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Happy People Don't Get Sick

A presentation for the 2012 SGNA convention in Phoenix

Patricia Raymond

on 18 May 2012

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Transcript of Happy People Don't Get Sick

science of happiness how to achieve happiness the medicine of happiness if you're happy
& you're healthy
clap your hands! what medical conditions does
happiness & laughter make worse? copd ui what is happiness? h
s set point

lottery winners
back 2 baseline 5 years paraplegics one or more than one? David Lykkin
U of Mn
1500 twin pairs
50% genetic
50% circumstantial 40% voluntary
10%circumstantial Seligman
enduring happiness=
set point (s)+
circumstances (c) +
factors under voluntary control (v) Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2000; 75(2):140-43 9 year study, Netherlands
900 people, divided into optimist and pessimists
for all causes death, optimist 55% lower risk of death Arch Gen Psych 61:1126-35. quantify happiness Ed Diener, U of IL
global life satisfaction 7 point scale
7 stongly agree
6 agree
5 slightly agree
4 neither agree nor disagree
3 slightly disagree
2 disagree
1 strongly disagree -in most ways my life is close to ideal
-the conditions of my life are excellent
-i am satisfied with my life
-so far i have gotten the important things i want in life
-if i could live my life over, i would change almost nothing 35-31 extremely satisfied
26-30 slightly satisfied
20 neutral
15-19 slightly dissatisfied
10-14 dissatisfied
5-9 extremely dissatisfied J Personality Assess 49; 71-75 Martin Seligman, father of positive psych
pleasant life (+ emotions > - emotions
engaged life (absorbed by challenges)
meaningful life (knowledge of strengths and use of them in service) Psych Sci 7;186-189. act happy
smile, posture, vocal tone
brain interprets happiness as higher
feedback loop from others Sonja Lyubmirsky UC Riverside hang with happy people/ ditch the downers
4700 participants over 20 years
measured happiness
assessed connectivity
happy 1 degree contact=increased chances of being happy 15%
happy 2nd degree contact= 10% (ex. sib friend)
happy 3rd degree contact=6% (ex. friend of friend of friend) Brit Med J 337:A2338. let it flow
distorted sense of time
distractions dissolve
intense focus on activity acts of kindness
5/wk x 16 weeks
on single day or throughout week
happiness increased for one group day of kindness Rev Gen Psych 9, 111-31 also:
forgiveness 334 healthy volunteers
evaluated personality
given nasal dose rhinovirus
+ emotions=greater resistance to cold Psychosom Med 65:652-57 (2003) WSJ Gallop poll of 450,000 Americans 2008-2009
increased income to $75K increased day2day happiness
beyond $75K just stuff, not happiness statistically speaking,
6 out of 7 dwarfs aren't happy. sometimes i laugh so hard
the tears run down my leg. more happiness
do activities that put you in the 'flow'
express gratitude
measure child 200 laughs/day
adult 14-17 laughs/day laugh break 3 x daily
cartoons,visual humor, jokes Bob Parsons (CEO with GoDaddy.com
"One thing I learned early in my business career is that anything of significance that is measured and watched, improves." CRAP
Prep Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
Abraham Lincoln "Happiness is a warm puppy."
— Charles M. Schulz Most people say that they would be happy if they were healthy. The truth is that if they were happy, they would be healthy- Deepak Chopra Mayo Clinic
personality survey, 1100 patients
follow up in 30 years
optimists 19% higher survival than pessimists Whoever said money
can't buy happiness
didn't know where to shop.
-Gertrude Stein The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. -Benjamin Franklin Happiness? That's nothing more than health and a poor memory.
-Albert Schweitzer No medicine cures what happiness cannot." --
