Hydration May Be Key to Happiness

In the past, we have written many blogs about the importance of hydration. It is a key component of health. Not only is it essential for your organs to function well, but it can aid things like cholesterol levels.

Most of us know that dehydration can lead to headaches and more severe consequences. On the flip side, hydration has more benefits than you may realize. A new survey found that hydration may be the key to more daily happiness.

A poll of 2,000 adults found that, on average, people experience 57 “little things” that bring them happiness each week. That is around eight a day. And 36 percent of people believed drinking enough water daily could boost mood. After that, 31 percent of people cited eating enough to avoid getting “hangry,” and 30 percent said taking walks.

The people in the survey who drank 80 or more ounces of water a day were 80 percent more likely to find joy in the little things. People who drank less than eight ounces were only 48 percent likely to be happy with small things.

Forty-six percent of the most hydrated group were very happy. Only 22 percent of the least hydrated people said they were. People who drank 56 ounces of water were more optimistic; 71 percent of that group called themselves “glass half full” people. Only 38 percent of the eight-ounce drinkers were optimists.

This isn’t the first study to link hydration to mood. “These recent studies linking increased water intake to higher self-reported positive emotions simply reinforce what I’ve consistently observed in my clinical work. When we nurture our bodies through adequate hydration, our minds naturally tend to follow suit with an uplift in mood and mental clarity,” said Emily Mendez, private practice psychotherapist and wellness expert. “The connection makes perfect sense when you consider how dehydration taxes our physical and psychological systems. Clients arriving fatigued and struggling with headaches or brain fog often admit to neglecting their water intake. But once we implement consistent hydration habits, it’s like a mental fog lifts. Their energy, focus, and resilience in the face of stressors improve markedly.”

Many people cited the fact that water is dull as a reason for not drinking it. A way to overcome that is by adding flavor. Sixty-one percent of the heaviest water drinkers added flavor to their water, while only 41 percent of the least hydrated people did. The top hydration strategies were carrying a water bottle, starting the day with a glass and setting a water intake goal.

Two in five people said that water is boring. Adding fruit or another noncaloric flavoring agent to your water can overcome that problem. You can also set reminders for yourself to go off throughout the day. None of us like every aspect of a healthy routine. For instance, you’d be hard-pushed to find someone who likes swallowing medication. But if you set reminders, drinking a glass of water is easy. You might not get pleasure from the drink, but you’ll still reap the benefits.

Ms. Mendez said, “When we take care of our bodies’ basic needs, our minds naturally follow with improved focus, mood stability, and an ability to fully engage in working towards our goals.”

So set reminders to drink water, and you’ll be so happy you did!  

Banner image: Brendan Church via Unsplash

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