Thousands of people across the country will be a few days into their resolution and there’s a good chance a lot of those will involve eating healthy, losing weight, or doing more exercise.
These are all good things to want to do and achieve and they’re all linked with better health for longer.
But there is something missing if we just focus on living healthy: happiness.
The Link Between Health & Happiness
Positive mental health is, unfortunately, not always a simple goal to achieve. Each person is different and will respond to different strategies. Happiness will come easily to some while others will battle throughout their lives. There’s no single answer with multiple strategies, from healthy living to therapies, sometimes producing the best results.
What is becoming more and more clear though is that taking steps to live a healthier life can have positive impacts on your happiness levels. The effects can be immediate, with exercise releasing serotonin and triggering immediate mood improvements, and they can be long-term
Small health improvements that can improve your happiness levels
Here are 3 ways you can take care of your health in 2022 that could have a direct impact on your happiness levels.
1. Get outside
You don’t have to go for a 10-mile run. Just getting outside and into nature a little more can have a range of benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing.
• More sunlight can lead more serotonin whizzing around your brain
• Sunlight triggers your body to produce more Vitamin D
• It can help regulate your sleep cycles which has the knock-on effect of improving your mood
It might seem like this is the worst time to start leaving the house more, with Omicron cases skyrocketing and the UK winter delivering its typical weather. But that just makes it even more important to get outside more frequently.
2. Spend time with your friends
The impact of socialising, talking to your friends and family, can be huge on your physical and mental health. Beyond that, even day to day interactions even when interacting with someone casually boosts dopamine – the so called ‘happy hormone’.
Increased socialisation has been linked with a range of benefits including:
- Improved ability to deal with stress and anxiety
- Reduced blood pressure
- Longer life and reduced chance of mortality
You might be actively avoiding socialising at the moment, with much of the governmental advice encouraging social distancing and avoiding busy areas, so finding opportunities and ways to socialise is more important than ever.
3. Check your health
That’s right, you don’t actually have to do anything healthy to take a step to improving your happiness levels.
A study published in 2020 asked a group of experts on health and happiness to rate different strategies to improve your happiness. They found that one of the best things you can do is to regularly check your health.
Having your health check can trigger beneficial effects as you’re motivated to make positive, healthy changes to your lifestyle. It can also have the added benefit of picking up health issues before they become significant, giving you time to address them.
So if you want to start 2022 on the right foot and take care of your mental health as well as your physical health, devote some time to the steps above.
Remember, if you want to get your health checked, take a look at our General Health Check Plus and book it in today.