A research study performed by Harvard and MIT researchers documented that the spread of happiness (or sadness) is absolutely contagious, with spreading patterns very similar to communicable diseases like the flu.
But here’s the best part—being full of joy is not only good for those around you, it’s actually good for your own body and soul as well. Researchers have conducted multiple studies associated with joy that scientifically prove there is physical benefit in being joyful. An article from BBC, for example, cites a group of American psychologists who discovered that positive thinkers live 7.5 years longer than their more pessimistic counterparts. Having a positive attitude toward aging proved to have even greater effect than physiological measures like blood pressure and cholesterol. And a University of Maryland School of Medicine study concluded that laughter helps blood vessels stay healthier.2
So for a healthy body and a healthy soul, take the advice of one of the Bible’s wisest prophets, Nehemiah, and let the joy of the Lord be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Joy is a gift and one that God loves to give us, especially as we put our complete trust in Him. Let’s be honest. All of us have room in our lives for a little bit more joy. We can experience more joy as we spend more time in God’s presence and allow the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in us as we walk in obedience to Him.
From Making Peace With Your Emotions.Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson Published by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.