Love & Well-Being. Even Small Amounts May Make A Big Difference For You:
Sometimes in life, it can be hard to work on several problems.
Hence, the philosophy of keeping it simple.
And because of that, there are many worthwhile facets of life we need to be reminded-of, and this can be the same with our health.
Where the average person who doesn’t say they have no time for it, mainly focuses on nutrition and exercise.
But if a new PSU study is to be believed, then it’s the little-things in overlooked areas that just might make a big difference over time…
Temperament Actually Matters For Health:
One of the chief components people pay attention-to about themselves is their personality.
And taking tests like The Big 5 or OCEAN to get and idea of what your temperament is are very popular.
But as we’ve learned over several studies, this isn’t just some curiosity.
It can have real effects on your life and your health.
And The Short Answer for the current work is that people who experienced several low-grade instances of a type of Love, turned out to report greater well-being in more than one part of their mindset; which also leads to other benefits.
Read on for more details…
Living To 100, The Human Element Does Matter:
So, there’s an awful-lot to Living to 100.
And surprisingly, it’s not all about being either a born-superhero in your Genetics,
And one of those small-factors we mentioned in the intro is a surprising factor we’ll leak now: Social Connectedness.
Because it’s not one of the things that comes to mind instantly when people talk about optimizing health or Longevity.
Happiness Does Actually Equal Healthiness:
And before we get to the results, here’s one more leak on what may connect the dots.
Awhile back we told you about how Dr. Ed Diener and Sarah Pressman proved that Happy=Healthy.
I mean, if Meditation can change the expression of between 1500-2200 genes,
Then something as encompassing as Happiness should be able to do a lot more, right?
Small Moments Of “Love” And Well-Being, The Recent Study Results :
Okay, so now that we’ve prepared the field-of-battle, the PSU results.
In two studies comprising roughly 200 subjects polled 6 times/day at random-times, over the course of 4-weeks,
Subjects who self-reported having higher levels of what researchers defined as “felt-love”,
Experienced significantly higher levels of psychological well-being.
They also had higher-levels of extraversion.
Conversely, those subject who did not experience the sensation were significantly higher in neuroticism and negative emotional spectra.
Furthermore, the experiences of “felt-love” increased over the course of the study too, which might bode-well for another healthy-mind practice.
The Genius Of The Study Is In The Small Things:
One of the greatest sneaky-Eurekas of this whole study is their incredibly-savvy choice of definition.
They chose NOT to go after The Big Love; the giant, romantic, opus-of-the-ages-scale Romeo & Juliet, Napoleon & Josephine, Cookie-Monster & Cookies type stories.
Instead, the researchers decided to go after the small things, the incidental positive interactions of interpersonal harmony throughout the day,
Even if they were very short-duration in their nature.
Even if it’s something like the Norm-from-“Cheers” factor.
Just a positive interaction with a good person who exchanges good energy, and genuinely asks after the health & well-being of another person.
No drawing-me-like-one-of-your-French-girls required at-all.
And it’s the NORM!s of the world who experienced that significantly-improved well-being.
They Avoided Bias & Conditioning As Best They Could:
Now let’s remember, these are psychologists and scientists.
So they’re also Very Aware of Bias and Conditioning.
They couldn’t train these people like Pavlovian Dogs to just respond to a gratitude-encouraging message on their phones.
So that’s why it was done Randomly, and the study results were highly-filtered to make sure as little priming of the subjects was happening.
And that’s where the experts would even disagree a bit.
But Beware Hedonic Adaptation!:
Should probably only be done Once Per Week, Not even Once Per Day!
You Can absolutely inure yourself to the positive.
It’s called “Hedonic Adaptation”, and it exists simply because if you’re in relatively OK shape in life, there is only so much better that things can get,
But on the other-hand, life can always get A LOT worse!
Happiness Is Connected To Better Health Habits & Outcomes:
So even though Zita Oravecz and her team only claim this is Correlation, not Causation for now,
Until they have more time to prove things,
Here are a few of the positive health dimensions that Ed Diener and Sarah Pressman found connected to Happiness:
1) Better Self-Care
2) Better Sleep
3) Better Nutrition
4) More Exercise
5) Better Cardio Health
6) Lower Inflammation
7) Better Wound-Healing
8) Improved Hormone Function
9) Increased Youthfulness Even In Components Of The Body’s Cells
10) Possibly Slower-Aging From Better Mitochondria Function
But Stress Is The Opposite, And It’s Really Bad News:
And that’s a pretty great list to start.
But there’s one more to put on the Naughty list: Stress.
Stress has a stronger-relationship to negative emotion than it does positive.
And it’s being seen more and more as a real killer.
In one study it was shown that if you had bad stress without the ability to negotiate some of it away,
It completely-negated the effects of a good diet and the subjects’ cardiovascular-systems looked like those of people who eat fried-food all the time.
The rise in Cortisol and Inflammation really is just that bad.
A Short List Of The Health-Problems Caused By Stress:
And here are some of the health problems stress is associated with:
4) Cardiovascular Disease of all types
5) Hardening of the Arteries
6) Whole-body Inflammation
7) Immune System malfunction
8) Depression & Anxiety
9) Obesity due to “Stress Eating”
13) Accelerated Aging
14) Early Death
It May Be Hard To Deny The Mindfulness Aspect:
So that’s how it would really plug-in to the Health picture,
Aside from the general layperson’s idea that Happy people might tend to be healthier.
Now even though the study by PSU was not set up to be an experiment in conditioning,
It may have had some effects of creating habits of Mindfulness.
Even if the reminder-alerts were sent-out at-random.
On the other hand, you can’t really write-down all the positive-effects Just to mindfulness,
Because there was a difference in the outcomes of those with sufficient episodic positive-experiences,
And those who conversely experienced higher-neuroticism.
Not only that but the positive well-being scores were both tied to Healthspan & Lifespan boosting factors we’ve also looked at here before:
So even though an episodic act of positivity and connection between acquaintances & friends may not seem like much,
A certain type of “love”, even in regular small-quantities that resonate with you, really can boost your mental well-being and health long-term.