Here's some good news for those of you like me who find happiness a hard thing to hang on to:
LONDON - You've heard it before: to avoid a heart attack don't smoke, eat right and exercise. But it also may help to be happy, a new study says.
Even if you're grumpy by nature, just try to be cheerful.
Researchers at Columbia University rated the happiness levels of more than 1,700 adults in Canada with no heart problems in 1995.
After a decade, they examined the 145 people who developed a heart problem and found happier people were less likely to have had one.
The study was published online Thursday in the European Heart Journal.
"If you aren't naturally a happy person, just try acting like one," said Dr. Karina Davidson of Columbia University Medical Center, the paper's lead author. "It could help your heart."
Davidson and colleagues used a five-point scale to measure people's happiness. They then statistically adjusted to account for things like age, gender, and smoking.
For every point on the happiness scale, people were 22 percent less likely to have a heart problem. The study was paid for by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and others.