Happiness Is The Key To A Longer Life, Says Study

The Huffington Post UK   First Posted: 01/11/2011 17:04 GMT Updated: 01/01/2012 10:12 GMT

Feeling happy and having a positive outlook on life could be the key to a longer life, a study has revealed.

The five year study of almost 4,000 people aged between 52 and 79 years old, discovered that those who were happier and more content, had a lower risk of premature death than those who looked on the gloomier side of life.

Researchers from the University College of London asked participants to rate their feelings of happiness and anxiety across the course of a day. They then recorded the numbers of deaths over the five year period.

The results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that those who reported feeling happy and positive, had a 35% reduced risk of dying young compared to unhappy participants. Researchers took into account age, disease and health related conditions, gender and depression before coming to their conclusion.

These findings follow previous research from the University of Illinois that found positive thinking helps reduce stress-related hormones and made the immune system stronger.

It also comes after the study, which found that the majority of Brits see the glass as half full, rather than half empty.

If you're in the half empty camp and struggle to keep positive, follow these mood-boosting tips by life coach Sophia Davis.

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  • Be Aware Of Your Thoughts

    "Feelings don't exist without thoughts, so if you want to feel good, think good things! Its really as simple as that. Think about the people you love the most, your best holiday, or the last time you really had a good old belly laugh. You'll notice a smile creep on your face," says life coach, <strong>Sophia Davis</strong>.

  • Stimulate Your Senses

    "One great way to boost your mood is through music or touch. Listen to an uplifting album and dance around like you've never heard music before or go and get a relaxing massage and relish in the fact that you are being pampered. You will notice your stresses disappearing and your mood lift instantly."

  • Meditate

    "If you sit still for even 5 minutes a day, you will notice the change in your mood. You will take life in your stride and everything will seem lighter and happier. Try it."

  • Step Away From The Drama

    "Its easy to think ourselves into a frenzy without even realising we are doing it. My advice is. If your feeling a little worse for wear, try to gain some perspective on the situation by trying to look at it for what it really is. Then, try to think of a bigger picture and write a list of all the positives in your life."

  • Do Something Nice For Yourself

    "Buy a new outfit, take yourself to lunch, or call an old friend. Treat yourself like your own best friend, and you are guaranteed to feel great all of the time!"