Gabrid Garcia Marquez Money won't buy happiness, but it will pay the salaries of a large research staff to study the problem.“ - Bill Vaughan having absolute
perfect pleasure
in normal everyday
simple stuff if you're happy
& you're healthy
clap your hands! if you're happy
& you're healthy
clap your hands! if you're happy
& you're healthy
then you're on your way
to wealthy Graham, C., Higuera, L. and Lora, E. (2011), Which health conditions cause the most unhappiness?. Health Economics, 20: 1431–1447. doi: 10.1002/hec.1682 well-being of paraplegics adapts back to pre-accident levels
epileptics face a lifetime of uncertainty about the timing of seizures Differences in happiness between smokers, ex-smokers and never smokers: cross-sectional findings from a national household survey
Lion Shahab Robert West http://dx.doi.org.chekov.evms.edu/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.08.011 who is happiest?
x-smokers > 1 yr
never smokers/ x-smokers <1 yr
smokers who smoke for anxiety/depression money DOES buy happiness It's the recipient that counts: spending money on strong social ties leads to greater happiness than spending on weak social ties. PLoS One. 2011 Feb 10;6(2):e17018. Aknin LB, Sandstrom GM, Dunn EW, Norton MI. “Please think back to and describe as vividly and in as much detail as possible the last time you spent approximately twenty dollars ($20) on someone you are very close to (e.g., a good friend, close family member, romantic partner).” “Please think back to and describe as vividly and in as much detail as possible the last time you spent approximately twenty dollars ($20) on someone you are not very close to (e.g., an acquaintance, a co-worker, a classmate, a friend of a friend).” Am J Cardiol. 2010 Sep 15;106(6):856-9.
Effect of mirthful laughter on vascular function.
Sugawara J, Tarumi T, Tanaka H. 17 healthy adults (23 to 42 years of age)
watched 30 minutes of a comedy or a documentary (control)
on separate days (crossover design)
HR and BP increased significantly while watching the comedy
Ischemia-induced brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation (by B-mode ultrasound imaging) increased significantly after watching the comedy (17%) and decreased with watching the documentary (-15%).
Carotid arterial compliance (by simultaneous application of ultrasound imaging and applanation tonometry) increased (10%) significantly immediately after watching the comedy and returned to baseline 24 hours after the watching, whereas it did not change significantly throughout the documentary condition.
Comedy-induced changes in arterial compliance were significantly associated with baseline flow-mediated dilation (r = 0.63). These results suggest that mirthful laughter elicited by comic movies induces beneficial impact on vascular function. Heart Lung. 2011 Jul-Aug;40(4):310-9. Lebowitz KR, Suh S, Diaz PT, Emery CF.
Effects of humor and laughter on psychological functioning, quality of life, health status, and pulmonary functioning among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a preliminary investigation. 22 patients randomly assigned to view either a humorous or a neutral video.
pulmonary function, mood state, and dyspnea were assessed before and after the video.
humor =fewer symptoms of depression/ anxiety and enhanced QOL.
induction of laughter led to lung hyperinflation. Maciej Buchowski,Vanderbilt University
10-15 minutes of laughter burned 50 calories 3550 calories/lb
lose 1 lb=18 hours laugher Blood sugar levels.
19 people with diabetes
After eating, attended a tedious lecture.
Next day, same meal, watched a comedy.
After the comedy, the group had lower blood sugar levels than they did after the lecture. . "I certainly wouldn't want people to start laughing more just to avoid dying -- because sooner or later, they'll be disappointed." ''mirthful laughter'' reduces the stress hormones

