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Health and happiness depend on each other

By: Riley Kleemeier

New research published in Psychological Science provides new evidence to the claim that a happy outlook can have an impact on your physical health.

The study, conducted by researchers from Georgetown University, the University of Virginia, and the University of British Columbia, focused on 155 people between the ages of 25 and 75 for 12 weeks. The participants were randomly assigned to either a control group or a 12-week positive psychological intervention. The program focused on tasks  such as helping individuals identify their personal strengths, explore mindfulness tactics, and engage in more positive social interactions. The weekly “modules” were led by a trained clinician in person or conducted through online virtual sessions. It is important to note that none of the modules promoted strategies which focus on physical health, such as sleep, exercise, or diet.

At the end of the 12-week period, participants in the intervention program reported increasing levels of wellbeing, as well as needing fewer sick days than those in the control group. There was also equal effectiveness of the in-person and online modules reported.

Overall, the results indicate that there could be a greater impact on communities if programs similar to those offered in the study were made available on a wider basis.

To read more about this study, please click here.


The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of the American Nurses Association, the Editorial Advisory Board members, or the Publisher, Editors and staff of American Nurse Journal. This has not been peer reviewed.

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