Is Happiness the Key to Longevity?
Many studies have been done that show happy people live longer. A new paper that has been published comes to a different conclusion. Happiness isn’t responsible for longer life, but the things that make people happy (specifically their good health) is the thing shielding them from premature death.
Researchers looked at data from the Million Women Study to find answers to what type of people live longest. Those who said they were unhappy had a 29% more likelihood of death compared to those who said they were happy. But those who said they were unhappy were far more likely to be in poor health. When taking that caveat into account the link between happiness and mortality disappeared.
What this study means is that it may be more important to look at your health and well being as a major determining factor in your longevity. Being happy doesn’t hurt, but more research is needed to find out what specific traits and variables lead people to a longer, more fulfilled life.
Living a healthy lifestyle may be the most important variable in giving you a long life doing the things you love. So take care to move towards better health everyday!
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Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.
LA Times: “The key to a long life isn’t happiness after all” – Karen Kaplan
Finding Happiness Alone: Because the best person to hang out with may be yourself…
Based on studies done in 2013 and 2014 people were likely to skip experiences if they did not have a companion. This was true for women and men alike, across age groups, single and married people, and by different personality types.
Hedonic things (fun activities) were viewed as not being fun when performed alone and some even went so far as to suggest that seeing someone doing fun activities alone made them look like loners to others. Utilitarian activities (grocery shopping, exercising) were often seen as ok to do alone.
In a follow up study, people attended an exhibit either alone or with partners and there was no difference in the amount of enjoyment they self reported after the event.
If people are avoiding experiences because they are alone this could have a negative impact from a health and wellness standpoint. When people avoid good times that can increase their wellbeing it can lead to future health problems (stress, anxiety, depression). It may also further the societal stigma that people on their own are merely loners with no friends.
Tips for going out solo:
- Have books/newspapers/technology available. This can make people on their own feel more comfortable.
- Look for venues that may have slow days. Some prefer to be out alone with fewer witnesses around.
- Some things that begin as solitary activities may not always end up that way. Look for places offering networking opportunities to meet others.
- Start slow and work at it. You may be hesitant, but you should not deny yourself a source of happiness.
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This information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.
LA Times “The case for bowling alone”