A new British study of 3,853 participants ages 52-79 was conducted in a single day asking how happy people were using a rating scale from 1 ("not at all") to 4 ("extremely"). Five years later the researchers looked at who was still alive and kicking. What they found was those who reported being happiest had a 35% reduced risk of dying compared with those who reported feeling least happy. The research took into account a variety of other factors, including age, gender, health, wealth, education and marital status. In this article from USA Today
, Laura Kubzansky, an associate professor in the Department of Society, Human Development and Health, at Harvard's School of Public Health in Boston says, "This highlights the idea that if you are going through a period where you're consistently distressed, it's probably worth paying attention to how you feel — it matters for both psychological and physical health."