A dose of dopamine, a sprinkle of self-confidence, a dollop of better sleep, a splatter of memory booster, and a pinch of enjoying the great outdoors. These are just a few benefits that come from the presence of happiness. Of course, happiness is difficult to explain given how broad and subjective of a term it is. However, positive psychology researcher, Sonja Lyubomirsky, explains it to be “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.” Getting to this state of mind can sometimes be tricky but will have positive impacts on both your physical and mental well-being.
Most people would think it is a “no-brainer” that being happy is a good thing. However, many benefits are not normally thought of. For example, simply being happy can improve your immune system, enhance cognitive function, increase creativity, help develop better coping skills, and even live longer. Conversely, the absence of happiness will hinder all of these benefits and may have exponentially negative effects on health. Can you afford to be unhappy?
A likely way to get you to a happier state of mind is through the addition of physical activity. Research done by Cambridge University has shown that individuals who were more physically active during the day reported themselves to experience more positive emotions. The physical activity that was reported was not only bouts of exercise but any sort of movement throughout the day. Ultimately, this study found that people who moved more were two to three times happier than those who were more sedentary. Furthermore, another study compared the effects of exercise to ones of Zoloft, an antidepressant medication. For instance, individuals who were in remission were almost 5 times less likely to see their depression return when exercising rather than taking Zoloft. Although, this is exciting research, speak with your physician if you would like to discontinue using any medication.
Fortunately, research has been done to begin to explain the connection between happiness and physical activity. The Australian Fitness Academy references that your central nervous system releases endorphins during physical activity. These hormones impede pain signals as well as create a feeling of euphoria throughout your body. At the same time, physical activity also reduces the levels of adrenaline and cortisol in your body; thus, reducing stress. Lastly, physical activity has a long-lasting happiness effect by making your brain more resilient to negative chemicals that may hinder your outlook on life.
Boasting yoga, chiropractic services, dietetics, and professional personal trainer, Urban Fitness Studio offers boundless opportunities to better your state of mind. The studio also uses essential oils to further help your mental state and assist with overall wellness. We cannot wait to move with you in the Studio space!
“Exercise.” Pursuit of Happiness, 2018, https://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/science-of-happiness/exercise/exercise1/.
“Happiness Definition: What Is Happiness.” Greater Good, University of California, Berkeley, https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/happiness/definition.
“How Exercise Makes You Happy: AFA Blog.” Australian Fitness Academy, 7 Mar. 2018, https://www.fitnesseducation.edu.au/blog/health/how-exercise-makes-you-happy/#targetText=How does exercise improve happiness?&targetText=This is what makes you,and dopamine, the reward chemical.
Lathia, Neal, et al. “Happier People Live More Active Lives: Using Smartphones to Link Happiness and Physical Activity.” Plos One, vol. 12, no. 1, 4 Jan. 2017, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160589.