Looking on the bright side of things is certainly not always easy and it can often be very hard in fact. Keeping a positive outlook intact when there always seems to more month than money, or when your romantic life is more than a little rocky is no easy task. And it’s the rare person who does not experience at least a few rough days at work every month. The simple fact is it can often seem that remaining upbeat is a real struggle.
However, according to one recent scientific study the simple act of recalling a happy memory from the past can reduce stress, as can actually forcing a smile when you don’t really feel like it. Other research is finding that happiness and actual physical health may also be related too. So with all of this in mind here are some concrete reasons why putting on a happy face really can be good for you
You’ll Live Longer
According to a Yale University study, there is real evidence that optimists will live longer than pessimists. The researchers found that when people who had previously identified themselves as optimists faced a serious health crisis they were far more likely to recover successfully because they were willing to “actively participate” in treatments and suffered from the physical effects of stress less.
In addition, another study, this one conducted by the University of Michigan in 2011, found a decreased risk of stroke among those who described themselves as optimists rather than pessimists.
You Won’t Get a Cold So Often
Nagging little illnesses like colds and flus, can, according to a study conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, can actually be kept at bay if you put on a happy face.
What they discovered over the course of a three year project was that people who described themselves as ‘happy’ were three times less likely to get colds and flus than those who did not. And even when the ‘happy people’ did get a mundane illness like a cold they were far less likely to be overly affected by the symptoms.
What the researchers concluded from all of this was that ‘happy’ emotions essentially send out positive signals from the brain to various bodily organs and strengthens immunity.
You’ll Feel Less Pain
Having a surgery of any kind is never going to be described as anyone’s idea of fun but another study found a definite correlation between preoperative mood and the amount of pain people experienced during their recoveries. Those who reported that they were ‘generally happy’ prior to their procedure reported far less pain than those who did not after their surgeries were over.
According to researchers this is likely to be because happy people’s brains produce more endorphins, clever little chemicals that not only enhance mood but also help to naturally decrease pain.
All of this doesn’t sound bad right? Obviously though not every experience in life can be spun into a positive one but the simple act of resolving to try and be as happy as possible will not only make the bad times easier to bear but help you maintain better health so you can deal with them as well.