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Why happiness is the best medicine

From a longer lifespan to keeping aches and pains at bay, we’ve got the facts and figures to get you grinning

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Having 10 or more friends

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    that you’re regularly in touch with increases your psychological wellbeing in middle age. Three cheers for friendship!

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Wrinkles are good!

The Office For National Statistics found 65-79 year olds are happiest, while those aged 90 and over reported better life satisfaction and happiness compared with those in middle age. Grey power indeed!

It’s contagious

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    Your happiness can up the joy factor of your friends and their mates, too…

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7-and-a-half years

is how much longer people live if they’re positive about ageing.

4 ways happiness = better health (yes, really!)

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    1 Nose

    Feeling positive may mean you’re less likely to get a cold.

    2 Head

    The stress hormone cortisol is 23% lower in happy people.

    3 Heart

    Optimism could cut the risk of coronary disease by half!

    4 Knees

    Being happy could help suppress pain during illness and in chronic conditions (such as arthritis).

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12%

is how much more productive happy employees are. (Tell that to your boss!)

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Top tip

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    Get yourself to bed an hour earlier, whenever you can. Research from the University of Michigan shows that a bonus 60 minutes of shut-eye makes people cheerier than earning an extra £45,000!

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Words Danielle Hine 

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