la-lalala-la-la-la-la-la………la-la-la-la-la-la-lala…don’t worry, be happy…
Are you singing? Are you smiling? Are you HAPPY?
Nothing new, but yesterday’s Sun-Sentinel ran a page 2 article reported by Maria Cheng of the Associated Press about the connection between healthy hearts and happiness. We all know we that by not smoking, eating right and exercising, we can help avoid a heart attack, but maybe we are over-looking the importance that happiness plays in the healthy heart equation. Even just trying to be cheerful, might make a difference for those natural born grumps!
A study done at Columbia University rated the happiness of 1,700 Canadian adults with no heart problems. This began in 1995 and after a decade they examined the hearts of 145 people who developed heart problems. What they found was the happier people were, the less likely to have any heart problems. Using a five-point scale to measure people’s happiness, they found that for every point on the scale, people were 22 percent less likely to have a problem with their ticker.
Though there were many obvious reasons, what interested me was the actual science of what goes on inside our bodies when we are sad and stressed. Stress releases hormones that can damage heart muscle. It also causes blood vessels to open too wide, allowing plaque buildups to break off and clog the arteries. This info, from Joep Perk, a professor of health science and spokesman for the European Society of Cardiology offers a concrete reason for practicing stress reduction. As we ALL have stress, so we all must have healthy tools to manage it and put ourselves in a happier state of being.
It’s Friday. Don’t worry. Be happy. It’s not a really a choice…your life depends upon it!