Levels of stress and depression increased over the past year for many. Limitations on social connections and rising concerns about mortality consumed the mind of global citizens. The mass increase in sadness and depression led researchers to evaluate the impact of joy on humanity.
Happiness is an emotion that affects the way we feel and how our bodies function. Protect the health and longevity of yourself and your family by promoting happiness. There are various ways to create happiness in your life, depending on your age.
Joy in Children
Kids’ perception of quarantine is a critical factor that limits their well-being. Isolating from friends and academic peers creates a heightened level of stress and anxiety, which leads to unhappiness. Different children display mental distress in various ways.
Anxiety in children creates a significant roadblock on the path to joy. Kids display excessive worry in unique ways that differ from adults. Mood swings, poor sleep patterns, bed-wetting, poor academic performance, overreacting and acting out all signify childhood anxiety.
Kids also display stress in different ways than older folks do. Difficulty reaching academic and developmental milestones, erratic behavior and poor mental health are signs of childhood stress. Luckily, there are methods to boost joy in your little ones.
Promoting Childhood Happiness
Support mastery in your children. When your kids become good at a new task or activity, allow them to engage with it as often as they would like. Also, show them that you value their happiness and success.
Practicing gratitude with your little ones may also boost their happiness. To incorporate this practice into your routine, go around the dinner table each night and ask for one thing that everyone is grateful for that day. Answers to this question may be as simple as spending time with a friend or noticing a unique flower.
Teaching your kids to reframe their negative thoughts increases their overall levels of joy. Children receive various negative messages throughout the day, especially concerning their academic development and behavior.
You can give them a piece of paper divided into two sections, having them write a negative thought in one space. In the other space, have them counter that thought with a positive, more compassionate one.
Joy in Adults
The benefits of happiness to one’s health and well-being continue well into adulthood. Joy decreases in adults due to consistent routines, poor career mindsets, and limited time spent practicing hobbies. This decline causes various effects on your success and physical condition.
Joyful, career-aged adults display three times the amount of creativity that unhappy individuals do. Happy individuals also display a 31% elevation in productivity rates, a 37% boost in sales success, and a 40% increase in their likelihood of receiving promotions.
Positivity also improves your overall earnings compared to unhappy employees, and it impacts the health of adults. Joyful individuals have lower heart rates and blood pressure readings. The time intervals between their heartbeats were slower, meaning they have healthier hearts than unhappy individuals.
Joy can also reduce aches and pains, strengthen your immune system, and increase your longevity. In a nunnery study, happy women lived seven to 10 years longer than unhappy nuns.
Promoting Joy in Adults
To reduce the negative success and health effects caused by sadness, one can engage in joy-promoting activities. Adults who participate in adequate amounts of exercise have higher rates of happiness. Setting realistic expectations also increases pleasure among this age group.
Around 40% of your happiness derives from meeting set goals. Creating more achievable goals may increase this emotion. Consuming a healthy diet directly affects your mental health, and eating foods that support your brain can improve your feelings of happiness.
Joy in Seniors
Although many individuals believe that joy will increase after retirement, that is not always the case. Over two million Americans over age 65 experience depression. And 20% of all senior deaths are a result of suicide.
The unhappiness in elderly individuals is due in large part to loneliness. It increases depression, cognitive degradation, blood pressure, dementia and other debilitating health conditions. Luckily, joy can challenge these adverse health effects.
Promoting Joy in Seniors
Researchers conducted extensive studies on Blue Zones to increase joy and longevity in older individuals. Blue Zones are regions of the world that have the oldest and happiest residents. Senior care centers utilize these findings to increase the comfort and health of their patients.
The studies show that naturally moving every day as opposed to exercising increases seniors’ happiness and longevity. Consuming plant-based diets, drinking small amounts of wine every day, connecting with those around you, and practicing stress-relief rituals promote joy.
Evaluate these areas of your older family members’ routines to gauge their happiness.
All for One and One for All
It is essential to work together as a family to promote individual happiness. Look to the different impacts of joy throughout varying age groups and learn how to better support your family members. A sense of community stimulates happiness among all age groups, so stick together and leave your sorrows behind.
About the Author: Kara Reynolds is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Momish Magazine. Mom and step mom living her best life while managing anxiety and normalizing blended families. She enjoys pilates, podcasts, and a nice pinot grigio.