Medical research is finally starting to demonstrate what happy people have known for a quite a while – a healthy attitude can lead to a healthy body and a healthy lifestyle. Studies are revealing that smiles and a positive mental outlook correlate highly with everything from a lowered risk for disease and better functioning immune system, to an overall increase in life expectancy.
Happy Heart is a Healthy Heart
A decade long study of adults in Canada, conducted by Dr. Karina Davidson of Columbia University, found that people who held a positive outlook on life were significantly less likely to develop heart disease when compared to their more pessimistic peers. Dr. Davidson also suggested that optimistic individuals also sleep better, eat better and handle stress more easily.
A University of Kentucky four-year study of 124 law students found that individuals who stayed upbeat despite being under pressure felt more positive about their law program and showed stronger immune system function when tested. Researchers extended their finding to conclude that when people go into stressful situations, such as surgery, and hold a more positive outlook, they may enjoy a better outcome overall.
Smile and Say Cheese
The Psychological Society published a study of aging baseball players who had played baseball during the 1950s. Those players with broad smiles lived an average of 5 years longer than those former players who had little or no visible smile.
Smile therapy and even laughter yoga are now capitalizing on the notion that taking time to practice being cheery may pay big dividends for our overall health. Consider adding giggling to your to do too.