Health and longevity are good indicators of physical reserve, and there is direct evidence that positive emotion predicts health and longevity. In the largest study to date, 2,282 Mexican-Americans from the southwest United States [those who got in before Trump put up his mechitza - E.E.:-)] aged sixty-five or older were given a battery of demographic and emotional tests, then tracked for two years. Positive emotion strongly predicted who lived and who died, as well as disability. After controlling for age, income, education, weight, smoking, drinking, and disease, the researchers found that happy people were half as likely to die, and half as likely to become disabled. Positive emotion also protects people against the ravages of aging. You will recall that beginning nuns who wrote happy autobiographies when in their twenties lived longer and healthier lives than novices whose autobiographies were devoid of positive emotion, and also that optimists in the Mayo Clinic study lived significantly longer than pessimists. Happy people, furthermore, have better health habits, lower blood pressure, and feistier immune systems than less happy people.
[Martin Seligman - Authentic Happiness]