01/11/2011 12:04 GMT | Updated 01/01/2012 05:12 GMT

Happiness Is The Key To A Longer Life, Says Study

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.

Boost Your Feel-Good Mood