No one knows what life might throw at them, but we can fortify ourselves both physically and emotionally to be best able to handle adversity and thrive in times of serendipity: according to research at Harvard by Laura Kubzansky, a pioneer in developing a science of resilience, well-being, and positive health.
In her article about Kubzanky’s work, Sara Rimer, wrote:
“In a 2007 study that followed more than 6,000 men and women aged 25 to 74 for 20 years, for example, she found that emotional vitality—a sense of enthusiasm, of hopefulness, of engagement in life, and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance—appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The protective effect was distinct and measurable, even when taking into account such wholesome behaviors as not smoking and regular exercise."
Keys to a Happier Healthier Life
“Kubzansky concedes that psychological states such as anxiety or depression—or happiness and optimism—are forged by both nature and nurture. “They are 40–50 percent heritable, which means you may be born with the genetic predisposition. But this also suggests there is a lot of room to maneuver.” Her “dream prevention”: instill emotional and social competence in children—with the help of parents, teachers, pediatricians, sports coaches, school counselors, mental health professionals, and policy makers—that would help confer not only good mental health but also physical resilience for a lifetime.
This would build the kind of grit that serves a person in both good times and bad. If you haven’t been fortunate enough to have that kind of environment as a young person it is never too late. "Fake it ‘til you make it” is more then just a saying. Even when frowning was restricted by Botox injections the people who could only smile reported feeling happier then when they could express sadness. It turns out that several studies have shown happiness to make our hearts healthier, our immune systems stronger, and our lives longer.
Healthy Longevity with a Smile!