Happiness improves general heart health
Happiness lowers heart rate and blood pressure, as was shown by a 2005 study(1). A later study in 2010(2) interviewed about 2,000 Canadians who talked about their anger and stress at work. They were rated for the extent to which they expressed positive emotions like joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm, and contentment. Ten years later, the researchers checked in with the participants to see how they were doing and it turned out that the happier ones were less likely to have developed coronary heart disease. In fact, for each one-point increase in positive emotions they had expressed, their heart disease risk was 22 percent lower.
Happiness boosts your immune system
Various studies have proven this. Do you know anybody who is always complaining, sad and always seems to have a cold or some other illness? In one research 30 male dental students took pills containing a harmless blood protein from rabbits, which causes an immune response in humans for a period of two months. They also rated whether they had experienced various positive moods that day. On days when they were happier, participants had a higher level of antibodies to in their saliva, thus a better immune response. (3)
Happiness reduces stress level
Happiness reduces stress hormone (cortisol) levels. The happier you are the easier you’ll cope in stressful situations .
Happiness reduces body pains and headaches
Unhappy people suffer more headaches and body pains. Unhappiness can be literally painful. It is no secret that fatigue , muscle strain and headaches could be manifestation of unhappiness or depression. In 2005 a study done on women suffering from arthritis revealed that those who experienced more positive feelings had little or no increase in chronic pain. (4)
Happiness combats disability and frailty
Older persons may experience disability and frailty, a condition with reduces strength, endurance and balance. Research done in 2004 with 1550 Mexican Americans showed that happier people developed less symptoms of frailty and disability at old age. Part of the findings revealed happiness even reduces the risk of stroke in subsequent years. (5)
Happiness affects longevity and mental health of seniors
Happy people live longer and stand a lesser risk of developing alzheimer’s disease according the popular Nun Study (6)
Important note: It should be noted that the positive effect of happiness might not work for severely ill individuals. And sometimes extremely happy people fail to notice or report symptoms to their doctors which could affect treatment choices.
Positive affect and biological function in everyday life Andrew Steptoe,Jane Wardle
Don’t worry, be happy: positive affect and reduced 10-year incident coronary heart disease: The Canadian Nova Scotia Health SurveyKarina W. Davidson,*Elizabeth Mostofsky, and William Whang
1987 Evidence that secretory IgA antibody is associated with daily mood. Stone AA, Cox DS, Valdimarsdottir H, Jandorf L, Neale JM.
Positive Affect as a Source of Resilience for Women in Chronic Pain Alez J. Zautra, PhD, Lisa M. Johnson, MA, and Mary C. Davis, PhD
The association between emotional well-being and the incidence of stroke in older adults. Ostir GV1, Markides KS, Peek MK, Goodwin JS.
Personality Processes and Individual Difference. Positive emotions in early life and longevity: Findings from the Nun Study.
Deborah D. Danner, David A. Snowdon,Wallace V. Friesen University of Kentucky