We would probably all like to live to a healthy ripe old age.
After all, why else would we devote so much time to reading articles on lowering the risk of heart attack, cancer, diabetes and other diseases… and spend so much money on vitamin and mineral supplements designed to boost overall health?
Yet, even though most of us are taking more control of our health than ever before, there’s one thing that we’ve been missing…
Something that has a huge impact on how long you live…
Something you’ll likely never hear about from your doctor…
Happy older people live longer
It turns out that whether you’re a happy or unhappy person could be the determining factor in the length of your life — a fact which has now been scientifically proven.
The study was performed by researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore by assessing a so-called “Happiness Survey” taken by almost 4,500 people.
How in the world can you survey happiness you might wonder…
Well, they did it by asking just three questions:
- How often in the past week have you felt happy?
- How often in the past week have you enjoyed life?
- How often in the past week have you felt hope for the future?
Pretty simple, right?
But, it turns out these questions are powerful predictors of your longevity.
The researchers discovered that the happier you are, the less likely you are to die of any cause at all — from heart attack to cancer and anything in between. In fact, the study showed that happiness decreased the overall chance death by a full 19 percent over a six year period.
Can you imagine? Just being happy gives you almost a 20 percent higher chance of living an extra six years or more.
With that in mind, how can you become a happier person to live longer?
Here are five ways to boost your happiness:
- Look for the joy – It’s easy to find things that make us feel irritated or depressed but if you focus instead on finding joy in even the smallest things, you can up your happiness level. Get up early to watch the sunrise, read a good book or just appreciate the fact that you’ve been given one more day.
- Surround yourself with happy people – Studies show that being around happy people rubs off on you so surround yourself with happiness and you’ll begin to feel it.
- Find your passion – Whether it’s your job, spending time with your family, painting, knitting or anything else you can think of, doing things that you’re passionate about feeds your happiness and well-being.
- Practice gratefulness – Take time each day to reflect on the blessings you’ve been given and practice gratefulness. It will help you feel more connected to the people around you, while lowering your levels of stress and depression.
- Spend more time outside – Taking a walk in the great outdoors is a proven way to increase happiness. And, as an added bonus, sunlight gives your body a boost of Vitamin D which fights depression.
Your happiness is directly linked to your likelihood of living longer. Boost your happiness and your life span using the simple happiness tricks above.
Editor’s note: Have you heard about Greek grandpa Stamatis Moraitis, who returned home to die of cancer and ended up outliving his doctors? He and a large community of seniors living on the Greek island of Ikaria were the subjects of an article called, “The Island Where People Forgot to Die.” If you’d like to know what some experts believe about how they keep their vigor and live so long, click here!
- Happy older people live longer — Duke-NUS Medical School
- Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study — BMJ
- The role of gratitude in the development of social support, stress, and depression: Two longitudinal studies — Journal of Research in Personality
- 15 Ways to Increase Your Happiness — Psych Central
- Depression — Vitamin D Council