Flash Those Pearly Whites and You'll Live Longer
Sure, you could go about this day with a negative outlook and a snappy attitude to match because you'd rather be curled up in bed with Netflix than go about this dreadful looking Monday. Or...you could turn that frown upside down and be happy that you have the privilege of another day. For some extra motivation to be pumped about this rainy day, new research states that happier people live longer. Come on, is that all it really takes? Yeah right, you're probably thinking to yourself.
Laura Kubzansky, HSPH associate professor of society, human development and health at Harvard (yes, that Haaaaarvaaaard), has conducted extensive research on mental health. Laura published a study in 2007 that followed 6,000 men and women aged 25-74 for 20 years (talk about a long, long study!). In her study, she found that enthusiasm, being hopeful, positive engagements in life and the ability to handle large amounts of stress (think finals week) reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
Another research study led by Elizabeth Lawrence of the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, was more in a survey form about how happy people were in their lives and researchers examined the data and found out if these people were alive by the year 2008. The level of happiness people checked off was related to the risk of deaths years later.
OK, so we're not totally off the hook from exercising and choosing kale over a cheeseburger from keeping us healthy; however, staying positive, happy and showing off those pearly whites so much your cheeks hurt, will help fight nasty diseases, keep us healthy and attract other positive, happy people too!
Happy smiling folks!