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  • 11/2/2011

Happiness leads to longer life

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People who evaluate themselves as a happy and positive person not only enjoy a higher quality of life but are more likely to live longer than unhappy individuals.

A five-year follow up of more than 3,800 British people aged 52 to 79 showed that people who were feeling happy most of the time had a 35 percent lower risk of death.

During the study, each person recorded his or her dominant mood such as being happy, worried, anxious, excited, afraid or content, four times a day including just after waking up and 30 minutes later, at 7 pm and just before going to bed.

In each record, the participants rated the level of their feeling on a 1 to 4 scale. Five years later, researchers at University College, London checked to see which of the cases had died and also recorded the factors that may influence their findings such as participants' age, gender, health, wealth, education and marital status.

According to the findings, the rate of death was 3.6 percent for the happiest people, 4.6 percent among those with medium level of happiness and 7.3 for the least happy people.

After adjusting interfering factors, still the happiest people had the lowest risk of death, says the report published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study was not the first to show the effects of positive thinking and happiness on the quality and quantity of life. The prominence of the new survey, however, was that the studied cases were reporting their moods in real time and not recollecting them later on, wrote lead authors Andrew Steptoe and Jane Wardle.

The findings “provide more accurate indications of affective state,”‌ they noted. “The present findings provide further reason to target the positive well-being of older people.”‌

The study doesn’t prove that happiness directly causes longevity, something that future investigations may answer, but the findings suggest doctors and caregivers pay close attention to the emotional well-being of their patients especially the older ones.

Source: presstv.com

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