50% Risk Reduction in Cardiovascular Disease without dieting or exercise
A new scientific study from Harvard states that positive emotions, optimism and happiness reduce the risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease by 50%!
This is not just one study, this is what is called a meta-analysis which is the term scientists use to describe a study of studies. The researchers compiled data from 200 separate studies. This finding is much more reliable than the result of just one study. In order to say that positive emotions, optimism and happiness reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 50% the evidence had to be consistent and clear.
An earlier study, often referred to as the Nun study because it studied Nuns throughout their lives found that positive emotions equated to about 10 extra years of life. While that is astounding and is more than the typical difference associated with smoking or not, to me the best part of that study was that not only was life longer when positive emotions were common, the debilitating end of life diseases showed up closer to death so there were not only more years but much more quality years. The Nun study is especially significant because all the participants lived similar lives so things associated with lifestyle could be ruled out as causative.
The days of viewing happiness as 'fluffy and nice to have' are long over for those who are aware of the current research findings.
We are not encouraging you to not give attention to other factors. Maintaining a healthy body through good nutrition, activity, adequate sleep and good choices about things like smoking, drinking, and drugs will always be beneficial to you.
But there is more good news. The same Harvard meta analysis found that individuals with more positive emotions tended to make better lifestyle choices about nutrition, adequate sleep and exercising. Other studies have shown that positive emotions can have a beneficial impact on everything from substances abuse, crime and even teen pregnancy and the health of unborn children.
The many benefits of positivity are expanding rapidly as many branches of science explore this area. The benefits fill complete volumns. The following is all supported by scientific studies and does not reflect all the benefits of increased positivity.
When you are happy you are at your best. You are in the best health. You are in the best mood. You are able to think with greater clarity. You are able to see solutions to problems far more readily. You need less from others (pumping up, assistance of all types, etc.). You contribute more by being happy so being happy is a priority for you. When you are happy you contribute to others by inspiring them to happiness. You contribute to others because when you feel great you want to help others feel just as wonderful. Sometimes, when someone feels rotten it makes them better to see someone else feel rotten too or see someone who is even worse off then they are. When you are happy it lifts you even higher to help others up and you gain no happiness or relief from their not being in a good place. Minding your happiness is minding your health because when you are happy you will be inclined to make good decisions about your diet and exercise and other habits. Happiness reduces the stress on your body and enables it to more easily maintain or regain its health. Your happiness is good for you and good for the world. Happiness is the path to peace.
Telling someone to be more positive is a waste of words if you don't teach them how. Changing from pessimistic to more optimistic has been proven possible and sustainable but it requires skills. That is what we do at Happiness 1st Institute. Our classes are the best available is to increase happiness, optimism, emotional intelligence, resilience, self mastery, and well-being and improve relationships. Our program was developed utilizing the most up to date research results from may scientific fields including Positive Psychology, Neuroscience, Resilience Research, Sociology, Emotional Intelligence Research, Behavioral Science, Quantum Physics, philosophy and more. We continually monitor new findings across many scientific domains and update our programs to take advantage of new findings.
Look for our special discount offers or contact us to see if any are available and sign-up now. Classes are offered both in person and online. See our "Courses" tab for current offerings and links to registration.
Boehm, J. K., & Kubzansky, L. D. The heart’s content: The association between positive psychological well-being and cardiovascular health. Psychological Bulletin, April 2012
The Nun Study: The Nun Study is a longitudinal study of aging and Alzheimer's disease funded by the National Institute on Aging. Participants are 678 American members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame religious congregation. You can find additional details on Wiki and cited in many scientific articles. The study is ongoing.