From WebMD and Circulation:
Pessimism and Cynicism Appear to Increase Risk of Heart Disease and Death.
Women who scored highest for optimism had a 9% lower risk for developing heart disease and a 14% lower risk of dying.
Optimists were more likely to:
- be younger
- live in the western U.S.
- have higher education
- have higher income levels
- have a job
- have health insurance
- attend church
MOTORS of Your Life
Studies describe a set of wellbeing practices that are correlated with the feeling of happiness (BMJ, WJM). I tried to summarize them in the mnemonic MOTORS because the pursuit of happiness, in its altruistic sense, can be the motor of your life.
“MOTORS” stands for:
Meaning --> find a meaning in what you do for a living but don't forget to set limits around it
Outlook --> have a positive outlook on life. Be philosophical but also focused on success
Time --> spend quality time with F&F (Family & Friends)
Out of of yuppie values --> don't focus on chasing money or prestige
Religious / spiritual practices
Self care practices, like sports or meditation
All these 6 features are correlated with feeling happier, and some of them even with living longer.
Pessimism, Cynicism Can Hurt Your Heart. WebMD.
The American Heart Association journal Circulation, Aug 25, 2009.
Six Tips for Happiness by a Harvard Teacher
Image source: OpenClipArt.org, public domain.