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Positively Healthy

Filed Under: Mental Wellbeing at 3:07 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Extremely Happy ManHave you ever noticed that the perky, peppy people of the world are rarely ill? They never seem to suffer from common, everyday ailments such as colds or allergies, let alone the more severe conditions like heart attacks or chronic inflammation. It’s possible that they hide away when illness strikes them, shielding the world from the darker side of their personalities, but you can’t recall a significant span of time when they weren’t present. In fact, they’re always around, smiling and bubbling their way through the day. Does this mean that they really are healthier?

Yes. People with chronic good moods have chronic good health. They have lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that contributes to high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, weakened immune systems and a host of other complications. Happy women also have lower levels of two of the proteins that cause inflammation. Meanwhile, the only thing angry, hostile people have less of is antioxidants. They’re lacking in several carotenoids, which are vital in protecting the body from oxidative stress. So maybe it’s time you turned your mood around.

Happiness is not a matter of heredity. You weren’t born to be miserable. You can make yourself more positive. Discover the things that bring you pleasure and satisfaction. Surround yourself with people who make you smile and feel good about yourself. Dwell on the positive rather than the negative. Keep your heart happy, and it will keep you healthy.

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