Page 8 - Scene Magazine 45-03 March 2020
P. 8

Seeking Improved Health?
You have probably heard it said, “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” It is all about you, your choices, and your actions. When you tie your happiness to others you take away your ability to be in control of it. Instead, it is an action on your part; a frame of mind to pursue.
Happy People Have Fewer Aches and Pains – Unhappiness can be painful – literally. A recent study compared positive emotions to negative symptoms such as muscle strain, dizziness, and heartburn. People who reported the highest levels of positive emotion at
the beginning of the study actually became healthier over the course of the study, and ended up healthier than their unhappy counterparts. Interestingly, the fact that their health improved over five weeks (and the health of the unhappiest
participants declined) suggests that the results aren’t merely evidence of people in a good mood giving rosier ratings of their health than people in a bad mood.
Another study suggests that positive emotion also mitigates pain in the context of disease. Women with arthritis and chronic pain rated themselves weekly on positive emotions like interest, enthusiasm, and inspiration for about three months. Over the course of the study, those with higher ratings overall were less likely to experience increases in pain.
Happiness Combats Disease and Disability – Happiness is associated with improvements in more severe, long-term conditions as well, not just shorter-term aches and pains.
Nearly 10,000 Australians were followed for two years. Participants who reported being happy and satisfied with
life most, or all of the time were about 1.5 times less likely to have long-term health conditions (like chronic pain and serious vision problems). The results suggest that happiness and optimism may be protective against disease.
A study that began in 2004 rated adults 65 and older on how much self-esteem, hope, happiness, and enjoyment they felt over the past week. After seven years, the participants with more positive emotion ratings were less likely to be frail. Some
of the same researchers also found that happier elderly people (by the same measure of positive emotion) were less likely to have a stroke in the subsequent six years; this was particularly true for men.
Happiness Strengthens Your Immune System – Do you know a grumpy person who always seems to be getting sick?
Choose Ha
  As adults become elderly, another condition that often afflicts them is frailty, which is characterized by impaired strength, endurance, and balance and puts them at risk of disability and death. Happiness may reduce the impact of frailty.

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