Don’t Worry, Be Happy! (It could save your life)

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“Don’t worry, be happy.”

Excellent mental health advice.

Excellent general health advice.

And a delightful Bobby McFerrin tune.

But could it also save your life?

Sounds extreme, but let’s check the science.

Researchers from Mount Sinai in New York, Brown University, and Harvard University, published a meta-analysis of 15 studies in the September 2019 edition of JAMA Network Open that analyzed the effects optimism had on cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality.

Could a smile on the face really have much of an impact on these things?

The researchers, who maintained that optimism and pessimism are easily quantified, identified ten studies which reported on cardiovascular events and nine which reported on all-cause mortality. These studies comprised a massive number of participants, numbering 229,391 in total.

What they found should put a smile on our faces.


They found optimism to be quite significantly associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular events, to the tune of a 35 percent decrease. Optimism was also found to be associated with a 14 percent decrease in risk for all-cause mortality.

Talk about an ordinary concept with extraordinary results!

So while folks debate and test the best dietary programs, exercise programs, supplement programs, etc., one thing we can all do is try to keep a “smile” on our faces.

It might help us, costs us nothing and we just might enjoy our lives a little bit more in the process.

And in the meantime, perhaps we can mine the Billy Ocean catalog for any other transformative health advice that might be hidden in there.

That might be fun too.


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