You know the drill, if you live a healthy lifestyle you can expect to reap both the physical and mental benefits. But, when you consider the bulk of our lifetime is spent at work, loving what you do takes on a whole new meaning. To explore this notion further, we reveal some surprising effects of happiness in our day-to-day lives.
A 2011 Harvard Study indicates some not so surprising news. Research found, "That sustained stress or fear can alter your biological systems in a way that over time, leads to illness such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes." To counteract the implications of negative emotions, the study tells us to focus on the positives - and there's real science to back this up. In a 2007 study, 6,000 men and women were followed, and researchers found those individuals with a positive outlook (emotional vitality) -- a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness or engagement, had a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
The Science Behind A Positive Outlook
So if negative emotions are harmful to the human body and emotional vitality can counteract these stresses, how do we maintain a positive outlook in one of the most stressful environments - the workplace? Looking back at most stressful jobs of 2014, it's easy to see why the top ten rank as such. But, take a look at the three least stressful jobs; which include Audiologist, Hair Stylist, and a Jeweler. Sure they come with their own series of stresses, but they have a significant commonality.
Scientists strongly correlate social ties to a longer life expectancy. Social ties include relationships like marriage, contact with friends and a connection to an organization. In fact, a study that followed 7,000 adults showed participants with a low number of social ties were two times more likely to die over the nine-year follow up period than those with strong social connections.
Which begs the question, if science tells us that a positive attitude combined with strong social and emotional ties are the key to a physiological healthy being, then where does this leave you?
15 Ways to Be Happier Right Now
According to Forbes, a little over half of us report being unhappy at work. This statistic is based on variables that include job security, wages, internal policies, and retirement packages.
With more studies in the works on the “social distribution of well-being,” our society might not be that far off from a radical shift in HR and work cultural norms. Take Google for example, out of all the perks Google provides, they discovered that happiness was linked to a 12 percent uptick in productivity.
So how can we begin to truly live happier in the present? Needless to say it starts from within. And, while everyone has their opinions on resolutions, living a happier lifestyle might be one you want to stick with in 2015. To get you started on the path, we found this article on 15 ways to jump start happiness.