How Happiness Can Be Healing
When you are experiencing a serious, debilitating, or life-threatening illness, it can be difficult to inspire genuine feelings of joy and happiness. In fact, when you or a loved one are facing immense challenges of any kind, it can be hard to pull yourself away from negativity, fear and loneliness.
However, there is a good reason why both the internet and self-help bookshelves are teeming with content praising the power of positive thinking, happiness, and laughter. Not just a fad, these concepts are scientifically proven to have far-reaching benefits.
More than just cliches, sayings like “Laughter is the best medicine,” and “Fake it ‘til you make it” hold a great deal of truth. Happiness can go a long way to relieve both physical and mental suffering. It can also transform challenging situations into manageable ones.
Let’s take a look at how happiness can heal the mind and body.
The Healing Power Of Happiness
While it can be hard to force a positive emotion when things seem bleak, studies have shown that even a fake smile can decrease stress and encourage positivity. The mere act of lifting the corners of your mouth into a grin can lower your heart rate and produce a range of physiological and psychological benefits.
Laughter is also a powerful healer.
The physical act of laughing lowers your cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and strengthens your immune system by increasing antibody production in your saliva and blood.
Laughing floods your body with oxygen and stimulates vital organs while causing feel-good endorphins to be released by the brain. As with smiling, even forced laughter can have these benefits.
A Proven Remedy
Many hospitals and health professionals recognise the healing that comes with a good laugh. So they supply humour rooms, comedy films, and even clowns to help patients enjoy a good giggle.
While scientists don’t claim that a positive mindset is a miracle cure that can completely banish serious ailments, they do agree that the mind has some seriously untapped healing potential.
A good example of this is the placebo effect.
Research has proven time and time again that an impressive percentage of people (30
In one study, participants who were told the medication was indeed only a placebo still experienced a reduction of symptoms. Our brain is a complicated machine which we don’t fully understand. Clearly, suggestion can have a concrete impact on our physical state.
How Does It Relate To Happiness?
If anything, studies like these give us greater incentive to turn our minds to positive thinking and outcomes, rather than focus on negatives. Your mind is powerful, it can impact many things to do with your body.
Whether you are supporting someone with a serious illness or experiencing one yourself, introducing positivity and happiness into the process can be powerfully transformational. A positive mindset helps people cope better with stress and can make those difficult times easier to bear.
Positivity breeds more positivity, so fill your life with happiness and laughter even when times are tough. It can have a major impact on your mindset, but also on your physical wellbeing too.
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