The WellSpan Spotlight

Health and wellness

How heartwarming messages help happiness and health 

How heartwarming messages help happiness and health

As many people prepare to celebrate Valentine's Day during Heart Month, we take time to emphasize our love and care for others, but we should do it more often.   

Dr. JP Shand, a psychiatrist at WellSpan Health, emphasizes, "We often underestimate our impact. Every day, we communicate through our actions, words, attitudes, body language, and even through text messages and emails. If we consistently infuse our messages with kindness and positivity, we can create a ripple effect that enhances our own health and wellbeing, as well as that of those around us." 

Spreading and Receiving Positivity 

Let's face it: We all could use a little encouragement, and sometimes all it takes is a few positive and heartwarming messages to turn things around and make a significant difference. Sending positive vibes is a way to let someone know they are in your thoughts, you support them, you appreciate them, and you wish the very best for them. By sharing that positivity, you may attract it in return.  

Think about it. How did it feel when a stranger smiled in your direction? Remember how it felt when someone told you, "You are an awesome friend" or "you have a great sense of humor." Or that feeling when you told someone, "You got this, I believe in you!"  

"There are many ways we can use positivity to help influence a more fulfilling, healthy life, but it all starts by ensuring we deliver these messages with genuine energy," Dr. Shand said. "Even on days when maintaining a positive outlook is challenging, it's worth the effort." 

Interpreting and Responding to Messages 

Emotional expression varies from person to person. Some might not openly display their joy through smiles and laughter, but that doesn't mean they aren't happy. Similarly, we might misinterpret messages based on our own perceptions. 

If we receive a message that seems ungrateful, annoyed, rude, or condescending, we can control our interpretation and response. Instead of assuming negative intent, we should aim to see the best in others and respond with positivity. If we assume the worst in someone or their messages, we fall into a cycle or asserting negative energy, affecting ourselves and others in the process.  

Then, there are others who will tell you exactly how they are feeling when you ask them something like, "How are you?" They may elaborate more than others by offering an unenthusiastic "good." If someone confides in you that they're having a bad day, or if their response seems off, it's an opportunity to show empathy. Rather than dismissing their feelings and moving on to the next topic, take a moment to offer consolation. This act of kindness shows that you genuinely care and reinforces your sincerity. 

The Impact of Positivity on Health   

While spreading positivity to others, don't forget to include yourself. The practice of gratitude and self-kindness can be empowering. The exact reasons behind this connection are still being explored, but the benefits are undeniable. It can be argued that a happy heart is a healthy one as positivity has been linked to good health.  
Positivity could also support a focus on long-term goals and offer protection against the harmful effects of stress, possibly due to reduced inflammation, and could encourage healthier lifestyle decisions. Whereas on the other hand, negative emotions might weaken the immune response.   
So, why wait for a special occasion to express your feelings? Brighten someone's day with a heartwarming message today! Here are a few optimistic and thoughtful phrases to help you convey your feelings and spread positivity: 

  • You are making a difference. 
  • I am proud of you. 
  • You are wonderful. 
  • You look very nice today.  

For more helpful information and insights on your wellbeing and heart care, please visit