Happy people may be protected against disease, according to a study released today.
Researchers found people with a positive mental attitude show different responses to stress.
The findings follow studies showing the same people are less likely to suffer heart disease, diabetes and depression.
Andrew Steptoe, professor of psychology at University College London, who led the study, said happy people rely on a different part of the nervous system, which slows the heart rate, and they recover more quickly from stress.
"The evidence suggests that happier people have a reduced risk of various conditions," he said.
The research was based on reports by men and women on their daily positive feelings since 1985. Researchers also measured blood pressure responses when people were given stressful tasks.
Professor Steptoe said: "We found happier people recover more rapidly from stress than less happy individuals. This may be one of the mechanisms through which happier people are less prone to stress-related illness."
Source - Daily Mail