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Best Preventative Medicine is… Happiness! Get Happy

We all know that when we’re happy we seem to stay well, and for years I have believed strongly in the power of being (not just saying positive things) happy. I know for sure due to my own history that consciously and intentionally staying positive, happy can not only prevent illness and chronic disease but can also heal even the most “incurable” (don’t believe in that term at all) health challenge. Now scientists are finding out, I and manyo of my peers have been on the right track all along.

New research shows being happy can add several years to life.

“Happiness does not heal, but happiness protects against falling ill,” says Ruut Veenhoven of Rotterdam’s Erasmus University in a study to be published next month.

After reviewing 30 studies carried out worldwide over periods ranging from one to 60 years, the Dutch professor said the effects of happiness on longevity were “comparable to that of smoking or not”.

That special flair for feeling good, he said, could lengthen life by between 7.5 and 10 years.

The finding brings a vital new piece to a puzzle currently being assembled by researchers worldwide on just what makes us happy — and on the related question of why people blessed with material wealth in developed nations no longer seem satisfied with their lives.

Once the province of poets or philosophers, the notions of happiness and satisfaction have been taken on and dissected, quantified and analysed in the last few years by a growing number of highly serious and respected economists — some of whom dub the new field “hedonics”, or the study of what makes life pleasant, or otherwise.

“The idea that there is a state called happiness, and that we can dependably figure out what it feels like and how to measure it, is extremely subversive,” says Bill McKibben in his 2007 book “Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future”.

“It allows economists to start thinking about life in richer terms, to stop asking ‘What did you buy?’ and to start asking ‘Is your life good?’.”

Growth in material wealth adds little to happiness once buying power hits 10,000 dollars a year per head, according to such research.

But happiness can be bolstered by friendship and human community, as well as larger social factors such as freedom, democracy, effective government institutions and rule of law.

In Veenhoven’s findings, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, a scientific publication founded in 2000, the strongest effect on longevity was found among a group of US nuns followed through their adult life — perhaps reflecting the feel-good factor from belonging to a close-knit stress-free community with a sense of purpose. ” Physorg.com

Come on get happy, you better chase all your blues away,

the sun is shining, Come on get happy…

Live a balanced life… 

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August 19, 2008 Posted by | General, Health, Wellness | , , , , | 1 Comment