08 Apr The Benefits of Happiness and Applying Positive Psychology
The benefits of being positive
Happier people live longer, get fewer infections and feel less pain. Why is a positive attitude so vital to our health? Roger Dobson from The Independent writes …
Forget the pills and potions, hold the tissues, and be positive. It just may be a good way to avoid a cold. People with a positive emotional style – happy, lively, and calm – were nearly three times less likely to develop a cold after being exposed to a virus than the negative-minded volunteers. They were infected by the bug, but their body’s reaction to it meant they were less likely to have a cold. “We found that the tendency to express positive emotions was associated with greater resistance to developing a cold,” say the researchers.
Common colds are not the only health problem to be avoided or lessened by being positive. New research shows that men and women with so-called dispositional optimism – defined as having positive expectations for the future – were less sensitive to pain.
Positive folk may also be less likely to die prematurely and to live seven or more years longer than the more miserable. They recover more quickly from surgery, may be less likely to develop cancer, suffer a stroke, die from heart disease, or suffer from depression.
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