Does happiness lead to longevity?

rylan lisa reading 1-30-12 001-A

January 2012:  This photo of daughter Lisa and grandson Rylan makes me happy.

Though I will see my internist next week for follow up, I already have my lab test scores. My random glucose is normal, so I definitely am not diabetic.  But, it is my cholesterol that worries me.  My triglycerides and LDL are abnormally high.  I will have to change my fatty diet by abstaining from ice cream, French fries and hash browns.  I wonder if my doctor will prescribe medication to lower my cholesterol.


Did you see the latest study that examined whether happiness leads to longevity? The answer is no, happiness does not lead to longevity.  The good news is that even if you are miserable, you might live long anyway.  The bad news is why would you want to live long if you are miserable?


If you were to ask if I am happy, I would say that my prevailing feeling is one of gratitude. I am so grateful for my many blessings:  my satisfying marriage to David, my two healthy children and two healthy grandkids, my spacious house, and my ability to live well in expensive Hawaii.

Gratitude leads to happiness, in my opinion.

8 Responses to “Does happiness lead to longevity?”

  1. DJan Says:

    A recent study I saw said it’s important to have lots of friends and acquaintances as well to be happy, and that leads to longevity. With your blog and your books, you definitely have plenty of acquaintances! 🙂

  2. Beatrice Says:

    Glad to read Gigi that you have good health news in one area. Cutting down on the things you mentioned could help the cholesterol issue as can some meds. I did not see the study you referred to as to whether happiness increases longevity, but given the choices I would rather be happy than miserable even if the end result is the same. You surely have much happiness in your life.

  3. Olga Says:

    I agree. Grateful for what you have leads to contentment and that can be called happiness.

  4. SchmidleysScribblins Says:

    Nice post. I am no doctor, however the latest research shows that genes play a big role in cholesterol levels and food does not.

  5. Christine Says:

    Interesting that happiness does not lead to longevity it may be just good genes.

  6. Karen Says:

    Diet will help lower your cholesterol but it usually will not totally correct it. After a trial period you will have to discuss with your doctor whether statins are needed. They come with their own set of issues. Exercise will also help. The newest study on slowing Alzheimer’s shows that moderate walking for a minimum of 40 minutes a day for 5 days a week will significantly slow it. We can do a lot to help ourselves. Good luck with your diet changes.

  7. Linda Reeder Says:

    I agree that a sense of gratitude is a form of happiness. I too feel very grateful.

  8. Tom Sightnigs Says:

    Really? I guess I’m not sure what happiness is, exactly. I just read in the NY Times: “Medical research has shown that as people age, intellectual stimulation and social interaction promote healthy minds … and are associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.” I’d say that intellectual stimulation and social interaction are highly correlated to happiness. But then, as you suggest . . . what if (as it does for me) ice cream makes you happy?

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