Happiness

Research suggests that certain personal attributes—whether inborn or shaped by positive life circumstances—help some people avoid or healthfully manage diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and depression. These include:


-Emotional vitality: a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness, engagement
-Optimism: the perspective that good things will happen, and that one’s actions account for the good things that occur in life
-Supportive networks of family and friends
-Being good at “self-regulation,” i.e. bouncing back from stressful challenges and knowing that things will eventually look up again; choosing healthy behaviors such as physical activity and eating well; and avoiding risky behaviors such as unsafe sex, drinking alcohol to excess, and regular overeating.


Cognitive researcher Nancy Etcoff looks at happiness — the ways we try to achieve and increase it, the way it is unconnected to real circumstances, and it’s effect on our physical bodies.

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