Researchers followed 1,700 people for 10 years, and considered their emotional states over that time. Participants rated their anxiety, joy and other emotions on a five-point scale. By the end of the study, researchers determined that each step up on mood the scale saw a corresponding 22-percent decrease in heart-disease risk.
How does it work? Likely because reducing stress, improving sleep and moving on from tough experiences inflicts a lower toll on the physical body.
The take-home message is that happiness is an important part of daily self care, just like moderate exercise and eating well. Joy is medicine.
Here’s to happy, healthy hearts!