cortisol & catecholamines
similar to moderate physical exercise When leptin goes down, it increases appetite
When ghrelin goes up, it increases appetite
That is what typically happens after moderate exercise.

14 healthy volunteers, average age 21
20-minute segments of two different videos.

One was humorous, participants selected one depending on their preference. Choices included videos with Bill Cosby, Jeff Foxworthy, Will Ferrell, etc

He also showed them a video meant to be stressful to watch, the 1998 movie Saving Private Ryan, a graphic World War II movie.

The participants watched the videos in random order.

They gave blood to assess their leptin and ghrelin levels a week before the study, immediately before viewing, and immediately after viewing the videos.

After watching the funny videos, participants had a decrease in leptin of about 15%. After watching the war movie, there were no significant changes in the hormone.

They had an increase in ghrelin after viewing the humorous video of about 9%, he found, but no change after the war movie.

The results don't mean that laughter increased appetite, he says, but rather that the body's response to repetitive laughter is similar to that of repetitive workouts.
The research may help elderly people who have lost their appetite, whether due to depression, illness, or lack of physical activity. Pain reduction

Rosemary Cogan, Ph.D.
Texas Tech University
laughed at a Lily Tomlin video or
underwent a relaxation procedure
tolerated more discomfort
than other subjects

James Rotton, Ph.D.
Florida International University
orthopedic surgery patients who watched
comedic videos requested
fewer aspirin and tranquilizers
than the group that viewed dramas a.k.a laughing
until you leak dialysis patients
pda hour by hour happiness
similar to healthy patients Jason Riis, U Mich
49 pairs of dialysis patients and healthy people J Psychosom Res. 2009 Feb;66(2):173-5. Epub 2008 Nov 22.Kimata H.
Viewing a humorous film decreases IgE production by seminal B cells from patients with atopic eczema.
24 male patients with atopic eczema
Modern Times, featuring Charlie Chaplin
just before and immediately after viewing, semen was collected
seminal B cells and sperms were purified
IgE production and galectin-3 were measured

IgE production significantly decreased
expression of galectin-3 on sperms was reduced.
viewing a humorous film may be helpful for the study and treatment of local IgE production and allergy in the reproductive tract. Sonja Lyubomirsky
happiness is 50% genetic,
40% intentional &
10% circumstantial Lyubomirsky practice of gratitude

57 subjects express gratitude once a week in a journal.
58 expressed gratitude in a journal three times a week
control group of 32 did nothing

at the end of six weeks, she retested all three groups and found a significant increase in happiness in ... significant increase in happiness in the ONCE A WEEK GROUP!

(The participants who journaled three times a week showed less change, perhaps because the exercise didn't feel as fresh, Lyubomirsky theorized.) Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2011 Aug 1;32(4).
Association between perceived happiness levels and peripheral circulating pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in middle-aged adults in Japan. circulating levels of interferon- (IFN-)were lower in
the high-happiness group than in the low-happiness group
experimentally induced happiness could reduce peripheral IFN- levels

association between the perception of happiness and systemic inflammation
increased happiness may suppress the peripheral circulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines
funny bones don't get arthritis happy bones don't get arthritis Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2011 Aug 15. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0594.2011.00731.x. the psychosocial quality of life in hemodialysis patients between the elderly and non-elderly using a visual analogue scale: The importance of appetite and depressive mood.
Lower scores for appetite and mood correlated with higher mortality in HD patients, especially in the non-elderly. More attention should be paid to appetite and the diagnosis and therapy of depressive mood to improve the prognosis of HD patients, especially for the non-elderly don't pursue happiness
create it laughter doith good like a medicine
laughter doith good like a naprosyn September 2011
Proceedings of the Royal Society B 206 subjects
freezing wine sleeve on forearm or BP cuff
comedy video, non funny documentaries or live performances laughing subjects with
higher pain threshold
increased endorphin production 'he comes from
an unhappy family' happiness is
serious business happy playlist
always look on the bright side of life
good vibrations
feeling groovy
i'm into something good
happy together
i can see clearly now the rain has gone
walkin' on sunshine
here comes the sun
you're the one that i want H=S+C+V
v is voluntary
voluntary = 40% "those who have cattle
have care"
Kenyon saying happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. Aristotle 323 ce pleasure is not happiness
pleasure has a saturation point happiness is pursued, not achieved cold temperatures can improve your mood
University of Michigan

blowing cold air up participants’ noses
put them in a better frame of mind than
blasts of hot air recess for work
online calculator
how much recess can save your hospital in productivity & reduced absenteeism play needed like sleep
real play has no real purpose
pure play is improvisational Stuart Brown PhD, Institute for Play
study on murderers
"absence of play in their childhood was as important as any other single factor' Play=stupid pointless fun happy people
don't get sick:
the link between
joy and health
patricia l raymond md facg of rx for sanity everybody sing! no happy faces no rainbows no unicorns how happy are you,
right now? correlation hemorrhoids
& income $656M in March 2012
50% to taxes
$328M to play with 160 healthy volunteers
levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the serum
high-happiness & low-happiness groups 7 romantic couples
changes in peripheral pro-inflammatory cytokine levels
induced by warm physical contact with the partner illness doesn't correlate
with unhappiness have a happy day!
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