Happiness contributes to longevity
Scientists at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore conducted a study to find out how happiness is connected to longevity.
The data researchers used was gathered from Singaporeans aged 60 and over.
The first step of the study was carried out in 2009. Back then, the researchers asked the focus group of 4,478 seniors about their level of happiness. Participants had to choose a score of happiness and simply say if they were happy or not at that period of their lives.
The second part of the research took place in 2015. The scientists discovered that 15% of participants who considered themselves happy passed away during the time.
At the same time, among people who hadn’t consider themselves to be happy the share of deaths was 5% higher: 20% of unhappy respondents passed away.
The Singaporean scientists concluded that the greater was the score of happiness, the lower was the probability of death, regardless of the cause.
Thus, every additional point in the scale of happiness gave 9% to the possibility of a longer life.
The similar pattern was seen both among people in their sixties and the ones over 80.
The pursuit of happiness
According to the co-author of the study Rahul Malhotra, no matter how modest the feeling of joy is, it will still contribute to the person’s longevity. As such, government programs aimed to improving the mental well-being of mature citizens may contribute to longevity.
Another co-author of the study June May-Ling Lee added that the same effect was observed when results were separated by age and gender. Both men and women, younger and older seniors are able to achieve a greater longevity if they are happier.
Luckily, any person of any age can experience the longevity effect of positive thoughts and events in their life.
Many scientists have been trying to explore the possible ‘happiness-longevity’ connection.
Other studies discovered that good and encouraging deeds and thoughts influence the state of health of a person making one more resistant to illnesses.
A lot of studies tried to find the correlation between happiness and living a longer life. Singaporean scientists managed to discover this link due to homogeneity in demographics, health and lifestyle factors, since Singapore is such a small country.
One of such studies indicated that men who are married live longer and have fewer health problems. Can it be that negative people tend to appear unattractive to prospective partners and therefore more likely to remain single?
If positivity and joy are good for your health and longevity prospects, would it be worthy to make an effort to fill life with more gratitude and happy thoughts?