In 2013 Pharrel Williams debut his song, “Because I’m Happy.” A great song with a great deal of truth in the lyrics. Yet happiness isn’t just a song, it seems that the level of happiness we experience will greatly impact our health in the long run. Maybe you are one of those positive happy people or you know one. These are people we are instinctively attracted to. Now research is showing that, “A joyful heart is good medicine” is not just a cliche.
Positive psychology, a relatively new field, looks at factors in life that induce emotional stability. According to Doctor Martin Seligman, ““Experiences that induce positive emotion cause negative emotion to dissipate rapidly. The strengths and virtues…function to buffer against misfortune and against the psychological disorders, and they may be the key to building resilience. The best therapists do not merely heal damage; they help people identify and build their strengths and their virtues.”
Let’s take a look at one area of life where happiness can be a predictor of an outcome, happiness and marriage. Happy people are more likely to have a satisfying marriage than those who are not happy. One research project looked at the yearbook photos of women. Those who exhibited cheerful genuine smiles where more likely to to have happy successful marriages, and over a 30 year period these women would also have better health than women who where not happy. What is amazing is the impact that happiness has on our are overall health.
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