There is a profound interplay between happiness and health, both impacting the vitality of the other. Research confirms that happiness does affect ones health, so that age old saying “laughter is the best medicine” may actually be true!. “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”~Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association and Author of Authentic Happiness.
A study involving nuns have found that happiness and health-positive emotions correlated with longevity. 95% of the most cheerful group of nuns was alive at age 95, 34% of the least cheerful quarter lived to about that age. 54% of the most cheerful fourth was alive at age ninety-four, versus 11% of the least cheerful group.
Research done by Robert Holden showed that although both happiness and health were highly valued, 65 out of 100 people would choose happiness over health. This speaks volumes as to the power a smile can bring and the affect happiness has on an individual. Stress, anxiety, and depression can all cause poorer health and mood. Chronic anxiety and stress can even weaken your immune system and cause inflammation in the body. Practicing positive psychology can ward off stress and keep our minds and bodies happy and healthy.