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According to a recent article in USA Today, happy people have a 35% reduced risk of dying compared with those who reported feeling least happy.
A British study of 3,853 participants ages 52-79 had people rate their feelings at different times on one particular day. Five years later, researchers recorded the number who died and controlled for a variety of factors, including age, gender, health, wealth, education and marital status.æ
Andrew Steptoe, a psychology professor at University College in London, who co-authored the study said it is not just the fact that some people are just naturally happier than others. He told USA Today it is also “what they are doing, who they are with, and other features of that point in time. Both are important.”
What is not clear is whether happy feelings are the key to longevity or if it’s something else that causes extended life.æ Others who have done research in this area think this study is significant.
Could some people just have been having a bad day? Certainly. But researchers believe that the sample population was so large that having odd days didn’t really matter very much.æ
Laura Kubzansky, an associate professor in the Department of Society, Human Development and Health, at Harvard’s School of Public Health in Boston, says “I think people sort of undervalue emotional life anyway. This highlights the idea that if you are going through a period where you’re consistently distressed, it’s probably worth paying attention to how you feel äóî it matters for both psychological and physical health.”
The area of happiness is an emerging trend. Heck even Zappos changed their vision to Creating Happiness. Certainly you cannot will someone to be happy but I believe that the positive affects of being happy show up in a healthier, less stressed body.
So…you know it’s coming…don’t worry…..