Is It True That Happy People Live Longer?

The main aspiration that human beings share is to achieve happiness. Although life is full of difficulties, happy people always find reasons to stay afloat, so it is normal for anyone to yearn for this kind of strength.

Although it is not usually easy to maintain this emotional state, there are those who learn to master their attitude to bring out the positive side of almost all their experiences. And those people who manage to feel happy most of the time enjoy a number of benefits for their own health.

Based on this, it has been suggested that happy people are up to three times more likely to live longer,  compared to those who do not enjoy their lives.

This is suggested by  a research carried out by a team of scientists from University College London (UCL)  in which it was found that people with better moods were 35% less likely to die during the following five years.

What did the study consist of?

To determine the health effects of happiness, experts analyzed data from 18,000 people in England between the ages of 50 and 100. They did so from 2002 to 2011, as part of the  English Longitudinal Study of Aging project.

The individuals were questioned three times in this period. This process was carried out to evaluate their psychological well-being through some questions about the vital sense of enjoyment, among others.

Likewise, the scientists indicated that the effects of happiness are very broad.  These differ with the age, sex and economic position of each person. This, in turn, could be useful in detecting people who are at higher risk of developing a disease at a later age.

Happy people live longer

Some hard facts about happy people

In 9 years of study, the proportion of deaths was 9.9% in those who enjoyed their life, compared to 28.8% among those who did not feel happy.  “This occurred even when factors such as age, sex or social position were taken into account,” said Professor Steptoe, one of the researchers.

He believes that there is a key reason to explain this fact and that it relates to happy people with a greater tendency to take care of themselves and lead a healthier lifestyle, compared to those who live bitter and sad.

In addition, to this we must add another important aspect, and that is that we must not forget that the feeling of well-being implies going through fewer episodes of stress. And this is also a determining question.

Stress damages health

Happiness leads to a better quality of life. Instead, stress, as you will discover below, could have a detrimental effect on health.

This is suggested by the conclusions of a report by the Office of Women’s Health in the United States. This determined that, in particular, women who suffer constant stress have a higher risk of developing heart disease. In contrast, optimists would have a life expectancy above average.

This is because high levels of stress can alter the heart rate and, in the long term, this can lead to cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks or strokes.

Stress damages health

Enemies of health and wellness

Anxiety, stress or depression, among other emotions, have a strong relationship with the increased risk of chronic diseases. Emotional well-being and a positive outlook on life drive away these negative feelings and contribute to longevity and improved overall health.

These benefits could be due to its ability to promote the proper functioning of the immune system and the stability of cardiovascular functions.

Recommendations for a better quality of life

As mentioned in the previous sections, several investigations recognize that good humor and positivity could influence longevity parameters. However, they clarify that happiness is not a direct cause of a longer life expectancy in itself. 

In this sense, it is essential to adopt habits to improve health and prevent diseases. Avoiding obesity, eating in a balanced way and doing physical activity are options that contribute to lengthening the life trajectory.

Although for now it is impossible to affirm 100% that happiness increases life expectancy, it is clear that it influences , at least, in reducing the risk of suffering from various pathologies.

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