Bahagia Pangkal Sehat

Beberapa link dari Google News menyampaikan paparan Dr Andrew Steptoe, seorang periset dari University College di London, yang menyimpulkan bahwa rasa bahagia membuat orang lebih sehat. Paparan itu menyampaikan bukti berupa hubungan hayati yang positif antara “positive sense of well-being” dengan peningkatan tingkat kesehatan wanita dan pria setengah baya. Paparan aslinya dimuat dalam “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

“There’s a direct link between how we’re feeling and the biological processes which relate to illness and illness risk,” kata Dr. Steptoe. “Biology is going to be on the side of those people who are going to be in a more positive state of mind, and it may well stand these people in good stead for their future health.”

Tes telah dilakukan pada ratusan orang di Inggris selama beberapa waktu. Tiap peserta tes diberi beberapa percobaan, dan hidup dengan dimonitor, serta mengisi catatan harian. Hormon semacam kortisol juga diukur setiap dua jam oleh para peserta tes sendiri. Umumnya peserta tes mengakui bahwa kebahagiaan mereka tidak terpengaruh oleh jenis kelamin, status perkawinan, dan pendapatan.

Ini tentu sebenernya bukan berita besar. Sudah lama diketahui adanya link antara stress, kortisol, kekebalan, dan sebagainya. Tapi berita kayak gini memang perlu dimuat di semua koran dan weblog di seluruh dunia, kan? OK, kita teruskan.

“I can’t really prescribe how people should make themselves happier, because philosophers have failed at that for centuries,” kata Dr Steptoe. “But most of our sense of happiness seems to relate to having good relationships with family and friends, and that’s not something that can be maintained without some investment of effort, and keeping an appropriate balance. That balance, of course, is going to be different for different people.”

Dr. Albert Ray, koordinator peningkatan kesehatan di Kaiser Permanente Southern California di San Diego, menyampaikan: “I try to give people concrete things to do to help de-stress. Get a dog, get a cat, go out, play sports, go to their religious institution, do yoga, get married, have a relationship, go on a vacation, do things that can relax a person.”

Dia melanjutkan: “There’s no question that people with a positive attitude have lower blood pressure, suffer less illness, usually have lower cholesterol and better resistance to most infections. And when they do get sick, usually a positive attitude can result in shorter illness. And I think every doctor tries to tell their patient to get out and smell the flowers, go for a walk, read a book, and try and look on the bright side rather than have a negative outlook. It just seems sensible to reason. Even without being a doctor.”

Jadi? Berbahagialah. Jadi bahagia atau tidak itu keputusan Anda, bukan hasil karya lingkungan Anda. Dan kalau sudah bahagia, bersyukurlah; karena itu meningkatkan kebahagiaan Anda. Yeehaa!

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