Happiness linked to a healthy heart
In a study titled Happy genes set you up for life, published in the European Heart Journal scientists discovered that happy people have healthier hearts and are less likely to have heart disease.
1700 people were tracked for a decade, and the happiest people were protected from heart disease while those who were predominantly unhappy had a far higher likelihood (approximately 22%) of having heart disease.
When someone is content, enjoying whatever it is they are doing, then their stress hormones and blood pressure go down and their heart rate slows.
Of course factors like happy people tend to exercise more, drink and smoke less, have a healthier lifestyle, while depressed people are more likely to have one or more unhealthy addictions.
It may also be that genetics may play a role in that someone with a genetically weaker heart may be depressed while someone with a strong heart feels much better about themselves.
The researchers say that people should do something they like to do every day, even if it is reading the paper, talking a walk or watching a dvd. The trick is, if you like to drink or blob out in front of a dvd eating cookies, to reduce the amount of drinking alcohol or eating junk food whilst doing what you like. The key is though, to do something that YOU really like to do.
By Mark O'Brien