Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy and Healthy

Positive emotions and traits have been shown to influence a wide variety of well-being outcomes, from greater success at work to more and better quality social relationships. What may be the most important connection, however, is the growing evidence that positive affect plays an important role in physical health outcomes such as longevity, disease morbidity, and disease survival.

Now, a joint study between the University of Kansas and Gallup(1) using data on more than 150,000 adults in more than 140 countries has shown that positive emotions are linked to better health even when considering a lack of fundamental needs.

Sarah Pressman, assistant professor of psychology and Gallup senior research associate, said the association between emotion and physical health was more powerful than the connection between health and basic human physical requirements. Even without shelter or food, positive emotions were shown to boost health. Indeed, this association was strongest in the poorest countries surveyed.

1. 2009 Gallup Well-Being Forum

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