What can happiness do for you?
The Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania has uncovered some intriguing facts about happiness. For instance, people who are happy:
- Do better at work, school and sports
- Are less depressed
- Have fewer physical health problems
- Have better relationships
Optimism has even been verified as a successful strategy to prevent mental and physical illness. Scientists believe a large reason why being happy is so healthy has to do with stress.
“Of course, optimists get stressed,” says David Snowdon, a professor of neurology at the University of Kentucky in a Prevention article. “But they automatically turn the response off much more quickly and return to a positive mental and physical state.”
So beneficial is this ability that those who are optimistic in middle age can expect to add at least 7.5 years to their life — even after adjusting for age, gender, physical health and socioeconomic status — according to a survey by Yale University.