Having positive emotions increases your satisfaction with life and helps you develop stronger coping skills and emotional resources. The longer you experience positive emotions, the less likely you are to be prone to stress and setbacks. Happier people tend to have lower levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Positive emotions are linked to better health and a longer life. It has been shown that positive emotions have many health benefits and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Aristotle distinguished between two kinds of happiness. One being theoretical and the other which is more practical. IN fact there is a famous quote by Aristotle which says- "Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence." He gives the concept of hedonia, which simply defines 'Happiness as Pleasure', which involves satisfying our desires and self-care. According to Aristotle, 'Happiness' is not a state of constant euphoria; but it is a balance of positive and negative emotions.
Another way we can identify happiness is by a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that happy people have a stronger immune system than non-happy people. Their immune system also tends to be more resilient. A study was conducted to understand the connection between having a positive state of mind, being happy and getting infections! Researchers found that participants who reported feeling more positive emotions were found to have significantly lower chances of contracting the cold.
People who are happy often have higher quality sleep. A study conducted by Cornell University found that people who have a positive outlook on life have a better quality of sleep than those with a negative one. People who suffer from a low mood have difficulty sleeping at night. If you're not happy, you'll find yourself prone to depression and other negative emotions.
Positive social support is another important factor. While people can be happy in an unhappiness-inducing environment, the support of close friends and family members has been seen to play a very important role in how finally feel about their situation. Supportive and understanding family and friends will increase a person's happiness level. Conversely, an overtly critical, worrying, depressive or simply a very negative mindset of family and friends, can make a person feel miserable. And the key part is, we don't even need to interact with such negative people to being impacted by their sad mood. Just having negative people in our environment can seep out our energy and make us feel drained, unenergetic and miserable!
Lastly, a sense of purpose is a vital factor for happiness. People with a sense of purpose in life are happier in the long run and are more likely to experience happiness and longevity.
So now, if you are to consider your own emotional state, what is your answer to the questions- Are you happy?? Not the kind of happiness that is dependent on reaching a goal or achieving a certain target, but just happy? Do you have a positive mindset which welcomes each day as an opportunity to live and experience the grandeur of life. If yes, then great… you are walking the right path. Congratulations!! … and if not, then what can you do… what concrete steps can you take to turn around your emotional state of being- from sadness to happiness?
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