Is Worry Making You Sick?
People are always using the phrase that you are going to worry yourself sick. There really is a connection. Worry and anxiety go hand in hand. Anxiety is a response to a stressful situation. It can cause a wide range of physical symptoms along with physiological issues. When you feel anxious your heart rate and breathing rate increase. You may experience nausea and upset stomach.
Studies have shown worry and stress can causes changes in the brain. It doesn’t cause damage, but it does increase the risk of mental illness such as depression and anxiety. Anxiety and stress have also shown to make an individual’s body weaker and have shown to shorten their lifespan.
The opposite is also the case. The more joy you have the less anxious you will fill. Studies have shown that happiness and joy boost the immune system response. Happier people are less prone to sickness. Maybe laughter is the best medicine.
Ways to Enhance Joy in Our Lives
It is easy for others to say just relax or just be happy and everything will be alright. Realistically that is just naive. But there are studies that do show staying calm and relaxed improves the immune response. One way to relax is by inducing a relaxed state. This can be done with meditation or even hypnosis. This relaxed state helps reduce physical symptoms caused by stress.
Maintaining close relationships is another way to enhance joy. A healthy marriage or friendship has been shown to enhance good health as compared to a strained relationship that causes negative health consequences.
Other examples are holding hands with someone, petting a pet, music, and massage to name a few. What you are ideally looking for are ways to reduces stress and help cultivate relaxation. This will help enhance joy and happiness at the same time giving your immune system a boost.
Joy Can Help the Healing Process
Have you ever noticed when some people are happy or joyful their face gets flushed? This increase in happiness produces enhances circulation of the blood in the body. This increase in circulation provides the body with more blood flow. For example, if you have an infection within your body the increase in blood flow allows more blood to reach the areas that contain the infection. With more blood available the infection will have more nutrients needed for the healing process.
Sometimes medications and antibiotics are needed for treating an infection. The increased blood flow will enable the needed amount of medication to reach the infected area, which will assist the healing process.
Positive Outlook for a Healthier Immune System
Having a positive attitude will improve all situations and areas in your life. A happier lifestyle will improve health as well. Emotions play an important role in regulating body systems that influence health. One of the major body systems influenced is the immune system. Happiness has a direct relation to your immune response.
Sadness or negativity also has a direct relationship as well. The more joyful you are the more reactive your immune system is to defend your body from illness. The more sadness or negativity the individual feels the less responsive the immune system will be.
People that are happier are more likely to take part in health-promoting behaviors that play an important role in keeping the immune system strong. These include a healthy diet and regular exercise.
And on the flip side, the more stressed or depressed an individual is the less likely they are to participate in healthy habits. One of the best defenses against stress, anxiety, and illness is a positive attitude.
Check out more of our content below:
- 5 Ways to Find More Joy in Your Life – Even Now in Times of Fear and Chaos
- 9 Habits of Highly Successful People
- Experience Joy through Acts of Selflessness
- Create Joy: Identify and Hold Onto Thoughts That Make You Feel Good
- How to Overcome Stress with Joy
- How Joy Affects Your Mental Health
- Find More Joy: Create a New Life Story
- 5 Really Bad Consequences of Chronic Boredom
- 5 Cool & Tricky Ways to Eat More but Weight Less
- The Effects of Joy on Your Body
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