A fascinating study of 180 School Sisters of Notre Dame nuns, all born before 1919 has some interesting findings. In his book “The Happiness Advantage” Shawn Achor describes the process that researchers used to track the positive emotional diary writings over 50 years. The nuns who had a high level of positivity lived ten years longer than the ones who were negative. By age 85, 90% of the “happy” nuns were still alive as compared with 34% of the least happy nuns. This is pretty convincing evidence of the need to maintain a positive way of being in the world. If the nuns were all faced with the same life choices, it would be interesting to ponder why some chose to happiness over unhappiness.
We know that the feelings feed into the physiology and that illness often results if there are prolonged negative feelings. Helping people understand Choice Theory and by using Reality Therapy with people in need we can help them to live a more balanced life, and remain healthier and happier.