Because of the demographics in North America and Europe, it is to be expected that research will increasingly focus on issues related to aging. In results published in the Lancet, a two-way relationship has been revealed between physical health and subjective well-being. In other words, a high sense of subjective well-being (“I feel great!”) leads to better health, whereas reduced subjective well-being (“I feel terrible!”) actually leads to poor health. While this relationship has always been intuitively manifest in the cultural metaphor (“let your smile the your umbrella”) this new body of evidence, built upon global survey data, is highly predictive and internally and intuitively consistent.
We’ve known for many years, based on the work of Marvin Seligman, Robert Cialdini and others, that the vast majority of individuals prefer to be around positive people. This in many ways explains their success in sales, marketing, public relations and other fields requiring high levels of interpersonal association and attraction. The article in the Lancet offers evidence that the relationship between attitude and health go even deeper than interpersonal success and failure, and that this relationship lasts long into life.
So grab your coat, and grab your hat, leave your worries on the doorstep…