Harvard Investigates The Incidence Of Happiness In Health

Can Happiness Lead to Health? That was the hypothesis that was raised at a symposium on the science of health and happiness in the New Research Building on Harvard’s Longwood campus. Furthermore, it was emphasized that modern healthcare is not focused on health, but on disease.

However, the symposium emphasized the importance of focusing on the positive side of events. In this way, the idea of ​​focusing on the assets that keep us healthy or that help us recover more quickly from illnesses and injuries was raised.

In this regard, the Dra. Laura Kubzansky said that ” urgently needed a more thorough investigation to understand these positive assets and how to promote them for millions of people around the world “.

“Medical and psychological practice and research have traditionally focused on diseases and deficits that cause health problems.”

-Laura Kubzansky-

How was the investigation started?

It all started when the Lee Kum Kee family donated to create a new Center for Health and Happiness at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. In this way, a center would be financed to study how to increase happiness and health on a day-to-day basis.

Precisely, the premise that was raised was to discover how happiness can have a positive impact on health.  Of course, speaking of happiness as one of the determining factors of existence and not as a pretty phrase.

For her part, Laura Kubzansky, co-director of the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at Harvard’s Chan School, said at the symposium that it has long been an opaque field of study, but that it is providing knowledge that supports the idea that  health, well-being and happiness are intrinsically related.

Likewise,  Francesca Dominici,  the dean associated with research at Harvard Chan School,  assured that “ the new center will focus on developing a“ rigorous science ”on how positive psychological and social factors can influence health and how to translate these findings into public policies with the aim of improving health in general “.

In the event, whose central axis was whether happiness can lead to health, they discussed how to translate the findings into public policies, which will reduce the gap between academic institutions and the needs of people during their daily days.

Just as illness sets in motion a series of physiological reactions, there is growing evidence that happiness and well-being are also related to bodily processes.”

-Laura Kubzansky-

Happiness, why does it make us healthier?

Being happy not only leads to a state of absolute psychic satisfaction, but also more and more progress is being made in verifying that it has a significant influence on a physical level. In this way, the substantial change from a state of happiness to a state of sadness can be verified even at the chemical level.

Happiness is felt and transferred throughout the body, as countless endorphins are released through the spinal cord and bloodstream throughout the body every time you are with loved ones, listen to your favorite song or simply play take a walk. In this way, the individual notices an improvement in their mood and even decreases the intensity of certain pains.

Andrew Steptoe, director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care at University College London, reported that there is a relationship between measures of well-being and health, since those individuals who enjoyed life more not only lived longer, but their aging was slower.

However, Harvard reports that an additional study showed that those people who are most satisfied with life are the most likely to be physically active, eat healthy, and use sunscreen, and are less likely to smoke.

In addition, less happy people have been shown to have higher levels of fat and cortisol, the stress hormone. However, despite the respective advances among studies regarding the incidence of happiness in health, many questions remain unresolved.

Be happy … despite everything

The concern for happiness is an inherent condition of human existence. However, this concern has to coexist with many others that are not always compatible.

Understanding that most of our security resides in the present and not in the future  is long-term work. However, once we have really started to work with this idea or approach, problems tend to turn into challenges – opportunities to grow – rather than worries.

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