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Living Longer and Happier
If someone were to offer you a real chance at living longer, would you take him or her up on it? What if they told you all you had to do was be happier? Count us all in, right? Yes!
Ruut Veenhoven, a Dutch professor, looked at 30 different studies connecting happiness with longevity, and has concluded that being happier could prolong life by a good seven to 10 years!
Other recent happiness studies have shown that relative wealth doesn’t necessarily make people happier; factors like belonging to a community, being surrounded by a loving family and having some sense of freedom and democracy helps. Veenhoven noticed the strongest happiness-longevity connection when looking at a group of American nuns, who are predictably part of a close community and also removed from some of the toils of society.
In addition to happiness affecting longevity, it also plays a role in overall health: it can’t literally make you healthier, but happy people pay attention to their health more in general and tend to approach substances and activities with moderation. Do you have people in your own life (including yourself!) who seem to prove the happiness-longevity theory? [AFP]