How To Find Happiness Through Friends And Food

Happiness is a lifelong pursuit. A crucial ingredient in lifelong happiness is connection to others and deep, lasting friendships. Friends are a gift to be treasured, and their role in our lives include the ability to bring us happiness and joy. Here is how your friends and your happiness are related.

More Sociable People Are Rated As Happier

It has been studied and shown that individuals who are more sociable are also happier people. As we age, it gets more difficult to find friends and meet people on a regular basis than when we were children. Those who seek out friendships and rate this as important, also rate themselves as being happier.

Individuals who isolate themselves fall more easily into depression and stress. Introverts need friends just as much as extroverts do, and friends can help take the edge off of loneliness and sadness. Even if you are not a natural extrovert, make a point of building friendships in order to contribute towards your mental health and happiness.

Strong Friendships Are Known to Lessen Depression and Stress

People who rely on others to lift themselves up tend to be less stressed and depressed. Having a close friend you can talk to about your problems can serve as an important aid in releasing negative feelings. Confiding in a friend tends to reverse feelings of loneliness, and most friends offer words of comfort which affects you in a positive way, knowing that someone cares.

Being the one your friend asks for encouragement has positive benefits too, as it enforces the belief that you are needed and important. Having a happy friend heightens a person’s happiness, yet having a sad friend doesn’t affect you in equal proportions. This means that the benefits of friendship always outweigh the drawbacks.

Everyone collectively gains benefits through friendship, no matter whether you or your friend start out happy or not.

Positive Friends Affect Those Around Them

Happiness is contagious. When you are around someone who is positive, life feels better. It doesn’t matter how stressed you might feel when you are alone; getting together with a good friend is therapeutic.

Make a choice to spend the majority of your time with people who are committed to a positive outlook on life. Encourage friends who need encouragement, but spend most of your time with those who are uplifting to your emotions. You will find yourself feeling more and more that way as time goes on.

Be the positive friend who encourages others as well. As the positive energy rubs off on you, so it should then rub off on those around you. Make a choice to encourage your friends, and to leave them feeling better than before they saw you.

Your Friends Adjust to Your Needs

Close friends have been shown to be flexible in their support of us. This means that if you are trying to lose five pounds for fun and you are being tempted by a craving, a good friend will likely indulge with you.

On the other hand, if your health depends on losing the weight, a good friend is more likely to hold you accountable and help you stick to your decision. Good friends help you say no when it matters, and help you say yes when you simply need to de-stress.

Friendships are important in regards to happiness. When you are a good friend who also chooses good friends, the benefits multiply. Choose friendship, and enrich your happiness in a great way. And choose friendships where you can go out and be sociable to heighten that happiness through food because food can greatly affect your mood, for better or for worse. 

When it comes to happiness and every other area in your life, food has the capacity to harm or heal. By learning about what foods you and your friends should go out and enjoy make sure to choose foods that will be able to help your body and mind, and embrace happiness.

Foods to Boost Happiness

So you want to use what Mother Nature has to offer in order to boost your mood? Start off with looking for foods that are high in healthy fats. Our brains rely on these fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, and they do wonders for mood and improving happiness by allowing nerve cells to communicate more efficiently.

Walnuts, pumpkin seeds and fish oil are a great way to consume these. Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to be as effective as common antidepressant drugs in regards to depression.

Berries are another wonderful way to boost your happiness. They contain anthocyanins, which are helpful to your brain as they support its function. Oranges, raw peppers and kiwi are high in Vitamin C which battles stress. Leafy greens boost your folic acid intake, and even dark chocolate is known to be a positive mood enhancer. Bananas and dates are easily found foods that are known to affect serotonin levels positively.

Your mood and mental function is also greatly affected by dehydration, so be sure to stay well-hydrated by consuming plenty of water. You and your friends can all challenge each other to eat the right foods and drink enough water daily.

Foods That Steal Your Joy

Sugar is the number one food to avoid if you wish to be happy. Sugar sets you up for a quick, false surge of energy when you feel the sugar high, which is then followed by a crash. Sugar can also harm your immune system and trigger depression. So even though a movie night with your friends that includes lots of candy sounds like a great idea, you will just regret is later in the evening.

Coffee has been known to lead to anxiety, which will also rob you of joy. Wheat prevents serotonin from being produced, therefore contributing to depression. Alcohol is linked with moodiness, and although some individuals feel temporarily euphoric after consuming it, the feeling generally fades into negativity. You can enjoy fun activities with your friends without having to consume coffee or alcohol, especially since these drinks aren't helpful to your mental health in the long run. 

Supplements to Consider

Vitamin C has been shown to reduce cortisol, which is the hormone that causes stress. Unless you are getting a substantial amount of this vitamin from your diet, a daily supplement is a good idea.

Because a folic acid deficiency has been linked to depression, you should consider taking a supplement. Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 are also helpful for a natural mood boost. Supplements that will help you control unhealthy cravings include vitamin B complex, Co-Enzyme Q10 and resveratrol.

Because food has such a big effect on your mood, you would be wise to utilize it to its full potential. Instead of just choosing your meal based on what you desire at the moment, turn your plate into a powerful weapon that will fight depression and anxiety, and build and maintain your happiness.

You deserve the chance to feel joy, and by modifying your eating habits and surrounding yourself with the right people you can change your life for the better. Choose your mood by choosing your food and friends, and see the difference it makes.