The powerful health benefits of happiness

The powerful health benefits of happiness

Happiness and other positive emotions have surprisingly powerful health benefits. They appear to make the immune system function better and provide a protective effect against some diseases. By understanding the science of happiness and applying the research findings, not only can people enjoy greater life satisfaction _ã” but they can also live longer.

Happiness and related mental states, such as, hopefulness, optimism and contentment appear to decrease the risk or limit the severity of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases as well as colds and upper-respiratory infections.

People who rate higher for happiness on psychological tests develop about 50% more antibodies than average in response to flu vaccines. A Dutch study of elderly patients showed that those with upbeat mental states reduced the risk of death by 50% over the nine-year duration of the study.

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