Dec 23, 2016 10:00 AM EST
Live Longer: Science Says Happiness Extends Life
New research suggests that people who are happy with life do not only live a better quality life, but also a longer one.
Optimism is known to be beneficial for one's health. In fact, a study suggests that those who are always in better moods are 35 percent less likely to die in the next 5 years of their lives. Researchers who also followed thousands of men and women from 2002 until 2013 discovered that your outlook in life really does make a difference on how long you will live.
Dr. Andrew Steptoe, a psychologist at the University College London and the lead author of the study said that they aim to find out if sustained well-being is also an important factor because how people assess their wellbeing can vary and it can go up and down depending on their current situation.
The researchers also tried to consider other factors beyond happiness that include satisfaction and enjoyment. 10,000 British volunteers were asked to participate in the survey and they were asked about their wellbeing and enjoyment in life. After seven years, a follow up study was conducted and the results have shown the link between life enjoyment and reduced mortality.
This means that people who were able to maintain a positive outlook in life are more likely to live longer.
The researchers are not able to establish yet the direct correlation of enjoyment to longer life however Steptoe provided two possibilities. He said that people who enjoy life are the ones who live healthier lifestyles. Another possibility is more of the biological factor pertaining to stress-related hormonal changes and immune responses.
He also pointed out that since their studies support the hypothesis that optimism is relevant to health and longer life, people should practice leaning to the brighter and positive side of things.
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