve your overall well-being with minimal effort.
The Correlation Between Health and Happiness
There’s a strong relationship between health and happiness. This is something that most of us believe on a fundamental level, but have you ever studied just how strong this correlation is?
We’ve all heard the cliche that laughter is the best medicine, but there’s actually a growing body of research to suggest that this is more than hyperbole.
“The relatively new field of positive psychology is exploring the factors that contribute to emotional resilience, happiness, and health, among other life-affirming topics,” writes Elizabeth Scott, MS, “and what we now know for certain about these topics can help us all live healthier, more meaningful lives—and reduce stress at the same time.”
According to a study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, positive well-being – which includes happiness and optimism – is directly correlated with a 30 percent reduction in heart disease. And for those with the highest risk of having a heart attack, happiness was shown to reduce risk by 50 percent.
Additional studies show a connection between happiness and stronger immune systems, a lower disposition to chronic pain, and even longevity.
The reverse is true as well: People who are healthy tend to be happier and more optimistic about life. And while it’s sort of a “chicken and the egg” conundrum, the ramifications are clear. If you want to be healthy, cultivate happiness. And if you want to be happy, make healthier life decisions.
Tips for Looking Healthier and Happier
The idea of looking healthy and happy is highly variable and subjective. However, you can do yourself a favor by prioritizing the following:
- Drink Plenty of Water
Hydration isn’t a sexy topic, but it’s an incredibly important one. When you’re properly hydrated, you can look, feel, and perform at your best. Here are a couple of tips:
- Cut back or eliminate alcohol from your diet. It wreaks havoc on your appearance, causes inflammation, and increases your propensity for dehydration. If you do have a drink, be sure to replenish your fluids by drinking plenty of water.
- Aim to drink at least 64 ounces of water daily. For best results, spread consumption out throughout the day. Your body can only hold a certain amount of fluids at one time, so guzzling 64 ounces in a single sitting doesn’t do you nearly as good as drinking five or six ounces per hour.
As you drink more fluids, you’ll notice that your skin is more vibrant, and your complexion will improve. You’ll also feel more energy and motivation to tackle the tasks of the day.
- Stay Out of the Sun
While some sunlight is good for your skin (and important for maintaining high vitamin D levels), excessive exposure can wreak havoc on your skin.
To avoid wrinkles, sagging skin, sun spots, and other telltale signs of aging, avoid being in the sun during peak hours (typically between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. during the summer). It’s also smart to include sunscreen as part of your daily skincare routine, regardless of whether you plan on spending a lot of time outside.
- Care for Your Hair
As you age, your hair loses some of its thickness and shine. And if you’re like millions of men and women, you’ll notice thinning, balding, and a receding hairline. Rather than letting the problem get worse, proactively address hair loss in a healthy and natural way.
In addition to improving your diet and hair care regimen, you may consider using a laser hair growth cap to help regrow your hair. The Kiierr laser cap system, for example, is FDA approved and shown to regrow hair in as little as 30 minutes per day. Investing in something like this can totally reorient your outlook and restore confidence (which is foundational in cultivating happiness).
- Exercise Daily
Most people exercise to keep off the extra pounds and stay fit, but there’s also a direct correlation between physical activity and happiness. Daily exercise encourages the release of pain-killing, feel-good endorphins and helps you maintain a sense of balance. Aim for at least 30 minutes per day!
Invest in Yourself This Year
There’s no better way to care for yourself (or those around you) than by taking care of your health and happiness. By addressing both of these areas of your life, you dramatically improve your chances of living a long and meaningful life.