Positive emotions hold sway over physical health

March 4th, 2009 - 5:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 4 (ANI): Its not just lifestyle, human emotions too have a significant impact on an individuals well being, says a new study.

Researchers from University of Kansas have found that positive emotions are critical for upkeep of physical health for people worldwide, especially for those who are deeply impoverished.

“We”ve known for a while now that emotions play a critical role in physical health,” said Sarah Pressman, assistant professor of psychology at KU and a Gallup senior research associate.

“But until recently, most of this research was conducted only in industrialized countries. So we couldn”t know whether feelings like happiness or sadness matter to the health of people who have more pressing concerns like getting enough to eat or finding shelter. But now we do,” she added.

During the study, the researchers analysed the data from the Gallup World Poll involving more than 150,000 adults.

The participants reported their emotions and also answered questions about whether their most basic needs like food, shelter and personal safety were adequately met.

It showed that positive emotions such as happiness, enjoyment are unmistakably linked to better health, even when taking into account a lack of basic needs.

While negative emotions such as worry and sadness were a reliable predictor of worse health.

The association between emotion and physical health was more powerful than the connection between health and basic human physical requirements.

Even without shelter or food, positive emotions were shown to boost health.

The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society in Chicago. (ANI)

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