Being Happy Makes Us Healthier

Yael Eckstein  |  October 29, 2021

Yael Eckstein delivers food box, illustrating My Brother's Keeper

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
— Proverbs 17:22

We continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs every Friday. One of the 11 books in the Torah known as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes.

What if I told you that there was one thing that simultaneously lengthens life expectancy, reduces stress, boosts the immune system, improves heart health, and minimizes general aches and pains? What if I told you that this miracle drug doesn’t cost a single thing?

According to numerous respected scientific studies conducted over the past 20 years, all these positive effects on our lives can be accomplished by a simple thing: “happiness.” Amazing as this may seem, it actually makes a lot of sense. After all, if you’ve ever had goosebumps when hearing a scary story or felt your heart racing because of a stressful situation, you know that how we feel emotionally has a major impact on our physical state as well.

As people of faith, there is a powerful lesson about God in this remarkable fact about happiness. Take food for example. If there is something that is unhealthy or poisonous, it’s safe to say that it was not part of God’s plan for us to be eating it. By the same token, those things that improve our health and wellbeing are what God gave us to sustain us on this earth.

Being Happy Makes Us Healthier

In Leviticus, the Bible tells us to keep the laws of God, “for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 18:5). God wants us to live and be healthy, so that we can continue to do His work on this earth to bring life and happiness to others as well. If being happy actually makes us healthier, this tells us a simple and powerful truth: God wants us to be happy.

Thousands of years before modern researchers figured out the health benefits of being happy, the Bible already declared the scientific fact that “a cheerful heart is good medicine.”

There are challenges to happiness, for sure. But as people of faith one of the most fundamental beliefs that we live by is the fact that no matter the difficulties and problems in the world, the end is good. God gave us the gift of life so that we can be a part of that good.

Let’s be happy and spread happiness to others today!

Your Turn:

Think of a few blessings in your life that make you happy. Call someone who you know will be happy to hear from you.