International Day of Happiness takes place on 20 March. The annual event was established by the UN in 2013. The importance of happiness is believed to be so great, that the UN is asking all members to recognise it. Not just progress in the growth of the economy but also happiness and wellbeing.
Unsurprisingly, studies have shown that feeling happy can have a huge impact on improving your physical and mental health.
Improve heart health
Boost your immune system
Having a positive mental attitude and happy disposition can help ward off catching colds.
Help to combat stress
Stress not only affects us mentally, but it has an impact on us biologically. It makes changes to our hormones and blood pressure. Cortisol is the stress hormone. It has been found that people who are generally happy, recover more quickly from a stressful situation. They also produce lower amounts of cortisol.
Override aches and pains
This study suggests that having a positive outlook can help manage chronic pain. It looked at women with arthritis and chronic pain. Those who rated highly for feelings such as positivity and enthusiasm, were less likely to feel an increase in their pain.
Can make you live longer
An infamous study linking positive emotions and life longevity was conducted by looking at a group of Catholic nuns. The nuns that had expressed feelings of happiness, contentment, gratitude and love, lived an extra 7-10 years. This is in comparison to those that felt the opposite.
The pursuit of happiness can be challenging. Especially after the events of this past year. With this in mind, we have put together some simple advice to help improve your outlook and boost your wellbeing:
Keeping in touch
Picking up the phone or making a video call can really boost your mood. It might feel like ground hog day. You may feel like there isn’t much to talk about. However, you’ll be surprised how chatting about anything can help. Or even trying to share any worries, can make you feel lighter and reconnected with you loved ones.
Get back in touch with nature and breathe in that fresh air. It is proven that spending time outdoors can really change your mood. Going for a walk, run or even gardening can really spark a lot of positive benefits.
Become more grateful
It is easy to be consumed with the negatives in life, ‘why me?’. We all feel like this at times. Worrying about the next thing, feelings of insecurity and comparison to the ‘perfect life’. To help tackle this, write a gratitude list every day. Start with three things that you feel grateful for. Do this just before bed and as a result, it can help aid a good night’s sleep. Along with our recommendations for teas to help you sleep well.
Get those natural endorphins flowing
Get the blood pumping with some aerobic exercise and feel that natural high. You don’t have to be running a marathon. You can put the music on loud at home and have an energetic dance around for 10 minutes. Shake all of that negativity off! It will instantly lift your mood and happiness levels.
If you haven’t already heard, mindfulness is all about recognising how you are currently feeling. It means being present and aware of what is happening, so you can react in a positive way. It means not feeling overwhelmed and entering a negative state. You can practise mindfulness by meditating or just by taking a moment to pause and breathe. Try not to rush around, allowing that panic to rise up. Learn more on mindfulness.
We truly hope these tips can help you feel that little bit happier. Remember to take time for yourself every day, not just on International Happiness Day.