FEW WORDS ON HAPPINESSHappiness is the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.In ancient Greek, the word for happiness is a cognate, the word for luck. Hap is the word of Old Norse and Old English for happiness means luck or chance. For Old French heur, giving us bonheur, good fortune or happiness. Gluck is a German word which means both happiness and chance.In all the domains of life, happiness appears to have numerous positive by-products. In becoming happier, we not only boost experiences of joy, contentment, love, pride, and awe but it also improve other aspects of our lives: our energy levels, our immune systems, our engagement with work and with other people, and our physical and mental health. by becoming happier, we bolster our feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem; we come to believe that we are worthy human beings, deserving of respect. if we become happier, we benefit not only ourselves but also our partners, families, communities, and society.Happiness is Good for Health Happiness protects heartLove and happiness never originate in the heart, but it is always good for heart. In a study, happiest participants had a lower heart rate and on follow up after three years (about six beats slower per minute), and had better blood pressure.Over time, these effects can add up to serious differences in heart health. In a 2010 study, researchers invited nearly 2,000 Canadians into the lab to talk about their anger and stress at work. Observers rated them on a scale of one to five for the extent to which they expressed positive emotions like joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm, and contentment. Ten years later, the researchers checked in with the participants to see how they were doing—and it turned out that the happier ones were less likely to have developed coronary heart disease. In fact, for each one-point increase in positive emotions they had expressed, their heart disease risk was 22 percent lower.Happiness strengthens immune systemA much earlier experiment found that immune system activity in the same individual goes up and down depending on their happiness. For two months, 30 male dental students took pills containing a harmless blood protein from rabbits, which causes an immune response in humans. They also rated whether they had experienced various positive moods that day. On days when they were happier, participants had a better immune response, as measured by the presence of an antibody in their saliva that defends against foreign substances.Happiness combats stressIn the study mentioned above, where participants rated their happiness more than 30 times in a day, researchers also found associations between happiness and stress. The happiest participants had 23 percent lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than the least happy, and another indicator of stress—the level of a blood-clotting protein that increases after stress—was 12 times lower.Happy people have fewer aches and painsA 2001 study participants were asked to rate their recent experience of positive emotions, then (five weeks later) how much they had experienced negative symptoms like muscle strain, dizziness, and heartburn since the study began. People who reported the highest levels of positive emotion at the beginning actually became healthier over the course of the study, and ended up healthier than their unhappy counterparts. The fact that their health improved over five weeks and the health of the unhappiest participants declined. Happiness combats disease and disabilityAs adults become elderly, another condition that often afflicts them is frailty, which is characterized by impaired strength, endurance, and balance which puts them at risk of disability and death. In a 2004 study, over 1,550 Mexican Americans ages 65 and older were rated how much self-esteem, hope, happiness, and enjoyment they felt over the past week. After seven years, the participants with more positive emotion ratings were less frail. Researchers also found that happier elderly people of positive emotion were less likely to have a stroke in the subsequent six years; this was particularly true for men.Happiness lengthens our livesIn a 2011 study, almost 4,000 English adults ages 52-79 reported how happy, excited, and content they were multiple times in a single day. Here, happier people were 35 percent less likely to die over the course of about five years than their unhappier counterparts.All that said, health benefits of happiness is still young. It will take time to figure out the exact mechanisms by which happiness influences health, and how factors like social relationships and exercise fit in. But in the meantime, it seems safe to imagine that a happier you will be healthier, too.Last not the least when every country opted for GDP, a tiny Himalyan country Bhutan opted for GDH.Compiled from different sources.
Source: Few words on Happiness