Study: Happiness Good for the Heart
Positive People Have Less Heart Disease
WebMD News Archive
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Research into happiness and how it impacts health, known as positive psychology, is a relatively new.
It was long believed that most people are hardwired to be either naturally
happy or not, regardless of life events.
But this view has changed in recent years as more becomes known about the
science of happiness, University of Michigan professor of medicine Bertram
Pitt, MD, tells WebMD.
In an editorial published with the study, Pitt writes that interventions
that focus on improving social skills and decreasing
social anxiety may lower heart disease risk.
Both the study and editorial appear in the European Heart
Pitt cites numerous strategies that could help naturally negative people
become happier, including:
- Express gratitude on a regular basis.
- Practice being optimistic.
- Engage in frequent acts of kindness.
- Visualize one's best self.
- Savor joyful events.
- Practice forgiveness.
"Finally, regular exercise and sexual activity and good sleep are all
associated with increased self-reported happiness," he writes.