Could increasing your happiness reduce your risk of heart disease?

In a large, population-based study out of Europe, researchers found that an increased positive affect (happiness) was protective against a 10-year incidence of coronary heart disease. The researchers are suggesting that preventive strategies may be enhanced not only by reducing sadness and depressive symptoms, but also by increasing positive affect and happiness.

Bloomberg News reports that “people who are naturally happy appear to have a lower risk of developing heart disease or dying from heart attacks, according to” the study published in the European Heart Journal.

The Washington Post “The Checkup” blog reported that investigators “analyzed 10 years of data about 1,739 healthy adults who participated in the 1995 Nova Scotia Health Survey.”

The AP reports that the researchers “used a five-point scale to measure people’s happiness.” The investigators found that “for every point on the happiness scale, people were 22 percent less likely to have a heart problem.”

You can also learn more about the health dangers of sadness and depression, and get tons of tips on eliminating them in my book 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy. You can see the Table of Contents here, and read the first chapter here.

if you’d like to have a free measure of your health, including your physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual health, I’ve designed some assessment tools you can utilize at no cost:

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