Pharrell Williams was on to something when he started singing “Happy”

Improving your health involves not only eating right, exercising, drinking your water and getting enough sleep, it also means doing things that make you happy. Harvard School of Public Health associate professor, Laura Kubzansky, lead a study of 6,000 men and women ages 25 to 74 for 20 years and “found that emotional vitality-a sense of enthusiasm, of hopefulness, of engagement in life, and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance- appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.  The protective effect was distinct and measurable…” (HSPH News).  Previous work supports this contention. In 1979, Lisa Berkman, director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, co-authored a seminal study of nearly 7,000 adults in Alameda County, California. Participants who reported fewer social ties at the beginning of the survey were more than twice as likely to die over the nine-year follow-up period, an effect unrelated to behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and physical activity. Social ties included marriage, contact with friends and relatives, organizational and church membership.

So do something that makes you happy and your body and spirit will thank you.  Gotta go, I just saw a friend’s LinkedIn post and I’ve got a photography cruise to purchase (for my health, of course)…