Does Tai Chi Make You Happier? Research Says: Yes!

Does Tai Chi Make You Happier? Research Says: Yes!

Though I might be biased, I’ve known for many years that Tai Chi makes you happier; I wouldn’t have been practicing and teaching over 20 years if it didn’t! There has been a wealth of information on the effects of Tai Chi practice on mental health, with evidence demonstrating showing that Tai Chi can improve factors such as cognitive performance, depression and anxiety.1 While these results allude to the idea that improving your mental faculties or decreasing stress and anxiety would, logically, make you happier, a number of researchers are specifically looking at the perceived happiness of Tai Chi practitioners, and finding that practicing Tai Chi can actually make you happier.

For example, Cezario and colleagues2 examined stress, anxiety and perceived happiness of older health professionals and younger pre-university students planning to enter health related courses. They used standardized measurement tools to determine pre- and post-class levels of stress, anxiety and self-perceived happiness using standardized, qualified assessment tools. Almost all participants reported an increase in their happiness after attending their Tai Chi class. The researchers reported this finding as significant because happiness is associated with positive health outcomes, such as being better able to adapt to everyday experiences, deal with social situations, and recover from adverse events. Further, their study demonstrated that age was not a factor in determining Tai Chi’s affects on perceived happiness.

Gender identity also doesn’t seem to influence Tai Chi’s ability to make a person feel happier. Studies by Galeh and colleagues3 on men, and Hatamipour and colleagues4 on women, both show that practicing Tai Chi can significantly improve happiness despite gender identity differences.

Again, while it would seem logical that improving our mental health would make us happier, researchers are also considering the direct affect that mind-body practices, such as Tai Chi, can have on happiness, as compared to other forms of treatment or exercise. For example, Osypiuk and colleagues5 have proposed that the interrelationship between body posture (like those adopted during Tai Chi) and mental state allude to the postures themselves having a significant role in the overall outcomes for psychological health, including happiness.

So if you’d like to find more happiness in your life, as well as many other health and wellness benefits, Tai Chi might be just what you need!


  1. Sollway, et al. (2016). An evidence map of the effect of Tai Chi on health outcomes. Systematic Reviews, 5:126 ↩︎
  2. Cezario, et al. (2023). Effect of Tai Chi on stress, anxiety and self-perceived happiness: a longitudinal intervention study. Bioscience Journal. 39, e39039. ↩︎
  3. Galah, et al. (2018). Effect of “Tai Chi” on happiness in elderly men. Iranian Journal of Nursing Research, 13:5 ↩︎
  4. Hatamipour, et al. (2019). The effect of Tai Chi Chuan exercises on happiness, sleep quality and blood pressure of elderly women. Iranian Journal of Rehabilitation Research in Nursing, 6:1 ↩︎
  5. Osypiuk, et al. (2018). Can Tai Chi and Qigong postures shape our mood? Toward an embodied cognition framework for mind-body research. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 18:12 ↩︎

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA ImageChange Image