Happiness doesn’t just feel good – it affects the health of your body!

People with higher levels of “subjective well-being” live up to ten years longer than those who don’t. Happiness also affects some health outcomes, including success rates of stem-cell transplantation, control of diabetes, HIV outcomes, and recovery from stroke, heart surgery, and hip fracture.

Studies show that positive psychological states, such as joy, happiness, and positive energy, as well as characteristics such as life satisfaction, hopefulness, optimism, and a sense of humor result in lower mortality rates and extended longevity in both healthy and diseased populations.

In fact, happiness and related mental states like hopefulness, optimism and contentment reduce the risk or limit the severity of heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, hypertension, and colds. According to a Dutch study of elderly patients, upbeat mental states reduced an individual’s risk of death by 50% over the study’s nine-year duration.

What can you do to improve your happiness today?