Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A little science: Laughter really may be the best medicine

Maybe along with our daily vitamins we need to take a daily dose of jokes.

The Reader's Digest runs a section titled Laughter is the best medicine.  A recent scientific study found that Happiness contributes to longer life:

Previous studies on happiness and longevity have looked at how people felt in the past. These recollections of feelings are not always accurate. Not everyone can remember exactly how they felt last Tuesday, so the information is a bit faulty.

For this study, researchers led by Professor of Psychology at the University College London, looked at 3,800 participants between the ages of 52 and 79. They were asked to record their levels of happiness, anxiety and a variety of other emotions at four specific points throughout one particular day.

Based on answers, the researchers divided the participants into three groups based on their level of happiness and positive feelings. Each group was comparable in ethnic makeup, employment status, overall health and education but varied in terms of age, wealth and whether or not they smoked.

After a period of five years, the researchers discovered that within in the groups, seven percent of the least happy group had passed away compared to only four percent in the happiest of the three groups. The middle group was at five percent.

Researchers then looked at each group again and controlled for age, chronic diseases, exercise, alcohol consumption, depression and socioeconomic factors. With these factors taken into consideration, they discovered that 35 percent of the happiest group was less likely to have died and the middle group of happiness was 20 percent less likely.

So don't worry, be happy:

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