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Smile, Laugh and Move Your Body: Why a Positive Outlook Is Good for Your Health

by | Dec 18, 2019

Are you a Debbie Downer?

Or do you go around humming “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” all the time?

And which do you think is better for your health – a negative attitude or a positive one?

Yep, it should be obvious. And it’s also true. Studies show that optimism is good for our physical and mental health, as well as our longevity.

  • One group of researchers reported “older individuals with more positive self-perceptions of aging… lived 7.5 years longer than those with less positive self-perceptions of aging.”
  • Another found that a positive outlook boosts heart health, even among people with a family history of heart disease.
  • People with a positive outlook live longer, have fewer heart attacks, and struggle less with depression.

The positive news about all this, even for those with a grumpy disposition?

Exercise helps. Simply by moving our bodies, we put ourselves in a better mood. And by maintaining strength, agility and endurance, we build upon our happiness every day. So, go for a walk, ride a bike, lift weights, run, swim, hike, practice yoga, dance – whatever you like.

Need more?

  • Smile and laugh, even if you’re faking it – studies show we get the same physical benefits by just going through the motions.
  • Write down or say something you’re grateful for every day.
  • Call or see a friend or loved one.
  • Let go of what you can’t control – like traffic, past mistakes, and other people.

Sources: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, John’s Hopkins, WebMD