Science of happiness proven

Good news – Tonic helps people live longer!   > Maybe a slight exaggeration and yet it has been proved that those who think positively live longer than those who have a more negative outlook.

Basically, if you are an optimist who believes your glass is half full, you will live longer than the pessimist who believes it is half empty.

The US study has found that the former are more likely to live to the age of 85 or more. The theory is that they may find it easier to control emotions and so be protected from the effects of stress. Likewise the researchers say pessimists could benefit from doing things like imagining a future where everything turns out well.

While a lot is known about the risk factors for disease and early death, far less is known about positive psychosocial factors that could enable healthy ageing.

Secret for longevity and healthy ageing

Lewina  Lee, a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, who worked on the study, said: “Our findings speak to the possibility that raising levels of optimism may promote longevity and healthy ageing.

“Evidence from randomised control trials suggest that interventions, such as imagining a future in which everything has turned out well, or more intensive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, can increase levels of optimism.”

However, exactly why optimistic people appear to live longer is still up for debate. She adds, “Healthier behaviours and lower levels of depression only partially explained our findings.

“Initial evidence from other studies suggests that more optimistic people, who tend to have goals and the confidence to reach them, are more effective in problem-solving. They may be better at regulating their emotions during stressful situations“.

The Science of Happiness

In Tonic’s home city, the developmental psychology in society at the University of Bristol runs a course called ‘The Science of Happiness’.

The boss Bruce  Hood says the study supports existing evidence of the benefits of positive thinking. “I think that one causal mechanism could be that optimists cope better with stress, and this could be by avoiding rumination about negative life events. Stress impacts on the immune system and so there is a possibility that this means that optimists cope better with infections.

“A number of studies have also linked stress with shorter telomeres. This is a chromosome component that has been associated with cellular ageing and risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Sounds over complicated! Far easier just to make a phone call for some longevity therapy ….


7 thoughts on “Science of happiness proven

  1. grumps says:

    so whats so clever and good about living longer
    rather stay a miserable git and enjoy myself

  2. Chaddy (Basingstoke old codger) says:

    Agreed. Moaning makes me happy -what would I do if that one simple pleasure was taken away!!
    Anyway, as with an old car, the mileage is more important than the age. I know lots of pensioners who have done nothing with their lives. Live life to the very full and go out with all guns blazing regardless of how old you are

  3. Patsy John says:

    Folk nowadays are crying out for inner peace. They seek lives filled with love – not lives filled with stress. Move forward by learning from how others do things – use that info to decide what works best in your life. With this approach you choose friends and advisors who agree to be good listeners and provide their perspectives, and to respect you by not pushing their agendas and beliefs on you.

    • Ant (Client 89) says:

      Too many of us think that positivity is ingrained – thus, either you are born positive or you are a negative thinker. Not true. with determination you can develop a positive persona by cultivating positive habits. Where there is a will there is a way.

  4. Your Posting is all very well, but it fails to advise on HOW to be happy. Not the easiest of tasks in this troubled age. In my opinion the happiest people are those who have discovered their unique strengths and virtues (such as humanity). They then use those ‘gifts’ for a purpose that is greater than their own personal objectives.

  5. Clara (Newport therapist) says:

    To tell people to be more positive is stupid and pointless. You can’t order people to be happy. The fact is our psychological well-being is affected by three main factors – our genetic make up, our environment and our thoughts and actions. To realign this combination you need to practice positive psychology. Do this and you will gain insight into how to build resilience to depression and anxiety. Positive psychology is a new art and you will find numerous Links on the web showing how to do it. Good luck!

  6. Just me! says:

    The common mantra is ‘live life to the full and enjoy every moment’. Easier said than done! But one quick short cut is being grateful. Gratitude is a virtue that brings great enjoyment. Take time each day to be grateful for life experiences and the simple free things in life. Just enjoy being you – a different and totally unique individual.

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