Here’s How Happiness Improves Health, According To Science

African American girl dancing happy outsideScientists build a strong case in favor of the effects happiness may have on overall physical health and longevity.

The report, published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, assessed the effects of “subjective well-being” on various factors of physical health. After examining more than 20 previous reviews and more than 150 individual studies, findings confirm with “almost no doubt,” that happiness can indeed influence health, lead author says Edward Diener, professor of social psychology at the University of Utah. So, how does it work? For starters, it’s believed that happy people take better care of themselves including: exercising, making healthy eating choices and getting adequate sleep.

Further data suggests that happiness may even boost cardiovascular and immune health, influence hormones and inflammation levels, speed wound healing and improve emotional states, according to CNN. While, there are only a handful of studies on the topic and more research is needed, “the findings are promising in offering a direct tie from psychological well-being to aging and health at the cellular level,” per study authors.

Still, researchers argue that the body of work is strong enough to claim that “subjective well-being” can influence health and longevity, “at least in some instances.” Now, scientists must determine why happiness seems to be linked to health for some, but not for others.