The formula for a healthy and happy later life

Posted on: 24 September 2013 by 50connect editorial

Dr Todd Kashdan reveals a novel formula for better health for over 50s

Healthy living older womenGood health is something that most of us aspire for in life. Whether this means exercising regularly or eating the right foods – we’re essentially trying to look better or feel better for as long as possible.

But are you making happiness part of your daily health routine? Growing research by physicians, philosophers and economists have linked the science of happiness with physical, emotional and mental well being.

Some studies have correlated happiness with a stronger immune system, better ability to cope with stress, positive mood, greater pain endurance, longer life-span, and a lower risk of heart disease.

What’s the secret to happiness?

Defining happiness isn’t a simple task. In an effort to narrow down our understanding, researchers have created the UK’s first ever ‘Feel Good Formula’: 

(Mx16 + Cx1 + Lx2) + (Tx5 + Nx2 + Bx33) 

So how do we interpret this equation? What does it all mean?

Renowned professor, Dr Todd Kashdan who led the study explains: “there is no single secret to feeling good, but when these six ingredients are carefully attended to, in the right doses, you will be on target for a happy life”.

The 6 factors in this ‘Feel Good Formula’ are:

Live in the moment (M)

Try to appreciate the sounds, smells and sights around you that you might take for granted in your daily life. It is important to remind yourself every hour that you are awake (average= 16 hours).

Be curious (C)

Once a day, be spontaneous enough to explore the unknown and uncertain aspects of your life.

Do something you love (L)

An essential part of a happy life is to take part in an activity twice a day that truly gives you pleasure or excites you.

Think of others first (T)

While it is important to care for yourself, there is great value in spreading love to others - which can ultimately make you feel good too. Share your appreciation with people around you 5 times a day, by offering compliments, listening intently and doing good deeds.

Nurture relationships (N)

Research has found that the happiest people in the world have a close relationship with a significant other. Twice a day, make an effort to devote some quality time to a family member, relative, friend or partner.

Take care of your body (B)

This doesn’t have to mean extreme dieting or intense exercising. Embracing your body is about nourishing yourself with healthy food three times a day and incorporating 30 minutes of exercise once a day.

If you’re thinking about leading a healthier lifestyle, you might want to consider getting a health screening to assess the status of your health. Understanding your health condition allows you to tackle any current issues with the help of your GP, and also understand your future risk of health problems go to:

You can read more about Dr Kashdan's research at

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