If you asked someone if they would prefer to receive a million pounds or to live in complete happiness for 10 years, they would probably choose the money.
That’s because most people believe that having a lot of money will allow them to buy everything they need to be happy.
Unfortunately, this is a false assumption.
This point is clearly illustrated by the many wealthy celebrities who regularly check into rehab, get unnecessary plastic surgery and suffer from emotional meltdowns.
Many of these very wealthy people would trade all of their money to live the rest of their days in complete happiness.
Not only is living a happy life enjoyable — it can provide you with many different health benefits, improve your relationships and much more.
Here are just a few of the reasons why it’s more important to be happy than rich.
Happiness promotes good health
Researchers have found that people who are happy tend to eat healthier diets, including more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
One study, involving more than 7,000 participants, found that happy people were 47% more likely to consume fruits and vegetables than people who were less positive.
Eating a diet containing a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has many benefits for your health.
For starters, your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer will be lower.
You will also have more energy as you will be consuming healthy complex carbohydrates.
This will make it easier to exercise, which leads to a variety of other health benefits including decrease body fat, stronger bones, and better cardiovascular health.
Happiness makes it easier to get a good night’s sleep
Multiple studies have found that people who are happy tend to get to sleep easier and enjoy a more restful sleep.
This may occur because positive people are less likely to lay in bed at night worrying about their financial status!
There are many benefits gained by getting a good night’s sleep, including balanced hormone levels, more energy, a stronger immune system, better exercise performance, and better cognitive performance.
Happiness can boost your immune system
Happiness can even help you avoid illnesses and recover from injuries more efficiently by boosting your immune system.
Researchers are still attempting to understand precisely why people with positive mental states have stronger immune systems.
However, they believe that it is related to happy people having better hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis performance, which helps helps the immune system function.
Happiness reduces stress
Chronic stress is a very dangerous condition that can greatly impact the quality of your life.
Not only does chronic stress make you feel miserable, it can increase the risk of many diseases including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
The good news is, happiness appears to reduce the risk of chronic stress.
Happiness makes it easier to overcome tragedy
Life is full of ups-and-downs.
Everyone experiences painful days like the loss of a loved one or separation from a romantic partner.
If you have constructed your life to focus on happiness, you will find it much easier to bounce back from these difficult events.
Happiness may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
One study found that happy people have a 9% lower risk of blood pressure.
Other studies suggest that happiness may decrease the risk of heart disease by as much as 26%.
That means being happy can reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, hardening of the arteries, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Even if you already have heart disease, being happy can be useful.
A review of 30 studies found that positivity lowered the risk of death by 11%.
Happiness reduces pain
If you are suffering from a condition that causes pain, happiness may be the key to feeling a bit better.
Numerous studies have found that people suffering from painful conditions like arthritis experience less pain if they are happy.
Another study found that people recovering from stroke experienced less pain if they had a positive attitude.
Happiness will improve your social life and relationships
Your positivity and happiness will act like a magnet, attracting great people into your life.
This leads to a more active social life and stronger relationships with your loved ones.
You don’t need to be a millionaire to reach optimal happiness
The takeaway from these findings is that you will be a healthier and more satisfied person if you are happy.
Your relationships will be stronger and you will enjoy your life more.
Sure, you may not have a new sports car in your driveway, but you will love yourself and be living the best life possible — which is much more important.
Here are a few ways to improve your happiness levels:
- Spend more time with friends and family
- Exercise every day
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat healthy food
- Spend more time outdoors
- Help others
- Listen to great music
- Be grateful for what you have in your life and give thanks every day
- Pat your cat or dog
- Turn your phone off for a while and engage with the people around you
- Read a good book
- Hang out with happy people
- Laugh more (watch funny movies and plays, learn to tell jokes)
- Find spiritual fulfilment
Thanks for reading!
Now, forget about that sports car and work on making yourself happy.
You may be surprised by how much the simple act of focussing on happiness can change your life.