5 Ways Happiness is Good for Your Health
Our Cincinnati-area holistic dentistry is committed to the belief that general health and oral health are intrinsically fused. The condition of your oral health is a strong indicator of your overall wellbeing, and vice versa.
Often times, when evaluating the state of our health, we underestimate the power of one key element: happiness. Happiness isn’t just the result of a healthy, well-balanced life; it can also directly contribute to your health and ability to handle illness and discomfort.
Here are 5 ways happiness has been found to be good for your health:
- Happiness is good for your heart. Research shows that happiness can predict lower heart rate and blood pressure. In a 2010 Canadian Nova Scotia Health Survey, researchers found that participants who reported high happiness levels 10 years prior were less likely to have developed coronary heart disease. For every one-point increase in positive emotions participants noted, the risk for heart disease was 22 percent lower. A healthy heart rate and blood pressure can reduce gum inflammation and help protect against gum disease.
- Happiness combats stress. Stress can be detrimental to our general health in several ways. However, stress has a direct link to oral health as well. Stress can lead to teeth grinding and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). People who are overly stressed often don’t care for themselves properly and begin to abandon good oral hygiene habits, which can lead to cavities, gum disease and tooth decay.
- Happiness strengthens your immune system. In 1987, 30 dental students took pills that induced a harmless immune response. Participants in the study reported whether they had experienced positive moods that day. On the days they were happier, participants had a better immune system, as measured by the presence of an antibody in their saliva that defends against foreign substances.
- Happiness reduces less aches and pains. A 2001 study asked participants to rank their personal level of positive emotions, and then five weeks later were asked how much physical pain and discomfort they had felt since the study began. Not only did happier people experience less aches and pains, their health actually improved over the course of the study while those with the lowest happiness ratings experienced a decline in general health.
- Happiness lengthens our lives. Longevity may be the ultimate health indicator. There have been several studies that found that happier people live longer. In 2010, findings were reported from almost three decades of following 7,000 people from Alameda County in California. Those who were more satisfied with life at the beginning of the study were less likely to die during the course of the research. In another 2011 study, English adults aged 52-79 were found to be 35 percent less likely to die than their unhappy counterparts.
If you live in the Dayton, Mason or Cincinnati areas and would like to learn more about our approach to holistic dentistry, contact Hardin Advanced Dentistry today online or at (513) 234-5531 to schedule an appointment. We welcome patients from Southeast Indiana and Northern Kentucky.