According to a new study published in the Lancet journal, happiness is not an effective remedy. This new assertion comes to contradict what has been previously stated, namely, that people who are happier live longer lives, whereas mortality rates are higher among unhappy people.
The recent study was conducted on a group of 700,000 women with an average age of 59 years old. The female participants were followed over a period of 10 years during which scientists registered mortality rates and the causes that might have led to participants’ death. At the end of the study, researchers have concluded that 30,000 women died during all this period of time.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t the fact that they were not happy enough what caused their deaths. On the contrary, this belief is grounded on a misunderstood cause-effect relationship. Most of the times, it is illnesses that cause people to be unhappy and not the other way around.
Scientists have further discovered during their brief experiment that unhappiness was very common among people who suffered from deprivation and lack of exercise. Smoking and loneliness were the two most common causes leading to people’s unhappiness.
Researchers noticed there is a strong link between people’s health condition and their tendency to be unhappy. This does not mean that happiness automatically improves patients’ condition. According to medical experts, a good psyche helps overcome health issues, but it won’t do unless the person gives up destructive habits.
Laughing won’t keep people healthy if they still continue to smoke, drink and ignore doctors’ recommendations. It is important to correctly identify the real causes of health problems and to deal with them once and for all.
The current study is a great scientific achievement because it finally debunks the old myth claiming happiness is a remedy in itself. As cruel as the reality might be, knowing the truth really shows patients how to improve their lifestyle.
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