Life Is Short

Life is short
graphic © eminentlyquotable.com | photo – Publicdomainpictures.net

Life Is Short
“Laugh often.
Give big hugs.
Play your favorite songs loud.
Make phone calls to loved ones.
Breathe deep.
Give up on the haters.
Visit friends and family that are far away.
Practice peace.
See the beauty in all situations.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Dream big and make it happen.
Love like crazy.”

Although death is inevitable, research has shown that happiness contributes to longevity. In a new study, researchers found that the happiest group of people age 52 to 79 had a 35% lower risk of death than their least happy peers.

Several studies have suggested that happy people are healthy people. An infographic from Happify.com showed that people who consider themselves happy have lower heart rate, lower levels of stress hormone cortisol, and lower concentrations of plasma associated with heart disease. Furthermore, researchers also found that traits such as emotional vitality, optimism, having a supportive network of family and friends, and being good at self-regulation help prevent illnesses such as depression and diabetes.

More interestingly, happiness is different from each person. James Montier in his “The psychology of happiness” learned that happiness consists of 3 components: genetic standpoint (about 50% of individual happiness), circumstances (10%), and intentional activity (40%).

It suggests that there are different sources of happiness, and that one can make up for the lack of genetic standpoint by increasing one’s happiness from intentional activity such as exercise, sleep, sex, socialization, and taking risks.

Even though a number of studies showed a link between happiness and longevity, a lot of factors have to be considered. Psychologist Andrew Steptoe remarked, “…it’s important to make sure older people have adequate money, healthcare, and social support.”

Regardless of whether or not it contributes to longevity, engaging in positive activities that exude happiness is still a healthy option. As a proverb goes, “If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy.”

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