While healthy eating and living an active life are important, researchers have revealed the secret to living a long life is simply by being happy.
According to the team at Duke-NUS Medical School, keeping your mental health in check is incredibly beneficial and happiness has a strong link with a reduction in mortality.
The study which was published in Science Daily, analysed the results of over 4,000 people aged 60 and older with researchers asking each participant how often in the week prior they felt happy, enjoyed life and felt hope about the future.
Each person was then given a happiness score which was used to analyse the link with death. The researchers found that among happy people, 15 per cent passed away up until December 31 2015, while 20 per cent of those that were unhappy died in this time.
Overall, every increase of one point on the happiness score lowered the chance of dying due to any cause among participants by an additional nine per cent. And, the likelihood of dying due to any cause was 19 per cent lower for happy people in the age group.
According to head of research at Duke-NUS’ Centre for Ageing Research and Education Assistant Professor Rahul Malhotra this means even the smallest increment in happiness may be beneficial to people’s longevity.
“Individual-level activities as well as government policies and programs that maintain or improve happiness or psychological well-being may contribute to a longer life among older people,” he explained.
While co-author May-Ling Lee said people of all ages and genders should aim to increase their happiness if they hope to live a long life.
“The consistency of the inverse association of happiness with mortality across age groups and gender is insightful — men and women, the young-old and the old-old, all are likely to benefit from an increase in happiness,” she claimed.
Interestingly, it has been found people are living longer than before with research from the Bureau of Statistics revealing on increase in life expectancy.
Back in 2016, it was found in Australia women were living a year longer while men were living almost two years longer than they were a decade ago.
These stats didn’t include for further advancements in medicine and science, but the ABS did say that with further advancements we could easily tack another four years onto the average.