The Link Between Health and Happiness

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Happiness is a positive emotion that can include feelings of gladness, satisfaction, joy and well-being. Many Americans desire happy, fulfilling lives. However, happiness is not an isolated feeling. It’s complex and connected to your overall physical and mental health.

Happiness and Physical Health

A study published in the Psychological Science Journal found a link between happiness and physical health. When your body is healthy, it serves as a foundation for happiness to thrive. Exercise, diet and sleep all play vital roles in facilitating health and happiness.

The body releases natural feel-good chemicals known as endorphins during physical activity. This can improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. Physical activity also improves cardiovascular health and boosts energy levels.

A balanced diet of lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats can support improved cognitive function, emotional stability and overall well-being.

Sleep is another factor that impacts health and happiness. Studies show that quality sleep can improve focus, mental health, cognitive performance and emotional resilience.

Happiness and Mental Health

Mental health plays a critical role in overall well-being and happiness. It encompasses your emotional, psychological and social state. Strong mental health allows happiness to flourish.

Healthy relationships are crucial for mental well-being. Supportive friendships and positive social interactions can foster a sense of belonging and contribute to happiness.

Professional guidance can also help you maintain positive mental health. Mental health professionals can provide tools and support to overcome challenges. They can also help you identify and address any underlying mental health conditions which can contribute to your happiness in the long run.

Do You Know About 988?

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline hotline was launched in 2022 to help people in emotional distress or a suicidal crisis. Similar to how 911 exists for medical emergencies, this three-digit code was created for psychological emergencies.

Anyone can call or text 988 to be immediately connected with trained mental health counselors who will listen and provide support. Counselors may also connect you with additional resources if necessary.

You may call 988 for various mental health crises, including but not limited to self-harm, addiction and suicidal ideation. You can also call 988 on behalf of another person to help a friend or family member get through a difficult time.

What Is 988?

The three-digit code, 988, is new, but the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline has existed since 2005 and received over 20 million calls.

Previously, callers could only reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). However, experts worried the number was too difficult to remember, prompting them to launch the new 988 code.  

The same services are available whether you call the original Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or call or text 988.

Spreading the Word

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was among the top 9 leading causes of death among people ages 10-64 in 2021. It was the second leading cause of death among people ages 10-12 and 20-34.

The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline provides accessible care to anyone experiencing distress, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts or a mental health crisis.

Spread the word about the 988 dialing code to ensure your friends and family know how to get help in a mental health emergency.

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