Happiness does not heal, but happiness protects against falling ill. As a result, happy people live longer. The size of the effect on longevity is comparable to that of smoking or not
We need to reflect on this. As I have pointed out often, psychological outlook and an avoidance of stress is a really important element to health. When I was growing up my parents' career guidance to me was - "It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you are happy." That may sound shallow, but maybe it was a very healthy and wise thing to say.
Healthy happiness: effects of happiness on physical health and the consequences for preventive health care
Is happiness good for your health? This common notion is tested in a synthetic analysis of 30 follow-up studies on happiness and longevity. It appears that happiness does not predict longevity in sick populations, but that it does predict longevity among healthy populations So, happiness does not cure illness but it does protect against becoming ill. The effect of happiness on longevity in healthy populations is remarkably strong. The size of the effect is comparable to that of smoking or not.
If so, public health can also be promoted by policies that aim at greater happiness of a greater number. That can be done by strengthening individual life-abilities and by improving the livability of the social environment. Some policies are proposed. Both ways of promoting health through happiness require more research on conditions for happiness.