The Latino(a) Health Paradox

Have you heard of the Latino(a) Health Paradox? The Latino(a) Health Paradox is the phenomenon that Latinos(as) in the United States live longer than the rest of the United States population. Interestingly enough, it seems that this phenomenon applies to the rest of Latin America. Meaning, most Latinos(as) regardless of where they live, are outliving those in the United States. The Latino Health Paradox is an exciting area of study in the United States because of the Latino(a) population’s adversities. Latinos(as) struggle with acculturation, language, low income, and a disadvantage in preventative care in the USA.

So, the question is why? Why are Latinos(as) living longer in the United States even with the many struggles they face? The race to identify factors that help Latinos(as) outlive their counterparts has led to good research outcomes. Research has suggested that cultural factors might play a role in Latino(a) life endurance1. Latinos(as) also enjoyed others’ company, have a collectivism approach, and family-oriented; this might play a role in Latinos(as) longevity2. Most recently, research has suggested that meaningful conversations that include laughter might contribute to wellbeing and longevity3. Just like smoking has been linked to poor health, laugher is associated with a healthy self/live4.

Therefore, one of the things that we could all consider increasing our longevity is laughing. Here are four suggestions for you to consider increasing laughter in your life. Two in conversations and the other two in general. 

  1. Find people that you can laugh with and engage in meaningful conversations, which leads to the quality of the interaction with the other person. 
  2. In conversations, be polite, respectful, friendly, and ask good questions to engage the conversation further. Vulnerability in conversations leads to greater intimacy in the friendship, which leads to moments of laughter.  
  3. Watch movies/tv-shows that will make you laugh out loud.
  4. Avoid the news if possible, and or anything that could bring a depressing mood. Maybe you have to remove people on your newsfeed that tend to be negative. 

Overall, I think we can all appreciate each culture’s uniqueness and consider listening and learning more from one another. In this case, it would be essential for us to consider meaningful conversations with others that lead to a good laugh. 

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