Have you noticed that your parents are more likely to get sick when they aren’t in a good mood? Turns out, that isn’t necessarily a coincidence. Happiness, or lack thereof, can affect your health. You may have heard the phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine.” While this may not be entirely true, research does consistently show that happiness can have impressive medical benefits. Happiness can improve heart health, combat stress and disease, lessen pain and even lengthen our lives. When it comes down to it, these amazing health benefits can be attributed to an overarching attribute – a stronger immune system. If you’re worried about your parents’ health as they age, their happiness may actually be a contributing factor to their immune health.
The Importance of Our Immune System as We Age
Our immune systems are made up of organs, cells and proteins that work together to protect our bodies from outside attackers such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. The health of our immune system plays an important role in determining how we can defend against these invaders. By boosting our immune system, we’re able to better defend our health. It is an unfortunate reality that our immune health naturally declines with age. So, as we grow older, it becomes increasingly important to work towards a strong immune system – we may even look to our own parents and recognize their increasing risk of sickness. While this may be the case, there are still ways for them to improve their own health – and staying happy is one way to achieve this!
Health and Happiness: Is Happiness the Key to a Healthy Immune System?
While there are plenty of research studies that support the positive correlation between happiness and immune health, one 2006 study in particular showed how happiness affects people’s health on a cellular level. In the study, graduate students were given the hepatitis B vaccine. After receiving the first two doses, participants rated themselves on positive emotions. The ones who were high in positive emotion were nearly twice as likely to have a high antibody response to the vaccine — a sign of a robust immune system. This is only one example out of many studies that shows the connection between happiness and immune health. Generally speaking, positive thinking and feelings encourage overall wellness and help our bodies to function as effectively as possible. As children, we recognize the sacrifices and love our parents’ have given us. In return, we want them to be happy. And now, we know we aren’t just wishing them contentedness – we’re wishing their overall health, as well. So how do we make sure our parents are happy? Happiness isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, but there are some ways you’re able to encourage them.
- Empathize with your parents. Instead of becoming frustrated, approach conversations while keeping in mind their point of view.
- Call them regularly. Your parents love you and want to hear from you.
- Advocate for them. From encouraging them to stay active to making sure they are being heard in their doctor’s appointments, help them pursue the best lives they can.
Discover How We Inspire Happiness at Ventana
Buckner Retirement Services, the parent company of Ventana, keeps in mind the motto, “Inspiring Happiness.” And we aim to inspire happiness every day in our community. We do this by:
- Offering luxurious amenities you won’t find anywhere else. From numerous dining options to a state-of-the-art fitness center, our community features set a new standard of senior living.
- Encouraging Members to take control of their health through comprehensive wellness programs and a full suite of care options and healthcare services.
- Providing a variety of floor plan options suited to fit each person’s distinctive needs. Our comfortable high-rise apartments are ready for personal touches to make them feel like home.
- Assisting Members in their financial planning and securing their financial future.
- Making sure our community is the best place to call home during your parents’ retirement years.
Whether it be through the engaging programming or the perks of maintenance-free living, we work hard to ensure the happiness of Ventana Members. Interested in learning more? Contact our experienced and caring team today.