08 Mar More on the relationship between happiness and health
Data from the Gallup World Poll drove the findings, with adults in more than 140 countries providing a representative sample of 95 percent of the world’s population. The sample included more than 150,000 adults.
Participants reported emotions such as happiness, enjoyment, worry and sadness. They described their physical health problems – such as pain and fatigue – and answered questions about whether their most basic needs like food, shelter and personal safety were adequately met.
According to Pressman, positive emotions unmistakably are linked to better health, even when taking into account a lack of basic needs. The inverse holds true as well: Negative emotions were a reliable predictor of worse health.
Most strikingly, the association between emotion and physical health was more powerful than the connection between health and basic human physical requirements, like adequate nourishment. Even without shelter or food, positive emotions were shown to boost health. Indeed, this association was strongest in the poorest countries surveyed.
To read more about this fascinating positive psychology research – click here