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Happiness Tied to Good Health

By on March 10, 2013

What does it take to be happy? I mean, really, really happy?

Well, researchers say being happy is not a frivolous byproduct of a good day, it is an indicator of  good health and should be taken seriously.Close-up of mid adult man eating apple

Sarah Pressman, a professor of psychology at University of California,  Irvine, and Shane J. Lopez, a Gallup senior scientist, said the relationship  between emotions and health around the world cannot simply be explained by a  country’s gross domestic product. In fact, the association between positive emotions and health is even  stronger in low-GDP countries than in high-GDP countries, the researchers said.

The findings were based on Gallup surveys conducted in 142 countries in 2009  via the Gallup World Poll that asked people whether they experienced positive  emotions — such as happiness, enjoyment, and love — and negative emotions —  such as sadness, stress, and worry — a lot “yesterday.” Gallup also asked  respondents about their health and their basic access to safety, shelter and  food.

The links between self-reported emotions and heath were stronger than the  relative impact of hunger, homelessness and threats to safety on health, the  researchers said.

The link between positive emotions and health was stronger in low-GDP  countries than in high-GDP countries. The survey results were published in the journal Psychological Science, found people in  many poor countries were healthier than their country’s wealth might suggest  they would be and attributable to the role of positive emotions in their lives.

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