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Be happy for your heart’s sake

A new study has made it official; it’s better to be happy!

The study is from the Columbia University Medical Center and was published in the European Society of Cardiology’s European Heart Journal.

The study looked at 1739 people over a 10 year period, and rated their positive emotions or happiness. They called this “positive affect”. According to Wikipedia affect theory appears to be a way to quantify subjective feelings.

They then compared this positive affect with heart disease, and found that as positive effect increased, the risk of heart disease decreased.

Hence, it’s better to be happy :-)

Dr. Karina Davidson, who led the research, speculated that the reason for this may be that happy people have more rest and relaxation, and that they recover more quickly from stressful situations.

For more information see the press release.

While researching this story I came across another meta-study confirming previous results that eating chocolate can be healthy, by showing that eating chocolate could lower your risk of stroke. I know that eating chocolate makes a lot of people happy, especially my sister Kellie! Maybe chocolate is another connection between happiness and heart disease :-)

Kellie also wrote about a couple of studies last year that showed that laughing is good for you because “Blood vessels became more dilated … and remained so for 24 hours”.

Be happy

So, after reading this, have I got you stressing out that you should be happier :-)

Below is a TED lecture by Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert. “Why are we happy? Why are we not happy?”. He talks about some surprising and funny results from psychology experiments. At the least it made me laugh, which made me happy, which maybe made me a bit healthier!


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4 Responses to “Be happy for your heart’s sake”

  1. I love this topic! At first I thought, Steve this video is 20 minutes long, I dont have time! But, of course I made time, because I was curious about ‘happiness’. I also started stressing out that I should be happier and needed to learn the secet. :)

    I had a couple of light bulb moments watching this video and loved how the speaker gives us evidence to show how you can make your own happiness. Loved the video and the rationale behind it! Good find Steve.

  2. It’s definitely better to be happy and now that research prooves it why shorten your life by being miserable!

  3. John S says:

    I know all of the guys will laugh at this!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6q37n7GDCY

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