Friday, May 6, 2016

'Health & Happiness' Center Launched at Harvard University

Photo from Harvard.edu


Harvard University just launched a new Center for Health and Happiness, which was established by a $21 million initial gift. The center will focus on the study of psychological well-being and how it affects physical health.

“Would you rather live a long, happy, and healthy life, or a life that is merely without disease?” Laura Kubzansky, one of the center’s co-directors, said in a statement. “Medical and psychological practice and research have traditionally focused on the diseases and deficits that cause poor health. But there is real value in focusing on the positive side as well — the assets that keep us healthy or help us recover more quickly from disease and injury.”

The goal of the center is to advance scientific understanding of the link between a positive mindset and a positive social environment — things like close relationships with family and friends, a meaningful job, healthy exercise, enjoyable hobbies — with good physical health. Likewise, researchers hope to understand how negative social and mental circumstances — such as poverty and lack of relationships or meaningful employment — can impact health or longevity. Harvard scientists hope that the center's findings will eventually help influence health practice and policy.

In addition to new projects, the center will coordinate work among Harvard faculty, researchers and students in departments including health communications, psychology, medicine, nutrition, exercise physiology and more.

--Read more at Mother Nature Network

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