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Research suggests that certain personal attributes—whether inborn or shaped by positive life circumstances—help some people avoid or healthfully manage diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and depression. These include:

* Emotional vitality: a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness, engagement

* Optimism: the perspective that good things will happen, and that one’s actions account for the good things that occur in life

* Supportive networks of family and friends

* Being good at “self-regulation” i.e. bouncing back from stressful challenges and knowing that things will eventually look up again; choosing healthy behaviors such as physical activity and eating well; and avoiding risky behaviors such as unsafe sex, drinking alcohol to excess, and regular overeating…

Let’s think about these four life happiness boosters as we look ahead into a new year.

Source: Sara Rimer, Madeline Drexler, Harvard School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/happiness-stress-heart-disease/

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