Happiness and Longevity

Here’s the latest piece of the puzzle on the mind-body connection.

A review of more than 160 studies on the relationship between a positive state of mind and overall health and longevity has found clear and compelling evidence that happier people enjoy better health and longer lives.

The review in the journal “Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being” looked at eight different types of long-term studies and experimental trials of both human and animal populations.

For example research on 5,000 people studied for more than 40 years showed that the most pessimistic tended to die younger.

In the laboratory, positive moods were found to reduce stress-related hormones, increase immune function and help the heart recover following exertion.

The authors say that while current prescriptions for health focus on not smoking, diet and exercise it may be time to add being happy and avoiding chronic anger and depression to the list.

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