How Vitality Benefits Your Health
Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash
Written by: Sabrina Sourjah
Date Updated: 8/4/2021
Reviewed by: Patrick D. Randolph, Ph.D.
Is vitality a constant visitor in your life? How can you know for sure?
One of the best ways to measure vitality is to pay attention to how you feel when you wake up in the morning.
Do you snooze your alarm a few times before dreading the day and dragging yourself out of bed? Or do you take a few minutes to ground yourself and rush out to conquer the day? When you have more vitality in your life, you have an overbearing hopefulness for what the day can bring you.
However, it’s not about the time you wake up. It’s more about how you wake up and your first few thoughts at the dawn of your day, regardless of whether you’re an early riser or not.
Meaning of Vitality
The American Psychological Association (APA) defines vitality as the “physical or intellectual vigor or energy; also known as zest.” According to this definition, vitality can be physical or intellectual.
Due to the mind-body connection, we can reasonably assume that physical vitality can influence intellectual vitality and vice versa. So, it’s important that we try to attain vitality at least in one area.
In addition to physical and intellectual vitality, there are three other forms of vitality that we can access: emotional, social, and spiritual. Each form will energize us in its domain.
Vitality in Action
You may be embracing vitality if you observe the following behaviors:
Waking up in the morning with positive feelings and high energy.
Feeling good about yourself most of the time.
Always being ready to try new activities and hobbies.
Looking forward to challenges to learn from them.
Not losing your temper when other people annoy you.
Wanting to try again when you fail to succeed.
Having fewer mood swings on a given day.
Taking time to do something enjoyable regularly.
Being consistently curious about the world around you.
Feeling hopeful about opportunities in the future.
Having more harmony in your thoughts, actions, and values.
Benefits of Vitality
1. Overall Health
Physical vitality makes individuals move more and do more physically. This is an excellent form of exercise. As a result, these individuals can manage weight gain better and reduce the risk of diseases like heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol.
In addition, an observational study found that “better vitality seems to be associated with a reduced risk for hospitalizations.” This means that the risk of most serious diseases is relatively less for people with high vitality.
2. Surgery Outcomes
When you have more vitality in your life, you tend to be hopeful about your recovery. This means that you will make an effort to learn about best practices for recovery and take care of yourself during the postoperative period.
3. Mental Health
Vitality and mental health go hand in hand. People with vitality are more in control of their emotions and can manage stress better. Since they are in tune with their feelings, they also tend to notice the accumulation of negative emotions and get the help they need.
I often say that the opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality.
~ Andrew Solomon
A high level of intellectual vitality calls for the active use of one’s brain. When older adults maintain intellectual vitality, they can preserve their cognitive health. Researchers also link brain cognition to longevity.
Additionally, people with vitality tend to be optimistic about their lives, and research confirms that optimism can be linked to “exceptional longevity,” defined as an 11–15% increase in lifespan.
5. Life Satisfaction
Finding your vitality and maintaining it can take time and effort. You may have underlying issues or trauma that prevent vitality from entering your life. If that’s the case, please work with a mental health professional on clearing these blocks so that you can enjoy the benefits of vitality.