•Chronic anger and anxiety can disrupt cardiac function by changing the heart’s electrical stability, hastening atherosclerosis, and increasing systemic inflammation.
•Good laughter and happiness induces physical changes in your body by stimulating circulation and aids muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
Every time a patient walks into hospital for medical attention due to health complications such as depression, ulcers, hypertension or hyperacidity, they are always encouraged to be happy and avoid a stressful life.
Over time, the call for being happy has been on the rise, both at work and even at home.
Greek Philosopher Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics, favored living well and purposefully, over the vulgar pleasure seeking of hedonism. By contrast, the nineteenth-century utilitarians such as Jeremy Bentham argued that pleasure is intrinsically good and pain is bad, and therefore, that decisions about policy should be made on the basis of the greatest pleasure for the greatest number.
Happiness is used in the health literature to denote a number of different constructs. But over time, we have seen people jamming entertainment joints and theatres to watch movies or comedy shows, just to get a sense of humor and laugh their lungs out.
As a medical practitioner, good mental health is key for me because of the potential for intervention. Techniques are being developed to improve positive well-being and cultivate happiness that are different from those used to combat depression and distress. If happiness is protective, then interventions targeting well-being may have a favorable impact on public health.
Chronic anger and anxiety can disrupt cardiac function by changing the heart’s electrical stability, hastening atherosclerosis, and increasing systemic inflammation. Scientific literature has particularly shown how negative emotions impair the body.
Serious, persistent stress or fear can alter biological systems in a way that, over time, adds up to “wear and tear” and eventually, illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
As a medical practitioner who has sought happiness and impacting lives over time, happiness is easily obtained from our screens at home, social media through online comedy shows, lifestyle and even general productivity at home. The basis is that good health and happiness is key for mortality.
Good laughter and happiness does not just lighten your load mentally. It actually induces physical changes in your body by stimulating circulation and aids muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
It also activates and relieves your stress response. A swashbuckling laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
As the globe struggles with the Covid-19 pandemic, laughter also enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, which in turn stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
Over a long period of time, being happy and laughter can Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system hence decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more serious illnesses.
Over and above, happiness and laughter have been proven to relieve pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers hence increasing personal satisfaction. This can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people easily.
Laughter also aids in improving your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.
I would encourage anyone who can watch comedy to subscribe to comedy clubs and seek happiness where possible, in order to enhance good health amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as other challenges we are facing in the society.
Ms Ogega is a nurse and entrepreneur based in Indianapolis, United States.