Happiness is associated with several benefits, some of which directly improve the chances of (1) not getting infected with the virus causing COVID-19 infection, and (2) may help prevent severe disease if one gets infected with the virus for COVID-19 disease.
The happiness benefits that will most help fight COVID-19 infections are listed below! Happiness is associated with - improved cardiovascular and endocrine health: Positive affect is associated with lower risk of heart disease - especially coronary artery disease - and stroke. Positive feelings are associated with lower body fat, lower blood pressure, and lower body mass index. - an improved immune system: Happiness levels were measured in volunteers, who were then injected with the cold virus. A week later, the happier individuals had fought off the virus more efficiently, and objective measurements by doctors on cold signs and symptoms in these happier-to-begin-with people were better than less happy controls. - less stress and anxiety: A group of people was asked to give a public speech (one of the situations deemed most stressful by humans) which would be videotaped and judged. They were first assigned randomly to watch happy, neutral, or sad videos. The ones who watched the video which induced feelings of joy and contentment and were so primed with positive feelings, experienced a faster recovery from the stress of giving the videotaped public speech. - better diet and exercise: Eat a better diet, healthier foods such as fruits and vegetables; exercise more. You feel better. You are more energetic. - safer lives: Take less health risks. Happier people use seat-belts more often while driving, and are involved in less car accidents.
The six intentional activities which create happiness
Doing what you like to do
Finding a greater meaning
It’s really important then to makes choices to boost our well-being, and happiness. One activity we can chose to boost happiness is social relationships. This is the most evidenced-based choice, backed by tons of level 1 evidence, including randomized studies. So, in these times of lock-down at home, please have a lot of interactions with those at home with you, as long as they are also staying safe at home. And also do video interactions with your friends and family. In Italy, they are having video-happy hours!
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