Get Happy. Your Health May Depend on It.Posted by Medicare Made Clear
Living life with a positive attitude is much more enjoyable than being grouchy all the time. It may also be healthier.
A person who has a positive attitude tends to look at the bright side, even in situations that may not be so sunny. A person who has a positive attitude is optimistic and expects the best outcome — not the worst. Plus, people who are optimistic and have a positive attitude are usually happier and may enjoy better health.
The Mayo Clinic says that people with a positive attitude and optimism may enjoy a variety of health benefits, such as:1
- Increased life spans
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
A positive attitude may also reduce the risk of stroke and enhance immune-system functioning.2
The Mayo Clinic says it’s not clear why people with a positive attitude and optimism experience these health benefits.1 It’s possible that having a positive attitude enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. It’s also thought that positive and optimistic people live healthier lifestyles. They usually exercise more, eat healthier, don’t smoke, and don’t abuse alcohol.
Or it may simply be that having a positive attitude impacts the body on a biological level in a positive way2, kind of like how being angry all the time may impact the body in a negative way. For example, AARP.org says, “In addition to helping prevent heart disease, a good laugh increases the number and activity of disease-fighting cells, dulls pain, reduces levels of stress-related hormones and prompts the release of feel-good chemicals called endorphins.”3
Some people are naturally optimistic and happy. Others may have to work at it. Here are a few steps that may lead to a happier and healthier life:
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Form an active social life
- Go to counseling
- Join a volunteer group
If you’re feeling depressed, schedule an appointment to see your doctor. Medicare Part B will pay 80 percent of the cost for visits with psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers once the annual deductible is met.
Do what you can to live an optimistic and happy life. Not only will it be more fun, it may be good for your health.
For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.
6 Ways to Feel Happier, Be Healthier: AARP.org
Medicare.gov: Visit the official U.S. government site for Medicare.
Medicare Made Clear: Keep current with the Medicare informaton that matters to you
1 Positive Thinking: Stop Negative Self-Talk to Reduce Stress, Mayo Clinic Staff, Mar. 04, 2014
2 Positive Thinking: Optimism Lowers Risk of Having Stroke, Jared Wadley, Michigan News, University of Michigan, July 21, 2011
3 6 Ways to Feel Happier, Be Healthier, AARP.org, May 13, 2011