The Health and Happiness ConnectionAug 31, 2022 08:00PM ● By Chelsea Kazmierczak-Goethel
Health and happiness are deeply interconnected. Years of research into the dynamic interplay between happiness and health have continuously verified the cyclical relationship between the
se concepts. It has been said that to be truly healthy, one must also be happy, and that there is no genuine happiness without health. If someone is aiming to live an inspiring and fulfilling life, one must prioritize their health.
Happy people tend to be healthier. Those with higher life satisfaction are shown to have higher immune system function and fewer chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and headaches. Studies demonstrate that they also have a lower risk of preventable diseases. Positive well-being is also linked to a longer life expectancy and an improved quality of life.
There are many reasons for this. People that consider themselves happy have healthier lifestyles. Research shows that those with positive wellbeing consume healthier diets, are 50 percent more likely to eat fruits and vegetables, and are significantly more likely to be physically active. The health benefits of these habits are plentiful, including lower body fat percentage, improved energy levels and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Though happiness may sometimes feel elusive, there are many strategies that one can utilize to increase feelings of wellbeing. Given the incredible benefits of happiness for mental and physical health, putting time and intention into these tools is well worth it. Nearly half of a person's capacity to experience happiness and fulfillment is set by intentional activity. Useful tools include practicing daily gratitude, setting meaningful and attainable goals that bring a sense of accomplishment and mindfully caring for those we love.
People who describe themselves as healthy are happier than their peers. Those who are more satisfied with their health report experiencing a higher sense of well-being across all areas of life. Research continuously demonstrates the link between physical health and overall sense of life satisfaction and happiness. The habits and activities that improve one's state of physical and biochemical health improve the hormones and neurotransmitters that create a greater sense of happiness.
Prioritizing habits that support the health of the gut improves mental health and leads to a happier and more fulfilled life. Reducing the consumption of packaged, processed foods eliminates many food additives that disrupt the balance of the microbiome. This allows for a healthier immune system in addition to improved mental health. Eliminating sugar sweetened beverages leads to greater blood sugar regulation, allowing many metabolic functions to improve.
Focus on consuming ample protein, healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and complex carbohydrates. Five to six cups of a variety of produce will provide the nutrients that all cells—especially in the brain and nervous system—need to thrive. Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish, olive oil, nuts and seeds support every cell in the body. Thirty minutes of movement on most days of the week is beneficial for the cardiovascular system and beyond.
The link between health and happiness goes far beyond simply feeling well. In the world of holistic health care, when a patient regains their health, the celebration is not just about someone feeling better. It includes what a healthy person can do and the inspiration they can follow in their life.
An 18-year-old with a healthier immune system no longer suffers from multiple respiratory illnesses every winter, which means they can go off to their top choice university without worrying about getting sick. The kiddo who no longer has daily stomach aches can reach a new belt level in karate. The newlywed with improved hormonal balance and gut health can transition into married life with the exciting dreams of building a family. And a mother who has eliminated migraines and fibromyalgia pain can show up for herself and her loved ones in the way she desires.
Health and happiness build upon each other. Anyone seeking a life full of joy and fulfillment must nurture both areas. Implement daily, intentional habits to create physical, mental and biochemical well-being.
MetroEast Natural Healing Center, in Oakdale, uses a targeted approach to assess states of malnutrition, toxicity and other causes of ill health. Their highly trained and experienced nutrition practitioners specialize in creating customized dietary and supplemental plans to improve the health of their patients. From minor symptoms to serious health concerns, the expertise of their holistic practitioners can make a major difference in reaching one's health goals.
Chelsea Kazmierczak-Goethel, MSACN, is a holistic practitioner at MetroEast Natural Healing Center, in Oakdale. She is advanced clinically trained in Nutrition Response Testing, holds a bachelor's degree in Human Physiology, and a master of science in Applied Clinical Nutrition. Her own health issues brought her into the natural healthcare world six years ago, but the return of joy and optimum health to her patients happily fuels her every day. She is grateful to participate in the healing journey of so many patients. For more information, visit NutritionChiropractic.com.
Think Yourself Happy: Seven Ways to Change Your Mind and Be Happier
Simple, research-based methods to change our thinking, rewire our brains and ultimately, increase our levels of happiness. Read More »
Resolve Arguments the Same Day for a Happier, Healthier Life
Sidestepping an argument or resolving it on the same day pays off quickly by halving the reactivity level that day and often erasing any darkened emotional response the following day. Read More »
Happiness Helpers: Five Ways to Be More Positive
We can choose to see things in a more positive fashion by taking these 5 steps to train our brains to look for the good more often, leading to increased levels of happiness. Read More »